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Occasional Musical News

Amos 13 Aug 09 - 02:46 PM
michaelr 13 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM
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Subject: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 02:46 PM

A review of the Newport Folk Festival over 50 years.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 03:26 PM

Sorry--it was meant to be a link!!

Another interesting project: a record built on the lyrical ravings of Jack Kerouac:

...I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

"...This dazzling bit of prose surfaces within the first several pages of Jack Kerouac's On The Road. The 1957 book chronicles the budding Beat movement and has been a model for countless artists and adventures chasing after rich living ever since.

Amongst this throng are Son Volt's Jay Farrar and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, who, united by reverence for their artistic forefather, will release a collaboration inspired by Kerouac's wild, winsome prose this fall. Titled One Fast Move or I'm Gone, the record was written almost entirely by Farrar, who adapted Kerouac's writing into lyrics. The project was born when the writer's nephew, producer Jim Sampas, asked both musicians to contribute to a documentary about Kerouac's life during the years he penned the novel Big Sur, published in 1962."...

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News--Stephanie Booker
From: Amos
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 02:49 PM

Stephanie Rooker's soul-shaking sounds range from saucy r&b, to innovatively revived funk, to jazz-infused ballads.

Drawing from her broad range of musical influences: from folk music of her native Appalachia to her immersion in traditional music of Ghana, from years of classical and jazz training to her distinctive grasp of the cultural evolution of American gospel--blues--jazz--&--hip-hop, Stephanie Rooker's sound is fresh and cultivated. She sings with the careful phrasing of a soulful Eva Cassidy, the wailing of a young, blues-steeped Bonnie Raitt, and the self-affirmative slant of Stevie Wonder.

Rooker attended historically progressive Oberlin College, where she designed an independent major in Ethnomusicology with an emphasis on West Africa and the Diaspora. This gave her the opportunity to study for 4 months in Ghana, where she conducted field research and recordings and produced a CD of the traditional music of the Ashanti, Dagomba, and Ga people of Ghana. It was also during this time that she began composing her own music and booked her first tour as an acoustic duo with guitarist Chris Eldridge (of Chris Thile's "Punch Brothers"). After graduating, Rooker settled in Brooklyn, NY, where she continued honing her musical abilities and began immersing herself in the New York scene.

Stephanie Rooker has since been performing extensively in New York City and beyond. In 2008, she released her debut CD, Tellin You Right Now, to a packed house at NYC's Cutting Room and has since been climbing the music-scene ladder quickly, performing at such high-profile venues as NYC's Blue Note, Washington, D.C.'s Blues Alley & Roanoke, VA's Jefferson Center.

Her unique and alluring music is fueled by an almost tangible passion, creating with it a force for empowerment and social change. Supported by band of seasoned musicians--all mavericks on the New York scene, Rooker's songs are ripe with innovation and rounded by expertise.

Stephanie Rooker is working on making people listen, on calling us to take a moment to recognize what we have, and what we have to give. She lets her voice loose in the name of the most essential and contagious kind of Love. Rooker hopes that her audiences will reflect, understand and heal, but--most of all--keep on lovin' one another.

Rooker is currently working on her second studio album, due out in 2010.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Blue Note Jazz Club
131 W. 3rd St.
New York, NY 10012

(Village Voice)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 10:05 AM

Berkeley's Freight & Salvage braves move to new home
By Jim Harrington
Oakland Tribune

The local folk music scene is about to get a major upgrade.

Call it Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse 3.0 — as the legendary club, which has served as the heart of the folk music scene in the Bay Area for the past 41 years, gets set to move into a new state-of-the-art performance space Aug. 27 in the downtown Berkeley Arts District. It will be the Freight's third home, following a stint on San Pablo Avenue and its current spot at 1111 Addison St.

"I'm looking forward to being in the cultural epicenter of Berkeley," says Steve Baker, the Freight's longtime executive director. "We are close to the university and close to the high school. I can keep my eyes on my two kids, who will both be at Berkeley High next year."

The latter isn't the rationale Baker sold during the lengthy fundraising drives, which helped secure much of the $11.5 million needed to open the new venue. The main reason behind the move, Baker explains, is that it allows the Freight to better pursue its mission — to promote "the understanding and appreciation of traditional music."

Everything about the new Freight has been designed to encourage greater community involvement. It's at 2020 Addison St., across the street from the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and in the heart of the city's Downtown Arts District, which means more foot traffic, parking and public transportation options. That in itself is a change from the venue's current location in a residential area of Berkeley.

Also, the new venue's main concert hall will seat 440 people — double the capacity of the current club and about five times that of the Freight's original San Pablo site."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 05:02 PM

An interview with Josh Bray from the edge of folk and blues sounds.

"KH: What age did you know you wanted to be a musician?

JB: Only very recently. I had been studying to be a criminal lawyer and decided that the student life afforded me the opportunity to play around town, doing bits and pieces here and there. I was even set to travel to America to work in Capital Defense (death row) in the southern states. This was what I had always 'planned' to do and had been volunteering my time in the UK working with charities. I know, however, from the very first gig I played (about 3 years ago) that it would be something I would always want to do, even if only for fun. Then I was lucky enough to be give the opportunity to record and it kind of took off from those first recording. About a year ago we got a record deal and that was the time that I decided to ditch the law and give it a crack!"


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 08:58 PM

Blind Willie Johnson's Grave Discovered
Thursday August 20, 2009

Since his death in the late-1940s (the exact date and year is in question), slide-guitarist Blind Willie Johnson has become one of the early blues era artists most loved by guitar-slinging rockers. Johnson's songs have been covered by everybody from Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. The guitarist's classic "Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)" was included on a "sounds of the earth" recording that was shot into space with the Voyager One space probe.

Sadly, though, for over six decades Johnson's final resting place has been unknown and unmarked…until now. Texas music historian Jack Ortman spent eighteen months and more than a dozen long distance trips between Austin and Beaumont to uncover the truth about the blues legend. In the process, he feels that he has discovered Johnson's grave in Beaumont's Blanchette Cemetery, the musician buried in a pauper's grave in the Negro section of the cemetery.

Ortman's journey began when he became determined to discover Johnson's burial site, gathering up books, articles, and CDs documenting the guitarist's life and music. In a press release about his discovery, Ortman says "during my research, I kept coming across information that Blind Willie had lived in Beaumont during the 30s and 40s. The sources also revealed that he died in Beaumont. My natural curiosity made me search further and I started finding information that no one was sure where he was buried. That was it, my moment of realization, and I thought, 'What a perfect project for me.'"

Ortman is pushing for the placement of an Official Texas Historical Marker from the Texas Historical Commission on Johnson's grave, which has already been paid for by an anonymous donor. Ortman's quest to find Johnson's gravesite is a fascinating tale, and you can read about it on the PR Inside website.

From this Blues Blog

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM

Cathy Ponton King finds her voice in the blues
Originally published August 20, 2009

By Lauren LaRocca
News-Post Staff



Cathy Ponton King grew up in an Irish family and learned to play traditional music by the age of 10. When her love for blues took precedent, she began writing her own material, but her roots weren't lost.

"I was really influenced by the Irish spirit," she said.

She put herself through college by playing folk music at the Dubliner, a club in D.C., before her blues days.

Playing Irish music limited her because she wanted to write her own material and Irish clubs typically wanted her to play traditional songs.

"I dearly love Irish music to this day," she said, "but it didn't allow me to be a songwriter."

The two genres might not be so different. Both include slow, mournful ballads as well as joyful, exuberant melodies, and "both mine deep into the human soul," she said. "Ireland is the land of the saints and scholars and poets; I think they tap into the human soul. ... The depths of emotion that Muddy Waters is able to produce -- that was some of the deepest emotions ever put into music."

A student of poetry, King believes Irish poets and blues writers are "equally as deep."

She said her switch to blues was freeing, and the switch from part-time to full-time musician even more so. She worked in the radio business for several years before committing to her music full time in 1983.

"Everyone thought I was crazy," she said.

Currently based in Vienna, Va., she has since recorded two albums and has toured the East Coast continually. She said she plays mostly in the Maryland, D.C., Virginia region and sees her native D.C. as the hub. She's played Frederick several times for nearly 20 years, mostly at the Bentz Street Raw Bar, once the chief blues venue in town.

On Saturday, she'll play the Music Caf? in Damascus, her first time at the venue.

She performs with several musicians which include Frederick -based drummer Bob Berberich; Antoine Sanfuentes, another drummer; keyboardist Bill Starks; and guitarist Dave Chappell. She's worked with Jim Robeson, who has won two Grammies for studio production and is both her producer and bassist, as well as Jeff King, her executive producer and songwriter whom she married.

On her most recent album, "Undertow," released last fall, her husband wrote three of the songs, including its title track. She penned all the others.

"The blues music is always simmering as a very potent force," she said. "It allows me to say whatever I want as a songwriter."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News:Doowop Queen Moves On
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 07:50 PM

Brooklyn-born Eleanor Louise Greenwich, a Brill Building songwriter and producer perhaps best known for collaborations with Phil Spector on Wall of Sound powerhouses like the Ronettes "Be My Baby," Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," and the Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron," passed away today in New York City.

Her ability to convey both the rapture and heartbreak of young love in music proved transcendant; the unbridled joy in the Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me" and abject sadness in the Ronettes' "I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine" come through as clearly today as they did forty years ago.

Alongside writing partner and husband Jeff Barry, Greenwich penned a stream of '60s hits, including early rebel-girl classic "Leader of the Pack," "Chapel of Love," and "Do Wah Diddy," and produced much of Neil Diamond's early work (she is often credited with helping him get his start), including "Cherry Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman."
Leader of the Pack, a play based on Greenwich's life and songs, ran on Broadway in 1985, and earned a Tony nod for Best Musical; she also sang backing vocals for Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" and on albums as diverse as Blondie's Eat to the Beat and Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual.

Though she never achieved the type of marquee fame that she brought to other artists, she was an accomplished singer and performer in her own right. Listen below to "Sunshine After the Rain," from her aptly-titled 1968 album Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces & Sings:

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 07:51 PM

Above was from

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 05:28 PM

This is a great thread and I'd like to see it as a staple on Mudcat. I relish knowing
what's going on.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:15 PM

Thanks, Frank!! Glad to be of service. I will keep it as alive as I can.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

MIDLAND, Mich. - The twang of banjos, fiddles and dulcimers will ring out in Midland this weekend.

The 16th annual Midland Dulcimer Festival, sponsored by the Folk Music Society of Midland, kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Organizers say acoustic musicians of all levels are invited to the workshops, shows and jam sessions that will feature throughout the four-day event at the Midland County Fairgrounds.

A free traditional dance is set for Friday evening.

Alcohol is banned, along with most electric instruments.

Admission is $4 a day or $7 for all four days.

From Jazz Times:

Multi-reedist, composer and educator Joe Maneri died on Aug. 24 at a hospital in Boston. He was 82 years old. For most of his life, Maneri toiled in obscurity, spending his time as both a student and teacher of creative music. Although he retired from public performance for various stretches throughout his life, a series of recordings for the ECM, Hat Art and Leo labels during the '90s helped to bring him a certain level of recognition among jazz aficionados and musicians. Author and graphic novelist Harvey Pekar championed Maneri and even insisted that his music be included in American Splendor, the film based on Pekar's life. (Pekar also profiled the reedman for JazzTimes in 2000.) Maneri is perhaps best known for his passion for microtonal music, the use of 72 notes per octave. In 1995, fellow educator Ran Blake said about his colleague, "Along with Jimmy Giuffre and perhaps tomorrow's Don Byron, Joe Maneri is one of the 20th century's greatest clarinetists."



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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 11:11 PM

From Physics Org:

Lost sounds of the past brought to life (w/ Video, Audio)
August 31st, 2009

Salpinx, barbiton, aulos, syrinx. Never heard them? Never heard of them? Neither had anyone else, for centuries. Until now.

These were all musical instruments, familiar to ancient civilizations but long since forgotten.

Ancient instruments can be lost because they are too difficult to build, or too difficult to play, but they can be heard again thanks to the ASTRA (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) team. These researchers accomplish this feat using computer modeling and grid technology - the shared resources of a distributed network of hundreds of computers.

Having successfully reconstructed the sound of an earlier instrument called the "epigonion," ASTRA is working on a whole host of other lost instruments including the salpinx (a kind of ancient trumpet), the barbiton (an ancient base guitar), the aulos (an ancient oboe) and the syrinx (a pan flute).

More ancient instruments are to be heard soon, after the organization's official Lost Sounds Orchestra finishes its preparations for a unique performance towards the end of summer.

Epiginion playing the Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor

Epiginion playing the Scarlatti Sonata in G Major

(For these sound samples see the article at

In many respects, ASTRA's Lost Sounds Orchestra is like any other orchestra — with real musicians, rehearsals and performances — except its goal is to offer its audience a completely new world of music. The sounds of the barbiton and the salpinx are currently being finalized, while a guitar player is familiarizing himself with both the epigonion and the barbiton using his specially adapted electric MIDI guitar, which has been programmed with the lost sounds. The sounds of even more instruments, such as an ancient lower Mediterranean frame drum, should also be completed by the end of summer.

More information:
Source: Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:13 AM

August 29, 2009 - NPR-In a career spanning more than four decades, Cree Indian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie has recorded numerous albums and written Oscar-winning songs. In the 1960s folk revival, she was a folk icon among Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. On her first album in 13 years, Running for the Drum, she expands on the inventive mix of Native American rhythms, electronica and folk music she began many years ago.

The second track of the new album, "Cho Cho Fire," is a driving rock song featuring a 30-year-old field recording.

"The Black Lodge Singers were at a powwow maybe 30 years ago," Sainte-Marie tells host Scott Simon. "My nephew went to the meeting in Saskatchewan and recorded a snippet of them when they were kids. And they have gone on to become one of the most beloved powwow groups in the world. I took a snippet of this 30-year-old cassette, and I embedded it into a new song I was writing called 'Cho Cho Fire.' "

Sainte-Marie was one of the first songwriters to take advantage of emerging music technology in the late '60s. On her 1969 album Illuminations, nearly all the electronically processed sounds came from Sainte-Marie's voice or guitar.

"I really had a head start on digital technology, because I entered it by the way of music," Sainte-Marie says.

On Tour To Get Away

In between albums, Sainte-Marie keeps herself busy. For the past 13 years, most of Sainte-Marie's time has been occupied by The Cradleboard Teaching Project, which provides updated curricula for educators about Native Americans.

"Native American people wanted to be understood, because Native American people suffer from being misperceived," Sainte-Marie says. "There's just nothing out there in the mainstream curriculum."

Apart from her music career, Sainte-Marie was once a regular on Sesame Street, where she taught children about sibling rivalry, Native American people and practices, and breast-feeding.

(Article at NPR)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:56 PM

New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Acoustic Ocean) -
Acoustic Ocean's Peggy Morgan and Bette Phelan are both longtime musicians, but also yoga instructors, therapists/counselors in several fields, and developers of a unique therapeutic protocol called SoundBodyMind that combines hands-on healing, hypnotherapy and vocal sounding.

Their music is meant to be enjoyed as a listening experience, but it also is beneficial in supporting relaxation, meditation, healing, sleep, massage, yoga and exercise. According to Phelan, 'We made Light Returning to help people access those parts of themselves that are in need of healing, and to bring about a greater sense of balance and harmony in their lives, often facilitating an emotional release.'

Acoustic Ocean's music can be purchased at their website (, top online stores such as and, and at numerous digital download locations including and Light Returning is already a Top 10 airplay album on the international New Age/Zone Music Reporter chart.

This is an hour-long album of eight original compositions that are primarily acoustic and instrumental (occasionally incorporating some wordless vocalizing). These are musical meditations composed by Morgan on Celtic harp and then expanded and enriched by Phelan into deeply-layered arrangements featuring guitars, hammered and mountain dulcimers, piano, bass, mandolin and the occasional sounds of cello, saxophone, flute and other instruments blended with soothing ocean waves and bird-songs to convey the feeling of the Hawaiian Islands where Acoustic Ocean is based.

'Throughout history humans have faced times of danger, excitement, adrenalin rush and 'fight or flight' for survival,' explains Morgan. 'But those times are supposed to be quickly over and followed by long stretches of 'rest and repair.' In our modern world, however, we often stay pumped up to an abnormal hyper-tension level of stimulation, and sometimes we get stuck there. We need to find ways to relax and unwind, find our true selves, and heal. The music on Light Returning is meant to help expedite that.'

A preview of the Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday. Musicians may use batteries or ingenuity, but instruments will not be plugged in. Performers will include sound mechanic Neil Feather playing his invention, the Futura Ultra-Retro synthesizer; Mike Tamburo on the hammered dulcimer; percussionist and songwriter Pilesar; minimalist pop duo Avocado Happy Hour; guitarist Layne Garrett; and self-taught musician Ize B. Pickin. The concert is at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, 8320 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Tickets are $8. Call 202-420-9553

fter the 1972 flameout of Creedence Clearwater Revival, ending its short reign as America's most popular rock band, John Fogerty launched a solo career in a surprising way. His debut effort was titled "The Blue Ridge Rangers" and consisted of country and folk-rooted songs he'd always loved. Suddenly without a band behind him, Fogerty played all the instruments and sang all the vocals himself. ¶ He didn't even put his name on it: The album jacket showed silhouettes of what appeared to be five guys wearing cowboy hats, playing guitars, fiddle and upright bass. They were all Fogerty, superimposed on a spacious, open landscape. ¶

Now, 36 years after that album was released, he's resurrected the concept with a new collection, "The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again." ¶ "There probably wasn't a month that went by in all that time that I wouldn't hear a song and think, 'Oh, that'd be great for another Blue Ridge Rangers record,' " said Fogerty, a ball of energy while talking about music last week in the living room of the Beverly Hills home he shares with his wife, Julie, and their two teenage sons.

"I'd thought about doing another one; it's just one of those things I never got around to actually doing," he said. "Then one day Julie came to me said, 'Why don't you make another Blue Ridge Rangers record?' Well, it's like your wife walks up to you with all your fishing gear in her hands and says, 'Here, why don't you go fishing for a few days?' "

This time, however, Fogerty wasn't interested in secluding himself in a recording studio and doing everything on his own as he had done more than 35 years ago. For the new album, released this week, he rounded up some of the most respected names in roots/Americana music to help, including guitarists Buddy Miller and Herb Pedersen, steel guitarist Greg Leisz and drummer Jay Bellerose.

(LA Times)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 09:11 AM

Mother of Folk Music' and sons will share music
For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News

FROSTBURG — A highlight of the Frostburg State University Appalachian Festival will be the capstone concert by folk music legend Jean Ritchie and Sons featuring the music of the Kentucky mountains, performing on stage at the Palace Theatre Sept. 19 at 8 p.m.

Touring with Ritchie are her two sons, Peter and Jonathan Pickow. A family affair, the Ritchie/Pickow family performs ballads from Ritchie's Scottish, Irish and English ancestry; the songs and hymns of her childhood; and original works she has penned from her years as a performer and social activist.

Jean Ritchie was born into a large and musical family in the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky in 1922. The youngest of 14 children, she grew up in a farm home where singing was a natural as breathing. It wasn't until the 1940s, when the Ritchie family purchased a radio, that she learned she was singing hillbilly music. In the mid-1930s Alan Lomax recorded "Archive of Folk Songs" in Kentucky for the Library of Congress, and the Singing Ritchies were among the people he recorded.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1946, Ritchie moved to New York City and accepted a position at the Henry Street Settlement. She soon found her family's songs useful in reaching out to the children in her care. Her voice was perfect for the old ballads, especially with the accompaniment of her lap dulcimer. She soon found herself in demand in the New York coffee houses and her singing career began. In 1948 she shared the stage with the Weavers, Woody Guthrie and Betty Sanders at the Spring Fever Hootenanny, and Oscar Brand's Folksong Festival on WNYC Radio adopted her as a regular by October 1949.

Since then, Ritchie has never stopped. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to trace the links between American ballads and the songs of the British Isles. As a song collector, she began by setting down the 300 songs she learned growing up. In 1955 Ritchie wrote a book about her family called "Singing Family of the Cumberlands."

Ritchie became known as the "Mother of Folk Music." Her songs have been recorded by such artists as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Judy Collins and Emmylou Harris. She has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. Her album, "None But One," was awarded the Rolling Stone Critics Award in 1977.

Tickets may be ordered by calling (301) 687-3137 or (866) 849-9237, or by visiting

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:06 PM

By DAVID GARBE For The Beacon News

Sixty-some years ago, when Ed Weiss was a boy, a relative gave him a battered ukulele. But Weiss never learned to play it until this weekend, when he dug out the pint-sized instrument to bring with him to the Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival.

Along with his wife and about 20 other newbies on borrowed ukuleles, the Batavia man participated in a festival workshop on Monday devoted to the miniature guitar.

During the Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival in Geneva over the weekend, musicians would frequently gather for jam sessions before and after their performances.

They strummed and plucked under the guidance of Lil' Rev, a Milwaukee-based folk musician.

"If you endeavor to play the ukulele, you should know that you are spreading joy throughout the world," Lil' Rev told his pupils. "You walk into a room with one of these and everybody smiles."

In just a few minutes, he had all of them ready to accompany him to the Louisiana folk classic "Iko Iko:" "Oh my grandma and your grandma, were sitting by the fire ... "

The cheerful sound of two dozen ukuleles spilled out of the Island Park Pavilion, drifting across the bustling lawns to the nearest tent, where a group of traditional Irish musicians were jamming on flutes and fiddles and drums.

Past that tent was another impromptu jam session, this one on a rip-roaring bluegrass bent. Twenty yards beyond, up on the main stage, the Mark Dvorak Trio was entertaining a crowd of hundreds. At the other end of the park, there were two more workshops in progress -- one on the guitar and another on songwriting -- not to mention a talk on politics by folk music superstar Peggy Seeger.

And of course, that was just the schedule for the 2 p.m. hour.

With eight simultaneous stages and more than 40 musicians and storytellers performing over the course of two days, the festival presents folk music fans with some agonizing dilemmas: Do you listen to the acts on the main stage? Or learn how to do a traditional English country dance? Or join a jam session?

The festival has always used a multi-stage format, said director Juel Ulven, which was particularly unusual when he founded the event in the 1970s. Now in its 33rd year, the Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival has become the biggest of its kind in Illinois, drawing thousands of people from across the Midwest every Labor Day weekend.

The breadth of musical styles and traditions offered at the festival, along with the parallel scheduling, means that even casual visitors are likely to find something of interest at any given moment.

"I'm more of a jazz fan, actually," said Sandwich resident Diane Norman, shooting a sly glance over her shoulder to make sure no one would be offended. Still, she said, she has been coming to the folk festival every year for more than a decade, and counts it among her favorite musical events of the year.

"It's great seeing the people play and enjoying what they're doing," she said. And as a guitarist herself, "a lot of us who play like to watch these really good musicians to see what they're doing."

For those who are already fans of traditional art forms, the festival is a way to celebrate and preserve music and stories passed down through the generations.

"It's not music that was marketed. It's music that people loved and cared about. That's why this stuff survives," said Ulven.

One of the great strengths of traditional music, many performers said, was that it is designed to be participatory. Listeners don't just sit, they dance and sing along.

Back at the pavilion, Lil' Rev was winding down his crash course in the Ukulele.

"It's empowering to let people make music on their own, instead of just being consumers of music," he said. "(Traditional music) is real. It tells the stories of people's lives, their struggles and their joys and their sorrows." ...

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 03:57 PM

From Dayton, Ohio:

For a city with a population less than 200,000, Dayton rivals much larger metropolitan areas when it comes to support of the types of music that can cleanse the soul.

Cityfolk again leads the pack and has invited a tantalizing roster of high-profile acts to perform in the Gem City. And then there are the always-reliable nightclubs, and restaurants that continue to pump fresh blood into the heart of Dayton's musical nightlife.

To paraphrase Bette Davis, fasten your seat belts. You're in for a fabulous ride in 2009-10.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-21670 or


The Miami Valley's ethnic and traditional arts presenting group offers a variety of performance series, educational activities and community events. Concert locations vary. For more information, call (937) 223-FOLK (3655) or visit For tickets, call (937) 496-3863 or order from the Web site.

Sept. 13-16: Culture Builds Community: Prophecy Music Project Residency

Oct. 30: Balkan Cabaret with Johnny Morovich. A night of traditional Balkan music and dance.

Nov. 7: The StepCrew. Canadian music and dance ensemble.

Nov. 7-12: Culture Builds Community: Son de Madera residency

Nov. 12: Son De Madera. String-driven music from Veracruz, Mexico

Nov. 19: Los Lobos. Three-time Grammy-award winners, Los Lobos are America's premier roots rockers.

Jan. 23, 2010: Del McCoury Band with Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers. Leader Joe Mullins is one of the finest banjo players of his generation.

Feb. 4, 2010: Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy. Fiddling dynamo Natalie McMaster returns to the Cityfolk stage.

Feb. 11, 2010: Chen Zimbalista. Virtuoso Israeli percussionist.

March 20, 2010: John Jorgenson Quartet. Gypsy jazz.

April 7, 2010: Wacongo Dance Company. Traditional songs and dances from Central Africa.

April 9, 2010: Lunasa. Bass-driven grooves that nudge Irish music into new territory.


Contra dance and waltzing to live music is presented the first Friday of each month from September through May. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with open waltzing followed by contra dancing at 7:30 p.m. and called dancing at 8:30 p.m. The dances are at Michael Solomon Pavilion, 2917 Berkley St., Kettering. Admission is $6, with children 12 and younger admitted free.

Oct. 2: Jim Vogt with Changeling

Nov. 6: Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman

Dec. 4: Kathy Anderson and the Corndaddies

Feb. 5, 2010: Susan Moffett

March 5, 2010: Darlene Underwood

April 2, 2010: Kate Power with musicians of Rhythm in Shoes

May 7, 2010: The Corndrinkers

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 12:28 PM

And from Franklin, NC:

Folk music concert in Franklin September 13          Print
Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Arts Council presents a free outdoor concert by folk musicians Anne and Rob Lough (pictured) on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m., at the Town Square Gazebo, Main Street, Franklin. The program features folk songs that reflect the musical heritage of the region and nation, including lilting mountain ballads and songs of the American Frontier, traditional Irish and Scottish tunes, and some tall tales thrown in for fun.

The Loughs are talented, seasoned, and versatile performers. Anne began singing and playing folk songs at age 14, and has studied, collected, and performed folk music ever since. An outstanding balladeer, she plays many instruments including autoharp, guitar, and mountain and hammer dulcimer. She teachers dulcimer at John C. Campbell Folk School, and at festivals and workshops across the country. Rob grew up playing old-time music with his family, and is widely known for his vocal and guitar accompaniment and down home humor. The Loughs have been performing together about 40 years and live in Haywood County.

Attendees should bring a lawn chair. In case of rain, the concert moves into the First Presbyterian Chapel, 26 Church Street. This free event is sponsored by the Arts Council of Macon County, with support from the Grassroots Arts Program grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 01:30 AM

Rochester, NY:

Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly are folk musicians who met at a coffeehouse 22 years ago and have explored Celtic, British and Appalachian folk and gospel singly, together and with various partners. Lissa Schneckenburger is a young violinist who's delved deeply into the traditions of dance-focused New England folk music. Kim and Reggie Harris take a "from Bach to rock" approach to their performances, with a special emphasis on African-American spirituals and songs of freedom.

They're among the headliners of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society's annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival, set for Sept. 11-13 at a new location, the Rotary Sunshine Campus in Rush. Founded more than 35 years ago as a one-day picnic at the home of some Golden Link members, the event has grown over the years to a full weekend of performances by local and nationally (sometimes internationally) known musicians across the broad spectrum of the "folk" palette — Cajun, Celtic, stringband, blues, bluegrass and more — as well as workshops, sing-alongs, jams and more.

Festival chair Tom Taylor, of Honeoye, hopes the new site will become the festival's permanent home. Housed for years at Markus Park on Quaker Meeting House Road in Mendon, construction at that park forced the festival to find a transitional home last year — Harry Allen Park and the First Presbyterian Church of Honeoye Falls — the festival needs a long-term locale, Taylor noted.

"The Rotary Sunshine camp is a fine facility, and the organization is such a serving group — we're just pleased to connect up with that organization," Taylor said. "We're looking to see how it turns out this year. ... We would like to settle into a place that's long-term, because it's useful in people finding us and getting people to come to the festival."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:00 PM

Free Bob Dylan Concert (Los Angeleles, 1974) offered online by Wolfgang's Vault -- may require registering, which i harmless.

Not Bob's best work, but a fun memory trip.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:19 PM

Notes on the above mentioned Dylan Concert (Bob Dyland and the Band, Los Angeles Forum, 1974)

Bob Dylan - guitar, piano, vocals, harmonica
Robbie Robertson -guitar, vocals
Rick Danko - bass, fiddle, vocals
Richard Manuel - piano, vocals, drums
Garth Hudson - organ, clavinet, piano, synthesizer, saxophone
Levon Helm - drums, mandolin, vocals

Journey back to 1974 and Bob Dylan's return to the stage following a seven-and-a-half year touring hiatus. As Dylan and The Band made their way across North America during the first two months of that year, expectations were tremendous. The tour was the hottest ticket in town, so much so that the US post office had to set up extra mailboxes for ticket orders in many of the major cities. Over five million paid mail orders were reportedly sent in for the 650,000 tickets available over the course of the tour, making them the most in-demand ticket in the history of rock music. Forty concerts were performed in forty-three days, culminating in three performances at The Forum in Inglewood, California, where the bulk of the live album, Before The Flood, was recorded. From the start, a live album was planned; it was the first of Dylan's career and his new label (he left Columbia for David Geffen's Asylum label the previous year) had high expectations. These pressures were likely insignificant compared to Dylan knowing he must transcend his legendary status and the expectations of his audience which, despite his absence from touring, had only grown stronger in the intervening years.
Also contributing to the nearly rabid anticipation for this tour was Dylan teaming back up with The Band who, with the exception of drummer Levon Helm, had backed Dylan on the infamous tour of Europe in 1966 and played on the Basement Tapes. Indeed, with the exception of his first electric performance at Newport in 1965 and his guest appearance at the Concerts For Bangla Desh in 1970, The Band were the only group to back Dylan publicly up to this point in time. Through the bourgeoning underground network of bootleg recordings, Dylan and The Band's musical relationship had taken on a near mythical and legendary status, despite having never been released or even heard by the vast majority of fans at the time. Since Dylan's touring hiatus began in 1966, The Band had become one of the most respected and influential groups on the planet, having released a series of albums that remain some of the most compelling and distinctly original of the late 1960s. Performing less frequently, The Band were a considerable draw on their own by this point and with their 1971 Cahoots LP being their last to contain new original music (1973's Moondog Matinee was an album of covers), they too were faced with daunting expectations.

