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Simons and Goodwin come to the Along The Way Coffee House in Ipswich | Lifestyles

IPSWICH — The 2022 offerings of Along the Way Coffee House will kick off with an evening of tight harmonies with delightful finger picked acoustic guitar accompaniment courtesy of Simons and Goodwin on Jan. 15.

With roots in the Boston-area folk music scene of the 1960s where they first met, Bob Simons and Renee Goodwin (pronounced Renny) have been playing and singing together for the past 15 years.

With folk roots always showing through, the pair describe their music as Americana, including soft rock, country, blues, pop, traditional and contemporary folk, and originals from Simons’ pen.

Simons began performing as a solo act in the 1960s at venues in and around Boston and along the North Shore up to Portsmouth, N.H.

In the 1970s, he joined his long-time friend Jim King and formed the duo called the Watkins Marsh Bumppe Shoppe. Together, they embarked on an active performing schedule and reached opening act status at Club Passim in Cambridge. In fact, Simons and King were the first act to perform at the then-newly formed Me & Thee Coffee House in Marblehead.

In the ‘80s Simons joined with Jon Roper and Myra Franks, and formed the Generic String Band which evolved into Frosty Morn’ with the addition of hammered dulcimer player Sally McKnight. Frosty Morn’ performed into the 1990s.

In addition to recordings made with others, Simons has a solo album of his originals entitled “Falling Through The Years.” Simons has written more than 50 songs, some of which have made it into the Simons and Goodwin repertoire.

After discovering the Boston/Cambridge music scene which was flourishing at the time with venues such as Cafe Yana, The Unicorn, The Loft, and iconic Club 47, Goodwin launched her career as a folk singer.

For about a year, she teamed up with the late Bill Staines in a duo called “Bill and Renee.” Together, along with John Synnott, they recorded the album “A Bag Of Rainbows” in 1966, which continues today to be a rare and historic recording. For a short while, following her time with Staines, she performed in the Boston area with another singer-songwriter, Mike Orlen

Just before the 1970s, she moved back to Augusta, Maine, where she settled down and raised a family. However, she continued to perform at venues throughout Maine, including local coffeehouses, taverns, community musical theater and dinner theaters.

Actually, Simons and Goodwin first met at the King’s Rook in Ipswich in 1966, when Staines, who just died Dec. 5 at age 74, introduced the two. They became fast friends, as they both embraced folk and acoustic music and the intimacy of the coffeehouses where they, in separate acts, performed regularly.

Since that time, their friendship, which now included their families, continued and whenever they got together, there was always some music involved. However, the idea of joining forces didn’t occur to them until 2006. Since formally putting the duo together, the pair have continued to grow their fan base in pubs, coffeehouses, outdoor and indoor concert settings, as well as private parties.

Simons and Goodwin last played the Along The Way in November 2018 but appeared across northeastern Massachusetts in 2021 with shows in Topsfield, Haverhill, Marblehead and Salem.

Doors at The Along The Way Coffee House, 12 Meeting House Green, open at 6:30 p.m., with the show scheduled for 7-9. Admission is $10 per person. For more information, call 978-350-2487.




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