New folk duo's debut show set at Westport Point

SouthCoast Today, July 24, 2015

On Thursday, July 30 at 6:30pm at the Paquachuck Inn (2056 Main Rd., Westport, MA), mezzo-soprano Allison Messier and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa will give their debut concert as ALLISON, a new ensemble dedicated to the art of the contemporary folk song.

Messier says, “Last month we gave a recital at St. Andrews by-the-Sea in Little Compton. For that program, we performed a lot of music by people like Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, and Harry Chapin, but I never expected such overwhelming support from the audience. It was a big risk for us to go pioneering into a new genre that was outside of our classical comfort zone. After such a fantastic turnout, however, I feel encouraged and supported in continuing to sing this music. All of the feedback we got from audience members was about how much they loved hearing us in that repertoire. Many people were absolutely moved emotionally. That is why we formed ALLISON. We want to have fun exploring music that we know our audience is deeply connected to. It's so very satisfying to feel a room full of people completely engaged in our music making and even singing along.”

So what exactly is ALLISON? “It’s still just Allison and me,” explains Cienniwa, “however, unlike a classical ensemble where we always feel the need to come up with new repertoire, ALLISON allows us to function like a rock band, performing sets of songs that people will want to hear time and time again. Of course, the use of harpsichord in these songs adds a psychedelic quality that fits really well with the music.” Messier adds, “In the classical world, it’s not typical to perform favorites more than once in a season. ALLISON is very freeing for us, and we think that our audiences will love it too!”

The concert is open to the public. Tickets are $20. Seating is very limited, so advance ticket purchases are encouraged. For more information and tickets, call 617-466-9042 or visit

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