As the tour progressed, Dylan and The Band experimented with song selection and sequencing, consciously avoiding the standard opener/closer routine and instead mixing things up a bit within each set. Performing within a basic two set format, each set presented The Band performing both with and without Dylan; additionally, following the intermission, Dylan began each second set solo acoustic, something he hadn't attempted in quite some time. Once a few adjustments were made, the pacing and sequencing of the concerts worked well and stayed relatively consistent, giving both Dylan and The Band opportunities to perform together and alone. Revealing that Dylan was quite aware of audience expectations, he chose to perform a variety of his most revered songs, including quite a few from the 1966 tour set list, while avoiding recent material from Self Portrait and New Morning. With the notable exception of "Forever Young," Dylan even avoided material from Planet Waves, the new album recorded with The Band, released a few weeks into the tour. Instead, he returned to many of the songs that established his reputation in the first place, but as would become more prevalent in the years to come, he often revamped or rearranged them, bringing entirely new meanings to a lyric by emphasizing different words or occasionally by changing the lyrics altogether.
Dylan and The Band together on stage was an event to be celebrated and few left disappointed, but what one gets out of these performances has a lot to do with the baggage they bring to listening. The same applied to the audiences on this tour. While nearly everyone was celebrating the event itself, those with the fewest preconceptions had a greater chance of unhindered discovery, while those fixated on the 1966/67 era bootlegs of Dylan and The Band were destined to have their enjoyment hindered by comparison. Needless to say, Dylan had continued moving forward, even within the context of older songs, many of which had evolved or changed since their earlier incarnations.

On this final day of the tour, Dylan and The Band gave an afternoon and evening performance. With the exception of the opening song, which went unrecorded, here we present the entirety of Bill Graham's recording of the afternoon show exactly as it happened (the second set can be found here). Two prime examples of how Dylan had revamped older songs to fit his current state of mind were included in the opening six-song sequence, which features Dylan and The Band performing together. Both of these songs, "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And Ill Go Mine)" (the unrecorded song), and "It Ain't Me Babe," several songs later in the first set, now speak directly to Dylan's audience, declaring his independence from their expectations. The remainder of this first Dylan/Band sequence includes a revamped "Lay Lady Lay," two of his most enjoyable counter-culture/drug influenced songs, "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35" (with humorous new lyrics), and his ultimate "us vs. them" song, "Ballad Of A Thin Man," the same version used on Before The Flood. On every one of these songs, The Band proves just how well they adapt to Dylan's idiosyncrasies, playing in a truly collective manner that is inspired and full of fire.

In the middle of each set, Dylan takes a break so that The Band can perform original material. On this final day of the tour, they open with the title song off their third album, "Stage Fright," with Rick Danko fronting the group on lead vocals. With the exception of a rather sedate, "I Shall Be Released," which features Richard Manuel singing the falsetto lead in a voice that is beginning to show the ravages of time, the remainder of this set focuses on material from their most beloved album, their self-titled sophomore effort. These are all highly engaging performances, from the classic "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "King Harvest" to the more obscure "When You Awake" and concluding with the percolating "Up On Cripple Creek." The Band has the innate ability to seem loose and relaxed, while playing in an incredibly tight manner. These are prime examples of that cohesiveness, with each member contributing to the collective whole, with little grandstanding or superfluous soloing. Instead the intensity is generated by the energetic piano playing of Manuel, the unparalleled flavoring of Garth Hudson's keyboard arsenal and Robertson's controlled biting leads - all weaving in and out of the supple rhythm section of Danko and Helm, who are superb here, both on their instruments and as lead vocalists.

To conclude the first set, Dylan returns and together these musicians deliver four more songs together, beginning with a fast and furious arrangement of "All Along The Watchtower" that was included on the Before The Flood album. With an obvious similarity to Jimi Hendrix's take on the song, this is The Band at their most blazing, including particularly wailing leads from Robertson. A radically revamped "Ballad Of Hollis Brown," one of Dylan's vintage topical songs is next. Practically unrecognizable compared to its original incarnation, this has been transformed into another blazing rocker, with Dylan growling out the vocals, Robertson interjecting biting leads all over the place and the collective group bearing down hard and heavy between the verses. They conclude the first set with an emotionally engaged vocal performance from Dylan on "Knockin On Heaven's Door."

At this moment in time, this tour would stand as one of the most successful ever and it certainly went a long way toward rejuvenating interest in both Dylan and The Band. In his second volume of Performing Artist books on the subject, Crawdaddy founder, Paul Williams, put this tour in context most succinctly when he stated, "The performances that resulted are not the among the best of his career; but they are frequently very moving and represent a crucial transition: Dylan's reclaiming of the stage after a long and stifling silence, his rediscovery and reassertion of himself as a performing artist.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 10:14 PM

Detroit area news:

"Metro Detroit folk fans will be visiting Plymouth on a regular basis with the addition of a coffeehouse-style music series to the local arts scene.

The BaseLine Folk Society, which brings together amateur and professional folk, traditional and acoustic musicians for monthly open-microphone concerts, opens its fifth season Saturday at the Joanne Winkleman Hulce Center for the Arts — the Plymouth Community Arts Council building on Sheldon Road.

BaseLine — the name refers to the thoroughfare of the same name (also known as Eight Mile) and the music from the deep-toned stringed instrument — had made its home at the Northville Art House but had outgrown that venue, said founder Mike Mullen.

Mullen says his definition of folk music is broad, with the emphasis on acoustic instruments.

"We're really not interested in the labels. It's kind of the old saying, 'You know it when you see it,' " said Mullen, who plays guitar, mountain dulcimer and Celtic harp.

BaseLine's coffeehouses feature up to eight open-microphone performers, who sign up on a first-come basis (those who don't make the list are guaranteed a spot the next month), plus a half-hour feature performance by an established musician or group. There's a host, too, who also performs.

Shows are 7 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month, through May. Circle of Friends, which offers a tribute to 1960s folk legends Peter, Paul and Mary, is the feature group for the season opener, and the host is Susan Hoy, a Northville singer-songwriter.

The open mic segments, Mullen said, draw everyone from beginning performers to professionals who want to try out new material. At least half, he said, perform original music.

The feature performers, he said, come from a variety of styles; Mullen said he tries to listen to audiences and that his own taste is secondary when it comes to picking the headliners.

"There's a lot of really interesting acoustic music going on," he said.

Audiences, he said, are very much into the music and supportive of the performers.

"The audiences that we have they are always so encouraging — and they listen," Mullen said...."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 09:12 AM

Austin Daily Herald

Published Monday, September 14, 2009

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and former lead singer of The Byrds Roger McGuinn said he's looking forward to his upcoming trip to Austin.

The folk-rock legend will be performing at the Paramount Theatre on Friday, with an act that McGuinn said would feature a few Byrds hits, some of his solo work and some surprises.

The Byrds formed in the 1960s and had a lot of success, with hits such as "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Mr. Tambourine Man," but McGuinn said he's really enjoyed the freedom that performing solo has given him in more recent years.

"I always wanted to be a solo performer, like (folk singer) Pete Seeger," McGuinn said.

These days, McGuinn and his wife Camilla get to travel around the country in a van, playing small theaters.

The van is large — McGuinn said Camilla can stand up inside of it — and he said they really enjoy traveling together.

"We love it," he said. "(And) we get paid to do it."

On a recent European tour, the two even had time to cruise on an ocean liner.

"You can't really do that in a band," McGuinn said.

The musician hasn't been to southeastern Minnesota before, but McGuinn said he's played in the Twin Cities and is also friends with a Minnesota music legend — Bob Dylan.

"Mr. Tambourine Man" was originally written by Dylan, and over the years he and McGuinn have toured and recorded together.

"I love the guy," McGuinn said. "He's a great artist."

The two of course are known for folk music — a genre that McGuinn said has morphed since he got into it in the '60s.

Today, McGuinn said a number of styles, including hip-hop, feature folk influences.

"I'd say that folk music isn't the same as it was in the '60s," he noted.

Excited for the show

Scott Anderson, manager of the Paramount Theatre, said he can't wait for Friday's show.

"(The Byrds are) one of my favorite bands of all time," he said. "I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 09:19 AM

Still Human After All These Years
Rosalie Sorrels voices the sounds of ordinary folk
by Amy Atkins
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click to enlarge Sorrels' album and CD covers

    * Sorrels' album and CD covers


"My love is a river where the white waters pour /

I've hunted and trapped her through the Gates of Ladore. / She sings through a curtain of cold mountain rain / Where I dug her bright silver in the high Coeur d'Alene.

She'll never be mine / She'll never be mine / I won all her treasures so simple and fine / I guess she'll never be mine."

—"She'll Never Be Mine" by Utah Phillips

The trip to the cabin crests the summit of Lucky Peak Dam and soars through winding passes, past tall, ancient trees that cast long shadows across the highway. The rutted dirt road, dotted with "No Trespassing" signs, runs between the mountains on one side and Grimes Creek on the other. Past copses of deciduous trees and conifers, many of them planted when the land was purchased nearly 80 years ago, the road opens onto a large garden among the trees and a two-story log cabin. Living in that log cabin off Highway 21, way out in Idaho, surrounded by books, art and music, is 76-year-old folk music icon Rosalie Sorrels.

Sorrels' father built the cabin for her mother, and the two-story building, the garden out front and Sorrels herself are as much a part of the landscape as the creek that flows nearby. On a sunny Sunday morning, in the tiny kitchen-slash-bathroom on the second floor of her home, the world-renowned musician mixes up a batch of homemade corn muffins and scrambles eggs with milk for her aging, longtime companion, Lenny Bruce.

His hips are causing him problems and he needs to take medication. "It's the only way I can get him to take his pain pills," Sorrels says. As she scoops the eggs into a bowl, the dog heaves himself up off the floor and ambles over. He hesitates briefly, then shoves his nose in the pale yellow pile.

"Now where is the baking powder?" Sorrels asks. She looks through a couple of drawers and cupboards but doesn't find it. Sounding like any person who's taken care of herself for a long time, she adds, "I don't mind when someone comes up to help me clean or whatever, but I wish they'd put stuff back where they found it." Concerned but not deterred, she pours the muffin batter into a tin and puts it in a shiny, white oven to bake.

As the muffins cook, Sorrels opens the door so Lenny Bruce can go outside and then reaches for two coffee cups from a slew of them hanging from hooks in the ceiling. Many are handmade, souvenirs from her travels and tours. She explains where this one came from and how she got that one. She pours rich, dark coffee from a silver and black coffeemaker and settles in to visit.

"I love being here," she says of her home in the mountains, a sentiment echoed by the sound of Lenny Bruce barking in the background. "The more I'm here, the more I love it. And I'm really loving it this year. This is the first year in three years I'm able to put in a really good-sized garden."

Sorrels lives in the mountains because she wants to, not because she has a point to prove. She doesn't cook over an open fire or eschew electricity or indoor plumbing. She has a phone; she has a radio; she has a TV; she has a computer. Sorrels and her surroundings are in some ways a metaphor for how the rest of the world seems to view Idahoans in general and, in many ways, how we view ourselves: We're a part of the modern world but refuse to give up the pioneer spirit that got us here in the first place.

Sorrels' home holds images and items that define, describe and divulge a woman whose history is the stuff legends are made of, including her friendship with Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson described their first meeting, to the best of his recollection, in the liner notes for her 1971 album Travelin' Lady: "I forget exactly how I first met Rosalie Sorrels, but I think it was a night in California when I almost killed myself on a motorcycle ... I was too full of pain to sleep, so she made me a pot of tea that was half Wild Turkey, as I recall, and then she sang for me until I finally passed out around dawn ... Some of Rosalie's songs are so close to the bone that I get nervous listening to them."

Books, records, CDs, posters, fliers, art, family photos and small tableaus of Dia de los Muertos figurines fill Sorrels' living room without crowding it. It's a space in which a visitor could spend days perusing and uncovering hidden treasures as Sorrels' tells the stories behind them, but even if a visitor were left alone inside, a respect for Sorrels would compel them to sit quietly with hands folded and wait for her return.

Much of the ephemera that surrounds Sorrels is related to her own musical career, which spans six decades and includes performing before crowds of thousands. She received her second Grammy nomination last year for her Strangers in Another Country, an homage to her friend, Utah Phillips, and received critical accolades for her debut performance at South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, this year.

"There were 700 cowboys all jumping around, and then I got on stage and some guy stood on his chair and yelled, 'Sing somethin' about Texas, darlin'!' I said, 'Oh, honey, I'm from Idaho and we have a panhandle, too.' They just cheered and proceeded to show me how sweet they could be."

Shortly after Father's Day, Sorrels headed to play the Kate Wolf Festival in Northern California, taking Boise musicians Bill Liles and Ben Burdick with her.

"I love playing with them," Sorrels says of Liles and Burdick. "They're so much fun to play with and they're so aware of what I do. I was a jazz nut before I started singing folk songs. My concert set is with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, one of the only people I know older than I am who's still alive," she laughs heartily.

But like the long, rutted dirt road that leads from the highway to her cabin, the path that led to Sorrels' success was not always a smooth one. After her divorce in the mid-60s, she packed her five children into the car and traversed the country as a touring musician.

"NPR did a story on me," says Sorrels. "They did extensive interviews, talked to a lot of people. I was listening to it on the radio and they got to my daughter and asked, 'What was it like traveling around?' and I said [to the radio], 'Don't tell them!'

"She went on, saying, 'Oh, we had a lot of fun. We met a lot of interesting people and went to a lot of interesting places.' I thought, 'Fun? What fun? I remember when the transmission fell out on the highway and you were all crying!'"

As she and the children traveled the United States, Sorrels found that while she enjoyed writing and singing folk music, her passion lay in collecting it. She became fascinated with the idea that folk music was its own kind of history.

"You could take a song and trace it back a thousand years," Sorrels says, the excitement she still feels evident in her voice. "You could go through the periods it went through, how it came from England to the United States, went to the southern Appalachians and all these different places. You could see all the changes it went through and you could still see it was exactly the same song. And what made people keep those songs. All of that was amazing. I was obsessed. I drove people crazy saying, 'Give me your old songs.'"

Sorrels' hunger for collecting music was further fed in the late '80s when, to celebrate Idaho's Statehood Centennial in 1990, the Idaho Folk Song Project was born. With a fund from the Idaho Centennial Commission and a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the purpose of the Folk Song Project was, according to the foreword by Robert McCarl, the ICA's folk arts director at the time, to "begin the process of collecting and building an archive of folk songs and music sung and played by the people of Idaho as they went about their daily lives before and during the course of the last century."

After years of collecting and singing Western folk music, who better to visit the far reaches of Idaho for the state's history than Sorrels? The result of her search is the 250-page book Way Out in Idaho. Sorrels traveled across the state meeting men, women and children, some who were born here, some who settled here, and some who were brought here. She looked at their photos, listened to their stories and collected their songs, unearthing a history as rich and loamy as a forest floor.

The first lines in the book are her own: "Ever since I was a little girl, I've believed that the name of my state was taken from a Nez Perce phrase that meant, 'See how the morning sun is shining on the mountains.'

"When I have been on a long journey and I return in the morning, I say those words over and over to myself—calling back my grandmothers and grandfathers, calling back faces and rooms, places and times so long gone by. That's what folklore is—the homemade, hand-wrought stuff of memory—not history, but color—the blood and breath of then and now."

Full story in the Idaho Arts Quarterly.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 11:59 AM

Key quotes borrowed from the San Diego Folklore Society oages:

We are the Coal Holders

Ever since the cave dwelling beginning, there's always been the guy who's job it was to carry the last hot coal. (Remember?) See, when the tribe moved on, someone had to carry the last hot coal to start up the next fire at the next campsite. They needed this fire to cook with, sleep near, talk and sing around. Now, many of these coal-holders, over time, became folk singers.

Later on, some went electric. Some even became rock and roll singers, punkers and rappers. Hey, different tribes, different instruments. But the job itself has never changed. My dad was one of these guys. And a lot of his songs were pretty damned hot!

We are Woody's coal-holders. We do this to keep our present day tribe warm, fed, and informed.

Sometimes it gets real cold out there (Have you noticed?) and it seems like a chilly wind is just going to blow us all off the map.

A lot of people are feeling the effects of the chill; no food, no shelter, no singing, no rights. And other people are chilling inside; no warmth, no joy, no song, no tribe.

Coal-holders are real important right now!

They will be the ones who will make it possible to build the next fire. They will be the ones to serve up our next hot meal or our next warm talk. And though it seems that there are no bonfires burning just yet, I do feel that things are warming up!

--Nora Guthrie


"When someone asks, why all this fuss and bother, this endless trouble and expenditure of time on an old song, the answer is: because this old song, in its mere, sheer commonness, strikes to our very roots. There is no obligation on these old things to survive. They have lived on in the minds and hearts of countless men and women, untainted by compulsion, for the purest and most disinterested reason possible to be conceived: because they have continued to give joy and solace, on the basic levels of artistic experience, to generation after generation of our humankind.

'The proper study of mankind is man, and so long as this precept remains valid, folk song will continue to be an important subject for human inquiry."

--Bertrand Bronson

"The piano may do for lovesick girls who lace themselves to skeletons and lunch on chalk, pickles and slate pencils. But give me the banjo, when you want genuine music, music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whiskey, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose--when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!"

-- Mark Twain

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 12:01 PM

Oddly enough, this comes from The National, an English paper printed in Abu Dhabi:

Old folk's home

Tim Cuming

    * Last Updated: September 15. 2009 4:46PM UAE / September 15. 2009 12:46PM GMT

The Watersons have been a fixture on the British fold scene for decades and continue to record with Topic. Courtesy Topic Records

This autumn, the world's oldest independent record label celebrates its 70th anniversary with a series of concerts on London's South Bank. The anniversary will also be marked by the release of Three Score And Ten, a set of seven CDs embedded in a richly illustrated hardback book telling the story of Topic Records, the English folk label that put out its first disc in 1939, just as Europe was sliding into war. The Man That Waters The Workers' Beer, backed by The Internationale became the first entry into what is perhaps the greatest recorded catalogue of traditional music in the world.

Those two songs, first released on thick, brittle shellac in 78rpm format, are included among 154 extraordinary performances spanning English, Irish, Scottish, American and world folk music. They date back to a recording of the then 75-year-old Joseph Taylor from Lincolnshire singing an unaccompanied country ballad, the haunting Creeping Jane, in 1908.

The label's vast archive encompasses pioneering field recordings of music from around the world – from India, North Africa, South East Asia and Eastern Europe – alongside albums of Irish rebel songs, songs from the industrial cities of the North and Midlands of the UK, and the great singers and fiddle players of Camden's Irish bars. There are the great rural source singers and musicians of the British Isles – walnut-faced old men with brilliant names – Walter Pardon, Sam Larner, Harry Cox, Scan Tester – whose ancient repertoires still fuel the fire for this century's rising generation of folk musicians. Songs such as Sarah Makem's The Banks of Red Roses are once heard and never forgotten. As Bob Dylan once said: "All these songs about roses growing out of people's brains and lovers who are really geese and swans and turn into angels – they're never going to die."

It was the rediscovery of these old songs, given new life and a Topic catalogue number, that fuelled the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick, The Watersons, Davey Graham, Anne Briggs and many more found their home, their knowledge and their philosophy in Topic's living library of traditional songs.

The label's roots lie deep in the history of British socialism before and immediately after the Second World War, and in the Worker's Music Association, an offshoot of the British Marxist Party founded in 1936 by the composer Alan Bush. A good many of their early releases were sourced from the Eastern Bloc, alongside recordings by Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, and other key figures from the international peace and anti-nuclear movement. "They put music out that nobody else would touch," the singer Norma Waterson remembers. "The early Party singers, Communist choirs, the Unity Theatre. It was the people's music, the people's fight."...

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 12:08 PM

I had never realized there WAS a band with such a name, but it seems HOLY F**K played at San Diego's Street Scene earlier this month. Herewith a review:


Purists in the sense of pre-Powerbook experimentalism, Toronto's Holy Fuck creates its lo-fi electronic rock using a roster of instruments that's entirely analog. Anything goes, really, as long as it's not a laptop. The goal? Craft modern electronica without using modern equipment. Visually, it translates to yards of chords and wires spilling out of a fleet of knobbed switchboards that most viewers under the age of 18 have probably never seen before. Audibly, it's an instrumental odyssey through (insert favorite 1980s Nintendo adventure game here … Contra, Mega-Man, Metroid). The Canadian foursome has been around since 2004 and has two albums in the bag: the 2005 self-titled debut and 2007's "LP."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 04:22 PM

Folk legend Richie Havens set to perform Heritage School of Music benefit
by The Times-Picayune
Wednesday September 16, 2009, 1:00 PM

Richie Havens, the folk music legend and veteran of the original Woodstock festival, will perform in a special concert to benefit the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Heritage School of Music.

The Woodstock veteran and folk music legend Richie Havens will perform Friday, Oct. 16, in a benefit concert for the Heritage School of Music at the Howlin' Wolf.

Richie Havens, the folk music legend and veteran of the original Woodstock festival, will perform in a special concert to benefit the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's signature education program, the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music.

The concert will take place Friday, Oct. 16, at the Howlin' Wolf (907 S. Peters Street) starting at 9 p.m.. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online here.

Also performing will be the duo of singer-songwriter Paul Sanchez and jazz trumpeter/Heritage School alumnus Shamarr Allen. The students and faculty of the Heritage School will perform, too.

SOURCE: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 08:42 PM

The Birds on a Wire song:

A musician creates a composition by photographing birds on a set of power-lines, and treating their positions as musical notes on a staff.

Story and audio here

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 09:34 AM

Here's the rundown on a Folk Festival in the Skokie-Des Plaines area. 4th Annual WFMT Midnight Special Folk Festival

3-7 p.m. Sept. 20 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. $25-$125. (847) 673-6300,

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 01:20 PM

August 27th, 2009--ZDNet Blogs

Bob Dylan to voice GPS? Who do you want directing your drive?

Posted by Jennifer Bergen @ 10:37 am

Bob Dylan is in talks with two car manufacturers to be the voice of their in-car navigation systems. The jokes are too easy with Dylan's song titles and lyrics providing an adequate amount of "direction-", and "road-related" themes, but would anyone seriously want to have Dylan grumble directions over an in-car GPS?

Dylan even joked about it on his radio show, "Theme Time Radio Hour.":

    "I am talking to a couple of car companies about being the voice of their GPS system. I think it would be good if you are looking for directions and hear my voice saying something like, 'Left at the next street, no a right. You know what? Just go straight'," he said.

    "I probably shouldn't do it, because whichever way I go I always end up at one place: Lonely Avenue."

Would Dylan's gravely mumbles be the voice you want to hear on your GPS? If we're going to get all crazy and throw any hint of an understandable GPS voice out the window, then I personally would like to hear Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau directing me to the nearest grocery store. My second choice would be Christopher Walken. What other voices would you like to hear? "

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 11:46 PM

World Music Fest guide
Howard Reich

September 18, 2009

Now that the smartly programmed but poorly produced Chicago Jazz Festival has come to an end, listeners can check out a soiree of a very different -- and far superior -- kind.

For the World Music Festival, which opens Friday and runs through Thursday, spares listeners the unfortunate acoustics of the Petrillo Music Shell and the inferior aesthetics of Grant Park.

Instead, the 11th annual World Music Festival presents its attractions in settings carefully chosen to suit the music at hand, from the intimate Old Town School of Folk Music to the acoustically inviting Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. That's 57 artists from 32 countries in 21 venues.

For complete schedule, visit

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 09:43 AM

From Boston:

"Geoff Muldaur, who's inexplicably unsung outside a vast circle of admiring musicians such as Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson, has never stood still for too long. From his 1960s Cambridge days in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, through his folk-blues records alone and with then-wife Maria Muldaur, and up to his recent reimagining of jazzman Bix Beiderbecke's music, Muldaur has never been easy to pin down. Nor would he want to be.
It's not surprising, then, that his latest album takes him down another rabbit hole. Out today, "Texas Sheiks'' pairs Muldaur with a top-notch band of roots musicians (including the late Stephen Bruton, Muldaur's friend who partly inspired the collaboration). The collection of loose and lively roots music spans everything from shuffling country-blues to old-time parlor songs and even reunites Muldaur with Kweskin on two tunes.

Muldaur, who lives in Los Angeles ("which is God's joke on me - I never liked the place, and I still don't,'' but he's got a nice lady out there), says it's just par for the course.

"You know me, I bounce around from project to project trying to come up with the next crazy idea,'' Muldaur says, adding that his upcoming plans include a project in the British Isles, working on his chamber works, and eventually making an "electric badass album with horns.''

Muldaur played Sunday's gala fund-raiser in Boston for Betsy Siggins's new project, the New England Folk Music Archives, and he has a solo show Thursday at Johnny D's (8:30 p.m., $15). " Interview with Geoff is here.

From Chatanooga:

New folk music school seeks to build lasting bonds between students

By: Casey Phillips

For a craft that's traditionally passed on in a social context, there are few organizations set up to teach folk music in a classroom setting.

About a year ago, local musicians/teachers Christie Burns and Matt Evans decided to try to change that. The result of their efforts, the Mountain Music Folk School, will begin its first eight-week semester Sept. 28.

Everything about the school's operation, from the local musicians who comprise its teaching staff to the way the courses are taught, ties into the fundamental goal of building Chattanooga's musical community, Ms. Burns said.

"I'm really excited about that possibility of the social mixing that could go on in these classes," she said. "People will come from all kinds of backgrounds and be pulled together by their interest in music."

The classes will meet weekly for 75-minute sessions at three Southside venues, the Bluegrass Grill (55 E. Main Street), Area 61 (61 E. Main Street) and GreenSpaces (63 E. Main Street).

Courses are available for a variety of instruments and styles, from African guitar and clawhammer banjo to harmony singing and a world-music ensemble. Additional one-day workshops throughout the semester will offer intense studies of more specific styles.

Based on participation during this first semester, Ms. Burns and Mr. Evans said they hope to offer four or five semesters a year, the next one slated for January.

In June, Mr. Evans and Ms. Burns used money from CreateHere's MakeWork Grant program to bring the executive director of the Folk School of St. Louis, Colleen Heine, to Chattanooga to help them hone their ideas.

Ms. Heine and Latitude Advisers' Mike Harrell, the school's business consultant, have played key roles in making the project a reality, Mr. Evans said.

"Mike Harrell has been a huge part of helping us figure out how to make something like this work," he said. "There's no way this would be happening without the grant and specifically the part that's paying for the business consulting."

Like the Folk School of St. Louis, the Mountain Music Folk School's structure will emphasize the importance of group learning over private instruction.... (Details here.

From Winston-Salem, a poetic account:

"One by one, the musicians drifted to the white gazebo at the center of the shady park, took seats on the wooden bench and opened their cases, lifting out guitars and violins. Pages rustled as new songs were passed around, and chords tentatively floated on the thick summer air.

The musicians' welcoming voices and gentle laughter, muffled in the humid stillness of the day's end, were suggestive of many evenings spent together sharing the easy companionship of music.

Bud Harmon, blue sweatband circling close-cropped white hair, began strumming an old Kingston Trio folk song about an unfortunate rider trapped on the Boston subway. Chris Nelson and Phil McVay's heads bobbed in time with the music. They recognized the song and began to play along.

David Hatcher, a lean man sporting a carefully trimmed beard and short white hair, loped up onto the gazebo and removed his fiddle and a handful of harmonicas.

Hatcher started the group a couple of years ago, putting an ad in the paper inviting people of any skill level to meet at a local library branch and play folk music and bluegrass.

The group was slow in getting off the ground, but now has a core of five to six members who never miss a session. They meet every two weeks for a couple of hours, alternating between Grace Court Park in Winston-Salem, a band shell at Central Park in King and the Reynolda branch of the Forsyth County Public Library.

Although the overall trend of the songs offered up for the group to play is folk music, the tunes wander into bluegrass, country/western, ragtime, pop, soft rock and the Beatles. A short classical number sometimes slips in as well.

"I thought I'd play a Willie Nelson song tonight," Harmon said, as the folk song died away.

"What's that -- Billie Nelson?" someone asked, pretending not to hear.

"Willie. Willie Nelson. He wrote it, and I'm gonna destroy it." The others laughed, and Harmon began growling, "Mama, Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Cowboys."

The group listened closely and began to join in one at a time, like children watching a chance to hop onto a revolving carousel. Resonant guitar chords swelled as the long strains of a fiddle began to unlimber, peppered with haunting notes of a harmonica.

Strollers paused nearby to listen. Benches began to fill as colorfully suited bicyclists ghosted noiselessly around the edges of the park, then circled around for another pass.

The lingering heat of the day seemed to settle into the bowl of the park like a thick, warm soup. The muffled sounds of the city dissolved with the warmth of guitar and violin as the daylight faded in the gloaming."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 02:21 PM

Update | 11:30 p.m.(NYT Arts blog) The boos poured out loudly and lustily after the Metropolitan Opera's gala opening night performance of Puccini's "Tosca" Monday night. The vocal thumbs down was not directed at the voices. Karita Mattila, who sang Tosca, and her tenor co-star, Marcelo Alvarez as Cavaradossi, received healthy ovations. So did James Levine, the Met's music director and the conductor that night.

But when Luc Bondy, the director, and his team took the stage for final bows, the boos arose. For scorecard keepers, the cheers and applause were louder, and many in the audience seemed to step up pro-Bondy shouting as the boos kept going.

Negative reaction was no surprise, given that Mr. Bondy's stark production replaced the lavish veteran "Tosca" of Franco Zeffirelli, a favorite of many Met fans. At a dinner afterward, Mr. Bondy seemed unperturbed by the reaction. "If people would be happy after 'Tosca,' then I would be upset," he said.

"Tosca"-philes will be interested in how the title character took her leap to the death in this version. A classic apocryphal tale has the soprano jumping off the walls of Castel Sant'Angelo onto a trampoline instead of a mattress and bouncing up a few times. This time, Ms. Mattila climbs up a stairs, disappears into the top of a tower and is seen in silhouette leaping forward. Stage devices arrest the jump so she is frozen in mid-leap. Quite effective.

