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Magical Musical Moments

Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 06:05 PM
Gypsy 28 Oct 01 - 06:11 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 06:24 PM
kendall 28 Oct 01 - 06:31 PM
Snuffy 28 Oct 01 - 06:42 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 06:47 PM
Ebbie 28 Oct 01 - 08:24 PM
SINSULL 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM
kendall 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 01 - 10:32 PM
Benjamin 28 Oct 01 - 11:08 PM
Phil Cooper 28 Oct 01 - 11:10 PM
DougR 29 Oct 01 - 12:16 AM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM
pinkfiddle 29 Oct 01 - 05:25 AM
Deckman 29 Oct 01 - 09:44 AM
MMario 29 Oct 01 - 10:27 AM
Trevor 29 Oct 01 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 29 Oct 01 - 11:23 AM
Don Firth 29 Oct 01 - 03:47 PM
Liz the Squeak 29 Oct 01 - 04:29 PM
Liz the Squeak 29 Oct 01 - 04:35 PM
Don Firth 29 Oct 01 - 05:34 PM
Paul from Hull 29 Oct 01 - 05:41 PM
kendall 29 Oct 01 - 08:12 PM
Bill D 29 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM
Deckman 29 Oct 01 - 09:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Oct 01 - 11:46 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Oct 01 - 03:20 PM
Don Firth 30 Oct 01 - 03:24 PM
kendall 30 Oct 01 - 03:33 PM
Deckman 30 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM
Deckman 30 Oct 01 - 05:02 PM
Paul from Hull 30 Oct 01 - 05:14 PM
Deckman 30 Oct 01 - 11:03 PM
Sourdough 31 Oct 01 - 08:45 PM
Deckman 31 Oct 01 - 09:02 PM
Deckman 31 Oct 01 - 09:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Nov 01 - 12:05 AM
53 01 Nov 01 - 12:34 AM
cyder_drinker 01 Nov 01 - 05:34 AM
Bill D 01 Nov 01 - 08:18 AM
Don Firth 02 Nov 01 - 03:09 AM
Deckman 02 Nov 01 - 06:21 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 02 Nov 01 - 10:45 AM
Deckman 02 Nov 01 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 02 Nov 01 - 05:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Nov 01 - 11:51 PM
Deckman 03 Nov 01 - 12:23 AM
lady penelope 03 Nov 01 - 06:03 AM
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Subject: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:05 PM

For some time now, I've been thinking about opening this subject. Over the years I've spent thousands of hours sharing music with my friends at hoots. I probably attended my first hoot when I was 16, and that's 48 years of wonderful moments of folkmusic, companionship, laughs, tears, hugs, chicken skin and memories. I've seen good hoots go bad, I've seen bad hoots get good. I've hosted many hoots and I've learned that the best laid plans usually don't happen. For the last fifteen years or so, my approach has been ... "let's invite everyone and let them fight it out for themselves!" The 'fight' I refer to is the predicable struggle for dominance at a hoot. Sometime it's tussle between a newcomer and a regular. Sometimes it's a struggle between a very young brash 'wanna' be who doesn't know the etiquette and those who prefer manners. Oftimes it's a competition between rival singers, usually with a lady somewhere in the mix. And I have witnessed the opposite ... two gorgeous woman singers fighting over the same guy ... that was a night! It's somewhat amusing to me that at my safe and sane age of 64, and being safely married, I still see these contests happen ... Oh well! Most of the times I've just felt a sweet coming together of old friends sharing our mutual love and respect for each other and out mutual love for our wonderful music. Having said all that, I want to set the stage and invite you to describe, and share with us ... that SPECIAL MAGICAL moment that you experienced and will never forget. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:11 PM

Well, Bob, this is timely. After caregiving for the past four and a half years, the handsome mando player and i could go OUT of town, and stay at a late night session. The magick really started around midnight (what a surprise, eh?) and the crowd thinned down to the group we usually have at our own house, someone we didn't know, and the hosts. Got in a few solid hours of REALLY good music. And, will be having the weekly session here, tonight. Just doesn't get better than a full weekend of music. Unless, it is a full WEEK of sessions.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:24 PM

GOOD GRIEF GYPSY ... talk about timely! I posted my thread at 6:05 and you jumped in at 6:11. Is there some kind of a land speed world record possible here? I suspect that you will win! It must have been wonderful to get out after such a time. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:31 PM

Probably my most recent magic moment was the little group at the getaway by the fireplace in the dining hall. Another was meeting Rick Fielding at the Patons, and, being able to pick with him. He is so good, I expected him to bury me, but, it worked well. Bob, how do you get them to fight over you? Are you taking notes Doug?


