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Song Circle Locations

Joe Offer 19 Jul 97 - 04:05 AM
Bill D---extree@erols.com 19 Jul 97 - 10:42 AM
Angus McSweeney 19 Jul 97 - 04:41 PM
Kiwi 19 Jul 97 - 07:58 PM
Whippoorwill 21 Jul 97 - 11:26 AM
Jack 21 Jul 97 - 03:42 PM
Bill D 22 Jul 97 - 09:32 AM
Susan of DT 24 Jul 97 - 08:19 PM
Catfeet 28 Jul 97 - 08:24 PM
Mountain Dog 29 Jul 97 - 10:33 AM
Bert Hansell 29 Jul 97 - 10:40 AM
Jon W. 29 Jul 97 - 03:34 PM
Alice 29 Jul 97 - 09:48 PM
jeff s 29 Jul 97 - 10:15 PM
Bill D 30 Jul 97 - 01:17 PM
Susan of DT 30 Jul 97 - 06:32 PM
Alice 30 Jul 97 - 10:16 PM
folkie@trytel.com (steve thomas - ottawa) 31 Jul 97 - 12:31 AM
31 Jul 97 - 01:21 PM
Bill D 31 Jul 97 - 02:09 PM
steve (folkie@trytel.com) 31 Jul 97 - 05:24 PM
Joe Offer 01 Aug 97 - 02:34 AM
Jack 01 Aug 97 - 11:27 AM
Coralena 01 Aug 97 - 12:45 PM
LaMarca 01 Aug 97 - 03:12 PM
dani 01 Aug 97 - 05:38 PM
jeff s 01 Aug 97 - 06:09 PM
jeff s 09 Aug 97 - 12:19 AM
steve t 09 Aug 97 - 12:42 AM
GG 09 Aug 97 - 02:23 AM
Joe Offer 09 Aug 97 - 02:59 AM
BK 13 Aug 97 - 10:51 PM
Mountain Dog 14 Aug 97 - 09:42 AM
Bert Hansell 14 Aug 97 - 11:22 AM
LaMarca 14 Aug 97 - 11:28 AM
Joe Offer 14 Aug 97 - 07:08 PM
jeff s 14 Aug 97 - 09:08 PM
BK 15 Aug 97 - 01:00 AM
Barry Finn 15 Aug 97 - 02:15 AM
Mountain Dog 15 Aug 97 - 11:18 AM
Bill D 17 Aug 97 - 04:01 PM
rechal@earthlink.net 18 Aug 97 - 01:20 AM
Susan of DT 19 Aug 97 - 05:41 PM
rechal 20 Aug 97 - 03:49 PM
Catfeet 22 Aug 97 - 08:07 PM
rechal@earthlink.net 24 Aug 97 - 01:09 PM
Bill D 24 Aug 97 - 04:05 PM
Bill 02 Sep 97 - 01:19 AM
Bill 02 Sep 97 - 01:43 AM
Bert 09 Sep 97 - 01:57 PM
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Subject: Song Circle Locations
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 04:05 AM

Somebody asked if there's a song circle in Indiana. I don't know, but maybe it would be a good topic for a new thread. Do most major cities have song circles, or are they scattered here and there?
Here in the Sacramento area, we have "family song circles" in Sacramento and Auburn. These meet on Fridays, once a month each, and they use Rise Up Singing as a "hymnal."
For those interested in more sophisticated music, there is a group called Davis Pickers and Singers, and the Sacramento Labor Chorus. Anyone interested can contact me for information on any of these groups.
Are there other circles out there that people would like to publicize?
-Joe Offer (click to e-mail)-

Also See Part 2 (click)


Check Folk Lib Index: Folk Music Societies

for information about folk music clubs in North America.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill D---extree@erols.com
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 10:42 AM

