Geoff is a nationally respected folk/blues guitar player, harmonica player, songwriter, and singer. His ninth record “Put the Big Stone Down” (2009) went to No.1 on the international FolkDJ Radio chart in January 2011. Some of Geoff’s songs have been recorded by other artists in New England, Nashville, and Canada, and some are included in the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine collection in Washington, DC. The song Cut by Wire co-written with John Gorka was recorded by Dublin’s Mary Black.
Geoff plays guitar and sings harmony for folk treasure Tom Paxton at concerts and festivals in the northeast and elsewhere, and has done so since 1994. Geoff was also instrumental in bringing the Tom Paxton signature model Martin guitar into production in 2004. In the 1980s, Geoff won four guitars at the National Fingerpicking Championships hosted by the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.
Geoff presents two nights of acoustic music each week at the Cantab Lounge, a neighborhood bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Monday night open mic draws performers and audience from southern New England and beyond. Tuesday night bluegrass draws performers and audience from the U.S. and beyond. Both nights have repeatedly been voted Best of Boston. Geoff has inspired and encouraged several generations of acoustic musicians in Greater Boston and southern New England. He lives in a suburb of Boston.
NEW RECORD! “Mercy for the Dispossessed”
Geoff’s tenth recording “Mercy for the Dispossessed” was released on July 15, 2012. This lush twelve-song collection is composed of pre-war and contemporary blues, primitive jazz, and string band music from the southern mountains. Mandolins, fiddle, dobro, banjo, flugelhorn, harmonica, upright bass, and vocal harmonies are layered on top of Geoff’s wooden and resonator guitars. Guest artists include Kimber Ludiker (fiddle) and Jenni Lyn Gardner (mandolin), both of the progressive all-female bluegrass band, Della Mae (Rounder Records), Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt (harmonica), Howie Tarnower (mandolin), Michael Bean (dobro), Johnny Blue Horn Moriconi (flugelhorn), and Phil Antoniades (drums).
The Bartley-Tarnower Duet
To support the new record, Geoff is booking shows in duet format with Boston sparkplug multi-instrumentalist, Howie Tarnower (Country Cookin’, Fiction Brothers, Special Consensus, Tony Trischka, Pete Wernick, Matt Glaser, Don Stover, Chris Jones, Hazel Dickens, Rose Maddox, Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk). Howie’s mandolin, banjo, and harmony vocals complement Bartley’s baritone lead vocals, fingerstyle and flatpick guitar magic, harmonica and foot. The fare is American roots musical styles played and sung joyfully and spontaneously by two master musicians.
Geoff and Hollywood
Geoff’s song A Letter from Prison, recorded by the progressive bluegrass band, The Infamous Stringdusters, appears in the 2008 independent Lionsgate film “The Lucky Ones” starring Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, and Michael Pena.
~ Geoff Bartley Day Proclaimed in Cambridge! The Cambridge Mayor’s Office in conjunction with the Boston Bluegrass
Union proclaimed February 13, 2004 Geoff Bartley Day.
~ Before his set at the Boston Folk Festival on September 13, 2009, the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association (BACHA)
awarded Geoff its Jerry Christen Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award.
Geoff and NOVA
Instrumentals and songs Geoff has written have been used on the History Channel, Animal Planet, A&E, the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NOVA and Nature on PBS, in documentary and commercial films, and in private and commercial advertising in the US and elsewhere.
Geoff is an endorsing artist for Elixir strings.