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:42 PM

A couple of weeks ago at the UK Catters Llanstock 2 gathering, after the ceilidh and the singaround had ended, we just met upstairs and there was an hour or so of truly magical singing with wonderful harmonies. I hope I may be fortunate enough to have another equally memorable experience at least once in my life.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 06:47 PM

Kendall ... Come on guy, you remember the rules don't you ... "a gentleman never tells." Actually, you gave me a much needed belly laugh because I WAS NOT the singer pursued. In fact, several months after the incident, I was terribly relieved to realize that had I been the chosen "prize", I would have seriously regretted it. (isn't that how we all learn to sing love ballads with such feeling?) CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 08:24 PM

There are 8 to 12 people in our weekly core group usually with the odd visitor or two. Sometimes- and there doesn't seem to be a surefire formula for it- it's a magic night where the richness of sound and the atmosphere of cherishing acceptance (I'm fumbling here) is so all-pervasive you don't want to ever have it end. Where you wish you could sing all the songs right over again, or that there were more verses or that time could hold still...Where nothing can go wrong. Where there is an epiphany of sorts in recognizing the unique connection of everybody to everybody and everything. How's it go? I believe in music.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM

Most recent? Obviously at the Getaway. The same session Kendall mentioned. He and Sandy Paton started alternating hobo songs. Kendall sang one about a tramp coming home to his mother after ten years and I teared up - just put my baby boy on the road again and it hit awfully close to home.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 08:30 PM

That was the editorial "You" Bob.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 10:32 PM

One of the more memorable "hoot happenings" occurred in the Fall of 1958, at Almar Lanczos's home in North Seattle. For those who were'nt privy, every Saturday night was 'hoot' night at Almars, wether he was home or not! (some of the best hoots happened when he was out of town, but that's another tale). This story tells a lot about my friend Don Firth ... I really should call him and tell him that I started this post! Anyway, for about four months straight, there was this one beautiful girl that used to show up for every hoot. Almar's house was only about a mile from the U. of W. campus, so there was always a bevy of beauties about. For the life of me, I can't remember her name, but I can still picture her, sitting in the corner, leaning against the wall, always requesting that Don sing "Greensleeves." She must have been in her romantic period, because that's all she requested. Finally Don, who always did the best performance of Greensleves, complete with full classical guitar accompaniment, had had enough. This particuliar night, with NO WARNING, he launched into "GREENSLEEVES." The talking blues version, full bass runs on the guitar ala the talking union blues style.
Alas my love you do me wrong,br> to treat me so discourtesly
(try it, it really works well). After this shocker, the poor girl stood up, tossed her hair, and without a 'fair thee well', left. We never saw her again. Now THAT was a magical moment. Later that evening I talked with Don about it. He simply said, "I was tired of the song." CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Benjamin
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 11:08 PM

I'd say the first honors recital I played at my school. I felt that I'd played poorly in the jury, but was appearently alone on that. I then played for the Seattle Musical Arts Society (another performance offered for the reward). Dispite a poor performance, the society had a lot of great stuff to say about me (they even called the organizer of the recital and told her some nice things). I had discussions about performance with some of them. When the honors recital finally came, I had a lot of adrenolim when I went on stage. I can remember how it felt walking out, sitting down, hitting the first chord, and everything that followed. I then forgot about the ending, but quickly wrote a new one (maybe the only thing I can't remember, but it did work quite well). It turned out to be the best I had played up to that point, and it was on stage! People had some very flattering things to say afterwards. Since, I've improved a lot (and still have a lot to improve) and feel much calmer on stage and over all, I feel that I give a better performance. But the excitement before, during, and after that performance will always stand out as a favorte moment.

As an audience member, I'd have to say seeing David Russell for the first time. I had just started studing classical the previous year. My teacher had been telling me that I had to go see him as he was one of the best in the world. I remember walking into the room wondering if he'd live up to all the hype. He turned out to be every bit as amazing, and more than he had been made out to be. I'm excited about the opportunity I have to see him again in April.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 28 Oct 01 - 11:10 PM

A magical musical moment occurred one year at the Kentucky Music Weekend. Sparky Rucker invited me to sit in on his blues workshop. I told him I only had two blues songs fit for company. He said come any way. Half way through the workshop I had already done my two songs and my singing partner, Margaret walked up. I knew she knew Dink's song, though it wasn't part of our repertoire. We started playing it, Sparky came in on harmonica and Karen, from the Real World String band added a lovely, swooping fiddle part. The song just took wings. I've thought you could get all of us involved in that in a studio with fancy equipment and never duplicate that one moment. Best music is out in the air and gone. But what great memories you've all shared in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: DougR
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 12:16 AM

Kendall: my pen is poised!

DougR


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM

1. Sitting in Kedall's front room swapping songs and bits of songs over a couple of beers, with the other Seamus lying on the floor between us.