The Washington DC area has several regular swap circles under the umbrella of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington...some are specific, as gospel or Sacred Harp...the "Open Sing" is general and usually has a topic to help focus the mind. It has been going continuously for over 30 years and is truly 'open'-that is, any song vaguely on the subject is allowed.Because it grew within a society founded to promote traditional folk music & culture,there is much 'trad' done, but there is a lot of other stuff done too. We do not use RUS as a 'hymnal', although copies are seen around, and I have not seen one burned at the stake yet.*grin*..(I own a copy myself, along with a couple of hundred other books & magazines)


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Angus McSweeney
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 04:41 PM

Minneapolis, Minnesota has Folk "jams" at the Homestead Pickin'Parlor, 66th and Penn Ave South every other week. They also have jams for "Old Timey", Bluegrass, and a variety of other musical categories.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Kiwi
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 07:58 PM

Are there any in New Jersey that anyone knows about? I know there's a once-monthly ceili somewhere, but I only went once before they took a summer hiatus...


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Whippoorwill
Date: 21 Jul 97 - 11:26 AM

Bill D: Went there; clicked on Links and found all manner of wondrous stuff. In the Swap Links file there were a number of databases and sources of music listed, including DT. TNX.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Jack
Date: 21 Jul 97 - 03:42 PM

In the Cleveland Area there is a Song Circle first WED, every month at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 23599 Cedar Road (in the suburb of Beachwood). For info call 321-7073

There is a shape-note singing club that meets bi-monthly on the West Side of town. NE Ohio Shape Note Singers. For Info Contact Virginia (email: vwb@po.cwru.edu) or visit their web page www-math.cwru.edu/~cfw2/sh.htm

There are others, the Kent-Cleveland area has a pretty active folk and traditional music community. To learn more about folk happenings in the area check out FolkNet www.folknet.org


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 97 - 09:32 AM

Whipporwill---yep, that's what we hope will happen.The neat thing about all this is, that even though we put up our home page as a service for our own members, there are many things on it which could be of interest to anyone in the Folkie World!....and when you start following links, you find new sets of links, each with a slightly different focus......and pretty soon, you will have your own set of bookmarks to almost anything your heart desires!(Except a perfect memory, perfect pitch, and instruments that never go out of tune! *wink*)


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Susan of DT
Date: 24 Jul 97 - 08:19 PM

Kiwi - where in New Jersey are you? Dick and I go to the Princeton Folk Music Society (first Friday, but not summer) and Dick Levine's group in Monmouth/Ocean counties (time varies). Both move from house to house (sometimes mine). There are Folk Project and Folk Music Society of Northern New Jersey up north as well as Pinewoods in NY. I can probably dig up some more if I know where you are looking for. There are several more.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Catfeet
Date: 28 Jul 97 - 08:24 PM

Are there any in southern Vt.? Would any one be interested in starting one if there aren't?


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 10:33 AM

Anyone know of a group or groups in the Denver area (or anywhere along the Front Range, say from Colo. Spgs. to Fort Collins). I play with various friends sporadically and while it's all acoustic, it's not strictly limited to folk (however broadly one might define it!) Still, it would be fun to find a folk circle in my neck of the woods.

Thanks for any leads.

P.S. to Bill D. Wish I'd come across ther various groups you mentioned during my seven-year hitch in the DC area. I'll check on happnin's prior to my next visit and pack my guitar!


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 10:40 AM

My place, Second Friday in the Month at Phoenixville PA.

This month it's on the 8th.

Email me for directions if you want to come

Bert. (albert.hansell@bentley.com)


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Jon W.
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 03:34 PM

Here's a link to the Intermountain Acoustic Music Assn. page, which serves the Salt Lake City/Wasatch Front (Utah) area. A great organization, I really should join sometime. Includes schedule of weekly jams (Celtic, bluegrass, blues, etc.)