Mr. Bondy injected a few risqué elements: the portrait of the Magdalene being painted by Cavaradossi in the Roman church of Sant'Andrea della Valle showed a naked breast, and at the end of the act, the evil Scarpia (George Gagnidze) displays his lecherous credentials by embracing a statue of the Madonna in the church, to the horror of the clerics on stage (the reaction of any clerics in the audience was unknown). Some reports held that Mr. Bondy had Scarpia, shall we say, asserting himself in a more vigorous fashion with the statue during rehearsal. Another lascivious note came in the opening of Act II, when three ladies of dubious virtue entwine themselves around Scarpia, with one appearing to simulate a sexual act while he sings. There's no aphrodisiac like power. As Tosca points out, "Before him, all Rome trembled." That comes, of course, after she stabs him to death, thus calming a tremulous Rome.

In the auditorium, the recession was not evident: the jewels and gowns and white ties and tails were abundant as ever. Along with the pop-culture celebrities, classical music honchos were out in force: Alan Gilbert, the New York Philharmonic's new music director; Clive Gillinson of Carnegie Hall, Ara Guzelimian, dean of the Juilliard School, Joseph V. Melillo of BAM and George R. Steel of the New York City Opera, among others.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 03:01 PM

vanston, IL. (Top40 Charts/ Evanston SPACE PR) - Since 1981, Mark Dvorak has been crisscrossing the country, living the life of the traveling troubadour and honing his craft as musician, songwriter and entertainer. He has distinguished himself as a unique and influential figure on the national folk scene. Called 'a folk singer's folk singer who follows unerringly in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie,' Dvorak performs more than 200 concerts per year. His song writing has been called 'wondrous' and 'profound.' He is an integral member of the faculty at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, and when he's not on the road he can be found there teaching, jamming with students and passers by.

The Rockford Folk Music Society calls Mark, 'The Midwest's premiere keeper of traditions.'
The Chicago Tribune has called his performance, 'Masterful.' SING OUT! Magazine wrote, 'Dvorak shines.'

Trips through Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, a recording session in Nashville, and even a tour of Finland were a part of Dvorak's summer itinerary.
'Michael and Mark represent the best in Chicago's long folk legacy,' said Dave Specter, co-owner of Evanston SPACE.

'Michael of course, with his work with Steve Goodman and Mark with his deep connection with the Old Town School of Folk Music.'

Michael Smith is internationally recognized for his legacy of outstanding songs, theatrical pieces and wide critical acclaim. Smith and Goodman collaborated on a number of songs before Goodman's untimely death in 1984. Goodman also had hit records of Smith compositions 'The Dutchman,' 'Spoon River' and 'Video Tape.' Smith has also won awards for his work on Frank Galati's The Grapes of Wrath, and won a Jeff award for the locally produced Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 09 - 02:41 PM

One of San Diego's own brightest and best blues artists, Steve White, was unexpectedly stricken with a throat tumour. The operation required the removal of his larynx. He will not sing or play the blues harp again.

The good news is he is out of ICU and the operation was successful and no complications.

Steve's website includes a video of one of his performances. A real wing-wang-doodle of a guy.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 11:23 AM

From October 2003 (BBC News):

Brain itch' keeps songs in the head

...I just can't get that song out of my head...

Research in the US has found that songs get stuck in our heads because they create a "brain itch" that can only be scratched by repeating the tune over and over.

In Germany, this type of song is known as an "ohrwurm" - an earworm - and typically has a high, upbeat melody and repetitive lyrics that verge between catchy and annoying.

Songs such as the Village People's YMCA, Los Del Rio's Macarena, and the Baha Men's Who Let The Dogs Out owe their success to their ability to create a "cognitive itch," according to Professor James Kellaris, of the University of Cincinnati College of Business Administration.

"A cognitive itch is a kind of metaphor that explains how these songs get stuck in our head," Professor Kellaris told BBC World Service's Outlook programme.

"Certain songs have properties that are analogous to histamines that make our brain itch.

"The only way to scratch a cognitive itch is to repeat the offending melody in our minds."

'Insidious and blatant'

Professor Kellaris has presented the early results of his earworm research at a conference on Consumer Psychology.

He said that virtually everyone suffered from a cognitive itch at one time or another.

"Across surveys I found that from 97% to 99% of the population is susceptible to earworms at some time," he stated.

"But certainly some people are more susceptible than others. Women tend to be more susceptible than men, and musicians are more susceptible to them than non-musicians."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM

(Reuters) U.S. guitar maker draws buyers, cult-like following
Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:42pm EDT

By Andrea Shalal-Esa

STEVENSVILLE, Md (Reuters) - Three decades after defying the odds and persuading Carlos Santana to try out his hand-built guitar, Paul Reed Smith's quest for perfect tone is still reeling in enthusiasts from all over the world.

Despite the world economic downturn, his company has built a new multimillion dollar factory and is looking at multiplying revenues while other instrument makers report declining sales.

More than 1,700 guitar dealers and customers traveled to a festive open house at Smith's Maryland headquarters this past weekend to see his newest guitars and tour a factory that turns out over 16,000 handcrafted instruments each year.

The crowd -- which included dealers, doctors, investment bankers and ordinary guitarists -- ordered more than 500 guitars ranging in price from several thousand dollars to as high as $70,000, for a grand total of well over $1 million.

Over the past 25 years, that kind of excitement has made Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Guitars the third largest U.S. electric guitar maker, helping it to squeeze older names Fender and Gibson and capture 40 percent of the high-end guitar market.

Nick Catanese, of Black Label Society, began playing PRS guitars in January, and says there's no comparison with other brands. "They're almost like a work of art," he told Reuters.

Those kind of reviews are good for PRS's bottom line, which is surviving the economic downturn better than most.

This year, PRS expects to match its 2008 revenues of $38 million, while competitors report declines of 20 to 30 percent, and the new factory should allow the company to double its sales once the economy recovers, says President Jack Higginbotham.

Gary Ciocci, managing director of Premier Guitar magazine, attributes the company's success to Smith's intense focus on its customers and events like the $300,000 open house. ...

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 12:54 PM

It does my heart good to see something like this in the Washington Post:

"Virginia's Crooked Road: A Warm Welcome to Mountain Music

Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store. The show always begins with a gospel band, then moves on to other types of Appalachian music, including flat-foot dancing, which looks similar to Irish dance.

By Melanie D.G. Kaplan
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 4, 2009

I arrive at the Marathon gas station in Stuart, Va., just above the North Carolina border, to find a man eating beans out of a can and a collection of animal heads peering down at an understocked convenience store. I am at my first stop on the Crooked Road: Virginia's Music Heritage Trail -- a 250-mile path of music venues in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian regions of southwestern Virginia -- and I don't see anything that resembles the jam session I expected.

But soon, a 70-year-old man named G.C., a third-generation musician from town, brings his guitar over to the picnic table outside the store. Then a fiddle shows up, followed by a banjo. One by one, gray-haired men climb out of pickup trucks with their instruments and amble over to the patio, home of the Thursday night State Line Grocery Jam Session. And by the time I leave, two hours later, I've fallen under the spell of mountain music.

It's not the first time. Last year, I joined a friend for my first bluegrass concerts in Washington and was drawn to the music so suddenly that I had barely learned which instrument was the mandolin before I'd bought one. Now, after six months of lessons and calloused fingers, I am bravely, naively joining the Thursday night crew in a corner of Virginia where it seems that everyone plays a "git-tar" or fiddle, and plays it well.

"There's music everywhere here," says Joe Wilson, one of the architects of the Crooked Road, which was established in 2004 to support tourism and economic development in one of Appalachia's distressed areas. Wilson is a folklorist and the longtime director and current chairman of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. Earlier this month, he received a Living Legend award from the Library of Congress.

"Americans don't know diddly about their music," he says. Traditional American mountain music came about when the African banjo and European fiddle met in Virginia, he explains. "Appalachian music has been the most accepting music -- whoever you are and wherever you are, you're welcome to play it. It's the sound; it has a joy to it. It's working-folk music."

It's also infectious. Even though I can't keep up with the State Line crew (I should have practiced a few years longer), I want to sit here all night, next to G.C., singing from his songbook, and the banjo player, simultaneously pickin', smokin' and drinkin' coffee. I am in the company of folks who make good music with less effort than they make simple conversation. For them, it's just another Thursday evening, doing what they do. But for me, it's the beginning of a whirlwind trip exploring 188 miles of the Crooked Road and listening to some mighty fine tunes. ..."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 03:00 PM

Building a Bridge: Ancient Paths, Modern Voices Fuses Folk Music with the Present

By Stephen Jones
04 Oct 2009

Carnegie Hall is gearing up for Ancient Paths, Modern Voices, a celebration of Chinese culture through a series of over 30 events presented across NYC Oct. 21-Nov. 10. Here, Stephen Jones discusses the thriving folk music scene in present-day China.


In recent years, Wu Man—a graduate of Beijing's Central Conservatory who left China 20 years ago to pursue a career as a pipa player on the international stage—has become curious about the folk traditions in her homeland. "In the conservatories, we were isolated from the local traditions going on all around us in the countryside," she recalls. "It was high time to seek out my musical roots."

Building a bridge between folk music and the wider world, Wu Man began traveling throughout China, visiting poor barren villages in the rural northwest, interacting with puppeteers and roving musicians, and sharing bowls of noodles with Daoists and members of shawm bands. In Taste of China and Ancient Spirits—two events she is curating for Ancient Paths, Modern Voices—Wu Man introduces China's traditional and classical music as both host and pipa performer.

The pipa, which dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–906 CE), is a Chinese classical instrument that is similar to the lute. "The music is scholarly, though any notation is really only a rough skeleton," Wu Man explains. "Like the music written for the qin [seven-stringed zither], you can only learn nuances face-to-face with a master teacher—you can't just read and play."

Outside of the cities in remote villages, traditions are still passed down from one generation to the next. The Zhang Family Band, based in a village near Huashan Mountain in Shaanxi province, tours the nearby countryside with its guttural, hoarse singing and instrumental accompaniment. Its shadow-puppet dramas are performed at temple fairs and rituals that promote the well-being of families.

Increasingly, however, family bands like the Zhang and the Li—the latter practitioners of Daoist ritual music—are becoming rare since younger generations are gravitating to urban areas, depleting the village life and culture. "The religious music of the Li family dates back nine generations," says Wu Man, "but the next generation—their children—don't want to learn it."

Full article here at Playbill Arts.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 09:00 AM

Joel Plaskett leads the pack in folk music award nominations
Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, October 08, 2009

Halifax's Joel Plaskett is the heavyweight among this year's Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees announced Wednesday in Ottawa. The indie roots rocker and Polaris Prize finalist garnered nominations in four categories: contemporary album, solo artist, producer and pushing the boundaries. The fifth annual awards gala pulls into the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau Nov. 21.

Nipping at Plaskett's heels is Montreal's Middle Eastern ensemble, OktoEcho. The group is up for ensemble, world group and instrumental group. OktoEcho's competitors in the ensemble and instrumental categories include Toronto's Sultans of String, whose flamenco world jazz fusion has also earned it a pushing- the-boundaries nomination.

The 90-plus nominations in 18 categories include National Capital Region artists Lynne Hanson (new/emerging artist), Cantarra (vocal group) and William Hawkins (English songwriter). Ottawa-born Maggie G is on board for children's album.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 09:08 AM

Joan Baez's sweet sound comes to PBS

By Gail Pennington

In 1959, Joan Baez, "very young and very scared," faced what seemed to her like the largest crowd ever assembled: 15,000 people at the inaugural Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.

"I was standing there with my little knees knocking, and I went up on stage, feeling as though I had been invited to my own execution. But instead of fainting or dying, I sang."

The performance "was very well received," Baez recalls, "and kind of sent me on my way from coffeehouses into a larger world of music."

And how. Baez, with her three-octave range and thrilling vibrato, became the queen of folk music at a time when folk was America's biggest music craze. But Baez saw her life as being about something bigger.

In between making gold records, Baez, the daughter of Quakers and a passionate advocate for human rights around the world, marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., prayed with residents of Hanoi during 11 days of carpet bombing in North Vietnam and saw her husband, David Harris, go to prison on draft-evasion charges. She performed for peace on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, sang in the strife-torn streets of Sarajevo and, most recently, serenaded Nelson Mandela on his 90th birthday.

"I'm at my happiest and healthiest when I'm very much wrapped up in politics," she says in "Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound," airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday on PBS' "American Masters." "Music plays a secondary role in my life."

Baez was in Newport, R.I., again this summer for the 50th anniversary of the folk festival and appeared by satellite when PBS introduced the special to TV critics meeting in Los Angeles. Even on two big screens, she looked vibrant and much younger than her 68 years.

And if her voice isn't as big and clear as it was in the 1960s and '70s, that's not much evident in "How Sweet the Sound," in which filmmaker Mary Wharton followed Baez on tour last year, seamlessly mixing scenes from 50 years ago with contemporary footage. The story is told without narration, in Baez's voice and in commentary from those close to her, including Bob Dylan and ex-husband Harris.

Baez was coy about Dylan when questioned this summer, deferring to "American Masters" executive producer Susan Lacy and saying she'd let the documentary speak for itself.

In fact, Dylan does a lot of speaking about Baez, describing the first time he heard her "heart-stopping soprano voice" and couldn't get it out of his mind.

Baez was already a star while Dylan was a scruffy, strange, street kid in the early 1960s when she began inviting him onstage during her concerts. Before long, "People got it, that he was pretty damn special," she says in the documentary.

They went on to become friends, lovers and adversaries. Her "Diamonds and Rust," a poignant but clear-eyed reflection on past love, was written about him, and he's proud of that, Dylan says in the documentary.

But "let's move on," Baez responded with curt humor when asked repeatedly about Dylan.

And move on she has.

Although still touring, with a Grammy-nominated CD, "Day After Tomorrow," Baez says she's relaxed a bit. She likes spending time with her mother, 96, and with her son Gabriel Harris, a percussionist who tours with her, and his wife, Pamela. She especially enjoys time with her granddaughter Jasmine.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: maeve
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 10:59 AM

Interesting reading, Amos. I was especially happy to read about Rosalie. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 03:18 PM

Old Town School of Folk Music to perform at IRMA
TNN 9 October 2009, 10:10pm IST

VADODARA/ANAND, India: A group of faculty from world famous Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago will be performing at the Institute of Rural
Management Anand (IRMA) on Sunday.

Old Town School of Folk Music is the largest community school of the arts in the United States, which is actively pursuing international partnership opportunities both to bring master traditional artistes to Chicago for extended residencies and to generate opportunities for the school faculty to teach and perform abroad.

"This trip is supported through a grant from MacArthur Foundation," a release from IRMA said on Friday, adding that the diverse group travelling to India includes master of jazz tap dance Reggio the Hoofer' McLaughlin, teacher of guitar and theatre Mary Peterson, teacher of old and middle eastern music Ronnie Malley and master of punk and post-punk electric guitar styles Dan Fulkerson. "The delegation is led by executive director of the school James Bau Graves, who is a specialist in North American folk song styles and director of Kalapriya Foundation and teacher of Bharatnatyam Pranita Jain," the release added.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 03:21 PM

Let a thousand guitars bloom in India where the folk revival is still reviving nicely.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 03:37 PM

FAYETTEVILLE — Guitar guru, songwriter and storytelling folk singer Jack Williams loves his peaceful home in rural, southern Washington County, but he's too busy performing for fun to enjoy it often.

Most musicians dream of fame, fortune and success, but Williams is more than content to make a modest, honest living performing his unique style of music in venues all across the country.

People are always telling him how to make it big.

"I'm not encumbered with that desire," he said. "There is no actual happiness to chasing the brass ring."

It's hard for a first-time listener to pay attention to the inspiring stories in his songs because his finger picking - of the Martin guitar he bought new in 1974 - is so amazing it's hard to focus on anything else.

When you listen, the many sounds of his guitar enhance the story he's singing like a great soundtrack helps a good movie.

After shows, people often compliment his picking abilities, but he prefers fans connecting with the messages in his music.

"The way people view me is misplaced. I'm not a technical whiz."

His songs are considered to be folk music, even though he said most people don't know that that is.

Williams said that if he wrote a song and then:

• Pete Seeger sang it, you'd consider it folk.

• Bruce Springstein played it, you'd call it rock.

• Garth Brooks performed it, you'd call it country.

Traveling troubadour

He's honed his skills through the years playing in nightclubs and bars, but now it's mainly concert halls, festivals and private shows. You won't find him in the local hot spots around here. He plays solo gigs he books himself and occasionally joins a friend or two for a performance or workshop.

His touring schedule includes shows all over - Evanston, Ill.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Round Rock, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Ontario, Canada; just to name a few.

He tries to book about 150 shows a year, which is a busy pace after considering travel time. His wife Judy, always travels with him. She's his number one fan and maintains his Web site, but you won't find her on stage.

Williams can't hide his distaste of the commercial music industry because its primary focus is making money. He admits he has to make money to keep playing for a living, but to him, music is about much more.

He turned down a recording contract with a Nashville, Tenn., record company after the president of the company told him how he planned to change his music to increase its commercial appeal.

"I just do what I do and hope for the best," he said. "I'd rather be honest about it."

He admits that staying true to yourself comes at a price because honesty doesn't pay as well.

"You can either take somebody somewhere or you can make a buck," he said.

Many people mistakenly think musicians live an easy life - partying all the time and hanging out in bars. That's just not the case for him.

"We just want to make a living," he said.

Advice for pickers

Williams explains that musicians are sometimes discouraged in our current culture where people think that if you are not the best at something then "Why bother"

He disagrees. His advice is quite simple: "Play for the fun of it and enjoy it."

Performing music requires a certain amount of innate talent, he believes, but the level you're performing at doesn't make any difference. So what if you only play a few chords for songs that you enjoy? Don't be discouraged by naysayers.

"Never ever in the rest of your life watch 'American Idol,'" he suggests.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 10:39 AM

Ralph Stanley is one of the last, and surely the purest, of the traditional country musicians. He's such a stickler that he has no use for the dobro, let alone electrified instruments, and he's not overly fond of the term bluegrass. He prefers to call what he performs "that old-time mountain music." He plays the five-string banjo in the claw-hammer style he learned from his mother — or he used to, until arthritis caught up with him — and he sings in a raw, keening Appalachian tenor.

The songs tend to be about hard times, unfaithful lovers, deceased children, lonely graves. One of his most famous, "O Death," is a pleading dialogue with the Grim Reaper himself. It used to be said that when you heard a Ralph Stanley tune, you either wanted to get drunk or go to church and get saved.

Mr. Stanley is 82 and, except for a dry spell in the early 1950s when he worked as a spot welder in Detroit, he has been performing steadily since he was a teenager. He still plays more than 100 dates a year, though he travels now in a customized bus rather than in an old Chevy, the band crammed in the back seat and the bass strapped to the roof. He has even been to Japan several times, where fans learn his songs by rote.

Mr. Stanley, who has called himself Doctor ever since being awarded an honorary degree from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee in 1976, has been so busy, traveling and collecting awards — three Grammys (one for an a capella version of "O Death" on the soundtrack of the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), the National Medal of Arts, a "Living Legend" designation from the Library of Congress — that he only just got around to writing his autobiography, with the help of the journalist Eddie Dean.

His book, "Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times" (Gotham Books), which comes out on Thursday, takes its title from another famous song and is a lot like the man himself: warm, folksy, down to earth, plainspoken, a little blunt and prickly at times. (It has nothing good to say about the Nashville star Tim McGraw, who, Mr. Stanley notes, hasn't "a lick of country" in him.)

Mr. Stanley talks of how death "brung together" his mother and father, and how he was "borned and raised way back in the hills." About musical talent, he writes: "It tends to run in families like a good line of dogs, and there ain't nothing you can do to change that."

Last week, Mr. Stanley was in New York with his band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, as part of a double bill at Carnegie Hall with Steve Martin, who had teamed up with the Steep Canyon Rangers, a North Carolina group, to play some of the songs on Mr. Martin's recent banjo album, "The Crow." At the end of the show the two groups got together for a crowd-pleasing version of "Orange Blossom Special" and for "Little Maggie," with Mr. Stanley singing the plaintive lyrics:

"Oh yonder stands little Maggie,
a dram glass in her hand.
She's drinkin' away her troubles.
She's a-courtin' another man."

Mr. Martin said afterwards that appearing with Mr. Stanley, whom he had idolized for years, was "a scary dream come true," and added, "I'm already old, and look at him, still going."..

The complete article on Mr Stanley can be found on this NY Times site.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 01:48 PM

The Huffington Post has an interview with Joan Baez.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 03:41 PM

Carly Simon retired in 2008. She released her final album, This Kind of Love, on Starbucks' music label, Hear Music, bought a house in Martha's Vineyard and settled into a quiet life. She called the album her "last at bat" and, well, that was that.

Then the Starbucks chain floundered and according to Simon, 64, the album sold poorly due to the coffee magnate's mismanagement of her music. The deal with Hear Music included an advance of $750,000-$1 million, a prominent marketing scheme to promote the album in all Starbucks chains and a promise that This Kind Of Love would be stocked in the thousands. Hear Music basically promised Simon the success Paul McCartney experienced with 2007's Memory Almost Full, which debuted at #3 on Billboard's Hot 100 and sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Simon is now suing Hear Music and Starbucks LLC for "concealment of material facts," "torturous interference" and "unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices." Simon claims she sunk $100,000 into the production of This Kind Of Love and her advance dwindled to $575,000; a sum Simon alleges she has never received in full. In short, This Kind Of Love sold 124,000, was ignored by critics and fans and was passed off as a failure. Simon hopes to win between $5 and $10 million from the lawsuit.

The folk music icon is also making a surprise comeback, with Never Been Gone, an acoustic homage filled with songs about young women, life's lessons and the way she'd always thought that life should be. The album, a reworking of her greatest hits with two new songs, is out October 27 on Iris Records.

The songs seem to have given the press shy Simon a new vigor as this year will see the chanteuse in the hot seat on "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Good Morning America" and "The Today Show." Soft-spoken and withdrawn, Simon has admitted to various media outlets that she is "excited and nervous" to open herself up to the public again.

Simon's newfound strength has also manifested itself in a different way and she has decided to overcome her intense fear of flying and will be playing intimate venues throughout Europe for the first time in her thirty-eight year career. Times and locations have yet to be set, but the tour will kick off in January.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 01:00 PM

The son of folk icon Woody Guthrie heads into Mount Pleasant's Soaring Eagle Casino on Friday with three generations of Guthries for "The Guthrie Family Rides Again." Among the tribe: Arlo's son Abe, daughters Sarah Lee, Annie and Cathy, and Sarah Lee's husband Johnny Irion, with whom she performs.

"We have guitars, autoharps, mandolins, ukeleles, my four kids," Guthrie, 62, says, calling from home in Massachusetts. Counting the grandkids, there might be four generations of Guthries onstage if a tape of Woody Guthrie's voice is played onstage, something they often do.

"Yes, and even the youngest of them will make a brief appearance," Guthrie says. "Marjorie, my daughter Cathy's daughter is 2, and Sophie, Sarah Lee's daughter is also 2. So we have a couple of 2-year-olds we'll drag out to sing on one or two songs then they can go backstage to play. No one is expected to be professional so much as join in."

That philosophy comes directly from Woody Guthrie, the Dust Bowl troubadour who sang countless folk and blues songs, and wrote such classics as "This Land is Your Land." The elder Guthrie felt that music was for everybody, not just people you pay to go hear in a concert hall.

From Arlo Guthrie's family affair, Detroit News

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 01:41 PM

A nice update on Richie Havens famed as a friend of Peace and Freedom.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 04:09 PM

Interviews with a wide range of modern singer/songwriters.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Oct 09 - 01:19 PM

Sent by a friend:

"While in Nashville last week visiting relatives, my niece took us
down Murfreesboro Road to the farmhouse where they once lived to
visit an old family friend. My half-sister's kids had grown up
playing with the son of the elderly lady living there now. Catherine
Chrisman is a sweet, sharp little lady in her mid 80s who very much
misses her husband, a college professor and woodworking expert, who
passed away a couple of years ago. She showed us through the modest
house and my niece reminisced on events that happened when her
family lived there. We marveled at the exquisite furniture Mr.
Chrisman had made after he retired. I noticed some pictures of a
singing group called Riders in the Sky on the wall, but just thought
Catherine was a fan of the group, this being Nashville, the center
of country-western music. As we were leaving, my niece mentioned the
Chrisman's son, Paul, aka Woody. My nephew said he was the smartest
friend he had encountered. We went back inside the house and looked
more closely at the pictures on the wall.

"Turns out Woody had disappointed his parents when he changed his
course of study at Vanderbilt from pre-medicine to physics and won a
scholarship to MIT. They had had their hearts set on him becoming a
physician. He graduated MIT with a PhD in theoretical plasma physics
and then came back to Nashville to dabble in his true love--western
music -- such a disappointment to his mom and dad who wanted him to
get a "real job." An avid fan of the Sons of the Pioneers, Woody and
a friend started a successful group called Riders in the Sky that
supports the tradition of harmony in western music. Over 30 years
later, the group continues to entertain and create Grammy-winning
albums. They sang on the sound track of the Toy Story and Monster
movies, with "Woody's Roundup" being an audience favorite.

"When we left Rick told Catherine that he was sorry that her son was
such a loser. She laughed heartedly and asked us to please come
back to visit.

Listen to the classics on this page.

ANd this one.

The group sang on the soundtrack of the Toy Story movies.
here and here

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 04:19 PM

rlo Guthrie
Music: Clubs: folk

When: 10/20/09 @ 7:30pm
Cost: $30
Call: 241-2345

More Information:
Arlo Guthrie
"Guthrie Family Rides Again"
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Barrymore Theatre
2090 Atwood Ave
Tickets: $30 Ticket Info: 608 241-2345,
Showtime: 7:30 pm

"The Guthries are the first family of American folk. They practice what Woody preached." -Vanity Fair

"...the biggest treat was the encore, one of Woody's last lyrics, written when he was in the hospital in the early '60s, with the music added later by Arlo, a little-known but beautiful, spiritual song called 'My Peace.' And the audience left in peace, knowing that Guthrie music is alive and well, and that the legacy is in good hands." -Robert Price, New Jersey Herald

On Oct. 20, folk music icon Arlo Guthrie will perform alongside three generations of Guthries as the "Guthrie Family Rides Again" tour hits the Barrymore Theatre in Madison (WI).

Arlo Guthrie carries on the Guthrie Family legacy as he travels to communities far and wide sharing timeless stories and unforgettable classic tunes. A celebrated artist in American music, his artistic ventures help bridge an often-divided world through his powerful spirit of song. "Guthrie Family Rides Again" brings his singular voice as both a singer-songwriter and social commentator to the stage alongside his beloved children and grandkids.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 09:29 AM

Folk rock pioneer Roger McGuinn at ECA Oct. 24

Enterprise staff

Journey through the musical history of legendary singer/songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Roger McGuinn at Edmonds Center for the Arts Saturday Oct. 24.

McGuinn became interested in music after hearing Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and asked his parents to buy him a guitar. In 1957 he enrolled as a student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music where he learned the five-string banjo and continued to improve his guitar skills.

After graduation, McGuinn performed solo on the folk music circuit where he was hired as a sideman by folk musicians like The Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio and Judy Collins. It was during this time that he began hearing of The Beatles and wondered how Beatlemania might affect folk music.

While playing at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, Roger began incorporating Beatles songs into his act and giving rock-style treatments to his traditional folk tunes, which attracted fellow folkie and Beatles fan Gene Clark to approach him about forming a duo. After meeting David Crosby, they decided to create a band and with the addition of percussionist Michael Clark and banjo player Chris Hillman, The Byrds came to life and scored a #1 hit with "Mr. Tambourine Man".

During his time with The Byrds, McGuinn developed two influential styles of electric guitar playing, incorporating banjo finger picking styles he learned from his days at the Old Town School of Music. The CF Martin Guitar Company released a special edition guitar called the HD7 Roger McGuinn Signature Edition that claims to capture his "jingle-jangle" tone.

After several personnel changes, The Byrds disbanded in 1973 and McGuinn has been recording and touring solo since then, going back to his folk music roots with projects like "22 Timeless Tracks from the Folk Den," which he recorded with musical friends Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Judy Collins.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 11:35 AM

Music Wed Oct 21 2009

Graduation Week @ The Old Town School of Folk Music

"Last night was my final West African Dance class of the current session, and we had a recital onstage at the Old Town School of Folk Music. The school is housed in a grand building on Lincoln Avenue that was once a library and retains traces of its bookish past; above the stage is a WPA mural underscored by the words "enjoy toys, the world we live in, making airplanes, boats, books tell us of King Arthur, costume and pioneer days, building skyscrapers, electricity." My fellow classmates and I - six of us in all, got on stage to the rhythm of live djembe drumming, and brought the house down. After spending eight weeks dancing in the studio classroom, it was gratifying to perform in front of an audience, and the group assembled at the Old Town School couldn't have been less judgmental - everyone in the auditorium had to get on stage at some point, making the atmosphere less American Idol and more like talent night at summer camp. We practiced our dance moves in the hallway as a group of musicians rehearsed Will The Circle Be Unbroken, it was a quintessential Old Town School moment.

The six of us stood across from each other on the stage, three on each side, and at the appropriate drumbeat - what our teacher calls "the break," we started moving towards each other in dance formation until we'd found our mark, faced the audience, and moved to the next step. Midway through the dance we formed a circle using dance steps and then moved back to our original spots, a maneuver that wowed the audience. I was standing up front at stage right, and could see everyone - mostly guitar students, with instruments in their laps or in cases sitting next to them. Our dance lasted all of three minutes, and we received a truly raucous round of applause and shouts for our efforts. It was fantastic. Three West African Dance classes performed in a row, ceaseless drumming spurring on one class after the next. After that came the Middle Eastern Belly Dancers in all their jangly, hip-centered self-confidence, the metal disks on their hip scarves bouncing in unison like a school of small, shiny fish.

Next came the guitar classes, who serenaded the audience with the following:
Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Were Made for Walkin';
Neil Young's Harvest Moon (which I sang along to);
Chris Hillman's My Baby's Gone;
The Eurythmics' Here Comes the Rain Again - which, if you've never heard played on acoustic guitar, is something else; and
Brandy Carlisle's Wish I Could Be There Tonight.

