LINCROFT, NJ - The 1-year-old Earth Room Concerts music series at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County (UUCMC) in Lincroft, NJ presents its next concert on Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 PM, featuring The Young Novelists in concert, with Brad Yoder and Jason Rafalak opening.  The UUCMC series, named for the attractive stained glass in the sanctuary where concerts are held, brings nationally known folk and singer/songwriter artists to Monmouth County.

Toronto-based husband/wife duo The Young Novelists are known for their beautiful harmonies and songs culled from their small-town roots.  After the release of their 2nd full-length album Made Us Strangers, they’ve been touring Canada and the US relentlessly, earning accolades wherever they go. They were recognized as Emerging Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, won the Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition at the Connecticut Folk Festival, and were recently named finalists at the NewSong Music Competition.

What first began as a stack of songs that front man Graydon James had amassed behind the drum kit in various bands during his university years eventually became a collection of recordings performed by the six-piece band, Graydon James & The Young Novelists.  But over time, as James’s wife Laura Spink became integral to the creative process and the band began performing and touring as a duo, the more succinct banner of The Young Novelists was born.

As a published author with one novel – The Mall of Small Frustrations – to his name and two others in the works, James’s words carry a weight and depth that demand repeat listens. The hope, he says, is having a listener connect with the sentiment he explores, if not the specific subjects.  “As personal as the songs are,” he offers, “I hope they’re connecting to other people in a way that goes beyond the situations I was writing about.”  That connection is perhaps most intense from the stage, where The Young Novelists’ show is as engaging as it is endearing.

Acknowledged by Pittsburgh Magazine as “ruling the Pittsburgh coffeehouse scene,” Brad Yoder logs over 150 performances annually, and has recorded 5 self-released CDs, songs from which have been featured on popular TV and radio shows.  Brad has also led workshops at over 30 different colleges and universities on “Exploring Songwriting” and other topics including performance and creative choices for working artists, encouraging student songwriters to find their own unique voices.  In addition to his music, Brad is a freelance math tutor.  His unique mix of humorous, poetic, political, funky and edgy original songs, covering a musical range from folk to indie rock (with unexpected musical and lyrical twists) has earned him a loyal following.

The addition of the dynamic upright and fretless bass-playing of Jason Rafalak (plus mandolin and vocal harmonies) has added a new level of excitement and arrangement possibilities to Brad’s live performances.  Jason has performed with many other musicians and appeared on many albums.  Jason lives in Pittsburgh and is the Music Therapist at the Friendship Academy.

Earth Room Concerts, started a year ago by UUCMC, schedules 5-6 concerts each year.  The final spring 2017 concert features Joe Crookston on May 6 (with opener Mike Agranoff).  For more information and tickets, see web site http://earthroomconcerts.org.  Tickets in advance are $15 adult, $7.50 children age 12 and under, and $20 adult and $10 children at the door.  The venue address is 1475 West Front Street, Lincroft.