IAMA


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Alice
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 09:48 PM

If you are in the area of Yellowstone Park, there is a Sunday night Irish session (every week for about the last three years) that starts at 8pm., some singing included. The location is in Bozeman, MT, the lobby of the historic old Baxter Hotel, on Main Street downtown. If you play an acoustic instrument, bring it along and join in. Alice


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: jeff s
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 10:15 PM

So what do we call a song circle? I've seen two general forms. One is where the emphasis is on having the picker "perform" and everybody accompanies or joins in on the chorus. The other assumes that everybody should join in as soon as they figure out the song. The latter groups tend to use RUS the former don't. The performers seem to advertise and the RUS folks don't. I noticed that somebody posted the Homestead Picking parlor sessions which I put in the performer category. He didn't say anything about the 4 other groups that I know about (I used to live in the Twin Cities) that fall in the RUS category. The first Tuesday group at First Universalist is next one that meets. I should point out that I don't think that either format is better. I would like to find a RUS group in the Chicago area though. (Ah, a point to this post!)

jeff s


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 01:17 PM

for one view of what 'song circles' can be,click here


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Susan of DT
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 06:32 PM

Jeff "Song Circles" vary quite a bit with the customs of the particular group. I assume we are talking about any group of people that get together on a more or less regular basis to sing (individually or collectively) that is not a featured performer versus audience arrangement. Let's not deify Rise Up Singing. Some groups use RUS or other books some of the time.

The groups I sing with mostly meet in people's houses with people sitting in a rough circle (depending on the furniture)taking turns leading the song. One of the groups often has theme for the night, the other doesn't. One group encourages singing/playing along more than the other, but there is some singing along in each.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Alice
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 10:16 PM

Thanks for saying that, Susan. "Let's not deify Rise Up Singing." After reading some of the messages regarding RUS, (I'm not that impressed with the book), I began getting the impression that there is an informal "cult" of RUS, complete with jargon and "rules". My maternal grandparents homesteaded in Eastern Montana in the 1920's and 30's. My grandfather played fiddle and sang and "called for dances". My grandmother played guitar, piano, and sang. EVERYONE sang. No one had radio, records, dancehalls, operas, theaters... they had sage brush, rattlesnakes, dust bowl and hard times. They sang and played music for the joy and relief it gave them. In a meadow where there was a spring, my grandpa made a cistern and built tables so neighbors could get together for picnics and dance and make music. They would meet at each other's claim shacks, move the table and chairs back, and dance to their own music. This is the way I feel about singing together. You do it as part of life, the way people think now of turning on the tv, going to a movie, or listening to tapes. By the way, this grandfather of mine was interviewed by Charles Kuralt on the Road. He was a prospector, and when he died, he was still living on his claim on the Yellowstone River. People would float the river by putting boats in at his claim. He told me once that he would sing a Lake Michigan boat song to them, and say,"Bet you never heard that one before!". Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: folkie@trytel.com (steve thomas - ottawa)
Date: 31 Jul 97 - 12:31 AM

Two in Ottawa, that I know of: one sort of private, one commercial.

There's a song circle which floats from house to house, once a month (usually the third Friday of the month) held ostensibly by the Old Sod Society and ostensibly emphasizing traditional tunes from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In practice, only about half the songs chosen are traditional and about a third are from RUS. Chorus songs ARE emphasized, so usually, only people very confident of the quality of their song and/or performance give us non-chorus songs. Rarely does anyone join in on an instrument without being asked by the song's leader. I love this group of people. Email me for info. Some of the people there have info for Toronto and Vancouver song circles too.

Folk jam, song circle format, every Thursday night at Rasputin's around 9:00. I like it best when there are fewer people. (If you can endure, try it from about 11:30 'till 1:00am.) In theory, you can set strict limits on everyone else's participation on your turn, but in practice, people rarely ask others to be quiet or even to listen until they know the song. It can get rough when the group is large.

So what do I think about song circles? I think they work best when everyone there shares similar goals. I prefer it when people have come to sing with others. Surprisingly, this isn't always the case. Singer songwriters sometimes show up to "try out" unpolished songs (why? with all the open stages around town -- I don't know). Guitarists sometimes show up to jam and are glumly sour each time an a capella tune comes up. Socialites are sometimes allowed to talk nearby (there's a break for talking and munching at a *good* song circle). Worst of all -- when some overconfident idiot spots an unfamiliar instrument and its owner lets the jerk try it out for a song or two.