The guitar-heavy lineup was broken up by harmonica level one, and a class called "harmonica forever", who played Roll On Weary River and Bob Dylan's Beyond Here Lies Nothing, respectively. They had a backup band supporting them: a mandolin, two guitars, a standing bass and a tambourine, and I decided that if one instrument could follow me around in my daily life to provide a soundtrack to the most mundane of my everyday activities, it would be a standing bass; no other instrument underscores the moment in quite the same way.

Once the harmonica students moved off the stage there were more guitar classes, and picking up on the Dylan theme they started us off with You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, followed by America's Sister Golden Hair, and a song called Ophelia, (I'm not sure who wrote it). The evening closed with a rendition of Stone Temple Pilots Plush, which reminded me of an adage told onstage many Old Town School graduations ago - if you're looking for the definition of folk music, well... that depends on which folks you're talking about.

I sat in the audience and I watched it all; fingers squeaking along guitar strings as they moved from one note to the next, harmonica players hesitating before chord changes, and it reminded me of why I love this place. The first time I ever set foot in the Old Town School of Folk Music was before they moved into the Lincoln Avenue Location. I was visiting a friend who worked on Armitage, saw the Old Town School's music store, and walked in out of curiosity. A concert was about to begin, and the person manning the doors of the concert hall asked if I'd like to take a seat and listen for free; there were empty seats, and the musicians had come all the way from China to perform.

What I saw mesmerized me. The only Chinese music I'd heard up to that point in my life was played on the sound systems of cheap Chinese restaurants. This was different, it was beautiful and enchanting, and unlike anything I'd ever heard before. That's what I love the most about the Old Town School of Folk Music; whether it's a band from Uganda you've never heard of or a headliner that you bought the tickets to months in advance, you hear it in the intimacy of a 300 seat auditorium, and even if it's music you've heard a hundred times before, it becomes new to you.

When you become a student at the school, you become a part of a 50-plus year history of people who picked up an instrument, or decided to learn how to dance, or opened their mouths to sing, and allowed themselves to once again be beginners at something - perhaps for the first time in years. None of the people on stage last night were experts, and none of them were trying to be the best, they were just people who enjoyed learning a new instrument or a new dance and had a chance to get up on stage for three minutes and share it with a roomful of peers. Its one of the best things about Chicago, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. ..." From here.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 04:10 PM

By David McCollum

All they needed was a campfire. The Folk Reunion concert Thursday at the Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas took many of us back to another era of music — one that has been buried by modern technology but still manages to tug at tender memories.

The Brothers Four, the Limelighters and the Kingston Trio, all pioneer bands in the "Hootenanny," American folk music thrust a half-century ago, were all featured during the homecoming segment of the UCA Public Appearances Series.

It was a pleasing toe-tapping, hand-clapping, sing-a-along session among an almost full house in which the prevailing hair was gray or none at all.

This was a concert for those who can remember typewriters, juke boxes and black-and-white TV.

It took us back to simpler days when someone just grabbed a guitar and a bunch of friends followed to a dorm, house or campfire and harmonized in a sing-a-long.

Jerry Biebesheimer, who directs the public appearance staff, set this one up especially for the post-45 crowd and his group should be commended.

Homecoming is for the alumni as much as it is for students, and it should have events appealing to both. Biesbesheimer arranged the concert with a nod toward the Class of '59, which celebrated its 50th anniversary during the weekend. The three groups performing Thursday trace their roots to the late 1950s and made regular appearances at colleges and universities in the '60s and '70s. Much of their music is embedded in the minds of those who went to college in that era and listened to juke boxes.

"For you younger people, a juke box is a giant iPod," said George Grove, the longest-tenured member of the Kingston Trio.

All three bands are the only continuing original folk bands on the active concert circuit. Bob Flick of the Brothers Four is a founding member of that group. The other musicians trace their links to their groups over several years in continuing the tradition. Bill Zorn of the Kingston Trio is much recycled, having started with the New Christy Minstrels and also serving as a former member of the Limelighters.

The neat part of the concert was its simplicity.

It's interesting. My son traveled to Oklahoma City last weekend to watch Bono perform on a high-tech, glitzy stage converted into a model spaceship that thought it was absolutely awesome. U2 is also one of my favorites of the modern rock bands.

Thursday night, there were no sets, no pyro, no fancy sound systems, nothing glitzy, nothing flashy, no eye-popping costumes, no dancers and no upscale electronically enhanced instruments.

There was a plain black stage, a few amplifiers, a few microphones, a few bottles of water on platforms and the performers playing acoustical string instruments and engaging in simple and melodious harmony.

This was music at its core — good instrumentation and good, clear harmony. It was music in which the music and the sound was more important than the volume.

The performances resonated on simple purity.

It was the ultimate in portable live music. It could be done in a concert hall, on a mountaintop, by a stream or in a den or dormitory room.

To the music palate, it was what made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy is to the taste buds.

There were so many old favorites, from the Brothers Four's haunting "The Green Leaves of Summer" to the Limelighters humorous satirical stuff that poked fun at their own genre to the Kingston Trio's big hits "Scotch and Soda" and "Tom Dooley."

What the artists described as the American Songbook went down a warm-and-fuzzy memory lane.

And the concert ended the only way it could end.

All the groups came on stage and joined together in the iconic folk anthem, "This Land is Your Land" as the audience clapped and sang along.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 04:51 PM

Welcome to the New Folk Revival, says one journalist. He surveys young leaders in folk today. Nice to think the flame is being carried forward!


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:12 PM

"The Traveling Wilburys, the late 1980s supergroup that featured Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne of ELO, set the blueprint for chummy band projects whose sum often happened to be as good, if not better, than their equal parts.

While it's an old concept that might seem passé in this age of iTunes and Rock Band video games, Monsters of Folk are giving it new life. The four-member group – which features solo songwriter-performer M. Ward, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes – represents the kind of project that often falls through the cracks these days because nothing about it – the music or the marketing – conforms to what is considered necessary to sell records.

And yet, because all four members are not household names, the project is also a reflection of artistic resilience. The group's self-titled album, released in September, and a North American tour, with dates through mid-November, are endeavors that together reflect an old-fashioned approach to making music that is more homespun and more about the total experience than selling a hit single. At the same time, their album hit No. 15 on the Billboard charts and No. 3 on Top Independent Albums.

Beginning in the early half of this decade, all four members quietly built audiences without the benefit of a hit song or video or even major commercial placement in television or film. Instead, audiences organically found their way to My Morning Jacket, Bright Eyes, and Ward's music through entire albums, which became essential listening for anyone interested in folk-based songwriting. They also toured relentlessly, which helped them transition from playing small clubs to large theaters and headlining slots at major summer festivals.

For young fans who hadn't grown up with the classic Woodstock-generation artists, these new bands provided a connection, by making albums with cohesive beginnings, middles, and ends. All three also were at the forefront of releasing special vinyl editions of their music to generate enthusiasm among fans who had never experienced the tangible side of music, something that was lost once major labels ushered in CDs and then digital files.

To Ward, technology has become a double-edged sword. Despite the fact that "people are becoming aware of music in millions of kinds of ways" today, not all of them are as powerful as "the most old-fashioned way" – word of mouth. "I still believe the best way for people to hear music is with someone telling them, 'Hey, this is good,'" he says.

Because of the unlimited media platforms currently available, Ward says there is too much distraction now and not enough of the community spirit that used to be found at local hangouts such as record shops. "Sometimes it's a little bit too easy for people today," he says. "I, for one, miss the anticipation I used to get to see if this record store I was walking into would have the record I was looking for." (WSJ)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 03:53 PM

THis from the Harvard Crimson:

This month, Harvard Square will return to its folk roots and celebrate the area's role in developing of folk music with special events and displays of archival photos in stores fronts around the square.

Joan Baez, best known for her folk hit "Diamonds and Rust," got her start in the legendary Harvard Square folk venue Club 47, reincarnated as Club Passim. Her early recording of the Child Ballads, a collection of English and Scottish folk songs, is also representative of the area's long-standing role in the folk music genre—the ballads were compiled by Harvard English professor Francis James Child.

Now, the New England Folk Music Archive (NEFMA) and the Harvard Square Business Association (HSBA) are working together to raise awareness for the continued folk tradition in Harvard Square.

Until last year, Club Passim maintained an archive of folk memorabilia, cataloguing photos and videos of the folk music scene in Harvard Square. But when the financial crisis hit and Club Passim could no longer actively support the archive, former executive director Betsy Siggins founded NEFMA, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping the Harvard Square folk tradition alive.

This month is the financial and emotional "kick-start" for the new nonprofit, she said.

Siggins played a large part in the square's iconic place in the folk revival as a founder of Club 47.

"She likes to call herself the oldest hippie in Harvard Square," said Denise A. Jillson, the Executive Director of the Harvard Square Business Association. "She's been the go-to figure for all things folk for a long time."

Local businesses have responded enthusiastically NEFMA, according to Jillson.

"It takes a village to celebrate music," she said, "And this village is more than willing to step up to the plate."

Jillson attributes the interest to businesses' support for Siggins as a prominent community member.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 09:28 AM

Coopersville, MI, United States, 11/10/2009 - The Plowboys Gospel Show and The Buffalo Girls & the Chips will have you singing along and tapping your toes. These bands are local favorites from the long-running Jam Nights at the Farm Museum, a regional showcase for traditional arts.

The Plowboys (Cal Dyke, Jeff Line, Imre Bryant, & Don Kramer) and The Buffalo Girls (Donna Carlson, Ruth Sorenson, JoAnn Windburg) & the Chips are two favorite bands from the long-running Coopersville Farm Museum acoustic Jam Nights held year round on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday every month, from 6pm – 9pm. The Plowboys will be presenting a gospel show followed by The Buffalo Girls (& the chips) performing classic folk music. The Coopersville Farm Museum is a regional showcase for traditional arts. In addition to exhibits on farming and rural life, the museum features local musicians in acoustic jams twice a month and several concerts throughout the year. The musical programs at the Coopersville Farm Museum are keeping traditions alive and encouraging new ones.

Coopersville Farm Museum ( is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located between Grand Rapids and the Lakeshore, just a stone's throw from the Del Shannon Memorial in downtown Coopersville. Built in 2001, the Farm Museum was the vision of Ed Hanenburg, a local businessman and farmer. Ed's love for farming and family comes through loud and clear in the silo that was built as the entrance to the museum. It contains a mural with his late father, Peter Hanenburg, his son, Keith, and his grandson, Tyler, alongside one of Ed's John Deere tractors. Ed built the museum in 01 and donated it to the community, along with it's contents, when it was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2005. Museum director, LeeAnn Creager began in 2002 to create a true representation of this small mid-west farm town and today the museum is a vibrant community based active facility. It takes many volunteers to keep things running smoothly, but the volunteers are the ones who add the warmth and the vision to the museum.

Additional events and exhibits at the Coopersville Farm Museum include a two month long quilt show in August and September, several art galleries and contests, a antique tractor show, doll show every February and March, a train layout, petting zoo in April, holiday happenings every winter, and constantly changing displays representing life in a rural community. Arrive early to see the exhibits before the show. "Down home" hospitality during special events most likely will include a punch bowl or snacks.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM

From the Mohawk Valley:


Folk musician Tom Rush will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in the Root Sculpture Court at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.

Rush was a key figure in the folk revival of the 1960s and its renaissance in the '80s and '90s. Rush is well-known for his distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm and expressive voice.

Tickets are $30. Visit or call 797-0000.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 09:06 AM

Another generation of folk music's Guthries takes to the road
The Albany Times Union
Sarah Lee Guthrie
Sarah Lee Guthrie

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Sarah Lee Guthrie says "bring the kids." A lot of people who come to see Arlo, her father, don't think that way. But for this tour, Sarah says, think kids.

"It's really a family show, and it's really fun," she says. "We have ages 2 to 62 on stage. We're certainly encouraging more families to play music. So I hope that people might be inspired to bring their kids."

Sarah, 30, along with her husband, Johnny Irion, their two daughters and other Guthries and friends, recently recorded a children's album, "Go Waggaloo." It was released Oct. 27 by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

"John Smith, from Smithsonian ... called us up and asked if we would consider making a kind of kids' record, a family record, that wouldn't make anybody want to jump out of a minivan," Sarah says. "We totally understood what he meant."

They already had choruses they'd been singing to their daughters, so they wrote the verses — well, sometimes their kids did. For the song "If Mama Had Four Hands," their father asked Olivia, 7, what mama would do if she had four hands.

"And so," Sarah says, "she wrote the verses. 'She would paint with me. She would tie my shoes. She would feed the baby and fold the laundry.' That was kind of the process for a lot of those songs."

Three are songs that Sarah's grandfather Woody Guthrie wrote. Sarah put music to his lyrics. They recorded the album in their new home in Washington, Mass., four miles from Arlo's spread.

"We just built this house made of wood. It's like the inside of a guitar," Sarah says. "And for a kids record, it was even more perfect, because to get kids into a studio, and one, two, three sing, doesn't always work. So we were able to be natural and be in our house, and when it was inspiring, and we wanted to sing, and the kids wanted to sing, we were able to press record."

Three of the songs make it into their concerts, she says. But the shows are a mix of Guthrie talents.

"Well, there's a whole lot of us Guthries," she says, laughing. "Everybody gets a spotlight to do what they do. It's really a collage of us doing our own songs but also paying tribute to our grandfather, who was kind of the reason why we're all here and doing this, and why so many people do this."

Sarah Guthrie and the "Guthrie Family Rides Again Tour" are scheduled to perform March 27 at the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College. Tickets are $35-$45 through www.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 05:01 PM

From the U. of KEntucky:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2009) − "You can hear the singing at a Sacred Harp convention 12 blocks away, I'm told. My children say 12 blocks isn't far enough - death metal folk, they call it," writes author Mary Rose O'Reilly of Sacred Harp music in her book "The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd."
Kentucky's Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers honors just the musical tradition O'Reilly describes in her book and this week they will perform at the University of Kentucky as part of "Appalachia in the Bluegrass," a concert series that explores traditional music in the Appalachian region. The free public concert featuring this 19th century folk hymnody is scheduled for noon Friday, Nov. 20, at the Niles Gallery, located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers is an informal group that comes together to sing from the Sacred Harp and Southern Harmony shape-note tradition. Formed around 1980, the group meets every second Sunday of the month to sing. An annual event, the Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing, celebrating this form of vocals is presented each year at Pisgah Church in Woodford County on the Saturday before the third Sunday of May.

Sacred Harp is a uniquely American tradition that brings communities together to sing four-part hymns and anthems. Participants are not concerned with re-creating or re-enacting historical events. The form's tradition is a living, breathing, ongoing practice passed directly to today's singers by generations of singers, many gone on before and many still living. All events welcome beginners and newcomers, with no musical experience or religious affiliation required — in fact, the tradition was born from colonial "singing schools" whose purpose was to teach beginners to sing and the local group's methods continue to reflect this goal. Though "Sacred Harp" is not affiliated with any denomination, it is a spiritual experience, and functions as a religious observance for many singers.

Sacred Harp "singings" are not performances. There are no rehearsals and no separate seats for an audience. Every singing is a unique and self-sufficient event with a different group of assembled participants. The singers sit in a hollow square formation with one voice part on each side, they face inward so each individual can see and hear the other. However, visitors are welcome to sit anywhere in the room and participate as listeners.

"Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series, presented by UK's John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, showcases a diverse selection of traditional musical expression. This series focuses on the many faces of indigenous American folk music, celebrating its roots in old-time music. All "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concerts take place in the gallery of the Niles Center in the Little Fine Arts Library on UK's central campus. Niles Gallery concerts are scheduled on Fridays at noon and are free and open to the public.

The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music is a collaborative research and performance center of the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.

For more information on the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers concert, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 12:07 PM

From ROchester, NY:

The Jen Chapin Trio will perform its jazz-tinged urban folk music at 7 p.m. Monday at Geva Theatre Center's Nextstage, 75 Woodbury Blvd. Chapin (she is the daughter of the late Harry Chapin, so music and storytelling are in her blood) will be joined on stage by her husband and acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Jamie Fox. Tickets are $20. Call (585) 232-4382 or go to

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 12:11 PM

Paste Magazine reports that Billboard is going to pay more attention to folk music:

"Recent changes to Billboard charts will soon give both Michael Jackson and Ani DiFranco some overdue recognition.

As announced recently, the Billboard 200 charts will soon include top-selling albums regardless of release date, therefore including catalog recordings as well as current releases. Since 1991, the Billboard 200 had only reflected albums released over the past 18 months and with a chart-placing single on the radio.

Had this change been made sooner, the charts would have accounted for the dramatic upswing of Michael Jackson record sales following his death. Reuters even figured that his Number Ones would have even ranked at No. 13 last week, the highest of 11 Top 100 and 35 overall catalog titles, including the Beatles' digitally remastered catalog.

Billboard also plans to account for musicians like Ani DiFranco, Monsters of Folk and Rosanne Cash in its new Folk Albums chart, ranking the 15 top-selling artists who release traditional folk and/or acoustic-based music.

"Billboard's Folk Albums chart will reflect retail activity of a niche genre with a rich history," said Gary Trust, Billboard chart manager, in a statement. "Folk artists are among the most insightful songwriters and intimate storytellers in music, and we're proud to offer a chart highlighting their sales achievements."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Nov 09 - 09:57 PM

From Pittsfield, MA:

Friday, Nov. 20

Nearly a half-century after teaming with Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers, Peter Yarrow is working through his grief following her death two months ago by connecting with new and longtime fans during a publicity tour for his second children's picture book, "Day is Done."

With lavish illustrations by Melissa Sweet and a three-track CD, it's listed by Publishers Weekly as the nation's top-selling children's picture book.

He's also performing with his daughter, Bethany, and her musical partner, the Canadian cellist Rufus Cappadocio, as Peter Yarrow with Bethany and Rufus. The threesome will present a concert of traditional folk favorites dressed up in new arrangements at Pittsfield's Colonial Theatre tonight at 8.

In addition to pursuing solo careers, Bethany and Rufus as a duo specialize in contemporary folk, groove and world "roots" music, with a touch of soul, funk and jazz.

"How many 71-year-old folk singers are out there with million-selling CDs?" Yarrow wondered during a recent cellphone interview while walking his dog near his Manhattan apartment.

His first children's picture book, "Puff the Magic Dragon," re-imagined the land of Honalee, where "little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff, and brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff." With charming illustrations by the French artist Eric Puybaret, the volume and its accompanying four-song CD performed by Peter,


Bethany and Rufus sold more than a million copies.
Yarrow also partnered with his daughter, now 38, and Cappadocio for a 2008 PBS special and DVD, "Spirit of Woodstock," that grew out of a 2007 CD, "Puff and Other Family Classics." The 17-song video includes Yarrow's reminscences of the summers he spent in the Woodstock, N.Y., artists' colony, beginning at the age of 8, sharing a cabin in the woods with his mother after his parents divorced. The concert was filmed before an audience of local children and their families at the picturesque Bearsville Theater.

During the filming, Peter and Bethany revisited the tumbledown cabin, which he abandoned many years ago after a painful divorce from Mary Beth McCarthy, niece of the late Minnesota senator who led the Vietnam war opposition and sought the Democratic nomination for president. During the tumultuous 1960s, as Yarrow recalled, the shack served as a retreat for invited guests, including Bob Dylan and Tim Hardin, where they wrote songs they hoped would help change the world. "We may yet rebuild it," Yarrow said wistfully, though he now has a getaway in Telluride, Colo.

With more than a touch of parental pride, Yarrow compares and contrasts Bethany with Mary Travers. "I feel she has the same kind of extraordinary honesty in her voice, and also an intensity that you rarely hear," he said. "Her focus is very different, from international roots music, but it emerges from the same set of inferences that brought Mary to where she was."

Yarrow, whose progressive social and political activism is inextricably linked to his music, considers his collaboration with Bethany and Rufus "a re-imagining of folk music in a contemporary context. We need to have a cultural way of expressing a sense of mutual respect, interest and engagement with each other in terms of influences from around the world. We are all connected in some ways and need to find a language to express a deep appreciation of one another."

As he sees it, "that's the connection between the work Peter, Paul and Mary were doing and the work we're doing." But, because Bethany was strongly influenced by rock and Rufus is a cellist with deep roots in world music and improvisational jazz, Yarrow acknowledges that performing with them was "a real stretch for me. I've sung long enough to have the intuitive gift for it and found a very comfortable place, but it sure took me to a new arena."

Yarrow re-enters his comfort zone when they perform highlights from the original folk trio's songbook. "When we do those songs, Bethany joins me in a style more reflective of Peter, Paul and Mary," he said.

Describing tonight's Colonial concert as informal and family-oriented, Yarrow expects to include "Puff" and a few other classics such as "No Easy Walk to Freedom," "Blowing in the Wind," "If I Had a Hammer" and "This Land is Your Land."

He promises a multi-generational appeal -- "a passing of the torch, yet an ever-present, strong, persistent tone and feeling of what Peter, Paul and Mary did. You'll get a sense of continuity that something is going forward. The old values, the old commitments that fuel folk music and brought it to where it is now are sustained. I think that's not by design, that's just what is, that's the way we are."

In addition to the book tour, where he sings a few songs and chats with youngsters, Yarrow finds "nothing more compelling and wonderful than sitting with my granddaughter, Valentina, who's two and a half, paging through these books and songs I recorded with her mom."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 12:16 PM

2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards: List of winners
Posted: November 23, 2009, 11:38 AM by Brad Frenette

The Maritimes shone on Saturday night at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards, held in Ottawa, as Haligonian Joel Plaskett won the award for both Contemporary Album of the Year and Producer of the Year, Susan Crowe (Halifax) was named English Songwriter of the Year and PEI's Catherine MacLellan (Solo Artist) and Colette Cheverie (Traditional Singer) were also feted.

Plaskett was the sole multiple winner at the fifth edition of the awards. Download an mp3 of his Every Time You Leave, from his triple-album Three, via the CFMA.

Following is the complete list of this year's winners.

Traditional Album of the Year
James Hill and Anne Davison – True Love Don't Weep (Brookfield, N.S. / originally from Langley, B.C.)

Contemporary Album of the Year
Joel Plaskett – Three (Halifax)

Children's Album of the Year
Chris McKhool – FiddleFire! (Toronto / originally from Ottawa)

Traditional Singer of the Year
Colette Cheverie for Hours Before Dawn (Charlottetown)

Contemporary Singer of the Year
Jim Byrnes for My Walking Stick (Vancouver)

Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year
Tony McManus for The Maker's Mark (Elora, ON)

Instrumental Group of the Year
Sultans of String for Yalla Yalla! (Toronto)

Vocal Group of the Year
Madison Violet for No Fool for Trying (Toronto)

Ensemble of the Year
The Deep Dark Woods for Winter Hours (Saskatoon)

Solo Artist of the Year
Catherine MacLellan for Water in the Ground (Charlottetown)

English Songwriter of the Year
Susan Crowe for Greytown (Halifax)

French Songwriter of the Year
Catherine Durand for Coeurs Migratoires (Montreal)

Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year
Don Amero for Deepening (Winnipeg)

World Solo Artist of the Year
Karim Saada for La Danse de l'Exilé (L'Assomption, QC)

World Group of the Year
Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko – Africa to Appalachia (Toronto / Quebec City)

New. Emerging Artist of the Year
The Good Lovelies – Good Lovelies (Toronto)

Producer of the Year
Joel Plaskett – Three (Halifax)

Pushing the Boundaries
Steve Dawson – Telescope (Vancouver)

Young Performer of the Year
Ariana Gillis – Ariana Gillis (Vineland, ON)

Read more:

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 12:19 PM

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave."

-Breece D'J Pancake

Every state in the Union has contributed to the soundscape of America. However, at some point in the telling of that story West Virginia has gotten a bum rap, even though it was pretty much the birthplace of Appalachian folk music.

What happened?

Was it that people's tastes changed? I'm inclined to think that's only part of the reason. I can remember driving into Wheeling from Ohio and seeing the sign, "Welcome to West Virginia — Open for Business" and thinking not since Connecticut changed its slogan from "The Nutmeg State" to "The Constitution State" had I been more confused and disgusted by a State's change of face. I can't be completely certain but I think that whoever came up with that slogan ("Open for Business") has since come to their senses, was fired or voted out of office. It was later changed, hopefully still, to the more appropriate "Wild and Wonderful." Because when it comes down to it, that's what the state is.

That "Open For Business" slogan can pretty much sum up why so many people easily brush off West Virginia's contributions to American music. I mean, is it me or does all the industry and 'open for business' seem out of place for the state? It seems so entirely unnatural. It's like West Virginia is that pretty girl in school who doesn't think she's pretty enough to be with anyone. West Virginia, in my mind and many others I hope, is the birthplace of Americana, a place that should be left as unspoiled as the C chord. The new slogan should be "We Agree Not to Congregate" and everyone should be proud of their Appalachian heritage and stop it with all the industry already. It'd be nice if West Virginia was known for what it really did best, making great music.

Because between the world famous Mountain Stage and Augusta Heritage Center, West Virginia has so much to offer in terms of authentic contributions to music. That major contribution? is country music, folk music, Appalachian music, whatever you'd like to call it.

Here is a very short history lesson of the origins of country/folks music. The Ulster-Scots, lowland Scots who emigrated to the Northern Ireland county of Ulster, later emigrated to all corners of the world, most important being the United States. They brought with them a communal music tradition — think sitting around the campfire playing and singing songs rather than sitting around watching someone else. It's this idea that gave birth to pickin' and fiddle music that would later morph into country, bluegrass, and folk music to name just a few genres.

Musicians from West Virginia vary from the down-right old-timey like Hazel Dickens ("A Few Old Memories") and The Lilly Brothers ("Little Annie") to the twangy country style of Hawkshaw Hawkins and the blue-grass finger picking sound of Tim O'Brien ("Look Down that Lonesome Road" and a great performance with the Chieftains of Shady Grove).

West Virginia is home of true country music. It was about heartache, lonesomeness, porch sitting, pretty women and dancing. There isn't any "checking for ticks" or "saving horses" or "riding cowboys." That kind of music is Nashville's bastardization of all that is good and wholesome about country music. It's music made easy for easy money. It takes all the goodness out of being an American and replaces it with what John Egerton wrote about as the "Southernization of America," and described by George Packer as an ideal that "identifies real Americanism with a southern accent, an insouciant swagger, a down home manner, and an undercurrent of violence"(I'd like to substitute or add ignorance in addition to violence). The music we are told is country music is nothing more than redneck music, the equivalent of gangster rap. That kind of country is what Bob Newhart was talking about when he said, "I don't like country music, but I don't denigrate those who do. And for the people who do like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'"

So, I leave you with that to marinate on. You may not agree. You may be thinking, "who invited the crabby old man to write for Graffiti?" Well, you may be right about the crabby part but I have good reason to be crabby. West Virginia has been thrown out with the musical bath water, been lumped together with all the other so-called 'country music' states when in fact it is very unique and has something uniquely American to offer when it comes to music. I hope someone out there takes the time and listens to what came before Brad Paisley; open your eyes and see the mountains the way they used to look.

(From here.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:17 AM

Birthplace of cosmic guitar pinpointed

IT'S the biggest guitar in the galaxy. The Guitar pulsar is a stellar corpse that is tearing through interstellar gas and creating a guitar-shaped wake of hot hydrogen (pictured). Its birthplace may now have been found.

Little is known about the origins of such wayward stellar remnants. To hunt for the pulsar's birthplace, Nina Tetzlaff at the University of Jena in Germany and colleagues projected the paths of 140 nearby groups of stars backwards in time over 5 million years.

Previous work suggests the star was ejected at over 1500 kilometres per second. The team says the pulsar's path indicates that 800,000 years ago it was fired from a cluster of massive stars that now lies about 6500 light years away from Earth (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol 400, p L99).

It's a puzzle why the pulsar is moving so fast. Speeds greater than 1000 kilometres per second are hard to account for with current astronomy models, says James Cordes of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The object's distance is not known for sure, he points out, which could mean the pulsar's speed and its position have been misjudged. (New Scientist)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:39 AM

Anything can happen at spontaneous folk jam

November 25, 2009
By DAN PEARSON Contributor

The Lake County (Illinois) Folk Club welcomes back national touring folk troubadour Mark Dvorak at 7 p.m. Sunday to host a Spontaneous Folk Ensemble at the El Barrio Restaurant & Lounge in Mundelein.

Dvorak, who lives in Riverside, invites all attendees to bring along their musical instruments and their voices and participate in this special fifth Sunday event which is open to all ages.

"I also call it a sing-a-long concert and jam session," said Dvorak who teaches classes in guitar, banjo and the blues at the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago.

"When we get warmed up I start asking people who's got a good idea for a song. Most of the time, people will have one. And one leads to another."
No two the same

Dvorak has been a member of the Lake County Folk Club since it began. He last hosted this program at the Folk Club a year ago and said no two gatherings ever unfold identically.

"Last November it was very successful. The main floor of the El Barrio was filled with instruments and there was a very high level of musicianship. I hope we can build from there. If I see someone noodling around, I may call them up to play a solo."

Dvorak is currently gathering original and traditional material for his 12th CD, which will mark the recording debut of The Mark Dvorak Trio with fellow musicians Ellen Shepard of Sweet Fern and Christopher Walz, from the long-running stage show "Woody Guthrie's American Song."

Dvorak credits Frank Hamilton, one of the Old Town School Of Folk Music founders, with introducing him to the spontaneous folk ensemble concept in 1997.
Winging it

"Frank was giving a workshop for instructors. They didn't hand out anything and they didn't write anything down. For two and a half hours this group improvised and used our own ideas and it was always very simple music that people could handle as they would.

"I told Frank it would be nice to have a class like that at the school on an ongoing basis and he said, 'You're right, there should be a class like that and you should teach it.' At the time I said I didn't know enough about music and he said 'Well, what's that got to do with it? You just begin from where you are.'"

Encouraged by his students, Dvorak has been conducting improvised sessions like these for more than 10 years including a bi-monthly spontaneous folk ensemble at the Grafton Pub in Chicago for the last six years.

"The Grafton invited me to perform and I said I have a better idea. I have all these students who want a place to hang out and jam. What I learned from this process is what kind of songs work well with a group dynamic.

