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Work of the Weavers (new group formed)

GUEST,Frank 07 Aug 04 - 01:44 PM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 04 - 02:08 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 07 Aug 04 - 02:54 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 07 Aug 04 - 02:58 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 07 Aug 04 - 03:05 PM
Rabbi-Sol 07 Aug 04 - 10:58 PM
Once Famous 07 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM
Rabbi-Sol 07 Aug 04 - 11:59 PM
Once Famous 08 Aug 04 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Frank 08 Aug 04 - 12:42 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 08 Aug 04 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Aug 04 - 09:13 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 08 Aug 04 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,David Bernz 09 Aug 04 - 08:12 AM
GUEST 09 Aug 04 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,David Bernz 09 Aug 04 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,David Bernz 09 Aug 04 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Frank 09 Aug 04 - 03:04 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 09 Aug 04 - 05:02 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 09 Aug 04 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 01:44 PM

A new group has emerged. They are good musicians and
they have reproduced the Weaver's sound in an uncanny likeness. It's revising the tradition of the Weavers. They have a new CD and can be found on-line. Workoftheweavers.com.

What do you think? Pete Seeger raves about them as does
Fred Hellerman.

I think they're on their way.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:08 PM

Hmmmm. I can't find workoftheweavers.com, frank. I did find this site which has lyrics for a parody of "Work of the Weavers" that I haven't heard before. Cute, but I don't think it will sell a million.
-Joe Offer-

THE WORK OF THE WEAVERS
-Joe Bethancourt
(c) copyright 2000 W.J. Bethancourt III

We're all met t'gither here t'sit an' t'sing
Wi' our guitars in our hands here t'mak the rafters ring
An' there's nae a one among y' that could pick a single string
If it wasna' for the wark of the Weavers!
    CHORUS: If it wasna' for the Weavers, what would y'do?
    Y'wouldna' hae your folksongs of love so true
    Y'wouldna' hae your folkies singin'o' th'blues
    If it wasna' for the wark of the Weavers!

The rock'n'rollies mock us and they crack aye aboot's
They say that we're all hillbillies an' cannae read a noot
But yet, for a' their mockery they canna dae wi'oots
Na! They canna want the wark of the Weavers!

Pete Seeger and Fred Hellerman made it quite a treat
Lee Hays and Ronnie Gilbert they sang it a' so sweet
Eric Darling cam' in later on, fillin' in for Pete
They're th' ones that did the wark of the Weavers!

The music is a trade that niver can fail
We don't need no 'lectricity t'bend anither's ear
Sae let us all be merry wi' another glass of beer
And we'll drink tae the health of the Weavers!

...but enough of that digression. There's a review of the new group, Work of the Weavers, here (click).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:54 PM

I cannot say enough about how interesting, talented, and historically accurate the group is.   This is not what is commonly called "a tribute band", but rather an exploration of the history and the music of The Weavers. In their full program it is a dramatic presentation w/ music ( I have had the pleasure as acting the part of the HUAC interrogator) in those productions.

The three remaining Weavers (Pete, Fred, Ronnie) have all raved about the group and their purpose. As for me, I am delighted to say that they have been on my radio show and given me a lengthy interview with music.

Check the website for them which is listed above since they are doing a bit of travelling---Florida this winter, this Sunday Pleasantville NY for a set of music after the showing of Wasn't that A Time and an appearance by Harold Leventhal (the manager of The Weavers), and on Sept 11 at the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Paramus NJ.

Do see them if you can and be blown away by the talent and the sincerety of the production.   The show is still evolving and newer material will be soon interspersed with the original Weavers arrangements.

Bill Hahn
Traditions
WFDU 89.1 FM
Teaneck NJ


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:58 PM

By the way ---the actual name or the group   Work O The Weavers

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 03:05 PM

I just noticed that your website for them is incorrect here is the link for WorkOtheweavers.

http://www.workotheweavers.com


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 10:58 PM

I have heard them and can attest to everything that Bill Hahn has to say about them. If they are performing anywhere in your vicinity you should make a special effort to go see them. They are that good. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Once Famous
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM

I don't know why you can't call them a tribute band if they are "an exploration of the history and the music of The Weavers."

If this is a "show" showcasing the material, arrangements, and emmulating the sound Weavers, then what are they if not a tribute band?


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:59 PM

Martin: Whatever you want to call them, they are damm good at what they do. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Once Famous
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 11:53 AM

Of that I have no doubt.