Straight jams? Rasputin's usually has an unscheduled, informal jam for an hour before its open stage on Wednesdays. The musicians are better than you generally see at a song circle. If they like what each other plays, it's nice. If not, it doesn't work as well.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From:
Date: 31 Jul 97 - 01:21 PM

*grin*...Steve, you have pointed a very pointed finger at some of the problems we have all observed...it IS hard to get a homogenous group with similar tastes & goals together....too many folk show up with an agenda,and are NOT bashful in persuing it with little regard for the group as a whole...still, it is like certain other activities...even when it is bad, it is good! ;-)

(I asked at a sing awhile back.."Gee, I wonder if we announced an evening of talking & socialising, would everyone come and SING all night?"...got an awkward giggle from a few...)

I guess we all have to remember that in ANY group there are the polished and the unpolished, the sensitive & the oblivious, the old hands and the newbies, the ones who at least TRY to 'learn' the songs and the ones who are forever reading them out of books with barely a notion of the tune. It is worth sitting thru all the bad parts to get to some of the wonderful parts I have seen & heard in 35 years of doing this. Keep singing!!!


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Jul 97 - 02:09 PM

oh, Pooh! got so involved with my flowery rhetoric, I forgot to sign the above!.Max said he might make it refuse to post until you have typed 'something' in the 'from' box...might be a good idea...


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: steve (folkie@trytel.com)
Date: 31 Jul 97 - 05:24 PM

Bill said: "Gee, I wonder if we announced an evening of talking & socialising, would everyone come and SING all night?"

And I would have laughed my socks off if I'd been wearing any. :)


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 02:34 AM

I seem to find myself defending "Rise Up Singing" all the time, and I wonder how I got into that position. It's just a book, for heaven's sake, a book of 1200 good songs that somebody worked hard to put together. Well, maybe it's 1,000 good songs and 200 songs that make me gag; but that's still pretty good. I think it's admirable that these good people want to come out with another 1200 songs. It, too, will be a good resource. Heck, it's certainly more portable than the Digital Tradition.
I guess all this criticism upsets my sense of fairness, and I think it smacks of elitism. I think I can safely say that people who rely heavily on RUS are people who don't have the musical experience that many of us here have. I sing in groups three times a week, and I've led group singing for over 30 years, since I was in high school. Most of the people in my song circle sing once a month, and many prefer styles of music other than folk. The book serves as an equalizer - people who don't know other songs can pick one from the book to share with the group. I admit I mostly pick songs from the book myself, because I don't want to hog the show. I usually pick one song an evening that we can sing with the book closed, and there are others who do that or who bring photocopied songs. I kind of think a good song circle depends on the talent and sensitivity of the members who do have musical ability. Our "core people" get together every once in a while for a good jam session, and to discuss the direction where we want to take the circle. We generally agree that a good circle needs leadership, but that those who provide the leadership must do it almost invisibly, so everyone feels equal.
We must be doing something right. We have 30 to 40 people attend the Sacramento Song Circle every month, and we have started circles in Davis, Auburn, and even in Reno, Nevada. We also draw people from the song circles to sing in the Sacramento Labor Chorus.
Best of all, we all have a good time. That's what it's all about, isn't it?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Jack
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 11:27 AM

I agree with Joe (See my post "In Defense of RUS" from a month or two ago)

Jack


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Coralena
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 12:45 PM

Any in North Carolina? Music is a blessing bestowed on us all and while some may not possess a perfectly tuned voice they sing with their heart and it is alot of fun to get with other folks and sing and have a good time. Life is a song, lets all sing along! :)


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Subject: Song Circle Variations
From: LaMarca
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 03:12 PM

Couldn't resist putting my 2 cents worth...
I got started singing folk songs by joining our local monthly song circle (the same one BillD's been talking about). At the time I started, I didn't know very many songs, and wasn't very confident about my singing, but the folks who came were (mostly) friendly and supportive.

