Third Fret Coffeehouse

March 14, 2008

Coffeehouse Offers Folk, Acoustic Music for All Ages

The Third Fret Coffeehouse [Third Fret’s MySpace page includes audio files of upcoming or recent performers] springs to life once a month with the sounds of acoustic music and song. Concerts are held from September to May in the friendly, folksy and comfortable atmosphere of Liberty Hall in Marstons Mills. Built in 1859, Liberty Hall has long served as a community center for Marstons Mills and it is well-suited as a coffeehouse. It is located near the center of town at 2150 Main Street right next to the Marstons Mills Library.

My husband and I visited the Third Fret recently to see blues guitar legends Paul Geremia and Bob Martin. Considered to be one of the best country blues finger pickers, Mr. Geremia did not disappoint. He played six- and twelve-string guitars, harmonica, and sang songs of his own composition and songs made famous by legendary blues performers like Ledbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, and others. He also told entertaining stories about meeting early blues musicians, or playing in places where they had played.

Mr. Geremia, whose home is in Rhode Island, was accompanied by Cape resident Robbie Phillips on a “strung trombone,” sort of a one-string washtub bass that Mr. Phillips was very adept at playing. The two have known each other for 35 years.
Opening for Mr. Geremia was Bob Martin, another old-time blues guitarist and harmonica player. Also a songwriter, Mr. Martin sang a song he wrote for his father, a housepainter who always wanted to be a tap dancer. Another memorable song was “The River Turns the Wheel,” which Mr. Martin wrote about the mills in his hometown of Lowell.

Liberty Hall has been used as a coffeehouse off and on over the years. The Third Fret Coffee House was run by Eileen DiBouno for the past three years or so, but operations have recently been taken over by Tracey Delfino and Larry Zarella. They are enthusiastic about bringing quality folk and acoustic music to Marstons Mills and giving musicians a great place to play. Many appreciate playing in a coffeehouse in a concert setting, instead of a bar where they must compete with loud conversations and other distractions.

The hall holds about 100 people, fewer if tables are set up for guests and goodies. The goodies are a nice touch. Coffee, tea, and homebaked goods are included in the cost of admission, though donations are also appreciated.
Ms. Delfino’s son, Trevor, helps out too, acting as stage manager, helping with sound checks, supplying the musicians with everything they need; he sets up tables and chairs, and generally makes sure things go smoothly. “He does a pretty amazing job,” says his proud mom, and he is only 9 years old.

Ms. Delfino enjoys the coffeehouse herself, appreciating not only the music, but also the ambiance. Because no alcohol is served, parents can bring their kids.

The next concert, the first one booked by Ms. Delfino and Mr. Zarella, is March 22. It will feature Mr. Zarella, a singer-songwriter whose warm folk-style voice has been compared to James Taylor, and the acoustic folk pop group, Tripping Lily. A native of Cape Cod, Mr. Zarella lived in a remote area of Alaska for 15 years, playing music in a band and as a solo artist. He moved back to the Cape a couple of years ago and has been touring in the area and elsewhere. His CD, “No Place Special” features his original music.

Tripping Lily is a Cape-based folk pop quartet consisting of Demetrius Becrelis on guitar, mandolin, and ukulele, his brother, Alex, on mandolin and guitar, Monica Rizzio on violin, and Laird Boles on string bass. All band members sing, and all write songs, a unique blend of pop, folk, jazz, bluegrass, and classical music. Their influences are diverse, from James Taylor to Nat King Cole to pop singer Colbie Caillat and rock band Starting Line, and their enthusiasm for their music is infectious.

The combination of Larry Zarella and Tripping Lily should be a treat for traditional and contemporary folk music fans. The show is March 22. Doors open at 7 PM, and the show begins at 7:30.

Another upcoming show of special interest to singer songwriter fans is the Songwriter’s Series on April 19 at 8 PM featuring Danielle Miraglia, Jacob Johnson, and Chris Ayer.

For more information on either show, contact Tracey Delfino at

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