The Medallion Presents: The Ballad Lives! Singing the Roots of Narrative Art

In celebration of summer song, Poet, Balladeer, and former Portsmouth Poet Laureate, John Perrault will present a program of traditional and original Ballads along with New England story songs. Drawing from a repertoire that ranges from “Bonnie Barbara Allen,” to the Maine woods song, “Canada-I-O,” to “St. James Infirmary,” John follows the evolution of the traditional ballad from the mountains and moors of the British Isles to the Southern Mountains and Northern border of North America. John will also sing selections from Rock and Root, now available from CD Baby:

“…Some of these tunes sound to me like they’ve been dug up out of the rocky New England soil; they’re organic to the place. They are both familiar and mysterious at the same time. Have I heard the story of Louis Wagner before? Sure, but I’ve seen thousands of New England farms, too, and that doesn’t mean I don’t stop when one looks particularly beautiful.” –Lars Trodson, Portsmouth Times on John’s The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse.

“John Perrault has a great passion for history and a wonderful insight into the American experience. These stories and songs reflect an outstanding dedication to that passion.” Bill Staines on John’s book & CD: Jefferson’s Dream.

Free and open to the public. A NH Humanities program.

Medallion Opera House Presents: The Ballad Lives

A NH Humanities To Go Event

Murder and mayhem, robbery and rapine, love that cuts to the bone: American ballads re-tell the wrenching themes of their English and Scottish cousins. Transplanted in the New World by Old World immigrants, the traditional story-song of the Anglos and Scots wound up reinvigorated in the mountains of Appalachia and along the Canadian border.  John Perrault talks, sings, and picks the strings that bind the old ballads to the new.

John earned his BA in English at Providence College, an MA in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire, and a JD at the Franklin Pierce Law Center. He taught high school English for 10 years in Kittery, Maine, and subsequently practiced law in Portsmouth for30 years. He is the author of Jefferson’s Dream, Here Comes the Old Man Now, The Ballad of Louis Wagner, and a recent CD compilation of ballads, Rock and Root. His poetry has appeared in Orbis (UK), The Salmon Poetry Anthology Dogs Singing, The Christian Science Monitor, Blue Unicorn, Commonweal, and elsewhere. John was Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2003-2005.