Our sing has a monthly topic, and folks are encouraged to try to sing something related to the topic the first couple of times around the circle. Some folks learn their songs by heart, others bring books or "cheat sheets". We generally don't pass out lyrics to everyone attending, but folks in the circle have become real good at picking up choruses quickly. The challenge of learning new songs to fit the monthly topic helped me build a repertoire of songs I now know by heart. Joe, my main gripe with RUS is the flip side of your comment: "The book serves as an equalizer" - it equalizes everyone to the lowest common denominator. Now, not everyone in our song circle is interested in memorizing songs; those that aren't bring books or words with them. But if a song circle starts with assumption that everyone will sing "from the Book", it's a BIG inhibition for anyone to try to break from this (I speak from personal experience).

It all depends on what the singer's goals are; all I can say is that I wouldn't know very many songs today if every month I went to a church basement somewhere, opened a book and sang a song in unison with other people. If I had wanted to do that, I would have joined a chorus (which I have done; I love doing grand choral works like Verdi's Requiem), but for folk music it bears too much resemblance to grade-school music class (Now children, turn to page 13 and sing "Down In the Valley"). If having a book or song sheets is optional, it allows singers at different levels of expertise to all have a good time. If everyone stays at an enforced grade-school level to be more "inclusive", the better singers eventually get bored and stop coming.

If an area supports more than one song circle so that folks naturally sort themselves out by musical tastes and ability, that's great, but most areas only have one active group at any given time. Acknowledging that there ARE different levels of musical expertise, and that they all deserve to have a good time, isn't elitist in my opinion; discrimination against folks for being "too talented" is just as offensive as the opposite.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: dani
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 05:38 PM

I am in North Carolina as well, and would love to hear about any happenings in the Triangle area, formal or informal. As a (very) beginning banjo player who sings better than she plays, I'd love a chance to do something like this.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: jeff s
Date: 01 Aug 97 - 06:09 PM

Raleigh, NC has (or had 3 years ago) a weekly song circle or picking session at Hoffman Stringed instruments. It was Tuesdays at 7. Tell 'em I sent you :^O You might look into Pinecone also.

jeff s


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: jeff s
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 12:19 AM

At the risk of bringing back the thread has anybody noticed how hard it is to find song circles?

jeff s


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: steve t
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 12:42 AM

It is hard to find song circles. My favourite was going in Ottawa for three years before I found out about it.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: GG
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 02:23 AM

Los Angels and Orange County have 16 MILLION souls and yet I do not know of a single "folk group" meeting on a regular basis. When I was in New Mexico and Maine (at the time - each state was under 1 million in popultion,) or in Humboldt County I had multiple contacts with folk enthusiasts. Folk music permeated most aspects of life. I am far more isolated in this southern ocean of people.

LA-Orange are teeming with "the Blues Cafe," the House of Blues," "the Lighthouse," and "the Ice House" however, these are sterile commercial opperations.

I am looking for a compass bearing within this vast sea of a state that contains one eighth of the nation's entire population.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 02:59 AM

Don't despair, GG. You will find folk music in Los Angeles. There's a couple who do nice house concerts in Long Beach - I heard Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen there. From the conversation I overheard, I gathered that there are pockets of interest here and there all over the LA area. I'd say the best thing to do is check the Dirty Linen concert listings and hit a few concerts, particularly house concerts, and then start asking questions.
I know of only one folk music club in the area, McCabes; but what they had was mostly singer-songwriter performances, so I didn't go when I was working doen there. There are various outdoor festivals and scattered concerts, enough so you can hit at least a couple good concerts a month.
I could give you more specific information about what's going on here in scenic and cultured Northern California, but my house concert suggestion should work for you down there.
-Joe Offer, Sacramento-


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: BK
Date: 13 Aug 97 - 10:51 PM

Mountain Dog - during MY 5 yr hitch in the DC area, I think I tried all the groups... FSGW did a lot of great stuff for which they - and Dick Cerri - must be given tremendous credit. But there were many occasions in which the main monthly song "circle" fell far short of the fair-minded idealised impression you get in this and other threads in the forum. Frankly, DC has a steadfast, deeply entrenched segment - always well represented - that are adamantly cold to people who are transient, (even if long-term, as are people in many catagories of govt employ), as well as those who are not at all "kinder and gentler" to people who sing songs they don't like.

