Listen In!

Here's everything you need to know about Music on Malphrus.

"Music on Malphrus" is an acoustic listening room located in Bluffton, SC, dedicated to hosting live performances. This intimate venue welcomes folk musicians and singer-songwriters, offering them a platform to connect with a family-friendly audience. The space emphasizes authentic and heartfelt musical expressions, celebrating the rich tradition of folk music and storytelling. Its intimate ambiance ensures a unique and personal connection between the artists and their audience, making it a gem in Bluffton's cultural scene.

​Tickets are $25 . Ticket purchase is available below or cash/credit at the door. We recommend reserving your seat by booking online below. 

"Music on Malphrus" performances are held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry, located at 110 Malphrus Road in Bluffton, South Carolina. Although the venue is a UU church, the performances have no religious affiliation and are solely for entertainment and to enjoy live music. Doors for the event open at 6:30 p.m., and the live music commences at 7:00 p.m.


Yes! There are refreshments available.

Join Us For the 2023 - 2024 Season!
Friday, December 8 - Zoe Lewis

 Zoë plays vintage jazz, swing, world beat grooves, folk and funk on anything from the piano to the spoons! Originally from the UK, she now calls Cape Cod, her home. She's traveled to over 70 countries picking up musical grooves and stories along the way, released ten albums of original material, toured with Judy Collins, the Indigo Girls, Richie Havens, and Nanci Griffiths. She was signed to Judy Collins’ Wildflower record label, and Putumayo records, she has won numerous songwriting awards and her songs have appeared on Broadway, in documentaries, movie soundtracks and in commercials. She’s currently recording her 11th album of original songs and working on a new one woman musical which she plans to tour.    

"A masterful combination of song, performance and artistry with a contagiously positive attitude and free spirit."  Bay Guardian, SF  

“Equal parts musician and story teller, she is blessed with the uncanny ability to uncover the extraordinary beauty in the seemingly ordinary.” Boston Globe 

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Friday, January 5 - Jon Shain and FJ Ventre

Jon says, “We made a lot of new friends and fans in the blues world, thanks to my win at the International Blues Challenge and the festival shows that came out of that. All of this played a big factor in our decision to return to our blues roots.” The new record also features FJ stepping up to the mic to sing lead vocals on a number of tracks, making the new album feel even more like a true duo effort. They pick up their electric instruments more than in the past, playing all around the borders of the blues, including elements of blues-rock, jazz rhythms, ragtime picking, and John Hurt-esque folk melodies. They proudly wear their other influences on their sleeves, at times referencing Los Lobos, Stephen Stills, fingerstyle expert Roy Book Binder, and British jazz-folk act The Pentangle.  

While Jon and FJ play most of the instruments on the album, they were joined by some very special guests for this project. The legendary British drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Paul McCartney, Jethro Tull) adds his signature drums and percussion to most of the tracks on the record. Rissi Palmer, the renowned vocalist and host of the Color Me Country radio podcast sings a duet with Jon on one tune. The brilliant Chicago-based Anne Harris (Otis Taylor, JP Soars) contributes empathic fiddle on several songs. Philadelphia-based Bob Beach plays rousing blues harmonica, and Boston-based Doug Hammer rounds out the guest list on piano.


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Saturday, January 20, 2024 - Brooks Williams

"Brooks Williams is one of those select few 'how on earth does he do it" (Fatea) He moves effortlessly between blues, country and folk. He is a master songwriter who has honed his craft on the road and in front of audiences at home and abroad for 33 years.

“Frank Delandry,” one of Brooks’ songs, about a New Orleans guitar player, is an audience favourite. His song interpretations are inspired, too. Take “King Of California,” for example, which is one of the most requested songs in his concerts. And you can always count on a blistering instrumental or two each show to remind you why he is listed in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists. Statesboro Georgia-born, now living in Cambridge UK, Brooks Williams is
admired by both listeners and fellow musicians alike. With over 32 recordings to his name, and countless concert and festival appearances, both solo and with one of his many collaborations, since 1990 he has been a leading light
on the acoustic music scene. 