2. At the Longs Peak Highland Games and Irish Festival in Estes Park, CO a few years ago. The festival was over and a group of performers, Alastair Fraser, Alex Beaton, Natalie McMaster, Dave McIsaac and myself, decided to have a session in the bar. The one rule was: no Irish or Scottish music since we'd been playing it on stage all weekend. Well, Alastair Fraser does a fine Stephane Grapelli (and just about everything else), Natalie does some fine Don Messer fiddlin', Alex did some Kenny Rogers, Dave McIsaac picked some great Doc Watson tunes, and I threw in a little Edith Piaf and Ernest Tubb. We had ball!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: pinkfiddle
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:25 AM

Oh, my goodness there have been so many...

For listening to others play I would say.

Danu's encore at this year's Sidmouth festival where they sang Jock Stewart and the whole audience (packed with people who had escaped from disastrous Incredible String Band gig) joined in the chorus. An incredibly warm and neck hair raising experience and their arrangement of the song and the voice of their singer totally reinvented the song for me.

Martin Hayes anytime

My teacher, Kevin O Reilly, at the Willie Clancy Summer School playing the most beautiful and sad slow air I've ever heard with such feeling in each note that it made me want to cry.

Sorry if this is getting cheesy but you did ask..

For playing myself...

Playing the bones with my Dad Len Davies at the New Tavern in Sidmouth at the age of 12. The first gig I did on a big stage with a big PA - with Adrian Lever and Laura Cannell at the University of East Anglia in 1997. Any of the Monday night sessions I've been to at The Herschel Arms in Slough, but particularly the last time.

That's probably enough

See ya pf


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:44 AM

It was the Fall of 1959, in Sausalito California. Don and Patti and I were at "The Anchor Steam House, on the bridgeway as you enter town from San Francisco. This was a very large gathering place and tonight's performers were Bob Gibson and his partner. As usual, Bob held the audience in the palm of his hands. He gave a sterling performance and everyone was wired for more music after the concert. Patti decided that she could add to the festivities. We were all crowded close together on the floor, everyone just milling around, too many people and too little space. I grabbed a chair, set it on the floor in front of Patti, and handed her Martin to her. She looked at me, took the dare, and gave one of the most amazing performances I've ever witnessed. She plunked her foot on the chair, struck one loud chord, and starting quietly singing:
Come a landsman, a pinsman>br>a tinker or a tailor
a gentlman or a poor man, a poor boy or a tailor

The effect was like a bomb went off! The entire room became silent and people froze and turned to watch this little slip of blond beauty sing.When she finished the final chorus:
Don't you let me die an old maid
But take me out of pity

the place went crazy. It took us some time get her out of there. As I left, carrying her guitar, I couldn't help but notice the envious stares form all the guys! That was a magical moment! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: MMario
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 10:27 AM

One time that will probably stick in my mind for many more years (it's been there a while already) - late at night, after a wedding reception for my youngest sister - the rest of the siblings and a few in-laws; went down to the board walk over the salt marsh in our home town - and there in the moonlight lay on our backs, relaxed, reminisced and sang "the oldies". We paused at one point - and were amazed to have cheers and honkings come from the parking lot - where about a dozen cars had parked and were listening to our impromptu "concert"


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Trevor
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:03 AM

25 years ago I rented a cottage near where I was working, opposite Bird Rock in the Dysenni valley, mid-Wales. Some people came round, just with a fiddle, a flute and a guitar. I went for a walk in the field with a bright moon over the mountain and a frost in the air, and the music floating out from the house. It was a defining moment in my life, for various, boring, reasons, and one of those times when you almost want to die while things are so perfect. Pass the tissues.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:23 AM

1. I met Mister at a guitar pull, 12 years ago.

2. Playing in the dance orchestra at Mansker's Station with Dean Shostak, who I was so afraid of, who turned out to be a really swell guy. At this same event, another fiddler invited us into the house to play, and we had a really good little private jam session.

3. Last weekend, at Mansker's Station again, we were playing for the fall encampment, and I wasn't really in the mood... we were playing for the kids that afternoon, and sometimes kids are not all that interested in what you have to say... we played a fiddle tune, I don't remember which, and as we finished, one little boy, about 4 years old, hollered, "Again!" :-)


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 03:47 PM

Robert, m' boy, you do have a knack for starting some good ones. Sometimes I think it's all magical, but, racking my brain, a couple of moments in particular spring to mind.

1963, a warm Wednesday evening in midsummer at one of the Seattle Center Hootenannies: when the weather was good, they were held outdoors in front of the Horiuchi Mural, overlooking a large grassy area that formed a natural amphitheater, and on this particular evening I was on the program. Police estimates said that the crowd numbered about 6000. 6000 people applauding and cheering sounds a bit like surf. That's pretty heady stuff.

