How Vance Gilbert helped get “Ethical Brew” off the gorund

BY CURT SCHLEIER

Beth and her husband, Perry Stein, run Ethical Brew, a series of roots (or folk) concerts run out of the Ethical Culture Society in Teaneck. The series is, in their words, “a quality blend of live music and social action.” The Steins became involved in the concerts because of their love of music and a family history of social activism. “It was a fluke,” Perry said in a recent interview. “We go to a lot of concerts as fans.”

One series they attended on a regular basis, Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, combined music and charity. Those concerts were run by a group of young progressives and, Perry said, it “looked like a very familiar place,” similar “to the culture at Ethical Culture,” where the Steins are members. It was here that fate intervened. At an earlier concert, they’d placed themselves on the mailing list of folk singer/song writer Vance Gilbert; they got an eblast from him, saying that he was thinking about doing a few house concerts.

The Steins wrote to Mr. Gilbert to see if he’d be willing to come to Teaneck to do “a large house concert,” and he said yes. They got the Ethical Culture board to let them use the organization’s facility. And they were in business.  Their first concert, in January, 2013, “was a sell out,” with the Bergen County Sanctuary Coalition as the charity of record. “It was a big success and we had so much fun doing it,” Beth said. Although it was supposed to be a one-off, “we felt good about it,” Perry added. “We asked ourselves why don’t we start doing this on a regular basis.” “It combined two things we’re about: music and social action,” Beth said.

If you’e interested in seeing Vance Gilbert live, he will be playing four shows later this week

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