In spite of this, I think song circles are really important, and should be supported and participated in, by any who may have the interest; therefore, my advice would be to "soldier on" and participate anyway - just don't let them intimidate you. You can learn a lot, and you might just teach some of them a thing or two.

By the way, I sometimes found the folkies of nearby Baltimore more freindly and more fun, so if you encounter too many of the less freindly varient of DC folkies, take a jaunt up to "balmer," untill you mannage to meet some of the better greater DC types.

Sorry to sound so crabby, cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 09:42 AM

Dear BK,

Thanks for the reminder of Dick Cerri. As you may know, Dick passed away some five or six years ago, but his work with the Folk Society of Greater Washington and his public radio show were important in keeping folk alive and well in the Capital area.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 11:22 AM

Talking of groups that are "kinder and gentler" there is a great group in Huntsville Alabama, The Tennessee Valley association of Folk, Traditional and Old Tyme Musicians (or something like that). Last time I was there a couple of years ago they were meeting once a month on a Sunday at the Horticultural Gardens. As their name suggests they are quite a mixed group ranging ardent traditionalists to country. They are very tolerant of different styles and one could even sneak in a "home brewed" one now and then.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: LaMarca
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 11:28 AM

Mountain Dog, Dick Cerri isn't dead (yet); it was his brother Bill who died a few years ago, on the air, no less. Bill Cerri was a wonderful classical DJ who made his life in radio; his morning show was witty, irreverent and eclectic (he mixed Mozart with Stan Freberg, for instance), and is sorely missed. Dick Cerri, the younger of the two, is still very active in organizing and promoting the activities of his "World Folk Music Association".

BK, the Bal'mer folk song circle says specifically in its ads "We will be singing from Rise Up Singing"; bringing us back around to the continuing argument about the use of RUS as a hymnal...And yes, the DC group has its share of "Insiders" who have a tendancy for cliquish behavior. I used to move every 2-4 years for the first 35 years of my life until I got settled in the DC area; in every new place I went, I joined the local community theater group. EVERY one of those groups had factions and cliques and the "In" set, no matter what part of the country I was in; it's a part of human nature and human social organizations, be they theater groups, church softball leagues or folk music societies.

People who share years of experiences with each other develop a group "history" that any newcomer CAN'T share; they weren't there, after all. However, I found that becoming part of any such group as a newcomer means joining in on as many public group activities as you can, and not feeling hurt when you aren't immediately included in private social events involving people who have known each other for a long time. I was very taken aback the one time I went to Augusta and encountered people who instantly assumed that since we were all at camp together that week, we were instantaneously each other's best and deepest friends, and should share all our innermost thoughts and feelings with each other. True friendship and trust takes time and work, whether you're talking about a singing group or other social group.

Every local folk song circle has its old-timers and group leaders - some, like Joe Offer seems to be, are publically defined as such, others are less clearly labelled. But whether it's Boston or San Francisco or Baltimore or DC, there are going to be people who have made the local folk group their entire life, and are going to react negatively to newcomers upsetting their narrow little world. Hopefully, they are balanced out by people who are friendly and more inclusive; just don't expect to be "one of the gang" immediately...