I was there the following Wednesday evening also, but this time I wasn't scheduled to perform. On the program was a recently formed bluegrass group who called themselves the "Turkey Pluckers." I don't remember who all was in the group now, but the nucleus was Phil and Vivian Williams. Phil played 5-string banjo and Vivian played fiddle. In fact, Vivian had just returned from a national fiddlers' contest were she had won the competition -- the first woman to have ever done so. This evening the Turkey Pluckers finished their portion of the program with their signature piece, The Orange Blossom Special (new to most people's ears at the time). And Vivian, as usual, gave a bravura performance, starting at a moderate speed, slowly building in tempo, and toward the end, her fiddle strings were smokin'! Just as the last notes died away, the crowd (police estimate, 15,000) went insane! The ovation was deafening and it must of lasted for good five minutes.

For me, one of the quieter magical moments occurred at the end of an evening when I sang at the Corroboree (a coffeehouse run by Stan James, an Australophile). It had been a good, mellow evening all the way, and at the end of the late last set, there were only about a dozen people left in the place. The next to last song I sang was a quiet love song, and as I reach the end of the set, it seemed almost too quiet to sing anything more, so I ended with a classic guitar piece, Romance de Amor. It's a fairly simple but lovely piece of music in which a romantic melody floats on top of a flowing arpeggio pattern. At the and, I brushed my thumb lightly across the strings for the final E minor chord and let it quietly die away. Silence followed. A few moments later everybody got up and left, quietly thanking me for the music as they filed out.

Applause is great. But sometimes no applause can be just as great.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 04:29 PM

Milton Abbey Music festival, 1989. I'd just got over 2 black eyes and some internal damage given me by a definately EX partner, and was feeling a bit fragile still, but went to the festival anyway because he wouldn't be able to find me there, in what is a boys boarding school.

Saturday morning, a sung mass in the abbey. The setting was Mozart, "Coronation", the anthem, Holst, "Let all mortal flesh keep silence".

The Mozart was stupendous, something about that Credo that just rips the soul out, but the Holst, with the need for a 36' pipe and a descant that goes up to Bb nearly 2 octaves over middle C (on a bad day I have around 2 & 1/2 octaves from G under C, and this was a good day.....) just took that soul, smoothed it out, patched up the rips and gently put it back in.....

The setting was a perfect mediaeval abbey (it isn't but the style is) and the weather was gorgeous. The people I was with were all friends, the school had been that of my first love and his picture was on the wall of our dorm room. The organist was one of the best in the country, the conductor a man of deep sympathy with the music and the ability to make us sing parts we didn't know we could.

At the end of the anthem he stood there, his face a seraphic smile, he applauded us with a gentle tapping of two fingers on two, and there was this total and utter silence, so deep, even the birds outside were still. All was completely still for about 30 seconds, and then was this great gust of wind as everyone let out their breath where they'd been holding it.

It took me 9 days to come down from that euphoria... not even the shit who cracked my skull could spoil that, even though he tried to. It's my one perfect moment and it will be with me till I die.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 04:35 PM

Then there was singing the Harp Song of the Dane Women, with Lady P at Llanstock, never having sung together before, not really knowing all the words, and not knowing which harmony I was going to do, if any.....

And yes, sometimes, no applause is more than an ovation....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:34 PM

Great, Liz. That's beautiful.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:41 PM

Wow.... I can imagine. Who set a tune to it though? Pete Bellamy?


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 08:12 PM

I have to agree, Seamus. Although it isn't really recent, it certainly was a pleasure to have you here, and, it did please me when you said you didn't like 12 guitars, but, changed your mind after playing mine! Drop by anytime Mate!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM

oh, my...so many things I could write, poignant, funny, inspiring...old, new..

but, though I think I've posted this before, I remember fondly, the night that Jon Eberhart tuned Roy BookBinder's guitar for him while Roy was playing without Roy ever knowing. We were sitting on a low wall outside a little coffee house, and Roy was warming up. Jon, at Roy's left kept wrinkling his nose and looking uncomfortable....finally he reached up (the tuning pegs were right by Jon's right arm) and tweaked one of the lower tuners a bit and brought the offending string into pitch...then let out an audible sigh of relief. I'm not sure anyone but me saw it...

now, I'll think on other memories..


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 09:38 PM

For those of you have never been blessed by the opportunity to witness Mr. Don Firth perform in person, let me elaborate. Don has an aura! He is very striking in appearance. A very dramatic face, complete with highly arched eyebrows, which he uses with great skill. I suppose that it is his demeaner, or attitude, that you first notice. The moment you see that he has decided that the moment is worthy, he will pick uo his guitar ... and pause. Those of us who have been blessed by his presence and friendship know what's coming. We just smile at each other and set our instruments down and wait with anticipation ... and we are NEVER dissapointed. Don Firth, to me, has always been the consummate folk singer. A performer who chooses and researches his material very, very carefully. He and I have been friends for years and I am truly blessed by that. Would that each of you should have the opportunity to constantly learn from such a person. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 11:46 PM

Bob,

I agree--Don Firth *is* in a class by himself.

