Welcome to American Melody - Performances

Phil Rosenthal

Phil is an internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter. His compositions have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Nick Cave and others. He was lead singer and guitarist in the seminal bluegrass band the Seldom Scene, and is renowned for his skills on mandolin, guitar and banjo. He was selected Connecticut State Troubadour in 1994. Phil has been called "a roots master musician" by Billboard Magazine and "one of the most expressive singers in traditional country music" by the Washington Post. He has performed with Jerry Douglas, Bill Monroe, Emmylou Harris, Jonathan Edwards and many others in his career in folk and bluegrass music.

Phil offers several solo performances, and a duet performance with his son, acclaimed trumpet player and composer, Daniel Rosenthal. All are described below.

This Land Is Your Land -- songs of Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) was a legendary American folk musician who inspired a generation of songwriters, including Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. His compositions, many now classics, tell of his early years in the Oklahoma dust bowl (Dust Bowl Refugee, So Long It's Been Good to Know You), his travels across the country (Hard Travelin', Ramblin' Round), his concern for the poor and downtrodden (Deportee, Pastures of Plenty), his love of children (Put Your Finger in the Air, Riding in My Car) and for his homeland (Roll On Columbia, This Land Is Your Land). Woody settled in New York City in the 1940's, though he continued to tour the country, performing as a soloist and with Pete Seeger, Cisco Houston and the Almanac Singers. Though his life was touched with tragedy, his music and writing remained upbeat. He was hospitalized beginning in 1954 with Huntington's Disease.

Phil performs many of Guthrie's most memorable songs in this concert, explaining the events that inspired their composition.

Songs of Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) was a major figure in America's folk music revival. A prolific songwriter, song collector, and multi-instrumentalist, Pete helped bring the five-string banjo into the mainstream of the folk movement. Known primarily as a solo performer, Pete was also a founding member of several influential groups, including the Almanac Singers and the Weavers.

Phil celebrates Seeger's music in this program, featuring many of Seeger's best-known compositions and other songs prominent in his long recording and performing career. Phil's introductions give information about the song's place in Seeger's career.

"This entertaining, enlightening, and important program is highly recommended. Phil takes the audience on a captivating American folk journey." -- Robin Flynn, Head of Communications, Beverly Public Library, Beverly, MA

"A big hit! It was a trip down memory lane with toe-tapping sing-along classics performed beautifully and bits of history about the prolific songwriter and activist sprinkled in throughout the performance. A treasure for all ages!" -- Tara Borden, Assistant Director, East Lyme Public Library, East Lyme, CT

"A fun and fact-filled celebration of one of America's musical legends - a great event for music lovers of all ages." -- Sandy Ruoff, Director, Guilford Free Library, Guilford, CT

Phil Rosenthal: Folk and bluegrass

Phil performs traditional and original songs, including his classic composition "Muddy Water", and talks about his career performing folk and bluegrass music around the world, as well as forming and running his own recording studio and record company, American Melody (www.americanmelody.com).

Turkey in the Straw: Bluegrass songs for children

A pioneer in bringing traditional musical styles to children, Phil's recordings of bluegrass and folk music for children have received over 20 awards from the Parents' Choice Foundation, the National Parenting Publications Association and the American Library Association. Phil's lively program of original and traditional songs is a delightful for children, as well as adults!

From reviews of Phil's children's recordings:

"The tunes have a winning charm, and Rosenthal has an easygoing naturalness that reminds one of Pete Seeger. Eminently sing-alongable." -- The Washington Post

"A new winner for children" -- School Library Journal

"Tremendously appealing" -- American Library Association

The Rosenthals

The Rosenthals are New England's finest father/son bluegrass/folk/jazz duo on the scene today! Connecticut native, Phil Rosenthal, is known to audiences world-wide as the former lead singer of the seminal bluegrass band, The Seldom Scene. He has teamed up with his son, trumpet virtuoso, Daniel Rosenthal, to create a group with a musical landscape and language unlike any other on the market today. The two combine elements of bluegrass, folk and jazz into a seamless mix, with the unusual instrumentation of banjo, trumpet, and plenty of vocal harmonies. http://www.therosenthals.org

Performance fees:

  • Phil Rosenthal solo:

    • This Land Is Your Land (songs of Woody Guthrie), Songs of Pete Seeger, Phil Rosenthal: Folk and Bluegrass: $325 per program

    • Turkey in the Straw (bluegrass for children): $225

  • The Rosenthals (duet): $450

If multiple shows are booked, the fee for each show is reduced $50.


Phil Rosenthal

For information about upcoming performances by Phil Rosenthal, and the Sommers Rosenthal Family, see Phil's facebook page:


For information on performances by Naomi Sommers, go to:


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