Robin and Jenny Bienemann
The husband and wife duo of Robin and Jenny Bienemann are both singer-songwriters and instrumentalists. By turns hilarious and heartfelt, this cutting-edge acoustic duo melds original and traditional music with an elegant hint of jazz. Robin’s wild guitar stylings harken back to the earliest forms of jazz, blues and country guitar. Jenny’s voice and guitar playing evokes comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Ricki Lee Jones. Both write songs that are celebrations of modern life in all of its wonderful, strange and hilarious beauty, garnering airplay on National Public Radio, Dr. Demento, and The Midnight Special.
TwosDay Night Special
Jenny and Robin played Hey Nonny on the very first Tuesday night we were open (Oct. 23, 2018). And it was magical. Now, they’re hosting a new series at Hey Nonny: TwosDay Night Special. Each edition will feature Robin and Jenny, with a guest duo, weaving a fascinating web of songs, poems, and some silliness. Each evening will challenge the guest duo to craft a short new song about Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights, or Tuesdays. Each evening will also offer a (short and curated!) time for audience contributions of songs, poems or other creativity. We’re debuting TwosDay Night Special for this event, and then will pick it up on the fourth Friday of every month beginning in April.
Ashley & Simpson
Comprised of Jennifer Ashley and Joel Simpson, Ashley & Simpson are quickly becoming folk scene favorites. This folk duo blends traditional songs and instrumentation along with beautiful vocal harmonies reminiscent of famous duos such as Ian & Silvia and The Everly Brothers. With their sophomore release “Off To Here Land,” they have pushed the art of folk to a new sound with an all traditional track list that will delight fans new and old. Both bringing a classical perspective to their duo, Jennifer Ashley & Joel Simpson have reached a new level with incorporating elements of jazz, popular music and other modern styles in their arrangements.
They announced their arrival to the folk scene in October 2017 with the release of their debut album, “Winnie,” an epic love story unfolding song by song, chronicling the journey of two kids in love from Smalltown, USA. Since forming in 2016, Ashley & Simpson have opened for 5 time Grammy nominated blue-grass artists “Dailey & Vincent,” Grammy nominated artist Dave Rudolph, and for gold-record artist Michael Gurley (dada, Butterfly Jones, and Kiefer Sutherland Band). They have appeared on Lilli Kuzma’s Folk Festival on Chicago’s WDCB, as well as Chicago’s Windy City Irish Radio WCIR. The duo appeared at the Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival in September 2018 as part of the Two Way Street Coffee House stage . In October 2018, Ashley & Simpson were selected to perform in the DJ Showcase at Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM). They attended North East Region Folk Alliance (NERFA) In 2018, as well as Folk Alliance International 2019 in Montreal.
On February 1, 2019, “Off To Here Land” was released and Jennifer and Joel had the honor to have their release show at the legendary Two Way Street Coffee House in Downers Grove, Illinois. In its debut month, “Off To Here Land” was #7 TOP ALBUM on the Folk Radio Charts, and Ashley & Simpson earned the distinction of #9 TOP ARTIST for the month.
Singer/Songwriter Joel Simpson plays guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, and bass. As a member of Lee Murdock’s Blue Horizon band, he performed on Rich Warren’s Folkstage, was a 2016 Folk Alliance Official Showcase artist, and appeared on Mr. Murdock’s last two albums. He is currently a member of The Chancey Brothers, Chicago’s favorite Irish band, and released his first solo album “Irish Boy’s Dream” in February 2018. Joel lives in Darien, Illinois with his wife and three children.
Singer/Songwriter Jennifer Ashley’s first instrument is piano, but also plays guitar and banjo. Although a lifelong musician, Jennifer is newer to the folk scene. She also may occasionally be seen moonlighting as a rocker in a local 80s cover band, Turbo Shot. Jennifer lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with her husband and three children.
Preproduction has begun on their third album, “Hello, Mrs. Sun,” which features all original songs. In addition to Ashley & Simpson, the partners operate an independent record label called Randomosity Records located in Downers Grove, IL. The pair also enjoy volunteering at local folk venues and festivals.