An early magical music moment for me was a trip to the Seattle Opera House to hear Richard Dyer-Bennet in concert. This was the early 1960's, around the time of the World's Fair. We had four tickets, but in sets of two, so during the first half of the concert I sat way up in the back with my mother. For the second half of the concert I sat with Dad, about three rows back from the front, to the right of the center aisle. At one point Dyer-Bennet encouraged the group to sing along, and I was evidently enthusiastic, leaning forward and singing lustily, having learned all of the words to all of his recorded songs. After the song was over he looked my way and made a remark that had the audience grinning along with him. Since I was probably 8 or 9 at the time I don't remember what he said, only the kindly temperament of it.

I'd have to say that the hoot/wake/whatever that was after Dad (John Dwyer) died was pretty magical. I realize that for some the event was a sort of neutral territory, many of them hadn't been together for years, but they were all a part of my childhood and everyone was wonderful. I felt like Dad was nearby, just to hear so many friends tell stories and sing favorite songs. A few people tried sweet, beautiful songs, in a respectful tone, but others let rip some of the funniest, dirtiest songs I'd heard in years. I was pleased to realize that I remembered the words to many of the evening's songs. One, in particular, was "Amphioxcis" (have I spelled it right?) that I think Sam Hinton wrote. The friend who led it sang it out of a book and everyone joined in on the chorus while the Dwyer clan just sang along for the whole song. And just before that Don Firth sang (anything he sings sounds good!) and Stan James sang the funniest song I'd heard in years; I can't for the life of me remember what it was now, but it was exactly the kind of song that Dad loved, dissolute, with puns and double entendres galore.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:20 PM

The Harp song of the Dane Women is one of the few Kiplings that Bellemy never got his filthy hands on. It was written especially for a female trio who have recorded it under the name of Steel Bunny, but also perform under the name of Capriole, doing mostly mediaeval or just plain evil... they also do '16 stone' and 'Hoorah for Toy Boys'.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:24 PM

Aw, shucks, folks. Thank you for the kind words. But I can't let Bob get away with that without revealing the truth about him! ("Enquiring minds want to know!")

I first met Bob in 1953 when he was 16 years old. He was avidly interested in folk music and had been singing for about three years. He had a good, clean guitar style, and a mature-sounding baritone voice. Most impressive. Six years later, Bob and I started singing together, and we sang three evenings a week for about eighteen weeks at Seattle's nicest coffeehouse, did several concerts together around western Washington, then took off to the San Francisco Bay Area to make our fortunes. Turns out we were too "ethnic" for San Francisco and too "commercial" for Berkeley (whatever "ethnic" and "commercial" mean). So we hung out in Sausalito where we met a bunch of wonderful people and where if you sang, that was all that mattered. So we sang our little lungs out an many parties and gatherings, got stiffed on several gigs (not in Sausalito -- in some of San Francisco's better-known joints!), and when we ran out of money, we returned to Seattle. We let the duo go as a regular thing because we both had time-consuming obligations (e.g., Bob got married), but we remained fast friends and continued to sing together from time to time over the past four decades.

Bob's baritone voice started out good and just got better over the years. An especially notable thing about his singing came from one of his early mentors. Bill ("Willawaw Willie") Higley taught Bob his first songs, and Higley was a taskmaster when it came to clear diction. Although you're not especially aware of Bob's diction when he sings, you always understand the words! I've often seen Bob hold an audience in the palm of his hand, from a huge crowd at the United Nations Pavilion at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 to an intimate group of a dozen or so people at his house about a month ago. This gathering at Bob's and Judy's was another magical moment for me. Due to an accident I had last year, this was the first time in many months that I've been able to get together with friends and swap songs.

You know, there are a lot of really fine singers out there (such as Bob) who have never made recordings or CDs and, as good as they are, they're not all that well known outside of their own vicinity. Others really ought to have an opportunity to hear them. Hmm. . . .

Don Firth

(P.S.: If it looks like my grammar has gone to blazes in my first post [as in ". . . it must of lasted for good five minutes," which should read ". . . it must have lasted for a good five minutes."], it's because I'm fiddling with a voice recognition program and, although it's pretty good, it has trouble distinguishing between words like "have" and "of," and it sometimes misses articles. Whenever I use it, I'll have to be sure to proof-read scrupulously.)


