The Folksoul Band


Fred and Leslie

The Folksoul Duo

Visit our Youtube Channel for our latest live videos!

If you would like to consider donating to support Folksoul Music during this pandemic and while our live performances are curtailed, here is our Paypal account. In return we would be happy to send you any (or all) of our CDs that you request if you send us a mailing address (see our contact page).  Thank you!

“You guys were the heroes!”

Ken Kesey, in Veneta, Oregon in 1982, when Tattoo opened for the Grateful Dead, and then closed the show!


Taj Mahal, upon hearing Tattoo’s “(Ooh My Baby She’s a) Wino” in 1983


“Tattoo’s ‘gotta dance’ music brought young and old to their feet. Best band we had all summer—Best band I’ve heard in years.”
Mary Lee L, Peterborough Waterfront Music Fest

“The music was fantastic and the variety of songs was just what we wanted for our wedding reception. Expertly performed. The band switched easily from one genre of music to another. They were especially accommodating to learn a new song for our first dance and a rousing rendition of an old song for a special tribute, and even played the fiddle and guitar during our ceremony. Easy to work with and genuinely seemed to enjoy performing. The reception wouldn’t have been so much fun without their music. They did an excellent job reading the crowd and keeping everyone dancing. We would definitely hire them again and many friends are considering them for future events.”
Sheri L, Groton, VT

“Tattoo was amazing. They had people dancing from the first note of the first song. Their set list was varied, exciting, and arranged with obvious taste and thoughtfulness. The band even learned a song to accompany the bride’s sister. The guests were talking about the band all night and into the next day. Great experience and we recommend them and would hire them again!”
David G, Tamworth, NH

“I’m really glad we found you, you were perfect for our crowd…I wish I’d thought to ask you for a CD. Our friend Carolyn says it’s great, and she is a big-time music maven.”
Will M. W. Lafayette, IN

“Thanks again for being such a great band…So many people raved about your music and had a great time dancing…”
Martha and Carl, Springfield, MA

“Thanks so much…you and your music are wonderful and received many rave reviews. PS–Can you let me know how I can order a CD?”
Lynne P., Newton, MA

“We as a family very much recommend Tattoo as fun and lively music. I have had them for ALL THREE of our children’s weddings over the past four years.”
Tom and Caroline S., Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

“You guys rock! I’ve played some wet and muddy gigs in my day, but you guys really went the distance. The band truly made that party special.”
Ken Z., Boston, MA



Here you will find information about our various musical enterprises. We have been in the business of providing real live music for all kinds of happenings, celebrations, concerts and festivals for many years. We do so with a joyous heart, because we love playing music and sharing it with folks.

  TATTOO has been around the longest; it started as a street band in California during the late seventies, wound up in Oregon and then Alaska, until we found ourselves in the Monadnock region of NH. And here we are, playing all kinds of American roots dance music, on our mostly acoustic instruments–some of our own time-tested originals and lots of oldies from the books of Soul, Motown, Cajun, Reggae, Swing, Country and Rock&Roll.

   Then there’s the FOLKSOUL BAND, born from a passion for New Orleans culture which has given us the roots of our folksoul and our groove and our indomitable spirit. This band of ours explores American roots in a deep way, going all the way back to W. Africa, to when it landed here and transformed itself into American music, at Congo Square in the city of New Orleans. You’ll hear songs by Dr. John, Allen Toissaint, Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and The Wild Magnolias, among others.

   And finally there is the FOLKSOUL DUO. This is just yours truly, Fred Simmons and Leslie Vogel, exploring many different styles of music that don’t necessarily fit the dance band format, on trombone, guitar, keyboard and accordion. Sometimes we get a little help from our friends, like Dan Wheeler on stand-up bass. In this way we can squeeze into the smallest venues, and do things like play for a Sunday Brunch.

   We have a distinctive style in everything we do, one that you probably haven’t heard anywhere else, and we are carrying on some of our country’s most wonderful musical traditions, as well as adding to them as best we can. We hope you enjoy our music.

New Tattoo Album

Six original songs, some great Cajun tunes, plus songs by Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.

The Folksoul Band

 Live Mardi Gras party, recorded in the famous Nelson Town Hall in Nelson, NH.    

New Family Album

CDfront_300dpiThe Gap in the Fence front cover

The Gap in the Fence is Leslie Vogel’s second solo album. Her enchanting, original songs take us on various rhythmic adventures – from an early morning gallop to picking blueberries under the sun, from a cheerful song about breakfast in the frying pan, to a lyrical ballad of a child growing up. Some songs and tunes inspire random singing and dancing in the kitchen, while the lullaby brings us full circle to a love of nature and the planet Earth on which we live. Leslie is assisted by several excellent musicians who add their special talents to the soundscape. Each song is dedicated to a person or group in a wide embrace of her family and community.

Papa's on the Housetop

Papa's On The Housetop

An album of music for children and families created and produced by Leslie Vogel. In this adventurous and lyrical recording we are taken by the hand and led into a fairyland which is deeply rooted in the real life stories and songs that are a part of our multi-faceted American cultural traditions. Drawing from this rich heritage, Leslie Vogel has gathered her own creative forces and combined them with the many talents of highly skilled musician friends, band members and family members to bring out this collection of original and traditional songs. Of this recording Leslie comments: “Several years ago I started thinking about making a family album. I always sang to my own children at bedtime, but over many years of performing these particular songs rarely saw the light of day. It was time to bring them out. As I contemplated this project and ideas for arrangements and instruments started forming, I realized that I wanted young voices singing with our more seasoned musicians. I asked the members of my teen Fiddle Orchestra to join us—and they did, with great energy and enthusiasm.”