"It is very exciting to see people really come to life. Not as students but as musicians, even if they have been playing only a short while. I always felt my job as a teacher is not just to supply information and resources but help foster a meaningful experience for people."

Simple songs

Dvorak said the key is finding songs known to most of the group and ones that aren't complicated to play. Songs like "This Land Is Your Land," "You Are My Sunshine" and call-and-response songs like "When The Saints Go Marching In."

Some song circles use a songbook or hand out sheets of music to guide the program.

"We thought we would try it differently," Dvorak said. "I discovered the minute we put the pieces of papers and the songbooks away, people can watch each other and listen. If I see someone struggling I will call the chords out. That's why it is important that all the songs be simple."

He acknowledged that there are some audience members that just come to listen.

Comfort level

"Some people are comfortable staying in the background and others just chording along. This is not about putting people on the spot, it's about finding the place where they are comfortable participating."

Dvorak said that somewhere in the middle of the evening he enjoys teaching a song and maybe telling a story about that song that is new to him. A current favorite is "Woody Knows Nothing," a traditional tune suggested by the late Erik Darling of The Weavers which is about birds and has nothing to do with Woody Guthrie.

"Erik said this was the first song he learned that made him want to get into performing, so I probably will tell that story and sing that song," he said.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:28 AM

A history of the annual Ole Time Fiddler's and Bluegrass Festival in Union Grove, N.C.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 11:01 PM


FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: The Chicago-based folk group The Horse's Ha opens for Joseph Arthur at the Old Town School Of Folk Music. The band's most recent album, "Of The Cathmawr Yards," is odd in a good way, blending a somewhat jazzy sound to indie-folk melodies. 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.; Lincoln Square. 8 p.m. $22, $20 for Old Town School members, or $18 for senior citizens and children.


A group of Ireland's top traditional musicians, dancers and singers visit Moscow for a special performance Friday, but for one of them, it's a case of unfinished business.
Seán Ó Sé is the biggest name in Irish traditional singing — a tenor who has been at the top of his game for close to five decades.

His pedigree goes back to the 1960s, when he performed with legendary composer Seán Ó Riada, a man who led a revolution in Irish music, whose reverberations are still felt today.

Ó Riada, who died at just 40 in 1971, had a seismic impact on Irish music in his short life. Classically trained, his creative genius fused drama, art, history, music and film, unleashing the centuries-old power and resonance of Irish music in new forms to its people, and to world acclaim.

His group, Ceoltóirí Chualann, had tradition at its core, but Ó Riada's formal arrangements gave the music a fiber and context never heard before, producing recordings of infinite and timeless value, and a legacy that gave birth to groups like The Chieftains.

Brought to the fore was Seán Ó Sé, whose singing is a signature of Ó Riada's recordings. Such was his popularity that after coming home from performances on the remotest of country roads in Ireland in the 1960s, Ó Sé remembers being startled to hear their music on the radio — from Moscow.

"You could get Radio Moscow late at night in Ireland. Tuning in, I was astonished to hear the group and myself singing! I remember being really moved and surprised at how far Ó Riada's music had reached out, and how it was seemingly popular in the Soviet Union, or at least on Radio Moscow," Ó Sé said.

Ó Riada's music had a radical edge. His score for the film, "Mise Éire," told the story of uprising against British rule. His music came to air in Moscow via Irish communist Michael O'Riordan, whose wife was also a noted singer.

"I knew Red Mick, as we called him. He was from near me in Cork. He sent Ó Riada's music to Moscow, and they put it on the airwaves. They played it many times, as I heard it often broadcasting from the U.S.S.R," Ó Sé said.

"It was planned to bring Ó Riada and Ceoltóirí Chualann to Moscow, but the trouble in Czechoslovakia in 1968 put paid to the plans," he said, referring to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia following the introduction of reforms by the government in Prague.

Years later, 73-year-old Ó Sé is making his first trip to the Russian capital. "I'll be thinking of Seán Ó Riada when I sing for the first time there," he said.

Unusually for a singer in the traditional idiom, Ó Sé had formal voice training before he began performing. Singers in the Irish "sean-nós," or traditional style, generally learn from tradition alone. "Some might even have been critical of such training, but it taught me how to take care of my voice and perform into my 70s," Ó Sé said.

His distinctive tenor voice will perform only traditional songs in Moscow, with all but one in the Irish language.

The group with him boast some of Ireland's finest traditional musicians, including current all-Ireland accordion champion, Pádraig King.

Ó Sé's visit was organized by local musician and Irish-speaker Yury Andreichuk, whose first visit to Ireland last August helped build new cultural bridges between the countries, including a storming concert by Irish accordion legend Joe Burke and his wife Ann in Moscow earlier this month.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:06 AM

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:08 AM

Jeez Amos you sure posted a lot of these!....anyway, all I wanted to say, is AT THIS TIME, in the forum,...there are no 'obits'!


Have a great time!

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:26 AM

Spoke too soon...there is an obit on the 'B.S.' side.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:27 AM

Great find there about Sean O Se going to Moscow, Amos. Thanks a bunch, where do you find this stuff?


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 10:33 AM

I have an aggregator looking for folk music news, but I only post clips of things which I think have some sort of special appeal here.

Unfortunately a lot of these articles are time-sensitive. Nature of "news", I guess.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 11:44 AM

Nowt so cool as folk... and that's no pipe dream
Young and trendy folkies are breathing new life into traditional music. Yes, really...

By Paul Bignell
Sunday, 29 November 2009S

There isn't an Aran sweater or a leather sandal in sight: a new generation of smart and chic British folk musicians is taking the music industry by storm. A music form long associated with pokey pub back rooms is moving centre stage at some of the nation's premier venues and festivals. Music experts agree that 2010 will be the year of the new folkies. Here is our guide to the ones to watch.

While bands such as Bellowhead are not yet household names, they can claim fans as diverse as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Glen Campbell and Frank Skinner, and are artists in residence this year at London's Southbank – a venue more normally associated with the London Philharmonic.

Guitarist Newton Faulkner, with his blond dreadlocks and edgy clothing, looks fit for the fashion catwalk rather than a folk festival stage. West London folkies Noah and the Whale have become NME darlings, their international profile boosted massively by the use of one of their songs in a car commercial in the US.

Though folk was marginalised by pop and rock in the 1970s, a glut of computerised music and a fragmenting recording industry have inspired moves in the opposite direction: players now want to return to traditional instruments and live performance.

"Because you can't get big record company advances any more, it's resulted in a nurturing of a folk-based music culture," said music critic Nick Coleman. "Groups like Bellowhead are so relatively successful because they are coming out of the folk tradition but not being bound by it. In the same way as the last folk-rock revival in the 1970s, bands were coming out of the tradition recognising its fundamental beauty, but knowing that you don't have to sound 100 per cent traditional."

This movement has been recognised by the Government, which recently gave the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) an annual grant of £400,000 to aid folk musicians in performing and recording.

Cecil Sharp House, the home of the EFDSS, houses recordings of folk music going back hundreds of years. Many modern artists visit the library to gain inspiration, including Blur's guitarist Graham Coxon who was at a gig at the house yesterday in memory of the folk guitarist Davy Graham who died last year....(Independent)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 10:57 AM

"The piano may do for lovesick girls who lace themselves to skeletons and lunch on chalk, pickles and slate pencils. But give me the banjo, when you want genuine music, music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whiskey, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose--when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!"

-- Mark Twain

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 01:14 PM

Rosebud Artists Depicted In New Hit Film "Cadillac Records" Chronicling The Story Of Chess Records
December 2008, Rosebud News

Legendary blues figures and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters are portrayed in major roles in the new hit film, Cadillac Records. The film chronicles the rise of Chess Records in 1950's Chicago. It was directed by Darnell Martin and features an ensemble cast including Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles, Mos Def and Jeffrey Wright. Muddy and Willie were both Rosebud artists until their passing in 1983 and 1992 respectively.

Muddy Waters was known as the Father of the Blues and his influence on contemporary music was massive. It was his hits that launched Chess Records and set them on the road to their legendary success. As a measure of his influence, his song "Rollin Stone" was not only covered by Jimi Hendrix but also provided the name for the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band and the magazine of the same name. He was also responsible for bringing a young Chuck Berry to Chess where his career was launched as well as influencing a generation of iconic artists from Bob Dylan to Led Zeppelin, Cream/Eric Clapton to AC/DC.

Willie Dixon's songs were a crucial component in the success of Chess Records. Willie worked closely with Muddy, Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and many more in the 1950's providing hit songs and frequently playing bass and /or producing. His work formed the bedrock of the blues, hence the title of Willie's biography, "I Am The Blues". Just a sampling of the diverse artists that covered Willie's songs includes Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, The Doors, Captain Beefheart, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Yardbirds/ Cream / Eric Clapton / Derek & The Dominoes, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Otis Redding, Aerosmith, Jeff Beck, The Monkees, The Pointer Sisters, Widespread Panic, The Who, The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Dizzy Gillespie, ZZ Top, The Black Crowes, BB King, Tom Petty, Styx, Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Steve Miller, Steppenwolf and Sting - and many more.

(From the website of the Rosebud Agency, which represents John Hammond and others).

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 09:14 AM

The Kingston Trio, reconstituted with new ingredients, plays in Riverside.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:11 PM

You write the lyrics and let them sing it for you. It's fun, but they don't sing very well.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 01:50 PM

Peter Yarrow sang "Puff, the Magic Dragon" at the memorial for Art D'Lugoff, pictured at right.

Village Gate stars thank D'Lugoff for faith in them

By Lincoln Anderson in The Villager

Legendary impresario Art D'Lugoff was remembered with warm tributes, music and comedy performances and pledges to fulfill his dream — to create a Greenwich Village Folk Music Museum — at a memorial on Sun., Nov. 22.

Fittingly, the venue was Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker St., the former site of D'Lugoff's renowned Village Gate.

Among the assembled stars were comedians Dick Gregory and husband-and-wife team Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, musicians David Amram and Peter Yarrow and the multi-talented Geoffrey Holder.

Also giving tributes were D'Lugoff's children, his son, Raphael ("Raffi"), and three daughters, Racheal, Dahlia and Sharon.

D'Lugoff died Nov. 4 at age 85. He opened the Village Gate in 1958 and, after a long, star-studded run, closed it in 1994.

After living for years on the Upper West Side, D'Lugoff moved to Riverdale four years ago.

Holder came out slowly and, standing with some effort, demanded that the house lights be turned up, and that the crowd give D'Lugoff a standing ovation. It was D'Lugoff's opening night, with a packed house, up in "Heaven's Gate," Holder explained — then pointed up.

Musical virtuoso David Amram thanked D'Lugoff for letting him be himself.

Amram quipped how D'Lugoff always stressed to performers to "be on time and end on time." As a trio of young Italian jazz musicians played "All of Me," Amram joined in, energetically chirping through two small flutes at the same time, one out of each corner of his mouth.

Noting he'll soon turn 80, Amram poignantly recalled how D'Lugoff gave him the chance to perform on the Gate's stage.

"Art always told me to not let anyone tell you who you are — that we all have a creative gift," he said, getting misty eyed.

After breaking the ice with some self-referential "You know you're old when..." jokes, Gregory spoke about how much D'Lugoff's support had meant to him. He noted he always got top billing, no matter who else was performing. Sometimes, he'd be on the bill with such stellar musical talents as Miles Davis and B.B. King.

"He wanted to give you more than your money's worth," Gregory said.

He recalled D'Lugoff as a man of integrity.

"The mob controlled everything," Gregory said of New York nightlife in the 1950s and '60s. "This was one of the few clubs that wasn't under mob influence."

Gregory said while blacks were accepted as dancers and singers, it was hard for them to break into stand-up comedy. But D'Lugoff, by giving Gregory a forum, helped pave the way for Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor, he said.

Yarrow said he owed D'Lugoff thanks for a bit of prescient advice.

"He told me I wasn't ready as a solo. If he hadn't, we would not have made it as a group," he said of Peter, Paul and Mary.

"I don't think anyone ever produced performers who were able to so much be themselves and be loved," Yarrow reflected of D'Lugoff.

He then gently sang "Puff, the Magic Dragon," strumming along on guitar, as the crowd, without any urging, took up the classic refrain.

Stiller and Meara also got their start at the Village Gate, though they admitted they bombed, before finding success at other local clubs.

"I'm glad to be here — I'm glad to be anywhere," Stiller joked. "I hate memorials — because I don't really feel too well, to tell you the truth."

City Councilmember Alan Gerson vowed to work to make the Greenwich Village Folk Music Museum a reality, though his term in office ends after this month.

Dick Gregory said he hoped a Native American would someday be president.

"As a kid who grew up in Greenwich Village, Art was larger than life," Gerson said. "And to be able to work on this museum with Art was a dream for me. ... I pledge that, in memory of Art D'Lugoff, and because it's the right thing to do — and it took us a little while longer, because he was a stickler and wanted to get it done perfectly — we will get it done, and get it done perfectly."

Paul Colby, founder of The Bitter End, also on Bleecker St., perched on a stool to steady himself as he spoke of his friendly rivalry with D'Lugoff decades ago. He noted The Bitter End is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"Art had his list, I had my list," Colby said. "My list — Carly Simon, James Taylor, Neil Young."

Wearing a red turtleneck, Oscar Brand, 89, whose folk-music show has aired on WNYC for 60 years, sang a selection of folk songs a cappella. Then Brand — who was blacklisted as a communist in 1950 — declared of D'Lugoff's political beliefs, "I believe that Art D'Lugoff was one of the good ones."

Like Colby and Brand, Elizabeth Butson, The Villager's former publisher, is a member of the board working to create the Folk Music Museum.

"I stood in line in '68 to see Jacques Brel, and then I stood in line again to see Odetta," Butson said. "The Village Gate was not just a club in the Village, it was the club in the Village."

Butson said the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce had planned to honor D'Lugoff with its second Greenwich Village Music Legends Award. Odetta got the first one last year. Instead, they will present the award in his honor to his family members, she said.

"The Folk Music Museum must be in Greenwich Village," Butson stressed. "Nowhere else will do."

D'Lugoff's son Raffi shared some of his father's colorful sayings. If dinner at a restaurant was only so-so, D'Lugoff would dub it "mamafuku." When someone in business had done him wrong, he'd say, "He should fall on his head." He would say of himself if he had reneged on a promise: "I'm a pisher.

"He took a big bite of life," Raffi said, "and he wanted to share it."

His daughter Dahlia said her dad called the club "the candy store."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 06:53 PM

The latest edition of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's newsletter reports that Dave --who is about to turn 89--will be honored at the Kennedy Center on December 6th in the Presidential Box with Michele and Barack Obama, honoring Dave, Robert de Niro, Grace Bumbry (opera singer) Mel Brooks and Bruce Springsteen. The awards are based on exemplary lifetime acheivement in the performing arts.

Dave and his wife Iola will be flying to BWI in from a performance of Dave's "Canticles" in Providence, RI for the luncheon on Dec 5, a formal dinner hosted by Ms. Clinton, and a White House reception on December 6.

This year has been the 50th anniversary of Brubeck's world-shaking album, Time Out, which featured "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" among other great cuts.

The oldest Brubeck son, Darius, has been playing to sold-out houses in London at "The Pizza Express". He's a Fullbright Senior Specialist in Jazz Studies. His siblings Chris, Dan, Matthew and Cathy are all involved in jazz as well.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 11:34 AM

President Obama praised five American performers and artists Sunday evening at the White House before they were honored at the Kennedy Center. Some of the President's personal recollections were the basis of his tributes, as he had grown up with these particular Kennedy Center Honorees as his cultural heroes. He intertwined his memories of concerts and movies with the impact the artists had on a generation.

"You can't understand America without understanding jazz. And you can't understand jazz without understanding Dave Brubeck." Obama introduced the first honoree, who is celebrating his 89th birthday today.

Obama recounted that his own father had taken him to see Dave Brubeck in concert during the few weeks in 1971 that he had spent with him in Honolulu as a young boy. It left a lasting impression. "I've been a jazz fan ever since. The world he opened up for a ten-year-old boy was spectacular."

Mel Brooks ever the comedian, interjected with a self deprecating comment when Obama introduced him with birth name, Melvin Kaminsky. The president quickly replied, "I'm trying to say something nice about you now. Please don't upstage me."

The president had plenty of material to retell about the producer and director's success, but he lamented, "many of the punch lines that have defined Mel Brooks' success cannot be repeated here."

Again the President told of a personal encounter. "I went to see Blazing Saddles when I was 10. And he [Mel] pointed out that I think, according to the ratings, I should not have been allowed in the theater. That's true. I think I had a fake ID. But the statute of limitations has passed."

In a more somber note Obama said, "In times of war and sacrifice, the arts and these artists remind us to sing and to laugh and to live. In times of plenty they challenge our conscience and implore us to remember the least among us."

Grace Bumbry, the legendary opera performer, is being honored 32 years after she performed at the first Kennedy Center Honors for her mentor, Marian Anderson. According to Obama, when she performed at the White House, it was said, "that she moved Jacqueline Kennedy to lean over and gently sing along the words to the President."

Although she gave her final operatic performance in 1997, Obama declared , "She remains the definition of a diva in the classical sense: a divine voice worthy of the heavens."

Robert De Niro needed no introduction, but Obama regaled the audience with the story that De Niro at age 10, in his school play , made a "rather unlikely debut in The Wizard of Oz as the Cowardly Lion." Since then the actor has performed in more than 60 films over 40 years.

The president remarked that "it is perhaps the great irony of his life… one of America's greatest cinematic actors is a man famously of few words off the screen."

Obama introduced Bruce Springsteen, as "the quiet kid from New Jersey who grew up to become a rock 'n' roll laureate of a generation." Obama continued, "in the life of our country only a handful of people have tapped the full power of music to tell the real American story ... with honesty, from the heart and one of those people is Bruce Springsteen."

Springsteen had been supportive of the Obama campaign and the President recalled watching him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial "when he rocked the National Mall before my inauguration." He seemed to reflect and continued, "On a day like that, I remember I'm the President, but he's The Boss!"

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 02:24 PM

You can't understand America without understanding jazz. And you can't understand jazz, without understanding Dave Brubeck. (Applause.) His mother was a classical pianist with high hopes for her son. And by the time he was four, he was playing himself. But by the time he was a teenager, he was tearing up local honky-tonks. Even his mother had to admit: "There is some hope for David after all." (Laughter.)
And perhaps it was World War II – his service in Patton's Army – that changed his sound, forcing him, as he said, to work the war out of his system by playing some "pretty vicious piano." Whatever it was, his sound – the distinctive harmonies and improvisations of the Dave Brubeck Quartet – would change jazz forever, prompting Time magazine to put him on the cover as the leader of a new jazz age.
Having brought jazz into the mainstream, he then transformed it, with innovative new rhythms on albums like "Time Out" – the first jazz album to ever sell more than a million copies and still one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time.
Dave Brubeck has never stopped reaching new audiences: Performing for Presidents from Johnson to Reagan; composing orchestral tributes to Martin Luther King and Pope John Paul II; and even in his 80s, dazzling jazz festivals across America.
And I know personally how powerful his performances can be. I mentioned this to Dave backstage. In the few weeks that I spent with my father as a child – he came to visit me for about a month when I was young – one of the things he did was to take me to my first jazz concert, in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1971, and it was a Dave Brubeck concert. (Laughter and applause.) And I've been a jazz fan ever since. The world that he opened up for a 10-year-old boy was spectacular.
And, Dave, for the joy that you've given millions of jazz lovers like me, for your six decades of revolutionary rhythms, you are rightly honored – especially today, on your 89th birthday. (Applause.)

Barack Obama at KEnnedy Center on Dave Brubeck's 89th birthday

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 01:17 AM

AMHERST – On Monday, Dec. 14, the Historical Society of Amherst will present a program by Sandy Lafleur on history through music and folklore.

Lafleur's passion is folk music, song and dance. She first discovered the beautiful sound of the Appacachian dulcimer while a student at the University of New Hampshire, when she built her first instrument from a kit. The dulcimer, a product of the Appalachian mountains, can be considered a true American folk instrument.

Today she enjoys playing at coffee houses, libraries and farmers markets, as well as teaching out of her Amherst home for an adult education program. She also performs at folk festivals throughout New England.

The meeting, held in the Vestry of the Congregational Church on the Green, is open to the public. The meeting time is 7:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served after the presentation.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 08 Dec 09 - 09:58 AM

If Mozart had an iPhone--a report opn the doings of the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra - no, I'm not making this up.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 09:13 AM

FAIRHOPE, Ala. — While several local spots offer live music on a regular basis, Fairhope does not have anything approaching the active music scene that's available across the bay in Mobile.

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion bring their folk, country, old-time, rock and blues act to a Thursday night show at the University of South Alabama Baldwin County Performance Center in Fairhope. Local favorite Grayson Capps will open the concert with a solo acoustic set. Photos courtesy of Dr. Music.
But during the past year, a number of special concerts have occurred, with little fanfare or publicity, which some people only learn about after the instruments have been packed and the musicians rolled on to the next town. Some of those acts have appeared at the tiny venue of Dr. Music on Church Street, where a number of national touring musicians have dropped in for an intimate evening of live music.

Thursday night (Dec. 10) offers a unique chance to catch some live music with deep roots in American folk music, when the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie and youngest daughter of Arlo will perform in a slightly larger venue at the University of South Alabama-Baldwin County Performance Center in Fairhope.

"Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion will break from a tour with Arlo Guthrie to show off their infectious mix of old-time music, country, folk and blues, " said Wade Wellborn of Dr. Music, which is sponsoring the show as a joint venture with USABC. "Sarah Lee and Johnny have a chemistry that brings out the best in each other. Her love for country and folk and his rock and blues interests mesh into an entertaining mix of guitar-playing prowess and purity of voice."

The musicians are friends of local musician Grayson Capps, who will open the show with a solo acoustic performance. Capps recently released his first DVD, "Live at the Paradiso," and tours nonstop, Wellborn said.

"The fact that he is breaking free from his band, The Stumpknockers, for this show is a real treat," Wellborn said. "Who knows what to expect besides a great evening of storytelling via song and spoken word."

Guthrie is the granddaughter of Woody, whose song "This Land is Your Land" has entered the national consciousness, and daughter of Arlo, whose Alice's Restaurant" was played in its amusing rambling storytelling entirety at noon this Thanksgiving Day on 92ZEW radio.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 04:25 AM

From Nawlins:

John Prine, Sarah Lee Guthrie and more music in New Orleans for Dec. 11-17
By Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune
December 11, 2009, 4:31PM
FRIDAY, Dec. 11
Sarah Lee Guthrie comes by her musical pedigree honestly — her father is Arlo Guthrie, her grandfather Woody Guthrie. Her own career in the family business didn't truly blossom until she met Johnny Irion, a South Carolina-born singer-songwriter, in L.A. The two discovered both a musical and romantic connection — they are now husband and wife. Their debut album, "Exploration," cast them as a harmonizing folk music duo with alt-country tendencies; they recorded their new album of children's music, "Go Waggaloo," with their two young daughters. Tonight at d.b.a. they share the bill with roadhouse blues-rock singer-songwriter Grayson Capps & the Stumpknockers.
Also, John Prine kicks off a two-night stand at the House of Blues with Iris DeMent. Spend an evening with the Radiators at the Howlin' Wolf NorthShore in Mandeville. Bonerama funks up Rock 'n' Bowl. Eric McFadden is at the Maple Leaf. Tipitina's hosts the "Soul Glo Christmas Jam" with the Soul Rebels Brass Band and DJ Soul Sister. At midnight, Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesa becomes "The Burlesque Ballroom" with a show by the Fleur de Tease burlesque troupe (admission is free, but reservations are required; call 553.2331). Nitzer Ebb headlines the Hangar. Christian Serpas & Ghost Town do honky-tonk at Ruby's Roadhouse in Mandeville.

Susan Poag / The Times-Picayune

Owen "Big Daddy O" Tufts celebrates his 60th birthday with a show Saturday at Ruby's Roadhouse.
Mount Hermon's Owen "Big Daddy O" Tufts deploys a deft touch when picking backporch blues on either the acoustic or electric guitar. On a series of utterly charming albums for the local Rabadash Records, he pairs his guitar with a warm, easy-going voice on both original material and a vast repertoire of covers. Tufts celebrates his 60th birthday on Saturday at Ruby's Roadhouse in Mandeville, backed by his New Revue consisting of Tim Ernest on sax, Keenan Knight on guitar, Maha Raja Martin on drums, Wendall Pearson on bass and Rabadash proprietor John Autin on keyboards. Because of Tufts' recent health scare — doctors found blood cluts in his lungs, but he's responding well to treatment — Ruby's will be a nonsmoking venue for the night.

Also, cross the Allman Brothers with the Radiators and the result might sound like the J.J. Muggler Band. The north shore institution currently includes founding bassist Calvin Huber, drummer Jude Lirette, guitarists Jay B. Elston and Tommy Chadwick, and keyboardist Wayne Lohr. Together they recorded "Hard Luck Town," the band's new CD of Southern rock, blues 'n' boogie; with special guest Brian Stoltz sitting in, as many as three guitars wail at a time. The J.J. Muggler Band celebrates the new release with a Saturday night show at The Kamp in Harahan.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:35 PM

THe Jazz Times gives coverage of the incredible gala event at the Kennedy Center honoring Dave Brubeck, as well as The Boss and Others.

"It's only once in a blue moon that the Kennedy Center Honors, the Washington institution's annual lifetime achievement awards for American performing arts, salutes a jazz musician. The last instance was in 1996, when Benny Carter was honored—and that, allegedly, took President Clinton's intervention, since the revered-in-jazz Carter was unknown to most of America. This year, however, the Kennedy Center found that rare overlap of genuine innovation and popular acclaim in Dave Brubeck. The pianist and composer was feted in Washington on Dec. 6, his 89th birthday, at a ceremony (taped by CBS for broadcast) attended by a cross-section of Hollywood royalty and D.C. power players including President and Mrs. Obama, Vice President Biden and House Speaker Pelosi.

Brubeck was part of a five-person honor roll that also included rocker Bruce Springsteen, opera diva Grace Bumbry, comedian and film director Mel Brooks and actor Robert De Niro. The tribute to Brubeck was the evening's second (after De Niro's), with a presentation anchored by fellow pianist Herbie Hancock.

"Dave Brubeck is the reason I don't have a day job," Hancock began, detailing how he'd intended to become an electrical engineer before hearing Brubeck's music. He also highlighted the importance of Time Out, Brubeck's most famous and revolutionary album. "Time Out was a whole different spin," Hancock said. "That a jazz record could top the charts was amazing, but when you think about those difficult time signatures? Americans can't dance to 5/4!""

..."After a short film celebrating Brubeck's life and work, from his father's California ranch to his quartet with Paul Desmond to his elder statesmanship, mistress of ceremonies Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg took the stage to announce an all-star musical tribute: a quintet featuring trumpeter Jon Faddis, altoist Miguel Zenón, pianist Bill Charlap, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Bill Stewart. They played a few of Brubeck's best-known tunes, beginning with "Unsquare Dance" and "Kathy's Waltz." Faddis stood out from the group on these, playing shining virtuosic lines at breakneck speed against Zenón peppery bebop phrases. On the CBS monitors, Michelle Obama could be seen gently swinging in her seat.

When it came to Brubeck's biggest hit, "Take Five," the ensemble grew considerably. A curtain rose to reveal the U.S. Army Field Band's Jazz Ambassadors, a group of 13 horn and reed players, who joined the quintet in an impressive arrangement of the tune. Then, on a sliding stage, came a piano with Hancock in the driver's seat, soloing in a typically complicated and breathtaking harmony. (McBride later confessed that he was lost within one bar.)

The ranks swelled yet again for "Blue Rondo à la Turk." This time the new arrivals were Brubeck's four sons—Darius (piano), Chris (trombone), Matthew (cello), and Dan (drums). With 22 musicians onstage, it sounded like a full (and sublime) symphony orchestra was soaring through the 9/8 groove, particularly with McBride and Matthew Brubeck (who played a splendid arco solo) now forming a string section. Just before the song closed, the whole group segued seamlessly into a chipper rendition of "Happy Birthday" that led right back to the "Blue Rondo" coda.

"He's 89 years old today," Hancock had said of Brubeck in his intro, "But when he sits down to play, he turns on that smile and loses 40 to 50 years just like that." Though Brubeck wasn't playing, the smile he flashed as his tribute ended was at full blast. Its rejuvenating powers weren't an exaggeration."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:32 PM

From Chicago:

Folk Songs and Stories of the Great Lakes Region-A Road Scholars Program by Lee Murdock
Sunday, December 13, 2009 @ 1:00 p.m.

Lee Murdock has uncovered a boundless body of music and stories in the Great Lakes region (16 CDs and 2 books so far). There is an amazing timelessness in this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard work, hard-living, ships that go down, and ships that come in. The music is grounded in the work-song tradition from the rugged days of lumberjacks and wooded sailing schooners. Murdock comes alongside with ballads of contemporary commerce and revelry in the grand folk style. Making folk music for the modern era, Murdock's work is a documentary and an anthem to the people who live, work, learn, and play along the freshwater highways of North America.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Colette Leeser-Freeman, 815.385.0036.


McHenry Public Library
809 Front St
McHenry, IL 60050


Illinois Humanities Council

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 12:08 PM

From Wilmington NC:

"Something similar is happening Friday at The Soapbox, when Johnny Irion – husband and musical partner of Sarah Lee Guthrie, who's the daughter of Arlo and granddaughter of the late Woody – performs as part of an Americana extravaganza with Zeke Hutchins and Jay Brown of singer-songwriter Tift Merritt's band. (Hutchins, whose brother lives in Wilmington, is Merritt's husband.) Headlining the bill is acclaimed Raleigh-based bluegrass act Chatham County Line.

"Zeke and Jay have played on all of my records and Chatham County Line has played on most of them," Irion said during a phone interview from The Berkshires in western Massachusetts, where he now lives. "I feel real lucky to still have that connection."

It's all part of a four-date regional tour of holiday shows. Irion will open with a solo set, followed by a few songs with Hutchins and Brown; an acoustic set by CCL; and then a more rocked-out finale where everyone will join together. It'll be the first time the gang's all been together in about three Christmases, Irion said: "We started doing this in like 1999 or 2000. I would come up from Columbia, (S.C.), where I was living at the time, and every Christmas we would do a couple of shows and either record or do jam sessions in the Triangle … It was always a challenge to be ready for that, like, a whole year has passed and what have you learned? And can you hang?"