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: kendall
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:33 PM

Singing a song for Sandy Paton that he had never heard was quite a treat!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 03:42 PM

I thought that I'd add something to the posting by Stilly River Sage ... the late John Dwyers' daughter. I too was at that memorial gathering for John. It was a wondrus night, held in a very large community hall in West Seattle. And indeed there were people gathered together that hadn't been together for many years. They came from many states and also from Canada. The room was filled with people and I was a bit taken aback to realize just how many of them I knew, and from where, and from when. The associations with John spanned 40 years. And the mood in the air was electric. And it was glorious to realize that EVERYONE came for one purpose... to sing a final song, or share a wonderful story ... in honor of a great friend and folksinger. Seattle was attempting to snow that night, so we arrived a bit late. As we walked in, I saw the room was already set up and mostly filled. A very large circle of chairs was arranged, with folks sitting with their instruments, ready to go. There was fire in the fireplace, it looked like this was going to be fun. As one person finished singing a song, or telling a story about John, the focus turned to the next person in the circle. This was the way it went until the circle came to an empty chair. Sitting upright in this chair, was John beloved guitar! Whenever the circle came to John's chair, there was a pause, I KNOW tears dropped, and then the circle continued ... It still does. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 05:02 PM

Thanks Don ... Bob (actually, if I was a writer, which I'm not, I would say something like ... "aw gee, shucky darn ... (Bob kicking the gravel and stuffing his hands into his jeans, 'kinda shuffeling around, looking embarrased ... but I'm NOT a writer, so I won't even mention it!) CHEERS Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 05:14 PM

*G* Thanks Liz...I shall have to look out for them!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Oct 01 - 11:03 PM

"Bride Judy" asked me post this for her. (she has been caught up by this thread. From Judy (Thompson) Barberie Nelson ... "I was introduced to the Seattle hoot scene by my Art instructor at Grays harbor College, Dick Landberg. I met Don Firth, Lloyd Remmen (aka Randy @ Van Dekkers), and Mike Lieb in 1961. What a trio! My most memorable moment, among many, was at the home of Judy Flenniken (sp?) on Magnolia Bluff, Seattle. It was a small gathering ... Don Firth and about ten others. Jean Redpath was the guest. She told her story of walking on the beach in Scotland, being surrounded by seals and scared to death. She started to sing, in gaelic, the "Silkie," and they surrounded her. When she stopped singing, they returned to the sea. We were hypnotized, as were the seals. Makes a person wonder." ... Bob says ... I would like to add a side note to this posting. I was also invited to this gathering, but for some stupid reason, I didn't make it. If I had, that might have been the first opportunity I'd had to meet my future bride! CHEERS, Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Sourdough
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 08:45 PM

The magic of the moment that the momentum of the circle, made up of love and vitality. reached the empty chair filled by John Dwyer's guitar, paused for a moment to refresh itself with the reason that it had come together and then reignited, is a wonderful description of how magic musical moments, under the right condition, can even be silence.

This is a wonderful idea for a thread. I would have been "here" sooner but I have been down in Los Angeles working. I finished at midnight on Monday-Tuesday and during the night drove the 400+ miles home just because I love being on the road at night. I guess I always have. This time, I was driving a truck and had a tray full of CDs. It was eight or nine hours of my favorite music.

It may have been twenty years ago that I left Fruita, CO, about an hour or two before a summer morning dawn heading west to Green River, Utah. That time, though, I was on a motorcycle and the reason I was riding in the night was that I wanted to complete the trip before the sun got up too high and the road across the high desert landscape started to bake. It's 110 miles from Fruita to to Green River and at that time there were no services available along that entire stretch even though it is an Interstate. It is a very lonely stretch of real estate.

When I started the bike, I tuned the CB to Channel 19. Since there was no traffic on the road, I didn't expect to hear anything. It was more force of habit than anything else. I set the radio's squelch so that I didn't pick up any static that would destroy the quiet of the fading night and I headed west.

As the sky behind me turned to cobalt blue, the color in the rocky landscape was just starting to become visible. Black silhouettes were being filled in with grays, then purple, and then reds and greens. It was like watching creation. I could see six or eight miles ahead and there wasn't anything else moving on the road or I would have seen their headlights. I didn't know it but there was an eighteen wheeler heading towards me, still out of sight, and I am guessing that the driver must have been at the wheel all night.

When he did come up over a rise a half dozen miles or so ahead of me, I didn't pay any attention and I don't think he paid me any particular notice. At a closing speed of somewwhere between 130 to 150 miles per hour, it didn't take long until we had flashed by each other. I'll bet that if he saw me at all, he certainly didn't see the small CB antenna jutting up from my luggage rack.