“It is pure talent, hard work and relentless touring which has brought him to the pinnacle of his career.” Blues In Britain


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Saturday, February 3, 2024 - No Fuss and Feathers

 “No Fuss and Feathers distills the very best of four talented musicians and creates an entirely original, polished, engaging entity... beautiful singing, gorgeous harmonies, sophisticated instrumentation, and infectious humor. I loved every minute. ” - Barbara Shiller, President, CT Folk

NO FUSS AND FEATHERS is the “heck-of-a-good-time” collaboration hatched by CAROLANN SOLEBELLO, KARYN OLIVER, CATHERINE MILES, and JAY MAFALE. Shaken or stirred, NFF serves up a dynamic, cohesive cocktail of delicious harmonies, infectious rhythm, and spontaneous hilarity — with award-winning songwriting always at center stage. Individually, the four are nationally touring performers who have charted at the top of Folk and Americana radio and appeared at some of the nation’s most respected festivals. Collectively, they are an incorrigible bunch of musical co-conspirators bent on giving their audience an unforgettable show. Laughter and showmanship, along with warm friendship and camaraderie, make the audience part of the performance, so each NFF show is a unique and unforgettable concert experience.

"The four versatile singer-songwriters swapped instruments and sang with pristine harmonies buttressed by confident musicianship. The accessible performers filled the space between songs with teasing banter, much as they do when getting together in one another’s homes." - David Sepulveda, New Haven Independent 

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Friday, February 16, 2024 - Matt Nakoa

 Matt Nakoa is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. A modern troubadour, he makes his home on the highways and concert stages of America and appears regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush. The Boston Globe says of Nakoa, “On the ivories, (think of) a hot-handed phenom who can go from Chopin to beer-drenched honkytonk in one set …On guitar, a Jack Johnson-esque singer-songwriter…between his piano chops, charismatic stage presence, and heartfelt originals on guitar…he drops jaws.” 

2012 and 2014 saw the release of his first solo albums, garnering multiple songwriting awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festivalʼs new folk competition. Nakoaʼs newest album, Casting Shadows, is a spellbinding blend of pop, soul, and classical influences and tells a story of childhood dreams crashing headlong into a grownup reality. The Ark of Music magazine proclaims, “What we have here is a truly encouraging sign of what pop could once again become …”  

Long before I ever sang songs, I wrote piano music. Antique Dances is a special selection of original works that I dusted off and polished up during my COVID lockdown retreat. They have an old-world sound and are based on old-world dance forms. Sometimes, when modern life feels too fast and loud, it’s good to escape to distant times and places. 

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Friday, March 15, 2024 - David Jacobs-Strain and Bob Beach

 David Jacobs-Strain and Bob Beach are a multigenerational, bicoastal duo who have been performing together since 2010. They currently perform between 70 and 100 shows a year on both east and west coasts, delighting and bewildering roots music lovers. “Have you ever seen anything like this before?” Wait. Just wait until you see them live.

David Jacobs-Strain and Bob Beach sit side-by-side on the stage.  A Pogreba guitar, built by the man who built the cannon Hunter S. Thompson was shot out of, sits loosely in David’s hands. Bob adjusts the distance to his 1940’s RCA microphone then leans over the box propped open at his side and grabs 2 harmonicas.  They are calm. Poised. The crowd has no idea what they are in for next.   

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Friday, April 19, 2024 - Jacob Johnson

To watch Jacob Johnson play guitar is to watch someone do what he was born to do. Johnson glides up and down the fretboard with total confidence in a way that reminds one of Leo Kottke, barely looking at the instrument as he weaves delicate, dazzling melody lines with the occasional percussive thump on the strings. His sense of melody is a strong as his virtuosic playing, and his songwriting reveals a modestly bemused look at the world.