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 11:30 PM

...The answer, of course, is Moses Asch. This month marks the 104th birthday of Asch, who founded Folkways Records more than 70 years ago along with Marian Distler. One of the most valuable musical, audio, and cultural resources of the last century, Folkways Records aimed to document the sounds (and lack of sounds) of the universe. That included titles like Sounds of North American Tree Frogs (1958), Sounds of Steam Locomotives (1956), and Sounds of a South African Homestead (1956).

It also included folk music, not just from the U.S., but from all over the world. Here's how Asch explained the importance of this music: "Since folk means people, and this in turn means all of us, folk represents all of us. Folk music reflects…a people's culture, its heritage, its character." Over the years, Folkways Records introduced the world to voices like Lead Belly, Mississippi John Hurt, and Pete Seeger. In 1952, the massive six-album collection "Anthology of American Folk Music" put Folkways on the map for good and changed the face of popular music forever. That compilation turned the likes of Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Jerry Garcia, Jeff Tweedy, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith on to folk music, in particular the blues and country sounds of rural America. It was the first time most people had even heard of artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and the Carter Family, and the effect was gargantuan. (In fact, as I sit here next to my own copy of "Anthology of American Folk Music," with its six CDs and its ghostly essay booklet, I can still sense the collection's power, and it gives me chills.)

When the Smithsonian acquired Folkways after Asch's death in 1987, they agreed to continue Asch's tradition of always keeping all the label's releases in print, regardless of record sales. In total, Folkways Records released over 2,000 recordings under Asch and, since the Smithsonian's acquisition, over 300 more have been put out.

Music lovers owe it to themselves to check out Folkways Records. Here are some other excellent releases from the label, in no particular order, that show the enormous scope of its astounding discography:

Music of the Carousel (1961)
Sounds of Sea Animals (1955)
Blind Willie Johnson, 1927-1930, Blind Willie Johnson (1965)
Angela Davis Speaks, Angela Davis (1971)
American Favorite Ballads, Vols. 1-5, Pete Seeger (2009)
Dust Bowl Ballads, Woody Guthrie (1964)
Dillard Chandler: The End of an Old Song, Dillard Chandler (1975)
Negro Prison Camp Worksongs (1956)
Church Songs: Sung and Played on the Piano by Little Brother Montgomery, Little Brother Montgomery (1975)
Watergate, Vol. 1: the Break In (1973)
Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs (1990)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 12:12 PM

Rohecter/Webster area, NY:

Boston-based Lindsay Mac is not your average folk singer-songwriter strumming a guitar. She uses a cello, which she straps on like a guitar and then proceeds to strum and pluck it while singing. She'll be showcasing tunes from her albums, Small Revolution and Stop Thinking, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Harmony House, 58 E. Main St., Webster. Tickets are $18 ($15 advance). Call (585) 328-3103 or go to

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 09:15 AM

Book Review: Chicago Folk: Images of the Sixties Music Scene – The Photographs of Raeburn Flerlage

"Many books documented the folk music scene of the 1960s, but none with this unique focus on a growing city, growing music scene and talent that would live on for decades.

Through photographs by Raeburn Flerlage, Chicago Folk: Images of the Sixties Music Scene brings back memories of the many great performers who came to town for the University of Chicago Folk Festivals. Through the book's photos, we're brought back to a time when live music and accessible performers were a common occurrence.

Chicago Folk: Images of the Sixties Music Scene puts Chicago in the spotlight, including great photos of Bob Dylan playing at Orchestra Hall in 1963. Pete Seeger, Win Stracke, playing along with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan… all this really happened, and is brought back to life in this photo history. With 150 images, including some at the Old Town School of Folk Music, which lives on, we sense the vibrancy of Chicago as an urban folk scene, attracting performers from around the nation.

Flerlage excels at candid photos of performers creating the music and revealing the energy surging through audiences. Although much of this music remains accessible to us today, online and through programs like Chicago's Midnight Special on WFMT-FM, the photographs and chronology of folk music through the decade brings the '60s back to life in an extraordinary way. The culture, clothing styles, music halls and small clubs...."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM

From the Wall Street Journal:

"...It's no secret that the commercial standing, even the viability, of the recorded album has been severely challenged in this decade by the rise of the single digital download, but that overarching trend is not inhibiting the vitality of historic American roots music CDs and boxed-sets. This year's releases from the archives of country music, folk, blues and gospel have often been audio statements designed as keepsakes, elaborate in presentation and annotation, and virtually always revelatory in sound quality—even when they're targeting younger listeners raised on low-fi MP3s.

One Grammy nominee for "Best Historical Album," Rounder's boxed set of Woody Guthrie cuts derived from recently rediscovered master recordings made in 1944 ("My Dusty Road"), comes packaged in a replica of the folk singer's beat-up suitcase—a one-off shape for a time when fitting on record retailers' shelves is not the key consideration it once was. A second nominee in the category, Hip-O Select's 5-CD collection of blues-harmonica giant Little Walter's Chess Records recordings, is an example of an alternate approach—very simple packaging, but completist, multitake archival content.

Both sets exhibit startlingly new levels of audio presence and both are also, in one sense, outliers, since it's not folk and blues that have dominated this year's key reissues, but early hillbilly music and gospel. The celebrated reissue engineer and producer Christopher King pinpoints some reasons: "The blues, for instance, have been done, redone and done again, whereas the hillbilly and gospel stuff is still more or less untraveled territory; it's been scraped a little bit, but it's never been really fully conceptualized and painted the way that it should. There's probably twice as much hillbilly material as blues and quite possibly three times as much gospel that's still untapped. Secondly, there are all of these hot young artists who are playing in the old-time string band style now—Old Crow Medicine Show, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the East River String Band—making the style cool for younger audiences."

Mr. King, through his firm Long Gone Sound Productions, based in Virginia, works with such historic-roots-music labels as Old Hat, Tompkins Square and Britain's JSP, and he has a reputation for sonic mastery large enough that JSP's boxed set "J.E. Mainer: The Early Years" has the legend "Transfers by Chris King" plastered across the cover. (That set is the first exhaustive exploration of the driving late-1930s recordings of the singing fiddler and his associates, who are considered a key missing link between old-time string band music and bluegrass.)

"It's an art, not a science," Mr. King suggests. "You'll actually hear a little more noise on the new 'Gastonia Gallop' collection of hillbilly records made by cotton-mill workers, and on the 'In the Pines' and the Red Fox Chasers CDs I engineered, than you would have heard on LPs of old-time North Carolina hillbilly music [which all three contain] 20 years ago, or the 'noise-reduced' CDs of 10 years ago. But you're also going to hear much more audio information. We'll leave a little dirt in the bathwater to get the baby sparkling clean; people accept that today. My goal is to re-create the actual sound and ambience of the studio, to be in that room with the artists and hear them playing as they did."

A third Grammy nominee for historic album, "Take Me to the Water," is every bit as much a book of striking, annotated photos of full-immersion baptisms from 1890 to 1950 as an audio collection of gospel music reflecting that experience, and it's the product of Dust-to-Digital, a young company that specializes in elaborate thematic, multimedia roots-music releases. (The much-praised 2003 historic gospel set "Goodbye, Babylon" was an earlier release.)

"Most of our titles," Dust-to-Digital's Atlanta-based president, Lance Ledbetter, noted in a phone interview, "start with the historic audio, with the question of how much of it is still unavailable, and what's the story behind it that we would be trying to communicate—that people could enjoy, learn from and have a great experience with. 'Take Me to the Water,' however, started with old photographs collected by Jim Linderman, who'd been a fan of 'Goodbye, Babylon.' I realized that there were tracks that would capture that same life-changing moment as the photos, and give the listener—or whatever you want to call the person who might purchase this—an experience. It took two years, going to record collector after collector to put that all together, but it's got just about every prewar song about baptism ever made."

A second worthy reissue in the continuing gospel revival, Tompkins Square's "Fire in My Bones," takes up from about the point where the baptism collection leaves off, moving from the riverside to the streetcorners and storefronts, c.1944 to 2007.

One charming Dust-to-Digital production, "Victrola Favorites," released in 2008, demonstrated how much the visual side can add in re-engaging 21st-century audiences not just with old-time music, but with its original presentation. Arguably an art book with audio as the addendum, it lovingly archives the effluvia of the early recording industry itself—label and cover art, advertising and catalog graphics of the 78rpm era, across national boundaries and roots-music genres. Tellingly, Mr. Ledbetter's focus on historic multimedia was sparked by the elaborate rerelease of the 1951 Harry Smith "Anthology of American Folk Music," in 1997. He was 21 at the time, and remains attuned to these collections' ability to cut across age barriers...."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 12:49 AM


The new season of World Music Wednesdays at Old Town School of Folk Music returns with Pilsen representing. Fandanguero and Son del Viento (both on the recently released CD "Pilsen Soundtrack 1.0") open the season, performing the son jarocho style with a contemporary flair. The series highlights Chicago's diverse cultural community with music, dance and art of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. 8:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. $5 suggested donation; 773-728-6000,

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 09:29 AM

Dan Schatz, Kendall, Jacqui, Utah, and Grammy

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 01:00 PM

Although his "Anthology of American Folk Music," released by Folkways in 1952, became essential to America's folk music movement of the 1960s, Harry Smith remained on the fringes of culture. Or, rather, on the avant-garde, as Rani Singh and Andrew Perchuk explain in their new collection of essays about the idiosyncratic filmmaker-artist-bohemian, "Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular."

Born in 1923, Smith created his folk music anthology from his own collection of 78s. He was raised in Oregon, where his interest in music began. He moved to San Francisco, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and other Beat writers, and he began working in experimental film. Eventually, Smith moved to New York City; he lived -- and died, in 1991 -- at the Chelsea Hotel.

In art circles, Smith got attention for his film work, such as "Heaven and Earth Magic," made from 1957-1962; the opening sequence is above. All the images were cut from 19th century catalogs.

Tonight, Singh will be at Book Soup at 7 p.m. to talk about the new book on Smith; it includes essays by Greil Marcus, William Moritz, Paul Arthur and Robert Cantwell. Jim Kweskin, of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, will join Singh.

If you can't get to Book Soup, another event for Smith is coming up on Jan. 28. Patti Smith -- a friend who also lived in the Chelsea -- will be at the Hammer Museum, celebrating the book's publication.

-- Carolyn Kellogg, in the LA Times blog

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 01:35 PM

From Wyoming:

'Folk Music' class starts Jan. 12 at Casper College

Saturday, January 9, 2010 7:48 AM MST

A new class at Casper College will look at the literature and history and provide a musical analysis of folk music.

"Folk Music" will be held on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. The first class will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Cross-listed as ENGL 2490-01 and MUSC 2490-01, Folk Music will be team-taught by Casper College instructors Jay Graham and Pat Patton.

According to Graham and Patton, students "will study folk music in English n its poetry, its form, its music, and its place in historical periods from the Middle Ages to the 21st century."

"Folk lyrics and tunes in the tradition, singer-songwriters, important soloists and groups, types and topics of songs, including highlights of the folk movement of the 1950s and 1960s will be studied. Analyses of poetry and music and their interrelation in the communication of meaning will be included as well," said Patton.

"In addition to lecturing, we will use recordings of folk musicians past and present, and will also perform "live" in class," noted Graham.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 10:49 PM

Battle Creek, MI:

"It was the pluck of a banjo and the strum of an acoustic guitar that carried American settlers over the Appalachians and created our culture of good-time rusticism.

About 12 years ago, a group of musicians banded together to preserve and promote that history and its modern evolutions. One of the Great Lakes Acoustic Music Association's greatest tools in that effort is its annual Cooper's Glen Music Festival.

The two-day event is now in its ninth year, said Tom Nehil, a GLAMA board member. This year's event kicks off Jan. 22 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo.

"(GLAMA) was conceived perhaps more as a bluegrass music organization but that continues to expand," Nehil said. "The breadth of musical interest continues to increase. The purpose of the festival is to celebrate folk music; acoustic music of many different types."

Some big names will take the stage this year.

Friday's headliners are Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, hailing from Berkely, Calif. The pair of versatile musicians is nationally known for its folk styles and ability to play multiple instruments.

Dual-headliners Saturday are Joel Mabus of Kalamazoo, an Illinois-born musician who's made a name for himself nationally as a "maverick" in bluegrass music, and The Dillards, a staple in the folk scene for 40 years.

With 19 albums under his belt, Mabus plays a wide swath of Americana from jazz to blues to bluegrass and enjoys throwing those genres together for a unique take on old standards.

International Bluegrass Music Hall-of-Famers The Dillards first rose to fame with multiple appearances on "The Andy Griffith Show" as the troublesome The Darling Boys. They also were featured on movie soundtracks throughout the 1960s and 70s.

While Nehil said it's an opportunity to present local and national-level performers to West Michigan audiences, Cooper's Glen also hopes to train new players in further efforts to preserve the folk heritage. Workshops throughout the festival will teach musicians how to play bluegrass instruments and the Great Lakes Luthier Guild will display its handmade instruments and demonstrate its craft. A handmade guitar will be raffled off and kids' programs will be offered. At the end of every day all musicians are invited to bring their instruments and play with fellow folksmen in a jam session."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 02:55 AM

Voice of America transcript on how the Lomax Family ""saved American Folk Music from extinction."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 03:41 PM

ohn Gorka entertains packed crowd with folk music
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by Kristine Cannon on January 21, 2010

John Gorka plays to a packed crowd at the Coconino Center for the Arts on Sunday. Gorka was in town for a one-night performance as he continues his tour through the US. Chad Sexton / The Lumberjack
Rolling Stone magazine dubbed him "the pre-eminent male singer-songwriter of the new folk movement" back in 1991. With more than 160 tickets sold for a 200-seat auditorium, John Gorka performed at the Coconino Center for the Arts (CCA) Jan. 17.

With his country, acoustic, folksy sound, Gorka booked his show at the CCA, where many loyal fans were expected to attend.

Matt Ziegler, owner of Greenhouse Productions and coordinator of the event, said Gorka was scheduled to meet the needs of folk music fans in Flagstaff as well as to promote and showcase events in diverse genres.

"[Gorka is] a big name in the East Coast folk scene, [where there's] great singer-songwriter stuff," Ziegler said. "Shows like that always tend to do pretty well out here; there's a lot of folk music fans. I mostly was familiar with his stature. He wouldn't be at that level if he wasn't a quality musician."

Originally from Pennsylvania, Gorka began his singer-songwriter career in the late '70s, before touring throughout the '80s all the way to the present day — nationally and all over Europe. Despite the longevity of Gorka's career, he continues to emphasize the importance of weaving simplistic guitar- and piano-based music with lyrics critics described as poignant, heartfelt and witty.

"I think the strength of what I do comes from what I have in common with others, not what is different," Gorka said. "There are songs about love and loss, about chasing your dreams, soldiers, war and peace, crime and punishment, love, nutrition, barnyard animals, and big behinds … so there are some universal themes."

John Gooby, a Flagstaff resident, has been a fan of Gorka for 18 years. He arrived nearly an hour early for the show and said he compares Gorka's musical styling to those of modern-day singer-songwriters.

"I like [Gorka] mainly for his stories, which have absolutely beautiful words," Gooby said. "If you like the singer-songwriter tradition — like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper — he's more on the folk side than that, but it's the same type of stories he creates."

According to Ziegler, Gorka's music is authentic and always has a story to tell.

"He's carrying on a really old tradition of being a troubadour, traveling around the country and sharing his music with people — something people were doing 100 years ago," Ziegler said.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 11:11 AM

Gerald McCabe, a furniture designer whose passion for woodworking and love of music led to the creation of the Santa Monica folk music institution McCabe's Guitar Shop, died Sunday in Eugene, Ore., two days after suffering a heart attack. He was 82.

McCabe left his namesake operation before it became celebrated for the intimate concerts that have been held there for decades, but in its earliest days the store, on Pico Boulevard a block west of its current location, played a crucial role in the evolution of the Southern California folk music community.

The narrow storefront became a magnet for folk fans and musicians who had few other places to gather. It was a place to find song books and Folkways albums, get a guitar repaired or sample an instrument.

Guitars, banjos, mandolins and exotic hybrids hung on the walls, each bearing a printed flier with the warning, "Refrain from clutching to bosom." It was a rule that was rarely enforced, enabling patrons such as a 13-year-old Ry Cooder to access a new world.

"Musicians were in there all the time," the guitarist and record producer said this week. "I'd take the bus home from school and drop in in the afternoon and sit there and basically wait to see who'd come through the door. A lot of bluegrass players came through. That's where I first encountered the White brothers, Roland and Clarence.

"It was fascinating for me to see people sit down and play something really good that you wanted to learn. The idea that you can sit a couple of feet away from somebody who's good and watch them do it, that's a way to be imprinted in that kind of work.

"If it hadn't been for McCabe's, I don't know what I would have done. I might not have been able to learn enough soon enough, and I might have gone over to sacking groceries or delivering pizza. God only knows what."

But as McCabe's stature grew and its ambitions expanded into offering music lessons and then concerts under McCabe's partners Walter Camp and Bob Riskin, its founder kept much of his focus on a design career that became increasingly prominent.

A free spirit, he also restored and sailed a tugboat, built a home in Santa Monica Canyon, taught design at area universities and art schools, became a yoga instructor and repaired Citroen automobiles.

"Jerry was just a singular person," McCabe's current owner, Riskin, said this week. "He had great enthusiasms."

Gerald Lawrence McCabe was born in Long Beach on Jan. 30, 1927. After graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School, he served in the Navy during World War II. He earned a bachelor's degree at UCLA and a master's at Cal State Long Beach, both in fine arts.

McCabe opened a custom furniture business in Santa Monica in the mid-1950s. His first wife, Marcia Berman, was a successful folk singer, and soon her friends were bringing their instruments to McCabe and asking him to repair them.

That inspired him to open the guitar shop, at 3015 Pico Blvd. Camp became the first employee and introduced a table, chairs and coffee pot. An ethnomusicologist named Ed Kahn had the book and record concession.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 04:04 PM

In 1967, when Bob Dylan was 25 years old, the VIllage Voice ran an in-depth review of his work and his place in American poetry, if any.

It is reprinted here as published and it is of interest to Dylanophiles of both those days and these.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 04:18 PM

Man, this is how the folk scene seemed to Gene Shepherd of The Village Voice in 1958, just as the boom was swelling:

June 11, 1958, Vol. III, No. 33

Dig the Folk

By Jean Shepherd

"Some night when the espresso tastes flat and you tire of hearing third-rate poets shout above fourth-rate jazz groups and you happen to be near a radio, I would suggest you dig a few sounds that are truly closer to the pulse beat of America than anything around today.

Most of the stuff that passes for Americana is as contrived and phony as a class-B English-movie version of Chicago mobsters. It has a dated self-consciousness that would be amusing if it weren't so embarrassing. The average urban "folk"-singer, for example, would be totally unintelligible to a genuine hill-country audience of today. The folksiness they sell to hip-type, guitar-playing, subway-riding, undergrad neo-folk has all the authenticity of an Amsterdam street band playing New Orleans jazz.

It is pretty hard being a genuine nineteenth-century folk midway through the twentieth century, especially if you live on MacDougal Street and majored in business law at Syracuse U. So what can you dig, man, if you want to really get at the roots of now and fell the way it is? The way it really is...It's tough being beat when you can only wail after office hours and on the two-week vacation. Like it doesn't make it. Ya' dig? Excuse the use of the vernacular; sometimes one gets swept away by the sheer emotion of the now and the loveliness of it all.

Getting back to the radio, you'll find some strange and exotic stuff away down at the far end of the dial. Move the pointer away from NYC and QXR some night late and start fishing around between the loud local stations at the high-frequency end of the band. Where the static level is high and the living is not easy. You'll hear more of what America really sounds like today than anything I know. Stuff will come in from tank towns in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Michigan, and Minnesota. Everywhere. I'm not referring to music particularly, but to the whole beat and sound of each station as it jabbers away to the local rednecks. I listened for three hours one night to a station in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and after a while I had the feeling that I was truly eavesdropping on something I shouldn't have heard.

TV will never have this flavor, since even local stations all over the country rely on net-produced shows and films with only an occasional local newscast, but radio is today more and more the voice of individuals in specific places as network radio dies and the locals come into their own. The old rules of formality have been knocked down and the 250-watters are getting less inhibited by the day. One night I monitored a guy doing a play-by-play broadcast of a softball game somewhere in West Virginia, in W. Va. Patois, sponsored by a furniture dealer who did his own spots and whose daughter played first base for the strong local nine. Only in America.

It is really a gasser to hear what a local news commentator on a Texas station has to say about the Supreme Court and desegregation. He drawls on and on and sounds exactly like twentieth century Texas. He is followed by two guys who play records of people called the Delmore Twins and Granpa Copas. Between discs they hawk plastic Christ statues that glow in the dark in "real-life" color, a pocket Bible with a metal cover guaranteed to protect the heart from bullet wounds and stabbings, a quilt-making kit, plastic ukuleles with instructions "that can be understood even by those who can't read," wallets autographed by Elton Britt, and books for "serious" students of sexology (must be over 21, we trust you). They go on all night in two languages and 150 percent modulation.

Man, dig the folk. They have many sounds and different beats and it isn't hard to pick up on some of this Vox Humana. The one thing it is, if nothing else, is authentic. Most local stations work on such narrow budget margins that they can't risk getting out of touch with the listeners. They rarely rely on jazzy (and largely phoney) polls to find out what is being dug by the citizenry; hence what they dish out is pretty close to the main stream. It is all pretty hairy stuff, rich and ripe, but as American as the "folk" can ever get."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 10:44 PM

Its been nearly half a century since Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were fixtures in New York's burgeoning Greenwich Village folk music scene, and the two performed together during Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous March on Washington. According to Mojo, they will reunite Wednesday at the White House for a celebration of the music of the Civil Rights Movement hosted by President Obama.

ob Dylan and Joan Baez will both play Washington later this week almost 50 years after they first sang during the Martin Luther King-led Jobs and Freedom March in 1963.

In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement, is set to take place on Wednesday (February 10) and will see the pair join a bill that already includes Smokey Robinson and John Mellencamp.

Reports that Dylan and Baez will perform together currently remain unconfirmed. The concert will be streamed live via

Of course, the former lovers/musical partners have performed together on several occasions over the years. Here are three of their finest moments:

Dylan plays the March on Washington, 1963 with Joanie

Newport Folk, 1964

Doing "Blowing in the Wind in 1975

Together again? Sounds like a gas...

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Subject: Old Town School of Folk Music i News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 08:28 PM

The Old Town School of Folk Music is planning an $18 million expansion across the street from the school at 4543 N. Lincoln Ave. The Old Town School purchased the vacant land to build an additional facility with classrooms, dance studios and a 133-seat performance venue. Groundbreaking is expected later this year after additional fund-raising.

Scott Hargadon, a past board chairman and current board member, told the Sun-Times that the new building would mark a dramatic turning point for the school. "The current main building used to be a library. To have music and dance classrooms built specifically to our needs with soundproofing and sizing would be a tremendous asset for the school," said Hargadon. Its primary home currently serves 7,000 students a week and still turns many students away. The theater seats 400 and held 160 concerts last year. Hargadon said the new performance venue will be a "very flexible performance space for concerts and dance" with removable seats.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 09:25 AM

Discovering Folk Music book release, appearances

Stephanie P. Ledgin


From indigenous music to Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen singing "This Land Is Your Land" side-by-side at the pre-inaugural concert for our first African American president—folk music has been at the center of America's history. International award-winning author Stephanie P. Ledgin, of Alexandria Township, delivers an exciting new overview of folk music--its history, personalities and more--in her latest book, Discovering Folk Music.

Several area book programs and signings have already been scheduled, with additional ones anticipated (noted below). There are a number of local connections in Ledgin's book, including a paragraph about and a photo of the Hunterdon Central Fiddle Club, taken at the main branch of the Hunterdon County Library, and a photo of the Greek youth dancers at the annual Opa! festival in Flemington. Furthermore, there are several Rutgers' notables involved in the book in a variety of roles: JibJab's Gregg Spiridellis ('93), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president Terry Stewart ('69), former editor of Targum/blacklisted journalist Norm Ledgin ('50), the last person at Rutgers to interview Paul Robeseon ('19), and the author Stephanie P. Ledgin ('74).

Central (US)

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Subject: RE: Musical News: Guthries in Alexandria
From: Amos
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 07:22 PM

THIS FRIDAY, EVERYTHING'S coming up Guthrie as the "Guthrie Family Rides Again" onto the Birchmere's stage. Paterfamilias Arlo Guthrie is not only building bridges between the generations; he's forging bonds between his father Woody's (reverent pause) unpublished lyrics and music written by the likes of Wilco, Billy Bragg and the Klezmatics. "Guthrie Family Rides Again" features three generations of Guthries including Arlo's son, Abe; his daughters Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee; and their kin. Sarah Lee, who recently released a children's folk album called "Go Waggaloo," spoke with Express about the concert.

È EXPRESS: So how many Guthries are going to be onstage at one time?
È GUTHRIE: It's the whole family, 13 of us, plus an honorary family member who's been drumming for my dad since 1975. I mean, there's my brother, two sisters and a lot of kids. We've got an auto harp, a ukulele a 12-year-old on clarinet. It's just the whole bunch of us singing a lot of songs that have recently come out of the archives, thanks to my aunt.

È EXPRESS: There are far too many proficient musicians in your family. This hardly seems fair.
È GUTHRIE: You don't need lessons for folk music! You just play it. When I was a kid, my dad was on the road, and the music I was exposed to was my brother's rock band. And people would get together to play nightly in my house at all times. When I started having kids myself, the same thing happened. My 7-year-old, Olivia, goes on the road with us the whole time. Once, she showed up at a gig because the baby sitter couldn't make it. So we gave her a harmonica.

È EXPRESS: Each generation is carrying the torch lit by Woody, it seems. Is that daunting?
È GUTHRIE: It's an honor to be furthering his legacy. I'm encouraged by it. We've built a pretty good foundation here; we keep building up the house. We realize it's kind of a neat thing that Arlo had a career, made music and had a beautiful time on the road for 40-plus years. And we each developed in our own way. We'll be here when he goes.

È EXPRESS: So it really is something of a family reunion.
È GUTHRIE: This may not happen again. That contributes to the vibe. But the idea of joining the generations and using folk as a means of doing so, that contributed to this show, even my record.

È EXPRESS: How did "Go Waggaloo" come about?
È GUTHRIE: Smithsonian Folkways asked if there could be a kid's folk album that wouldn't make you want to jump out of your minivan. So that was something we wanted to avoid, you know. I mean, I didn't realize this world existed until I made this record.

È Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; Fri., 7:30 p.m., $55; 703-549-7500.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 12:15 PM

The upcoming River City Ohio Blues Competition will feature acts both familiar and new, coming from near and far.

"We've luckily been able to develop a reputation around the country, really, as one of the best competitions," said Steve Wells, longtime producer and emcee of the event. "One of the things that makes our competition unique is we don't have any geographic restrictions."

While 10 of the bands do hail from Ohio - including Doc Dalton & The Healing, from Caldwell - five more states are represented among the seven other acts performing Friday and Saturday at the Lafayette Hotel on Front Street in Marietta.

Wells said the lack of geographical limitations has occasionally drawn in a band from another area thinking they can easily win the small-town competition and the local Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society's sponsorship to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

"It doesn't exactly work that way," Wells laughed.

The bands will be vetted by a panel of judges that includes Sean Carney, from the Columbus-based Sean Carney Band that won the prestigious Memphis competition in 2008; as well as Dennis McClung, a two-time winner of the local competition; and local musician Jonathan Seymour.

For Travis Weisenborn, singer and guitarist for the three-member Weisenborn Project from Athens, winning would be icing on the cake.

"Really what my goal is is to share my interpretation of modern blues with people," he said. "I think that 'modern blues' encompasses all the different genres that have been included in the blues since the beginning."

Weisenborn said his band - which formed on the campus of Ohio University and includes bass player Tyler Lovell and drummer Jeff Mellott - incorporates aspects of jazz, funk and other blues offshoots and brings them back into the blues fold.

Some people might think of the blues as a downhearted style of music, but Weisenborn said that's only one aspect.

"You can convey all kinds of different messages - happy blues, sad blues, junk blues," he said.

The Weisenborn Project has played in the Pioneer City before at the Marietta Brewing Company and has also performed in Athens, Zanesville, Lancaster, Dover and New Philadelphia. This will be their first competition.

Meanwhile, Gallipolis-based Magic Mama Latte is making its second trip to the local competition.

"It was such a great experience," lead singer Jenny Walker said of the group's appearance in 2009. "We made it to the finals and didn't win, but just being in the competition raised our game."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:25 PM

MEMPHIS, TENN.-- The future of folk music is in good, young hands.

Many of the more than 1,000 muscians that gathered at the Folk Alliance International conference last week were young, fresh and female and amazingly talented.

The conference is held every year so new and old established performers can impress critics, concert promoters and agents in almost constant, round-the-clock concerts.

The experience leaves promoters with notebooks bulging with tips on acts to bring into their festivals and clubs and fans giddy and exhausted from a five-day folk feast. It's one place where performers not only allow, but encourages photos and videos.

The festival had old pros like John Gorka, Patty Larkin, Jonathan Edwards, James Talley and Archie Fisher jamming with kids half their age. The surprise was the performance by the reclusive Willis Alan Ramsey, who all but disappeared after one amazing, influential album in 1972. His big news was that he is recording his second album.

Acts from previous years have gone on to fame and fortune, which is why artists travel from all over and put on their best.

There are large shows and smaller venues that hold about 50 people. But the fun begins every night at 10:30 p.m. with more than 100 shows held simultaneously in hotel rooms, hallways and stairwells.

Performers get to know audience members by name, talk about intimate.

Jim Blum, disc jockey of the Folk Alley show at WKSU-FM in Kent, looked exhausted.

"We all have to remember to open our schedules to discover someone we've never seen before," he said. "These performers are so refreshing because they are young and optimistic. They have not yet been crushed by the music industry."