That driver must have been so overcome at that pre-dawn moment by the expanse of desert and the length of the road ahead and behind that he felt he had to express it somehow. He picked up his CB mike and began singing a song that he obviously believed expressed the emotions he was feeling. He emptied his heart into his CB microiphone and poured his feelings out into what he must have believed to be an empty landscape. When he got to the line, "The moon has gone behind a cloud / I'm so lonesome I could cry", I was as moved by the unselfconscious performance of that unknown trucker as I have ever been listening to any performance of any kind.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 09:02 PM

Simply beautiful ... thank you ... Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 31 Oct 01 - 09:20 PM

Sourdough ... you have just reminded me of another magical moment that happened to me probably 45 years ago. I was a teenager (Iwas once ... really) and I was in my little 12 foot wooden row boat, fishing off the beach of Alki Point. This is a famous area in Seattle now, but back then I only knew it as a place where the Blackmouths (read that young King Salmon) would school at certain times. It was very foggy, I was only about 50 feet off shore, rowing very quietly, I couldn't even see the shore for the fog. Just as dawn started to burn through the fog, high on the bluff, I heard a bagpiper start playing. I don't recall the melody, but it was totally mesmerizing. Today, I can still hear that haunting sound, drifting over the water. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 12:05 AM

Bob,

When music comes from unexpected places it is magical. One of the things I loved about living in New York City was that when you would see street musicians setting up, there was a wonderful feeling of anticipation, waiting to see what *kind* of music they would play. Stereotypes were regularly dashed and pleasure almost certain.

The road trip mentioned above reminds me of a drive I took in Arizona many years ago, from Payson, at the top of the Mogollon Rim, to Phoenix. It was late May or early June, and I had just pulled out of a small restaurant on the edge of town when I stuck a 45-minute tape of R.K.'s ballet Scheherezade (sp?) in the cassette player. Had I been going uphill, I'd have crept along behind trucks and the effect would have been wasted, but I was coasting downhill. I would round a corner to see a world of blooming saguaro's before me, and at the next cresendo in the music, another corner, this time with bright yellow blooming palo verde. The drive couldn't have been choreographed better if someone had intentionally tried.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: 53
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 12:34 AM

watching the beatles on the ed sullivan show in february of 1964, that was magic for me and 70 million other people who watched also. BOB


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: cyder_drinker
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 05:34 AM

After many years of open, no-holds-barred warfare with my sister, we sat and played a flute duet last Friday night.
The pub went quiet - they wouldn't let us stop!

What a magical thread - some of these stories make the ol' cold shivers go up and down my spine as I read them. Thanks all!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 08:18 AM

There is a song "I Know Moonlight" ...very powerful, and there is a recording by Helen Scheyner (the midi in the database cannot do justice to what Helen does! besides, there is a '2nd' part and mid-verse variations...get the record/CD from Folk-Legacy)

I have heard Helen do this in person a number of times, but there was one time in particular, at a semi-darkened vegitarian coffeehouse in Bethesda MD, with a lot of her friends doing 'vocalized enhancments'..harmonies and humming, etc,...that stood up the hair on the back of my neck! She just hit it 'right'...and Helen knew how to draw out, and slow a song like this down....just enough so it did not drag. I'm not sure the recorded version lives up to what I have heard her do with it...it is merely tremendous!


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:09 AM

Wow!! Music on the road! Great story, Sourdough, and beautifully written. I really got into it. And Maggie, I'm very familiar with Sheherazade, and as I was reading your description I could hear it playing in my head. That was a magical moment right there! Thank you!

(A thread-drifty aside:-- The story is told of a world-famous conductor [Toscanini, I think] who was great with classical, but not all that comfortable conducting modern music. On this occasion, a music student dropped in on a rehearsal to take advantage of an opportunity to hear the Great Master in action. They were rehearsing a modern piece, and both the orchestra and the conductor were having difficulty with a section in 5/4 time. After several false starts, suddenly both the conductor and the orchestra got it together and the piece went smoothly. The music student noticed that the conductor was muttering to himself, so he snuck up behind him to see if he could hear what he was saying. When he got close enough, he heard the great man muttering "Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov, Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov. . . ." Yup. Five beats.)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 06:21 AM

That reminds me of that great Judy Cannova (sp?)line ... she was telling a friend that she was going to a concert that evening to watch some man "rip his corset off!"


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 10:45 AM

The first part of this has been posted before, but seems pretty relevant to the topic.

Last month brought me an unusual and profound privilege. Late last year, my Uncle Jim (from the relatively new-found Kingston branch of my family) passed away, and it was not until last month that there was a memorial service and internment of his ashes. I'd been asked to sing a couple of his favourite songs for the occasion. One was a lovely Gaelic melody called "Bheir Me O", also called "The Eriskay Love Lilt". A September Saturday morning saw me singing this beautiful song in a cemetery that sloped down to the wooded shores of the Napanee River. The scene was wonderfully serene and peaceful, and it was a very moving experience for me. The memory will be with me for a long, long time.


A couple of weeks thereafter, I decided to do the song at the White Oak Folk Club (Oakville, Ontario, Canada). After sharing the above story with the audience, they took the trouble to learn the Gaelic chorus and sing it with me. Special. I do believe Uncle Jim might have been listening.


