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Folk music on the edge

Joe's Pasta Garage on Jordan Street had the feeling of a college town pub Friday night as Jon Peterson, Donna Dennihy and percussionist GD Bower took their positions at the back of the restaurant.

Guitars in hand and a twinkle in their eyes, the duo played for close to two hours for the small crowd who had come out to support the teams newest CD, "Getting Warmer." Bower, a Syracuse Area Music Award-winning musician, played live alongside the singer-songwriters.

"I always describe it as edgy folk," Dennihy said of their music, while Peterson would call it "singer, song writer original" tunes.

What started as making music in the kitchen more than 10 years ago has now turned into CD release parties and playing for the fans for duo Peterson and Dennihy.

The two came together through a mutual friend at least a decade ago, and from there they began playing, and eventually writing lyrics for their original pieces. They released their first album, "A Little Change," in 2002.

According to Peterson, the second CD is acoustic based and filled with a lot of harmony.

"I just think it's a great gift to be able to share," Dennihy said. The duo's fan base spans generations, from children to senior citizens, she added.

Both musicians are teachers at local elementary schools -- Dennihy teaches special education at State Street Elementary in Skaneateles and Peterson teaches fifth grade at West Genesee -- and they not only bring music to the public, but occasionally take it into the classroom as well.

"It's great to be able to encourage other people," Dennihy said.

As the crowd began flowing into the dining area around 10 p.m., Peterson and Dennihy made their way to the performance area and started their set. Before long, toes were tapping and heads were nodding as the audience began feeling the music and responding to the melodies.

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