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 07:08 PM

I guess I'd better be careful, La Marca. I like to think I do a good job of NOT being a leader, and here you say that I'm "publicly defined as such." I think song circles work better if they at least appear to be leaderless - although they do need some "nudging" to keep them on course. Maybe because I've been a camp song leader most of my life, I sing louder and know more songs than anyone in my circle. I try to take the lead only in songs where the group is weak, and then blend in inconspicuously when the singing is strong. It doesn't always work, though. I was really embarrassed last Friday night when I arrived late and somebody said, "Joe's here, now we can start singing." Back to the drawing board, I guess...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: jeff s
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 09:08 PM

I'd say all of the circles that I've been associated with have a "leader" or set of leaders who can usually step in and keep a song going. That sounds like Joe Offer. Which brings me back to my original post. Is it just me or are RUS type circles really hard to track down. Maybe all the criticism has driven them underground?

jeff s (still looking in Chicago)


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: BK
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 01:00 AM

LaMarka: Bill Cerri - wow! for both my wife and myself, the ultimate classical DJ; he absolutely loved what he did. My wife was listening when he went silent.... Sad, and scary, as it was, I think he went out doing the thing he loved best - may we all be so lucky! We still talk about him, particularly his wonderful impish sense of humor, and how he would occasionally - perhaps influenced by his brother - play Tom Paxton's "Monday Morning in Paradise" - on monday mornings, of course.. I never listen to that song w/out warm memories of him...

As to all groups having clique elements - of course that is so, it is always part of the spectrum of possible behaviors, but, being over 50, and having travelled and lived many places, including overseas, I still think this behavior is more prominant and less graciously counter-balanced in DC than anyplace I've lived. Even my sweet, ever-positive native midwestern social-worker wife was forced to agree with this conclusion... A sad commentary in a community with the wonderful racial and cultural diversity of the DC metroplex, not to mention the fact that in other respects, (and thanks to the hard work of many dedicated and truly outstanding people, such as Dick Cerri), DC is, I believe, the premier place in the USA for folk music. I miss the music and the cultural diversity...

We are now in the heart of Missouri.... Does any body know if there are song circles, house jams, etc, etc anywhere near Columbia, MO? I do have, and occasionally use, a copy of RUS - purchased in Silver Spring, MD. I'd even be willing to sing from it sometimes; I think of it as a useful resource. Years ago, I subscribed to Sing-Out!, so it's OK - long as folks don't get TOO dogmatic.... But I almost always disagree w/their chords...

anyway, cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 02:15 AM

LaMarca In both cases it seems as if it was the old timers who left. Barry


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 11:18 AM

Dear LaMarca,

Thanks for the correction re: Dick vs. Bill Cerri. My chagrin is more than compensated by the excellent info supplied by you, BK and others.

Tail tucked, ears lowered, I am a chastened but wiser Mountain Dog...


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 97 - 04:01 PM

I happened on the DC folk scene for one winter in 1975, and entered it permanently in Feb of '77....and not knowing that newcomers might have to pay their dues, I jumped into it with both feet and never had a MOMENTS feeling of feeling excluded!! (probably due to my exquisite taste and scintillating personality..*grin*)I have attended 97% of all the 'open sings', as we call 'em here, for the past 20 years,(BK, I wonder if I met you?) and yes, there have been cliques and swirls of mood changes, as in any organization, but there always those who simply would not allow the music to get derailed by petty differences of personality....and for the most part, even sworn opponents managed to cooperate when certain things were at stake...I think I give the diverse music scene a lot of the credit, because there was always room here to hook up with a slightly different group if you were not happy with things.

(no particular reason to throw out all these details, except to refine the picture of what it is like to be part of one part of this big community we all share....I really do like to read about how things are with the rest of you...keep singing & playing everyone!)

Bill


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: rechal@earthlink.net
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 01:20 AM

Hey, Susan, Dick and Kiwi I'd love to meet you all at a song circle-- I live in Manhattan. Don't play any instruments, but I do have an eidetic memory which can come in handy for this forum and occasionally for singalongs. Plus I'm a great cook and would be happy to bring a dish, if that's what's required. Or perhaps you'd prefer more gruesome songs along the lines of National Embalming Schoool?