The term "folk music" is a loose one. Performers played blues, rock, country, ethnic, bluegrass and world music. Canada was well-represented because that nation paid for dozens of performers to attend to spread the word.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:43 AM

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 12:19 PM

February 25, 2010

Pick of the Week: Folk music exhibit in Yarmouth

For every gal who refuses to get rid of her macrame handbag and every guy still drooling over Joan Baez, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod's newest exhibit is sure to be a hit. Running Wednesday through March 21, "Forever Young: A Celebration of Folk Music in New England" chronicles folk music in the region through photos and historical memorabilia provided by the New England Folk Music Archives, a group started in March 2009 to celebrate the rich musical history in Boston and surrounding areas.

Images from legendary venue Club 47 and several Newport Folk festivals, as well as those by photographers John Byrne Cooke, Dick Waterman, Melissa Bugg, Walter Petrule and Byron Lord Linardos, will be included. Throughout the monthlong show, Cape musicians including Tripping Lily, Mark Erelli, and Toast and Jam will perform. Through exhibits like this, the archives group hopes to preserve the legacy of the uniquely American sound of musicians such as Baez, Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan, who worked in the genre in the 1960s and brought folk music into the 21st century. On March 20, WCAI personality Naomi Arenberg will discuss music and education at 7 p.m. and will host the "Cape Celebrates Folk" concert at 8. Ticket prices for musical performances vary.

If you go:

What: "Forever Young: A Celebration of Folk Music in New England."

When: Wednesday through March 21

Where: Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth

Admission: cost varies, depending on event

Information: 508-394-7100 or

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 10:31 PM

From the online WSJ:''

"Airing on PBS stations this month (beginning Saturday) is "Rounder Records' 40th Anniversary Concert," a celebration of the storied and thriving Massachusetts-based independent music label. Artists performing range from bluegrass superstars Alison Krauss and Union Station to New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, rocking actress Minnie Driver, multigenre banjo virtuoso BŽla Fleck and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas. They're all on the Rounder labelÑin some cases, for decades. (A companion CD with additional performances included is being released Wednesday, and an extended DVD on May 4.)

For the most part, independent record labels come and go, or get swept up into larger music-making conglomerates with new management, often with little institutional memory at all. Remarkably, RounderÑbegun in 1970 with a recording of old-time banjo player George Pegram, and the home last year of the Grammy-winning Album of the Year (Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's "Raising Sand")Ñis still helmed, if with a much larger executive staff, by the same three roots-music aficionados who started up the company with no industry experience whatsoever. The '60s folk-music revival was waning, and the whole range of music that Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin loved was becoming frustratingly hard to find.

In a recent phone interview, Mr. Irwin recalled: "Basically, this was my college roommate and my girlfriend of the time. We started out in the same three-alcove apartment, as a living and working collective, going to festivals to hear all the music together, traveling on that VW bus, seeing Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe and Doc Watson at Club 47 in Cambridge. We didn't even own a tape recorder. We were fans and hobbyists, thinking of the labels we'd known, 'Well, if they're not going to do it, maybe we could make available music that we like and think others would.'

"Early on, especially, we felt it was a mission; we were aware of how much music of the past was around that wasn't available, and how much was being made that needed to be preserved and shared. We would go to NAIRD [the National Association of Independent Record Distributors] with little notebooks and ask people 'Where do you go to get an LP made?' and 'What does it cost?' just trying to learn."

In "The Never-Ending Revival" (University of Illinois Press, 2008), author Michael F. Scully tracks how the firm came to realize that the performers themselves, whether "hippies" or "southern good ol' boys" on the face of it, wanted their music to be heard, to reach wider audiences, to be commercially successful. He described to me, in a separate interview, how the "Rounder Founders" proceeded from there:

"They went on to raise that roots-music flag high. The sheer quantityÑover 3,500 records by nowÑand the quality of their releases demanded attention for it. They made it plain that roots music was not just 'old stuff,' or even old-sounding stuff, but could be vibrant and beautifully recorded, and they put out records by working musicians who were ready to tour in professional shows, rather than just reviving older recordings. Unlike most post-folk-revival roots labels, they were never a one-genre label; they were more like a 50-genre label, and they showed that 'roots music' could be cool stuff. When you do all that, and reach as many people as they have, you start changing the concept of what roots or folk music is in the modern world."...

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 12:55 PM

Artificial Intelligence Brings Musicians Back From the Dead, Allowing All-Stars of All Time to Jam (Click for PopSci story).

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 11:52 AM

The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc. is proud to announce a day long Festival of Traditional Music at The Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC on Saturday March 13. The festival will honor Oscar Brand, whose WNYC radio show "Folksong Festival," now in its 65th year, is the world's longest-running radio show with the same host.

The festival features local performers who represent their living ethnic traditions and performers who have become steeped in those traditions. It's ideal for the whole family, and provides a very rare chance to hear such diverse, high quality performers all in a single venue. There will be blues, gospel, old-time string band, songs of love and war, sea shanties, songs by Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and others, as well as plenty of opportunities for singing and jamming throughout the day.

11 a.m. - 12 noon: Free family concert,. Bring the kids.
12:30 - 5:30 p.m: Workshops, mini-concerts, open mike, singarounds, jamming
7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.: Evening Concert featuring: Joyful Noise, Norris Bennett, Bobby Kyle Band, and Rafael Gomez

Tickets are $15 for the whole day or $10 for either the afternoon or evening individually. Children (accompanied by an adult): 13-18 are $5 all day; 12 and under are free. (There are no tickets required for the free family concert.) More information is at or by calling 718-672-6399. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.brownpapertickets/event/98896. The festival is at The Renaissance Charter School, 35-59 81st Street (at the corner of 37th Avenue), in Jackson Heights, Queens, 2 blocks from the 82nd Street Station of the #7 Line.

Oscar Brand is a much loved and respected folksinger, writer, and interpreter. Over the course of his 65-plus-year career he has released 93 albums. He roamed the country with Woody Guthrie, concertized with Leadbelly, and promoted folksingers of all kinds, such as Pete Seeger. Oscar has hosted the Folk Song Festival on New York's WNYC ever since its first show on December 9, 1945.

This event is co-sponsored by The Renaissance Charter School and has been produced with a generous grant from State Assemblyman Jose Peralta.

Visit the website:

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 02:40 PM

Chicago fixes to memorialize Steve Goodman, who wrote "City of New Orleans", "You Never Even Call Me By My Name", and "Go, Cubs, Go!":

According to the Tribune today, "Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., introduced the measure to have the Lakeview post office, 1343 W. Irving Park Road, renamed for Goodman. The lawmaker said the bill is supported by the entire Illinois congressional delegation, the Old Town School of Folk Music and musicians including John Prine, Bonnie Koloc and Corky Siegel."

Word is if everything moves along there would be renaming ceremony in a few months.

Quoting the Trib, a post office works because, "James Bau Graves, executive director of the Old Town School of Folk Music, judged it 'entirely fitting' since the business of everyday life inspired much of Goodman's work."

Works for me. I didn't know much about Steve's music until that magical summer of '84 when I found out he was sick, then I learned what a legend he really was in the music business. Goodman died only a few days before his beloved Cubs clinched in Pittsburgh that year.

Later this summer, I'll post some fun about "Go Cubs Go" and how Steve roped Jimmy Buffett into being a Cub fan, but I'll keep it to one story today.

My personal favorite of Goodman's Cubs songs is "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request". There is a line in there where the dying fan is laying out his funeral wishes and says, "have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly in right". I asked Keith about it and he was proud to be part of the song.

"Steve Goodman was ill and I was in the clubhouse was day and the phone rang," said Moreland. "Usually there are no phone calls in the clubhouse. Yosh Kawano, our longtime clubhouse man, called me and said, "Keith, there's a call for you." I said we didn't take calls there, but he told me it was Steve Goodman. Yosh knew who Steve was. I did, too, because I'm a country music fan and I had listened to a lot of music he had written. Steve said, 'Hello Keith. I'm Steve Goodman and I'm a songwriter,' and I told him, 'Steve, I know who you are.' He said that was great and told me he had written a song that mentioned my name and wanted to know if he could play if for me. I said sure and he strummed it and there was the line about come to Wrigley Field and watch Keith Moreland drop a fly ball. He said, "Would that be all right?" I told him absolutely yes, that it wouldn't bother me, because I had dropped my share of fly balls, the same as any player who goes out there and I always tried my hardest to catch everything. It's a great song, Steve was a great guy, and it doesn't bother me in the least."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 09:15 PM

Smithsonian Folkways: Carrying Their Corner

They do that and a lot more- consider their upcoming release, a three CD/DVD set that makes up Volumes 7, 8, and 9 of the unprecedented, comprehensive and GRAMMY-nominated ÒMusic of Central AsiaÓ series.

The series includes traditional music from former Soviet republics and Afghanistan. The Aga Khan Music Initiative, co-producers of the series, is funding music schools and recordings to keep the traditions alive.Ê Volume 7 features new recordings of classic poems set to music by master musicians from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Volume 8 features cross-cultural, cross-discipline, and cross-continent collaborations between chamber music pioneers Kronos Quartet. Afghani composter and rubab master Homayun Sakhi and Azerbaijani group Alim Qasimov Ensemble. Volume 9 highlights a brilliant collaboration between five instrumentalists demonstrating the musical legacy of the Mughal Empire founded five centuries ago by Emperor Babur.

Here's the cool thing- you can listen to the set in it's entirety at the Smithsonian website.Ê Please support this great institution- Folkways continues to "pick it up and carry it on"

Marti Jones & Don Dixon: Dueting

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Subject: Banjo Renaissance?
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 01:42 PM

A banjo renaissance?

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 03:36 PM

"The spirit of an open-hearted, old-fashioned family reunion is being summoned to life for this year's 51st edition of George Wein's Newport Folk Festival®, which begins July 30 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Casino and continues July 31 and August 1 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.

Tickets go on sale worldwide on Friday, March 26, at 10 a.m. at

George Wein's New Festival Productions continues to build on the festival's historic past by featuring emerging young artists alongside some of folk music's most venerable names. This year's festival features Levon Helm's Ramble on the Road, John Prine, Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers, Yim Yames (of My Morning Jacket), The Swell Season, Andrew Bird, The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Doc Watson & David Holt, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Calexico, Blitzen Trapper, Richie Havens, Sam Bush, The Low Anthem, Tim O'Brien, The Felice Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, Tao Seeger Band, AA Bondy, Chris Thile's Punch Brothers, Dawes, Nneka, Horse Feathers, Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three , Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore, Sarah Jarosz, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, O'Death and Liz Longley. More artists will be announced at a later date.

Many of these musicians have performed and recorded together or crossed paths along the musical highway and they see this storied festival as being so steeped in cultural and historic importance that they liken it to "coming home" to the very roots of the folk-music tradition.

Wein has, since 1959, found Newport a scenic and hospitable venue for presenting the very best of this country's blues, roots, gospel, country, bluegrass, Cajun and traditional folk music. Last year's 50th anniversary edition paid tribute to the great performers who wrote the proud history of this festival, notably co-founder Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Arlo Guthrie and Mavis Staples.

"Newport is like a second home to me and I always look forward to the next visit," said Wein. "After celebrating the 50th anniversary with Pete and 17,000 fans, I can't wait to see the magic unfold over the three days."

"There is something so perfect about being in Newport near the water and that old stone fort – all gathered in to sing with family and friends – that keeps me wanting to come back year after year," said Yim Yames. "It's like the walls of the fort are arms, and I feel secure when I am near them, protected by the spirits there – past, present, and future. And, I like to hear our voices bouncing off those old stone walls as my eye drifts to the sailboats on the seashore and the people just smiling and taking it all in."

All tickets for George Wein's Newport Folk Festival go on sale Friday, March 26, at 10:00 a.m. online, by phone and by mail. General admission tickets (single-day passes only) also can be purchased in person at the Newport Visitor Information Center, located at 23 America's Cup Avenue."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 02:22 PM

Richard THompson talks about folk music.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 02:13 PM

PEGGY SEEGER FAREWELL BOSTON CONCERT Tomorrow night at 7:30 at International Community Church, 557 Cambridge St., Allston. Katie McD opens. Tickets $20 at 617-265-9200.

Asked how she would describe her long, rich, and profoundly important career, Peggy Seeger is stumped. "Whoo,'' she says, and "Oh, my.'' Then the 74-year-old folk singer answers slowly, intimately.

"First of all,'' says Seeger, who is returning to Britain after living in Boston for four years, "I take utter and complete pleasure in singing the songs. One of the nicest things about folk songs is that I can sing them by myself, wherever I am. And the words and music are so completely physically satisfying to me that you just want to share that. Essentially what you're trying to do is wedge these songs into other people's heads, the way they're wedged into yours.''

Peggy Seeger, song-wedger. It is revealing that she presents herself this simply, and not as the musical revolutionary she is.

Seeger, who gives a farewell concert tomorrow night at International Community Church in Allston, began her career in the early 1950s, when female musicians were still expected to perform in chiffon gowns, singing daintily while the menfolk played the instruments. But she was a multi-instrumentalist, accompanying herself on guitar, banjo, dulcimer, autoharp, piano, and concertina. And her haunting, silk-and-steel voice was anything but dainty.

She played a pivotal role in launching folk revivals in the United States and Britain; helped popularize Appalachian folk music; wrote folk ballads so organic, like "The Ballad of Spring Hill,'' that many believe they're traditional, and political songs that are sung on picket lines and at protest rallies. In one of musical history's sweetest serendipities, she is both the author of the song that helped launch the feminist movement, "Gonna Be an Engineer,'' and the subject of Ewan MacColl's adoring love song, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.''

She was certainly to the folk manner born, raised in the Seeger family with musician brother Mike and famous stepbrother Pete. Her parents were ethnomusicologist Charles Seeger and Ruth Crawford Seeger, an acclaimed modernist composer who wrote brilliantly simple transcriptions for seminal folk songbooks by John and Alan Lomax, B.A. Botkin, Carl Sandburg, and her own children's books.

"I just osmosed folk music,'' Seeger says with a laugh. "It was sponged onto me as a child. There were no radios or televisions in our home, but you could always hear music. My mother taught piano, so there was always someone playing in the daytime. And in the evenings, there was lots of piano playing or singing, and people visiting, like Woody [Guthrie] and Lead Belly [Ledbetter].''

After two years at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Seeger rambled through Europe. Folklorist Alan Lomax was trying to create a British version of the Weavers, Pete Seeger's hugely successful folk group, and asked her to join. The band bombed, but introduced her to MacColl, the British folk lion...

(More at news site)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 09:18 AM


Anniversaries clocking in at 25 years traditionally require gifts of silver. The Plank Road Folk Music Society isn't asking for any silver tea sets, platters or fine, delicate necklaces for its 25th anniversary celebration. All the music enthusiasts ask is that you attend the 25th Anniversary Party. And who can resist a party, especially when there's music involved? The daylong event kicks off with a few hours of jamming and sing-arounds; then there's a break for dinner and the night concludes with a concert by Mark Dvorak, above. Fans of folk and bluegrass music shouldn't miss this soiree. 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, First Church of Lombard, 220 S. Main St., Lombard; free for PRFMS members, $10 for nonmembers; 630-325-7764 or

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 04:45 PM

One of these is Johnnie Mac, a 40-year-old Australian singer-songwriter who, after some initial success playing with bands in Sydney in the late 1980s, decided to take his act to the streets of Europe. ("What are you doing that for?" he said his family asked him. "Are you mad?") For years, he roamed the Continent, exploring the newly opening east and making it as far as Siberia and Mongolia.

Today, after decades of busking, he's back in Australia, where he runs, a Web site that offers advice to street performers of all types (and also sells his $47 eBook, "The Busker's Bible").

(Article in the NYT here)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:42 PM

Susan Reed, a singer and harpist-zitherist who was a star of the post- World War II folk music scene, died Sunday. She was 84.

Reed died of natural causes at a nursing home in Greenport, N.Y., said publicist Dale Olson.

By age 19, Reed was such a regular on New York's small stages that Life magazine called her "the pet of Manhattan nightclubbers" in 1945.

Part of a new wave of folk-based performers, she often sang such traditional fare as "Danny Boy" and "He Moved Through the Fair."

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Her favorite instrument in the mid-1940s was a green and gold Irish harp, she told Life. Reed became known for her work on it and a battered zither she often favored.

With a repertoire that embraced Irish ballads, she appeared on radio and television and toured the country. One stop was the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, where her balladry "captivated," The Times reported in 1952.

One collaborator was poet-singer Carl Sandburg, a family friend who helped introduce Reed to folk music.

She released several albums, recording such folk classics as "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" and "Greensleeves."

Along with a number of other folk music performers, Reed was blacklisted in the late 1950s for having "the temerity ... to actually stand for something," according to the All Music online database, and she largely faded from the limelight.

Born Jan. 11, 1926, in Columbia, S.C., she was the daughter of Daniel Reed, an actor and playwright, and Isadora Bennett, a press representative for dance pioneer Martha Graham.

Growing up, Reed was introduced to Irish folk music by members of Dublin's Abbey Theatre Company, who stayed with her family when they came to the United States.

When she was 22, she appeared in her only feature film, 1948's "Glamour Girl," as a backwoods folk singer who comes to the big city to perform.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:24 AM

Danbury, CT:

Peter Yarrow has made his voice a vehicle -- to spread the sounds of folk music, to protest the war in Vietnam, and to encourage kids to be kind. And the words of the most familiar songs he's written, and of those he's performed with Peter, Paul and Mary, are etched in hearts around the world.

Yarrow brings his songs and guitar to Newtown May 22 as a guest at the season finale of the Flagpole Radio Cafe at Edmond Town Hall Theatre.

"Singing is an experience in openness and vulnerability -- vulnerability in a positive sense,'' Yarrow said in a phone interview recently. "If we're not closed down, if there are no walls, it's very meaningful."

Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and the late Mary Travers began their collaboration in New York City's Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Much of their repertoire addressed the country's most pressing social issues. They performed at some of the crucial moments in the country's history, like Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington and national war protests.

"It was an extraordinary time of dedication and community and tenacity," said Yarrow, of the anti-war and social rallies in which the trio joined. "We were fueled by a level of energy that was pretty astonishing. For some of us, it's really never abated.''

(Local web news)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 May 10 - 06:48 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) Ñ On a Friday night 50 years ago this week, folk singer Jackie Washington stepped up to the tiny stage of Bill and Lena Spencer's new coffeehouse.
He was Caffe Lena's first performer, and thousands of singers and countless songs later, the coffeehouse started by the artsy couple from Boston is a folk music icon. On May 22, a half century plus a couple days since it opened, the 85-seat venue Ñ considered the oldest continuously operating coffeehouse in the United States Ñ will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a concert by Arlo Guthrie, who has described Caffe Lena as "a national treasure."

Guthrie, whose hits include "Alice's Restaurant" and "City of New Orleans," played at Lena's early in his career and at a few fundraisers held for the coffeehouse over the years. He's headlining the anniversary concert being staged at a 550-seat theater at Skidmore College, located in this horse racing and resort town 30 miles north of Albany.
Mark Moss, editor of Sing Out!, the 60-year-old folk music magazine, called Caffe Lena "almost indescribably significant" to the folk music scene, then and now.
"The core of this music really is about community," he said. "Caffe Lena has created and sustained a community around it."

The venerable coffeehouse is located on the second floor of an old building set amid a bustling downtown entertainment district lined with bistros, bars and boutiques. The entrance, tucked between a restaurant and a comic book store, leads to a narrow, well-worn wooden staircase. At the top, the L-shaped room is jammed with small tables, with a kitchen in the back where coffee, tea and desserts are prepared.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 30 May 10 - 09:54 AM

Best Bet: Hinton is gone, but festival to go on in Poway
By PAM KRAGEN - | Posted: May 30, 2010 12:00 am | No Comments Posted | Print
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POWAY ---- Although San Diego folk music pioneer Sam Hinton passed away last fall, his legacy lives on next weekend with the return of the annual Sam Hinton Folk Heritage Festival to Old Poway Park.

Hinton spent 56 of his 92 years in La Jolla (where he was a biology professor at UC San Diego), and during his long, productive career he recorded a dozen solo albums (some 200 songs) of American folk songs and instrumental pieces. Following the death of his wife in 2005, Hinton moved to Northern California (where he died last September), but his influence on the local music scene was so important that the San Diego Folk Heritage organization renamed its annual folk festival in Hinton's honor in the mid-2000s.
"It's difficult to overestimate the impact that Sam had on music in San Diego," Dick Jay, chairman of San Diego Folk Heritage, said following Hinton's death last fall. "He founded the San Diego Folk Song Society more than 50 years ago, and it's still going strong. The musical programs that he presented at area schools for dozens of years gave kids an appreciation for traditional music. And he was a mainstay of the San Diego Folk Heritage festivals, so much so that we named our annual event for him."

As a special feature of this year's festival, event host Ken Graydon will perform a tribute to Hinton at 12:30 p.m.

This year's festival, running from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 5 will feature live music on the main stage at the park's outdoor Tanya Rose stage. Local folk singer Ken Graydon will emcee the show and perform the opening and Hinton tribute set, with eight other performers presenting 30-minute sets all day.

Also throughout the day, Allen Singer and Dane Terry will lead workshops on "finding your inner guitar" and harmonica-playing. A contra dance will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in Templar's Hall with live music by Ranting Banshee. And in the Porter House, the Storytellers of San Diego will perform tales for all ages throughout the day, including American Indian tales, train stories, historical tales and stories from south of the border.
For those who want to continue the celebration, there is a $10 evening program at 7 p.m. in Templars Hall where the Storytellers group will perform spooky tales for grown-ups.
Old Poway Park is at 14134 Midland Road in Poway. All festival events except the evening storyteller program are free. Call 858-566-4040 or visit

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Subject: On Music and the Mind
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 12:18 PM

A scientist explores the connections between minds and music, something every folksinger knows a great deal about.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 07:03 PM

YEEEHAW!!! Telluride Bluegrass Festival makes you tap your feet and shake your booty!

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 09:10 AM

Croton-on-Hudson Ñ Even though they were hot and sweaty, festivalgoers rose in the near 90-degree heat to give folk singer/activist Pete Seeger a standing ovation Saturday at Clearwater's 41st annual Great Hudson River Revival.

People drove, took the train or were shuttled in by bus to attend the world's largest environmental festival, formed by Seeger, which featured an activist area, marketplace, workshops, demonstrations and, of course, music. People came to the fest to support its cause, but anyone in the crowd will tell you what they really came to hear was Seeger.

Seeger walked onto the Rainbow Stage at 11 a.m. with The Power of Song, a group of 10 young adults between the ages of 16 and 22, and opened with a song from the Broadway musical "Rent."

"He still has it," said Polly Whiterhorn, 58, of Great Neck. "I've been a fan of Pete's almost my entire life. Folk music is in my blood, and he's such a force in folk music."

A few songs later, Seeger performed a rousing rendition of Lorre Wyatt's and Jimmy Reed's "Sailing Up, Sailing Down," which got the crowd back up on its feet, with many taking pictures.

Later, he left the stage and headed over to the Circle of Song tent, near the working waterfront, where he enjoyed listening to other singers and songwriters perform and joined in with the crowd.

Many festivalgoers took brief sails on the sloops Clearwater and Mystic Whaler, while others kayaked.

People on all kinds of boats listened to the music from the river, while farther down the beach, some enjoyed a swim near their campsites.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 10 - 05:29 PM

ssociated Press - June 23, 2010 12:14 PM ET

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - Folk music icon Bob Dylan will perform at this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

Buffalo Chip Campground owner Rod Woodruff says Dylan is scheduled to perform on Aug. 10.

It will be the first concert at Sturgis for the 69-year-old Dylan. Woodruff says Dylan has been a huge influence on modern music and that it's an honor to have him on stage at Sturgis.

Dylan is a Minnesota native who got his start in Twin Cities coffeehouses. He later moved to New York and became part of the burgeoning folk scene. After a New York Times music critic praised his act, Columbia Records signed him to a recording contract.

Other acts scheduled at the 70th annual Sturgis rally include Ozzy Osbourne, Kid Rock, Motley Crue, Buckcherry and ZZ Top.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 02:36 PM

Deseret News, Salt Lake:

"Folk-music legend Baez amazed at her own longevity
By Scott Iwasaki
Deseret News
Published: Sunday, July 4, 2010 3:00 p.m. MDT

The Grammy Award-winning Joan Baez emerged from the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, after playing coffee houses at Cambridge, to become a folk-music legend and a political activist icon.

Baez will make a stop in Salt Lake City and play at Red Butte Garden on July 7.

Baez is amazed at how long she's been working.

"When you start out you don't think about the future, unless you are a planner-aheader," Baez said during a phone call from her home in Woodside, Calif. "I never thought about it. And if I had, I'm sure I wouldn't have thought I'd be around this long singing."

Last year, PBS's "American Masters" aired "How Sweet the Sound," the first official Joan Baez documentary, which is available in a DVD/CD package from Razor & Tie.

Baez said she was surprised at all the early coffee-house footage of the documentary.

"It was astounding that somebody was around with a camera," Baez said. "I don't remember filming the stuff in the coffeehouse in Cambridge.

"Some woman had that footage in her freezer," Baez said. "When they were researching and found half of (the footage), someone said 'There was a woman who worked with us. She might have something.'

"And she did," Baez said. "And it was pristine."

Story continues below

The documentary explores Baez's interest in activism, which she says has become more focused in the past decades.

"I started attending to my family more," she said. "(This) is something I didn't do too much of in the '60s and '70s. Now I have a 97-year-old mom and 6-year-old grandchild."

Baez said connecting with her family is more important to her than any political cause at the moment.

"I think it's important to let people know that," she said. "These are the things that interests me. Various causes, yes, because they are foundation of my beliefs and they never changed. I'm sure I will support more causes in the future, but I'm not searching for one right now.

"Because I know what kind of sacrifice it will be, and if am I willing to make that sacrifice," she said. "Before I just did it."

When Baez decides to tour, she feels a responsibility to make her live shows enjoyable.

"We try to do an evening of (audience) expectations and my own expectations," she said. "The point of the evening is always keeping the choices fresh. Whether I've been doing the songs for 50 years, or whether the songs are brand new and people haven't heard them before, they have to be fresh sounding or people will not be interested.

"If we can make an evening when no one looks at their watch, then that's how we're going to judge it."

Also, Baez said she feels more relaxed on stage these days.

"Something I never felt when I was younger, is the pleasure of going out there and singing," she said. "For many years I didn't have that pleasure. I had too much stage fright, I had too much responsibility. I was trying to save the world and wasn't enjoying walking out on stage."

Stage fright?

"When I was younger it ruled my life," Baez said. "It was pretty extreme. And now it's not there at all."

If you go

What: Joan Baez and Guy Clark

Where: Red Butte Garden Amphitheater, 300 Wakara Way

When: July 7, 7 p.m.

How much: $32-$37

Phone: 801-585-0556


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:09 PM

Taking music seriously: How music training primes nervous system and boosts learning
July 20, 2010 (Phys.Org)

Those ubiquitous wires connecting listeners to you-name-the-sounds from invisible MP3 players -- whether of Bach, Miles Davis or, more likely today, Lady Gaga -- only hint at music's effect on the soul throughout the ages.

Now a data-driven review by Northwestern University researchers that will be published July 20 in Nature Reviews Neuroscience pulls together converging research from the scientific literature linking musical training to learning that spills over to skills including language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion. The science covered comes from labs all over the world, from scientists of varying scientific philosophies, using a wide range of research methods.

The explosion of research in recent years focusing on the effects of music training on the nervous system, including the studies in the review, have strong implications for education, said Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature perspective, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.

Scientists use the term neuroplasticity to describe the brain's ability to adapt and change as a result of training and experience over the course of a person's life. The studies covered in the Northwestern review offer a model of neuroplasticity, Kraus said. The research strongly suggests that the neural connections made during musical training also prime the brain for other aspects of human communication.

An active engagement with musical sounds not only enhances neuroplasticity, she said, but also enables the nervous system to provide the stable scaffolding of meaningful patterns so important to learning.

Click for full story.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:57 PM

In a wonderfully strange episode of Theme Time Radio Hour , Bob Dylan recited Whitman's "I Hear America Singing":.

Sheer wow.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 03:11 PM

Tao Seeger performs at Newport 2010. Click for story.

Good to see the next generation taking up the torch!


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Subject: RE: Musical News: Old Town School Expands
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 09:27 AM

August 5, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music broke ground Thursday on a new $18 million facility.

Musicians joined local politicians and Old Town School officials at the new site Thursday morning. It's located right across the street from its current campus in the 4500-block of North Lincoln.

The new building will add 27,000 square feet to the school, creating its third facility in Chicago.

The expansion is expected to add 250 new jobs at the school and in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

(Copyright ©2010 WLS-TV/DT)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 01:03 PM

"For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of "the Savory Collection." Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.

After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever. Some of these remarkable long-form performances simply could not fit on the standard discs of the time, forcing Mr. Savory to find alternatives. The Savory Collection also contains examples of underappreciated musicians playing at peak creative levels not heard anywhere else, putting them in a new light for music fans and scholars.

"Some of us were aware Savory had recorded all this stuff, and we were really waiting with bated breath to see what would be there," said Dan Morgenstern, the Grammy-winning jazz historian and critic who is also director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. "Even though I've heard only a small sampling, it's turning out to be the treasure trove we had hoped it would be, with some truly wonderful, remarkable sessions. None of what I've heard has been heard before. It's all new."

After making the recordings, Mr. Savory, who had an eccentric, secretive streak, zealously guarded access to his collection, allowing only a few select tracks by his friend Benny Goodman to be released commercially. When he died in 2004, Eugene Desavouret, a son who lives in Illinois, salvaged the discs, which were moldering in crates; this year he sold the collection to the museum, whose executive director, Loren Schoenberg, transported the boxes to New York City in a rental truck. ..."

New York Times

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Subject: RE: Musical News:Marbelhead's Me&Thee
From: Amos
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:04 PM

"Every September there's a new blast of musical energy and excitement on Mugford Street in Marblehead. (Massachusetts, U.S.)

The Me & Thee Coffeehouse, which has offered the best in national and international acoustic music since 1970, begins yet another spectacular season on Sept. 17.

Opening night brings a performance by the much acclaimed Cambridge band, Session Americana (left). This band recently played the Marblehead Festival of the Arts and graced the Me & Thee stage last fall as well. This group of six talented musicians is often referred to as a "roots supergroup."

An additional show on September 24 will feature Grammy Award winner, Tim O'Brien. The uncanny intersection of traditional and contemporary elements in O'Brien's songwriting, his tireless dedication to a vast and still-expanding array of instruments, and his ongoing commitment to place himself in as many unique and challenging musical scenarios as possible has made him a key figure in today's thriving roots music scene. Tickets are $16 in advance or $18 at the door.