Johnson began playing when he was 10 years old, thanks primarily to his grandmother. She taught him the first three or four chords he ever learned and said,  Jacob, if all you ever learn on the guitar is these three or four chords, you will always be able to pick up a guitar and play songs for people.  

After that initial introduction, Johnson progressed quickly through his teen years. There was a period of a couple of years where he went from zero to 60. He started out listening to Johnny Cash and then got into the old rockabilly like Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent, then it was the blues and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, and Hendrix. By the time he was 18 or 19 he started getting into Phil Keaggy and Michael Hedges, who he consider the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar.  He was one of the first players who got into two-handed tapping, alternate tuning, that kind of stuff. At a certain point he decided to focus on the acoustic guitar because there was just something about it. It seemed like this was the instrument that was going to give him his voice; that would allow him to develop his singing and songwriting in a way that his electric playing didn’t. 

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Saturday, May 4 - The Levins

The contemporary harmony-driven folk duo, The Levins ( leVINNS) offers lyrically-rich acoustic music that is warm and uplifting without skating over life's complexities. From harmony in voice to harmony for humanity, husband and wife duo, The Levins, uplift and unite with unflinchingly feel-good folk-pop, infectious musicality, sharp songwriting skills, and a unique approach to vocal harmonies that is both soulful and unexpected.

The Levins have garnered prime accolades and acclaim for boldly uncompromising and heartfelt music. Select highlights include ranking on Folk and Roots DJ charts, nabbing Top 10 positions and landing on multiple DJ yearly Top 10 song and album lists. Their songs bridge genres and communities, offering them opportunities to perform at The Parliament of World Religions and co-produce an original full-scale musical theater/Euro-Circus production in San Francisco, based on their album, "My Friend Hafiz,: which is inspired by Daniel Ladinsky's poetic renditions. 

harmony-driven acoustic duo known for their sun-splashed, peace infused songwriting that "underscores the positive messages of love, peace and self-awareness. Each tune serves as another stepping stone toward a better day & a richer life." Tom Staudter.

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Saturday, May 18 - Shanna in a Dress

Shanna in a Dress is your quirky best friend who refuses to wear pants. She says what everyone has felt but no one else will say and you'll get an uncensored journey of clever humor and heartbreak, extreme candor, and a hefty side of entertainment at her shows. This witty wordsmith is known for taking you on an emotional roller coaster, sometimes within the same song. Think John Prine mixed with Ingrid Michaelson with a twist of Phoebe Buffay from Friends all wrapped up in a sweet voice accented by guitar, piano, and ukulele. She's as real as it gets, as anyone who follows her on FB or Instagram knows. 

Shanna started her career at the University of Virginia, fell in love with Boulder, Colorado, and now keeps her fun music flowing out of Nashville unless she's touring the US or Europe. You can't get the same Shanna in a Dress show twice with her spontaneous banter and playful stage presence. She manages to teeter the line masterfully of taking on complex subject matters with smart, bold, and yet accessible lyrics. Her charisma and boldly honest songs are full of interesting language and wordplay and delight audiences of all ages.

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Saturday, June 8th, 2024 - Rod MacDonald

Rod is one of the club headliners of the 80s “New Folk” scene and co-founder of the Greenwich Village Folk Festival. Rod’s songs have been recorded by Shawn Colvin, Jonathan Edwards, Joe Jencks, and dozens of Ren-Fair bands, including 21 songs in the Fast Folk/Smithsonian collection. He lives in south Florida, where he’s been named Best Local Acoustic Artist (New Times) and Distinguished Faculty Member in Florida Atlantic University’s LLS program. His 14th and newest album, "Rants And Romance" was #5 on the Folk Alliance’s Folk DJs chart in July 2023 and the most-played cd on the national


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See You There!
Be sure to reserve your ticket by clicking one of the links above!

Tickets $25 at the door (unless otherwise noted) – General Admission
Doors open 6:30p.m.
Show at 7:00p.m.

At The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry
110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton, SC, 843-837-3330;