Kiwi, I thought you lived in NZ? Or Australia? Have you moved? If so, welcome to our humble amalgamation of strip shopping malls. Hope you'll enjoy your sojourn here.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Susan of DT
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 05:41 PM

Rechal I'd love to meet you at a sing. The Princeton Folk Music Society should be starting up again for the year soon. They meet first Friday's, as i mentioned. They do not always do a September sing. They have concerts the third Friday, which is what most of the members go to. There should be a sing the first Friday in october and a Pot Luck Supper/sing the first Friday in November - the pot luck is always at a particular home in Princeton Junction. Levine's group just had its annual pot luck supper/hoot two weeks ago. They meet irregularly. I have no definate info on the next sing for either group. I will let your know when I know. Kiwi does not seem to have returned to this thread after she asked the question, but she has been on other threads. When I know I will use your email, since i do not think I should broadcast people's home addresses on the forum. The Princeton group usually has a topic for the sing, which is interpreted very broadly. they are a larger group and not terribly sophisticated as a whole. Levine's group is smaller, more sophisticated, and does not use a theme.

Susan


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: rechal
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 03:49 PM

Bless you! I can't wait.


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Catfeet
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 08:07 PM

Rechal-

There is a fairly good sing that happens the third thursday of every month in Brooklyn on Eastern Parkway. If you're interested, I can provide the rest of the details. It is mainly attended by Scadians, but is still worth going to, and by the way, if you like sea chanties, contact the Seaman's Church Institute, they do a really good monthly chanty sing down at South street seaport. Good hunting, Catfeet


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: rechal@earthlink.net
Date: 24 Aug 97 - 01:09 PM

Catfeet- I'd love the details -- could you e-mail them to me? And what's a Scadian?


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Aug 97 - 04:05 PM

hey...rechal, you are close enough to let Susan of DT and Dick G drag you down to the FSGW Getaway in October...(others are welcome too!) Look here for details and see if it might fit your schedule...

and thanks for posting "Chicken in the Fridge"...now I know what some of those words are!!


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 01:19 AM

Howdy All,

One song circle that I regularly attend is the Canton Folk Song Society in Canton, Ohio. We generally meet from 1-3 PM (or thereabouts) on one Saturday of each month at the McKinley Historical Museum (somewhere upstairs). The meeting is most often on the second Saturday but regularly changes. The next one is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 27. I generally try to keep a listing of upcoming sessions on my performance page even though I'm not the one in charge of the group. We do use Rise Up Singing, my song books, other resources, and memories, and we encourage singalongs, playalongs, and solos. It's usually a small and very friendly group. Come on out when you're in the area and join us.

Allinkausay,
Bill


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bill
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 01:43 AM

Howdy All (again),

I'm not sure that I would classify the club I work with most as a proper song circle (but certainly would not classify it as an improper song circle). Dulci-More: Folk & Traditional Musicians meets twice a month in Salem, Ohio. We get 10-35 folks out each time, and play mostly from song books that I have put together (based largely on my tastes and requests from the members). Songs are chosen as we go around the circle, but most people choose songs and then ask me to lead them (and I'm so used to that role that I often just go ahead and lead them without asking). Most of our membership prefers to play along (on a variety of instruments), but we are gradually getting more singers involved. As I often say when introducing the group as we play out for others, "We welcome folks of any or no musical ability to come to our meeting to jam, to learn, to listen, or to perform." We regularly do have members choose to play for us rather than to do songs from our songbook, and thus become introduced to a wider variety of music.

We meet on the first Tuesday and third Wednesday of each month starting at 7 PM at the First United Methodist Church of Salem, Ohio, and welcome anyone who comes by for a meeting or to become a member. We also have a couple of potluck jams during the year, and we run a festival on the Memorial Day Weekend at Boy Scout Camp McKinley in Lisbon, Ohio. For more information, check the links page here at Mudcat or use this direct Dulci-More page link.

Allinkausay,
Bill


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Subject: RE: Song Circle Locations
From: Bert
Date: 09 Sep 97 - 01:57 PM

There is a folk sing at my place this Friday (the 12th. Sept.) Phoenixville, PA

Very informal
Ranges from Traditional through Sixties PseudoFolk with a little Country and some Home-Brewed songs.

Come along and enjoy.

email me for directions at albert.hansell@bentley.com.

See Ya,

Bert.


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