On October 1, the Me & Thee is proud to present Garnet Rogers. Rogers enthralls his audiences with his virtuoso guitar playing and entertains with witty stories in between songs.

October 8 brings Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion to the coffeehouse. Their folk-rock music has been described as authentic, timeless and harmonious. The musical richness and psychological depth of their initial collaboration, the fittingly titled Exploration, is irrefutable proof that the duo bring out the best in each other.

Jill Sobule makes her Me & Thee debut on October 15. Sobule rose to fame on the strength of her 1995 hit single, "I Kissed a Girl."


Boston Globe

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 05:52 PM

Jac Holzman remembers the day Bob went electric and says some intelligent things about it.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 10:24 AM

A review of a bio of Bob Dylan which is an amusing read in itelf.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 09:19 AM

Interview with Rambling Jack Elliott.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 02:29 PM

Excerpt from the book "Bob Dylan in America" in the NYT.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 03:19 PM

Cape Cod:

HARWICH — A rarely used and little-known wooded hollow just steps away from the heart of Brooks Park will soon be filled for two days with folk music as part of the Harwich Cranberry Festival.

The music will feature up to 20 performers, including the locally popular Parkington Sisters, the Ticks, Randy and the Oak Trees, Squidda, the Flakes, Katie Flynn, and Cape Cod bluesman George Grizbach.

The first day of music, on Saturday, Sept. 18, is called Cranberry Jam.

Sponsored by radio station WOMR (Outer Most Radio, 92.1 FM), the event celebrates the construction of its new radio repeater antenna in Brewster, which will be known as WFMR (Further Most Radio, 91.3 FM).

On Sunday, Sept. 19, a second day of performances, organized by Cranberry festival staff, will feature established as well as up and coming local performers. (The music events are just one piece of the Harwich Cranberry Festival. Turn to Page 2 for details.)

The hollow, a dried ancient lakebed, is part of Brooks Park.

While it is town owned, it has been used very little for recent public events and is mostly filled with mature trees. A public works cleanup of the overgrown brush in the heart of the basin was performed to open up a performing space, roughly 175 yards long by 75 yards wide.

This natural amphitheatre is considered an excellent space for a musical event because of the way sound is cradled by the sloping basin.

"When I first went down, I thought this was really excellent place to have an event," said John Nelson, station manager at WOMR, which organizes similar events across the Outer Cape, including one called Boogie By the Bay in Wellfleet. "Acoustically, it will be quite unique."

Nelson said the Cranberry Jam on Saturday includes six performers, spanning from noon to about 8:30 p.m.

"We'll be adding about 80,000 possible listeners (with the new repeater) to our (radio) programming and this is very exciting," he said, explaining that the repeater cost almost $100,000 to install. "It has been about 10 years since the project began."

Cranberry Festival organizers Ed McManus and John Bangert noted that the creation of the folk festival signals a shift in emphasis to highlight musical abilities in the community and move away from the traditional emphasis on a fall carnival, which for years had been held each September at the high school fairgrounds.

McManus explained that his vision for the new folk concert is "to give a new start to the Cranberry Festival for the community, something that can be built on in the future and done in a way that involves Harwich and Cape Cod rather than importing people from around the country."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 18 Sep 10 - 03:04 PM

This track had me in tears of joy; it captures the very best of the higher angels of Mudcat and of humanity.

The creator's have a website called Playing for Change--Connecting the World Through Music. New chapters in this amazing work are posted there.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 01:19 PM

Folk Music, as Close to Nature as It Gets (Click for whole article)

Published: September 23, 2010

When Britt Govea, a marketing manager at a TV station in Monterey and a record buff, started taking hikes around the California coast, he never imagined that he could get his musical heroes to play in tiny venues nestled in tall redwoods. But on an epic outing in Big Sur in 2004 while walking around the forest with his headphones on, he had a revelation.

."I thought, Wouldn't this be the best place ever to hear music?" Mr. Govea said.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 04:14 PM

Nova Scotians among folk music nominees

By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter
Fri, Oct 8 - 4:53 AM

Amelia Curran is up for three Canadian Folk Music awards.

Nova Scotia singer-songwriters and Cape Breton fiddlers feature prominently among the nominees for the Canadian Folk Music Awards announced this week.

Halifax-based musicians Amelia Curran and Lennie Gallant are up for three categories each, while Chester's Old Man Luedecke picked up a pair of nominations.

Curran's Juno Award-winning album Hunter, Hunter is named in the contemporary album, solo artist and English songwriter of the year categories, while Gallant's If We Had a Fire earned him contemporary album and English songwriter of the year nominations. Gallant also has a French songwriter of the year award nomination for his CD Le coeur hante (The Haunted Heart).

Luedecke was also nominated for contemporary album and solo artist of the year for his latest release, My Hands Are on Fire and Other Love Songs.

Other Nova Scotia nominees include Rose Cousins' The Send Off for contemporary singer of the year, David Myles for solo artist of the year and roots musician Thom Swift and producer Charles Austin for producer of the year for Swift's Blue Sky Day CD.

Cape Breton's fiddle tradition was represented by Colin Grant in the instrumental solo artist of the year category, for his release Fun for the Whole Family, and Baddeck 18-year-old Rachel Davis in the young performer of the year category for her self-titled debut CD.

In 2009, Nova Scotia performers were honoured with a number of awards at the CFMAs in Ottawa, with Joel Plaskett receiving a pair of trophies, and Susan Crowe, folk-pop duo Madison Violet and ukulele maestro James Hill taking home one each.

The sixth annual Canadian Folk Music Awards Night Gala takes place at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre in Winnipeg on Saturday, Nov. 20.

For more on the awards and a complete list of nominees, go to

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 07:11 PM

Joanie Baez reflects back on fifty years of stellar folk-singing, in the Vancouver Sun.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 09:28 AM

"Freeport, Ill. — For 40 years, folk music icon Arlo Guthrie has brought his timeless stories and unforgettable classic tunes to audiences around the world. He will be bringing his brand of music to concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center, Guthrie makes a stop in Monroe during his "Journey On" tour for an unforgettable performance. Guthrie's "Journey On" tour promises to cast a spell, charming audiences with an evening of hypnotic song. "

Full story here in the Journal-Standard.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:14 AM

Folk-music ensemble keeps it fresh with latest re-alignment

Sparks with singer-guitarist Becky Joe Benson will perform with the New Christy Minstrels today at the Gallo Center in Modesto.
The Record Newspaper
By Tony Sauro
Record Staff Writer

October 19, 2010 12:01 AM

There's almost always something new about the New Christy Minstrels.

"Oh, if it was any better, we'd be the Rolling Stones," said Randy Sparks, who formed the all-acoustic folk-music ensemble 49 years ago and happily remains its self-styled "patriarch." "It's incredible. We get standing ovations every night. My group is at the top of its form.

"We've never had better voices. We've never had better people. We're putting new material in all the time, because people need to hear it and know we're still alive and progressive. I write new songs every day."

New Christy Minstrels
When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: Gallo Center, 1001 I St., Modesto.

Admission: $15-$30

Information: (209) 338-2100
The eight-member group - following its latest re-alignment - mixes familiar Christy Minstrels tunes, folk standards and Sparks' polished repartee tonight at the Gallo Center in Modesto.

Sparks, a demanding leader and eternal optimist, also is feeling renewed after undergoing successful treatment for prostate cancer. His condition was diagnosed in 2009.

"I'm doing better than expected," said Sparks, 77, reflecting his usual youthful spirit during a phone conversation from an Oroville Motel 6 (the group's frugal tour trademark). "I'm absolutely healthy. I'm very durable. It's absolutely great that I'm still able to do this at my age."

His lone concession? The Minstrels now employ a touring roadie.

(Full article here at the Record).

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 12:02 PM

The Japanese have taught a robot woman to sing like a diva with life-like expressions and intonations.

Are folksingers next?


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 11:43 AM

Ngawang Choephel endured more than six years in a Chinese prison in his quest to prevent Tibetan folk songs from being lost forever.

More than dozen of these traditional songs are showcased in the filmmaker's documentary, "Tibet in Song," now showing in New York City.

Music tradition

Choephel was only two years old when he and his mother fled Chinese-ruled Tibet in 1968. Growing up in a refugee camp in India, he heard Tibetan songs from the older refugees.

Like folk music around the world, traditional Tibetan lyrics deal with almost every aspect of life: from work, family and social occasions to love and nature.

"Tibetan folk music originated directly from ordinary Tibetan people's mind," Choephel says. "It's a very pure form of oral tradition, of our Tibetan people's history, knowledge and beliefs."

After graduating from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamasala in 1993, Choephel received a Fulbright scholarship to study musicology and filmmaking at Vermont's Middlebury College. The school's music library contained records of traditional songs from all over the world, but only one recording of Tibetan music, less than three minutes long.

So Choephel decided to collect Tibetan folk songs himself.

'Tibet in Song' won the special Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Preserving cultural history

He traveled to Tibet in 1995, and spent two months driving through the rural areas filming people singing before he was arrested by Chinese authorities.

"They thought that I was doing some kind of spy work, which I did not," he says.

Choephel was sentenced to 18 years in prison. But an international campaign - started by his mother, and joined by celebrities like Paul McCartney and several U.S. Senators - led to his release in 2002 after more than six years behind bars.

Prison, he says, is not a place one wants to go, but it is where one has the time to think. He learned folk songs from other prisoners, wrote lyrics in a notebook he made out of cigarette wrappers and even composed new songs.

"I composed the melody in prison and one of my prison mates, he's actually my hero, he wrote the lyrics," he says. "It is about his determination. He says that, 'No matter how bad enemies are to you, I'll never bow down my head. I'll never stop the fight.'"

'Tibet in Song'

When Choephel returned to the U.S. after his release, he decided to expand his project. His mission now was not only to collect traditional Tibetan music, but to produce a documentary film about it.

More than a dozen traditional folk songs are showcased in 'Tibet in Song.'
"There are about 17 songs," he says. "The story of this film is about the beauty of Tibetan music, the diversity of Tibetan music and the beauty of the Tibetan culture in general. The film also is about my story and what had happened to me. I filmed some of the footage in 1995 because before I was arrested I sent nine tapes to a friend of mine to India. And also we sent people back to Tibet in 2004 to capture more songs and interviews."

More importantly, Choephel says, "Tibet in Song" draws attention to what's happened in Tibet over the last 50 years.

"Except in some rural areas, there aren't many songs left," he says. "In the film we show how China saw this kind of music and the Tibetan culture as a threat. Tibet was never exposed to recorded music until China invaded Tibet in the late 1940s. So the first thing they did was they set up these loud speakers and they blasted Chinese propaganda music to brainwash Tibetan people. They took Tibetan folk melody and put Chinese communist lyrics. And they trained Tibetan singers to sing these songs."

Call to action

He hopes the film also inspires people. "'Tibet in Song' is also a call for action to the world and also to the Tibetan people to get involved, to save the Tibetan music before it's gone forever."


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Nov 10 - 07:12 PM

he Winnipeg Folk Festival is giving you something to do this weekend besides shovelling snow.

Organizers are welcoming the national folk community to the city for three separate events, which began on Thursday.

ÒFor the next few days, we just might be the folk centre of the universe,Ó said Tamara Kater, Executive Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

In celebration of Winnipeg hosting the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Folk Festival is gathering a wide range of talent to perform year-round.

The 6th annual awards gala is tonight at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre. The day will start off with a film screening of ÒOne Warm LineÓ at Cinematheque, followed by a free workshop titled Songs About Working People at the Folk Exchange. An award nominee showcase was held last night to a thrilled crowd at the West End Cultural Centre.

The Western Folk Festivals Collective, which gathers 60 organizers from 15 festivals across Western Canada, will come together to Ôtalk shop.Õ The three-day event, which began on Thursday, is the largest gathering of folk-minded organizers held so far. The agenda covers a number of topics, including best practices in festival operations and board governance.

More details are available at

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 01:13 PM

P.E.I. native Rose Cousins won Contemporary Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards ceremony Saturday night in Winnipeg.

Cousins, who now lives in Halifax, won based on her latest album The Send Off.

The awards were handed out at Winnipeg's Pantages Playhouse. The Canadian Folk Music Awards have been presented since 2005.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 11:30 AM

The AP reports that prosecutors say they have evidence that Serbia's folk music diva Svetlana Raznatovic "has embezzled some —2.2 million ($3 million) from the sale of players from her late husband's football club, FK Obilic, to foreign teams.
The Balkan country's most popular folk singer, known as Ceca, also faces charges of illegal possession of firearms at her Belgrade home".

Raznatovic was married to a Serb warlord whose troops killed and pillaged homes of non-Serbs in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Zeljko Raznatovic was gunned down in a Belgrade hotel in 2000, but Ceca allegedly maintained her husband's connections with Serbia's numerous crime bosses.

I guess it is hard to make a living doing folk music, and new solutions to this problem are always interesting, but this one seems a bit over the top.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 04:02 PM

The Folk Music Society of New York announces its annual Weekend of Music February 11 to February 13. This is a friendly getaway filled with informal participatory music making; a weekend with music all around. You'll find instrumental jams, ballad singing, contemporary songs, traditional songs, and whatever! And, yes, there are also jigsaw puzzles and people out skiing, shopping, and hiking.

The Weekend is held at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson, NY 12446, nestled in the Shawangunk Mountains, 100 miles north of New York City. More information, weekend and day rates, and a reservation form are available at Reservations may also be made directly online at Information by phone: 718-672-6399.

The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc. / New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club, an all volunteer organization, tries to maximize participation in traditional music by running events that are so much fun that no one can resist joining in. For more information on the web, go to

Read more:

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 05:27 PM

A Christmas concert by the Roche sisters in PA.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 03:48 PM

Bill Staines, New Hampshire's own cowboy appearing on Saturday at the uNi Coffeehouse in Springfield, MA.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:49 PM

Enter Susquehanna Folk Music Society's songwriting contest
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 12/14/2010 01:32:39 PM EST

York, PA - Songwriters are invited to submit their songs on CD or cassette with a typed copy of the lyrics to Susquehanna Folk Music Society's Fourth Annual Songwriting Contest. Deadline is Feb. 12.

A panel of judges will select three finalists for a final competition, which will be held at the SFMS's free Spring Coffee House from 7 to 10 p.m. March 12 at Fort Hunter Barn, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg.

The finalists will perform their songs, and the audience will select the overall winner. Cash prizes will be awarded: $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.

For details, rules and an entry form, call 652-6040 or visit

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 01:55 AM

From the Atlantic a deep essay on what makes songs sad or not. Interesting read.


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Subject: LIfetime Grammy for Kingston Trio
From: Amos
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:26 PM

The Kingston Trio will be receiving a lifetime achievement Grammy Award, says the San Diego Union. Two of the Trio members came from San Diego.

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Subject: Phil Ochs: The Movie
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 02:25 AM

WSJ Reports:

"In the winter of 1962, folk-music great Pete Seeger took Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs to see the editors of Broadside, a mimeographed newspaper that became the paper of record for the Greenwich Village folk scene. As he listened to the two men play their songs, Mr. Seeger thought that they were the future superstars of folk music. He was half right.

Mr. Dylan, of course, became one of the great musicians in American history. Mr. Ochs, however, led a checkered life. A cornerstone of the Village folk scene, he wrote songs like "Here's to the State of Mississippi," "The Power and the Glory" and "I Ain't Marching Anymore," which rank among the most enduring protest songs of the 1960s. But his careerÑand lifeÑwere cut short just 14 years after that visit to Broadside when he committed suicide at age 35.

Mr. Ochs is the subject of a new documentary, "Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune," which opens Wednesday at the IFC Center. Effective and compelling, the film chronicles the highs and lows of the musician's life.

View Full Image
First Run Features

Phil Ochs in a publicity shot for Elektra Records in 1965.

"He was like Tom Paine with a guitar," said the film's director, Kenneth Bowser, in his West Village office. "Phil had a real love for the idea of America, that anyone could come from anywhere and achieve something that they aimed for."

Mr. Ochs was born in El Paso, Texas, but his family moved frequently; their stop in Far Rockaway, Queens, lasted several years. He went to military school in Virginia and played clarinet while idolizing the music of Elvis Presley and the films of John Wayne. His interest in left-wing politics and folk music began when he was a student at Ohio State University. Graced with a fragile but warm tenor, a knack for wordplay, biting wit and a charismatic stage presence, Mr. Ochs soon dropped out to move to Manhattan and join its burgeoning folk scene.

He made an immediate impact in the city with topical songs about the civil-rights movement and the Vietnam War. "He really wore his heart on his sleeve," said Mr. Bowser. "But he had an acid wit, and everyone was his target."

Mr. Ochs saved some of his most venomous attacks for his presumed allies on the left. His enduring "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" assaulted the pieties and comforts of many of that persuasion. In 1994, Mojo Nixon and ex-Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra recorded a cover version of the song, with lyrics updated to address the Clinton era, and Mr. Biafra appears in "There But for Fortune" to comment on the prescience of Mr. Ochs's words.

Mr. Ochs also ran afoul of folk-scene group-think by publicly supporting the troops in Vietnam, separating his attacks on the policy makers from his sympathy for the mostly working-class soldiers. Although Mr. Ochs championed Mr. Dylan when he electrified his sound, he did not get on the folk-rock bandwagon himself. Instead, Mr. Ochs opted for a more ambitious and grandiose sound. "The Pleasures of the Harbor" (A&M), his 1967 release featuring lush string arrangements and longer songs with more oblique lyrics, was his best-selling recording, but he never shook the folk-singer-with-protest-songs image.

After the war ended and tastes in music changed, Mr. Ochs, who had suffered vocal-cord damage while traveling in Africa in 1973, was plagued by severe bouts of depression and alcoholism. On April 9, 1976, he hanged himself.

Mr. Bowser, age 59, who has directed documentaries on the lives and work of the great filmmakers Preston Sturges, Frank Capra and John Ford, took to Mr. Ochs's music as a child on the Lower East Side and in Washington Heights in the 1960s. "I admired his complexity," Mr. Bowser said.

The project started seven years ago as a labor of love. Mr. Bowser worked with Michael Ochs, Phil's brother, who is a leading archivist of music photography. The two men put up their own money, and Michael Cohl, the former chairman of the concert presenter Live Nation, provided the rest. Phil Ochs had played at Mr. Cohl's first club, and Mr. Cohl has remained a fan.

For Michael Ochs, the location of the film's New York premiere marks a homecoming of sorts. "Phil lived at 178 Bleecker St. and 156 Prince St., and he loved movies," he said by phone from Los Angeles last week. "He was at the IFC when it was the Waverly Theater all the time.""

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 11:32 AM

Ron Olesko and the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club are holding a logo contest!

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 09:40 PM

Whether it's the Beatles or Beethoven, people like music for the same reason they like eating or having sex: It makes the brain release a chemical that gives pleasure, a new study says.

The brain substance is involved both in anticipating a particularly thrilling musical moment and in feeling the rush from it, researchers found.

Previous work had already suggested a role for dopamine, a substance brain cells release to communicate with each other. But the new work, which scanned people's brains as they listened to music, shows it happening directly.

While dopamine normally helps us feel the pleasure of eating or having sex, it also helps produce euphoria from illegal drugs. It's active in particular circuits of the brain.

The tie to dopamine helps explain why music is so widely popular across cultures, Robert Zatorre and Valorie Salimpoor of McGill University in Montreal write in an article posted online Sunday by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The study used only instrumental music, showing that voices aren't necessary to produce the dopamine response, Salimpoor said. It will take further work to study how voices might contribute to the pleasure effect, she said.

The researchers described brain-scanning experiments with eight volunteers who were chosen because they reliably felt chills from particular moments in some favorite pieces of music. That characteristic let the experimenters study how the brain handles both anticipation and arrival of a musical rush.

Results suggested that people who enjoy music but don't feel chills are also experiencing dopamine's effects, Zatorre said.

PET scans showed the participants' brains pumped out more dopamine in a region called the striatum when listening to favorite pieces of music than when hearing other pieces. Functional MRI scans showed where and when those releases happened.

Dopamine surged in one part of the striatum during the 15 seconds leading up to a thrilling moment, and a different part when that musical highlight finally arrived.

Zatorre said that makes sense: The area linked to anticipation connects with parts of the brain involved with making predictions and responding to the environment, while the area reacting to the peak moment itself is linked to the brain's limbic system, which is involved in emotion.

The study volunteers chose a wide range of music - from classical and jazz to punk, tango and even bagpipes. The most popular were Barber's Adagio for Strings, the second movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Debussy's Claire de Lune.

Since they already knew the musical pieces they listened to, it wasn't possible to tell whether the anticipation reaction came from memory or the natural feel people develop for how music unfolds, Zatorre said. That question is under study, too.

Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, an expert on music and the brain at Harvard Medical School, called the study "remarkable" for the combination of techniques it used.

While experts had indirect indications that music taps into the dopamine system, he said, the new work "really nails it."

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 10:29 PM

Promoters have announced August 26th to 28th, 2011 as the dates of the inaugural Bluestock Festival, which will be held at the Hunter Mountain Ski Center in Hunter, New York. The ambitious festival is the first of its kind in upstate New York, and is being put together by Radio Woodstock and Steve & Jeff Simon Presents.

The initial line-up for this first Bluestock Festival is pretty impressive, with blues legends Buddy Guy and Elvin Bishop announced as two of the event's three headliners (the third to be announced later). Tommy Castro and the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue will rock the audience, as will a number of leading lights on the contemporary blues scene, from Tab Benoit and Curtis Salgado to Reba Russell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Albert Cummings, among many more.

Music will be presented non-stop on two stages over the three days, and for night owls there will also be an after-festival "blues club" inside the lodge at Hunter Mountain for late-night jams. The festival will also offer camping, a mountain Skyride, craft vendors, and gourmet food and beverages. "BLUESTOCK is our vision of 'Woodstock meets The Blues Cruise.' Three days of non-stop world-class Blues entertainment in a magical outdoor setting," says Steve Simon, Founder of Steve & Jeff Simon Presents, in a press release about the event.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 02:25 PM

The New York Times writes on the life of Alan Lomax.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 09:28 AM

Bob Dylan will sing at the Grammies.

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Subject: Musical News -- Jazz in Berkhamsted
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 10:00 AM

Darius and Dan Brubeck appeared together in Ronnie ScottÕs 50th Anniversary series playing a Brubeck programme and in December 2009, Darius performed with all three of his brothers - Chris, Dan and Matthew, at the Kennedy Center Gala when his father received a medal for his contribution to American culture. President and Mrs Obama were in the audience.

Darius will be accompanied by his regular musicians, including young British saxophonist Paul Greenwood, bass player Matt Ridley who since graduating from Trinity College of Music in 2005 has established himself as a much in demand talent on the UK Jazz scene, and South African London-based freelance drummer Wesley Gibbens.

Expect an evening of Brubeck classics, one or two rollicking numbers reflecting South African influences, a standard or two and some original compositions.

The Darius Brubeck Quartet will be at the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted on Sunday, February 27, 7.30pm.

Call 01442 824173 for tickets - Monday to Fridays 9am to 6pm, or pop into Perfect Pitch in Chesham.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 09:06 PM

Wired covers various home audio editing tools for home studio work.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 10:32 AM

Pop Sci features a therapeutic brain-controlled musical instrument.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 01:12 PM


About time!

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:21 PM

Vietnamese Ban Choi music makes a comeback

HOI AN — Bai choi, 1,000-year-old folk music that is performed like a card game, is seeing a revival in the central ancient town of Hoi An.

It had disappeared for a while and in its new avatar is attracting foreign tourists and researchers.

One Swiss tourist lingered in Hoi An for a month though she had intended to stay for just two weeks.

At first she did not understand anything about bai choi but found it pleasing on the ear and eye.

She went on to register at a free bai choi class at the Hoi An Cultural Centre.

Soon, several foreign visitors too signed up for the class, mostly from Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and France.

Luong Dang, 54, a bai choi singer who was bestowed the title of "Meritorious Artist" two years ago – the only one in Quang Nam Province to be thus honoured – says he taught a Japanese tourist to sing bai choi in 2005.

She promptly fell in love with the art despite not getting the hang of bai choi acting and how to use words. But what she lacked by way of understanding, she made up with diligence, not missing a single class.

Dang says it took her three visits to Hoi An to understand the profound meaning of each verse.

He also teaches bai choi to youngsters in Hoi An.


(VietNam News)

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 12 May 11 - 08:57 PM

According to this article music helps guard against some aspects of aging.

'Course WE knew that!

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Subject: On "Passing the Music Down"
From: Amos
Date: 12 May 11 - 10:33 PM

NY Times on "the folk process":

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: michaelr
Date: 13 May 11 - 01:07 AM helps guard against some aspects of aging.

That's putting the egg before the chicken. What keeps us musicians young is refusing to grow up!

Thank you all for encouraging our behavior.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 10:27 PM

John Roberts performs in New London on July 3. Not to be missed! John is a renowned singer of chanties and ballads, a first-rate performer well known and beloved by Getaway attendees for years.

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Subject: San Fracisco Free Folk Festival this weekend
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 12:47 PM

Here's an article on the upcoming San Francisco Free Folk Festival.


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Subject: Willie Facing Hard Time?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 01:39 PM

He's dealing with a strict judge and a draconian law covering marijuana in the honorable, but draconian, Stae of Texas.

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Subject: Appalachian Folk Music Concert
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:57 PM

Appalachian Trail Museum to host Appalachian Folk Music Concert July 17
By Contributed
Published: July 13, 2011
È 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Randy Heisley-Cato, a musician who specializes in playing southern Appalachian music, will perform at the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park on Sunday, July 17, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Heisley-Cato plays the five-string banjo (claw hammer style), guitar, harmonica, hambone, and mountain dulcimer.

Throughout the summer, the Appalachian Trail Museum has offered programs that include:

    Story-telling, songs and activities for children
    Arts and crafts on the Appalachian Trail (photography, painting, handcrafts)
    Natural features of the Appalachian Trail
    Trail maintenance techniques
    Hiker skills and equipment - past and present
    Shelter building
    History of Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs
    Pioneer hiker profiles and why they are important
    First person hiking experiences and accomplishments

The programs are free, open to the public and held at the museum on Sundays at 1 p.m.

A complete list of programs is posted on the Appalachian Trail Museum website at

Located in a 200-year-old, restored grist mill in historic Pine Grove Furnace State Park and at the midway point of the 2,181-mile-long Appalachian Trail, the museum is across from the Pine Grove General Store on Pennsylvania Route 233 in Cumberland County. Pine Grove Furnace was named the State Park of the Year for 2010 by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.

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Subject: Bob's Electric Anniversary (Newport 1965)
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 12:13 PM

The anniversary of Dylan going Electric at Newport, and scandalizing folk-pussies everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 12:44 PM

I wonder why they illustrated the article with a picture of Bob Marley.

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Subject: 52 years of Newport Folk
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 09:31 AM

RI's Newport Folk Festival stays current at age 52

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Subject: NEwport Folk Festival Still Swinging
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 11:40 AM

Even the Wall Street Journal digs Newport.

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Subject: RE: Perfection On the Path to Mediocrity
From: Amos
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 12:06 PM

In this interesting opinion piece, the use of invisible electronic tweaks to make vocal and guitar pitches come out perfect instead of real is examined.

It strikes me this is a topic of interest especially to folkies, who are lovers of the simply human in music.


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Subject: There is No Language Like Song
From: Amos
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 11:18 AM

An article in the NY TYimes Op Ed section says there is no language like song, a sentiment with which I quite agree.

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 05:05 PM

IF you're just tired of stress and damnation, bad news and blues, grumps and codswallops....

try THIS clip on for size, and smile!

The full URL is:

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Subject: Oldtown School of FOlk Music News
From: Amos
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 11:13 AM

November 2, 2011 (NEWS RELEASE) -- The Old Town School of Folk Music has celebrated various forms of music and other cultural expressions for more than five decades.

"Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville"

The Old Town School of Folk music is making its first foray into the world of theatre with its commission of the World Premiere of "Keep a Song in Your Soul: the Black Roots of Vaudevill." The show was developed by the Grammy Award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award honoree Reginald R. Robinson, best known for his performances of Ragtime era music, and legendary Chicago tap icon Reggio "The Hoofer" McLaughlin, all of whom will perform in the show. Featuring more than 20 historic songs written and performed by African- Americans between 1830 -- 1930 on the Chitlin' Circuit, as well as original music and new arrangements of the classic songs by the creative team, the production explores Vaudeville's African-American heritage through music and dance to reclaim the spirit and substance of this rich taproot of American entertainment.

Set in the Great Migration era of 1910 - 1930, "Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville" tells the story of a young woman who is lured from the rural South by the promise of a better life in a northern city, followed by her devoted boyfriend. There, the two encounter further challenges, finding the realities behind the city's false gleam.

Thursday, November 3, 8PM
Friday, November 4, 8PM
Saturday, November 5, 3PM & 8PM
Sunday, November 6, 7PM

Old Town School of Music
Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall
4544 N. Lincoln Ave
Tickets: $45
Box Office: 773-728-6000

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Subject: Joan Baez to Sing for OWS
From: Amos
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 04:36 PM

Joan Baez plans to perform at Occupy Wall Street. A grand tradition rolls on.


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Subject: Singing: Secret to a Long Life
From: Amos
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM

The NPR story should make y'all feel stronger!


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Subject: News from the Old Town School of Folk
From: Amos
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 01:32 PM

The folks at the Old Town School of Folk Nusic, Art Thieme's alma mater, is getting a new building! Some nice pictures, too!.


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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 02:58 PM

Grammy Hall of Fame has beren awarde, among others, to Harry Smith's widely influential "Anthology of American Folk Music" collection, A good day for folkies!

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: Amos
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 09:19 AM

Mudcat's own Don Meixne4r with his IRish singing team "The Flyin' Column" is keeping the art alive in the Auburn area.

Keep up the good work, mon!!

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: maeve
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 05:20 PM

Here's one, Amos:

Associated Press    Jan 15, 3:17 PM EST

Silenced musical treasures languish in Mich. vault

Associated Press
Entombed Musical Treasures

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Subject: RE: Occasional Musical News
From: maeve
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 05:26 PM

This link relates to the foregoing story, "Entombed Musical Instruments. it takes one to a page of photos relating to the story.

Instrument photos "Entombed Instruments" AP story

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