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:01 PM

I was reminded today of a wonderful incident that happened at a hoot in the home of the late Kenneth Harms, in 1958. Ken, for those that weran't privileged to know him, was an incredible man ... artist, mason, the first ecologist I ever knew, lover of tradtional folk music, strong friend and hoster of many hoots. About 1953, or so, he started building his home North of seattle in a heavily wooded ravine. Money was tight, so he scavenged many useable items from old homes being removed: stained glass windows, incredible doors, etc. As his wonderful house grew, he started having hoots. One evening, we were all scattered about in him multi-layer home, singing and having a great time. Suddenly, we heard a scratching at the window. Ken said, "Oh, it must be midnight. Everyone please sit quietly, it's time to feed my family." He went to the window and opened it. In paraded a whole family of racoons. We sat enthralled while he very patiently fed each one on crackers and peanut butter. As they left, barely giving us a glance, he appologized for the interruption. We went back to singing. (If anyone out there knew Ken, and would like a wonderful update on his family, please feel free to contact me). CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 05:43 PM

Speaking of animals, I used to have a kitty that LOVED the pennywhistle. I'd start to play and no matter where he was in the house, he'd come running. He'd jump right up in my lap, and put his face in my face, all purring and such. He was a head-butter - you cat people will know all about that.

I also had a budgie who liked to sing along. He was especially fond of Michael Martin Murphey's "Cowboy Songs" album, but he also sang along with me quite a bit.

Oddly, the kitty and the budgie both died on the same day. I say that not to be a downer, but just to point out that... well... that there's sometimes strange and magical things about animals.

My two dogs? They don't care less about music, unless there's biscuits involved.

I think I posted this one to another thread a long time ago, but here goes again. I am sometimes funny about singing my own songs for people I know personally. For me it's not unlike getting naked. (I know y'all understand this.) Anyway, I had written this tune, "The Black Flower," after I read the novel, yaddayaddayadda. Well, a friend of mine, a fellow reenactor, has known Howard Bahr, the novel's author, for many years. Knowing this, I avoided playing the song for Patrick, because I just didn't know what he would think.

One evening, we had a living history camp going on at Carnton Plantation, the real-life house where the action of The Black Flower takes place. There was a bunch of us having a hootenanny on the back porch, in our period clothes & stuff, singing (mostly) period music. I don't remember why - I guess I had a little whiskey and was feeling brave - I did the song.

Patrick came up to me afterwards and I thought, oh crap... I said, Do you think Howard would be okay with it? (I mean, I love that book, I certainly wouldn't want to offend the author) Pat turned just a little and I could see the tears running down his face. He loved it.

Now, it's not that I'm into making people cry or anything, but it meant a lot to me that he liked the song. You know what I mean. We all want our friends to think our children are beautiful, after all.

Cheers----- KFC


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 11:51 PM

I mentioned my time in New York City earlier in this thread, and I hesitate to mention this one, not being sure what the attitude to this group is toward Barbershop Quartets, but here goes:

I worked at Ellis Island (the old immigrant processing station in New York Harbor) for a couple of years. This was in the time when it was first opened after 25 years, but hadn't had any restoration work done on it yet. All visitors were met at the boat, and all had to stay with rangers for the one-hour tour.

One of my rangers out there was a social worker by training (don't ask how he ended up as a park ranger) and his avocation was singer. I know no one else on this list has that original employment vs music arrangement, right? Anyway, one of his several musical outlets was with a barbershop quartet, and one day the group came out to the island. It was a very quiet fall day, few tourists on the island, and we had Joe and his three friends take a position up on the west balcony in the Great Hall and sing for us. It sent chills up my spine, to hear their voices in that way in that incredible room.

Joe, who is Italian, also sang with a Norwegian Male Choir in Brooklyn--another story, for another post.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 12:23 AM

Maggie ... you've just reminded me of another magical musical moment that happened to me about 8 years ago. Often these moments just "happen" to us, there is no way we could plan them ... life happens that way. Being single at the time, and a Friday night, I was tired from work, hungry, and no energy or ideas for supper. I drove to my local Safeway, and on the spur of the moment, walked into a strip mall Oriental restaurant, next to Safeway. I was the only patron, 4 tables, and I ordered. Soon, in came a party of four ... all of them were obviously Arabian. Out from the back room (kitchen) came the Japanese owner and greeted them as old friends. My dinner was served, and I was eating, the owner served their supper, then he brought out his Italian accordian, and started to play and sing to entertain them with dinner music. The song he played and sang was Stephan Fosters "Old Black Joe." So ... here I was, in an oriental restaurant, listening to Japanesse (sp?) owner, playing an Italian accordian, entertaining Arabian diners, singing "Old Black Joe!" (true story) Let's hear it for diversity in America! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Magical Musical Moments
From: lady penelope
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 06:03 AM

I've sung in rock bands, choirs and at folk do's. And I do it because, when it works, it's seems to be the most perfect expression of my spirit I can find. A kind of magic.

But I must say, I had always dreamed of just starting to sing and having someone join their voice with me and for it to take flight.

That dream came true in Llanfair.

Thanks Liz.

Penny.


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