And at least they are not actually billing themselves as "The Weavers." What bothers me is bands/artists who ride on other's fame and originality and DON'T acknowledge they are a tribute band. For example, the Kingston Trio, with last founding member Bob Shane now retired, is performing as that group with no original members nor anyone in the group who gained them fame as original recording artists (i.e.: John Stewart who replaced Dave Guard).

There has been a group performing here in Chicago known as Weavermainia. They are very good and fun to listen to but they claim to be a tribute group or a copy group, or even more so, a nostalgia group.


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:42 PM

Martin is right. Weavermania does not pretend to be other than
a tribute group. The interesting thing about both Weavermania and The Work O The Weavers is that they have the talent to extend beyond being a museum piece. The future of these groups in my view would be to take the spirit of the Weavers and find new material that reflects that style. There are quite a few songs out there today that if the original Weavers were still around, they might do effectively.

One of the most important aspects of the Weavers is that they appealed to a Progressive audience that cared about social issues. There was a tension in the group that reflected how much social emphasis there should be and how it would affect commercial sales. I believe that Pete pulled in one direction and Lee and Freddie pulled in another.

The great thing about these new groups is that they don't have to be concerned about such matters. They can preserve the spirit of the Weavers by extending their repitiore and not worry about record sales or media exposure.

That's probably how the original group became popular. They originally didn't care about being "stars' and hence became popular because they were good.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 03:19 PM

First off---I am so glad that we are all in agreement on this. As to the "tribute" band aspect being discussed. I had made my comment for a particular reason.   Weavermania is great---no doubt. But, as you say they are doing The Weavers---like Beatlemania or such.   This group does not try to emulate ---they do more of a docudrama giving, as said, the history of the group in a dramatic and musical way.

You make a very good point re: doing new material. As I mentioned previously, The group is evolving and will be adding new material of their own and other's composition.   They also have updated some of the Weaver's songs with a few new lyrics. In fact, Pete Seeger has urged them to just that---new material and updating.

The interesting thing is---if you visit the website I posted for them---you will find comments by the 3 remaining Weavers---and all are of the highest compliment. Hell, they even posted my review--so you have to figure its good (being humility impaired I wrote that last sentence).

I was at one of their early concerts for an interview and Fred Hellerman was in the audience---he got on the stage and offered one of the finest tributes I ever heard---he said (I will just give you the last sentence) "....I have finally seen a Weaver's concert)

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 09:13 PM

Nice.

Art


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 10:22 PM

Just to add to this thread--I have just returned from a showing of Wasn't That A Time---at an art theater in the area. Harold Leventhal (Weaver's Mgr) was there for a Q&A---clever as hell---who, by the way was asked what he thought of A Mighty Wind. 2 or so word answer--silly with bad music.

Now, the film is great and touches me as it always does---however, the Work O The Weavers then got on stage for a set of music and an explanation of what they do in a full performance. I figured---tough act to follow---The Weavers on film. But as I said in my review about them----The Weavers in context with great harmonies--and so on.    They sure pulled it off----best performance (musically) to me to date. Also---after you see Ronnie Gilbert on film---Martha Sanderfer is ---well, close your eyes. She has, in addition, an amazing musical background


Check their website since they will be doing a lot of appearances in the NE this summer, fall, and winter. Also some in the South I understand.



Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST,David Bernz
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 08:12 AM

Dear friends at Mudcat,


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 08:58 AM

Lets try this again. Dear friends at Mudcat, You are all correct in your own way. I am one of the quartet who make up "Work o' The Weavers." Both of my parents were part of the progressive community in New York City in the '30s and '40s My father Harold eventually volunteered to work for the People Somg's Bulleten where he met Pete Seeger and Lee Hays and Woody Guthrie and others. He and Lee struck up a great friendship and eventually shared an apartment together in the 1950s. Later, when my father married and moved to Croton, Lee followed us out there and bought the house next door, where he was "Uncle Lee" to me for many years. I give this as background only to say that this music is very near and dear to my heart and I would never do anything to disparage or insult it or to turn it into mere nostalga. That is why when folksinger James Durst first apporoached me with the idea of getting a few Weavers arrangements together, I told him "no thanks." After 9/11 though, when I saw haw certain opinions were being silenced in the media, and I heard the words "unpatriotic" and "un-American" again being used to describe those dissenting against the march to war, it felt as if the 1950s were coming back. That's when I realized how relevant the story of the Weavers is to these times. So I told James that if we could not only play the songs but also tell the Weavers' story, that I'd be very interested. We've been honing the show with Martha Sandefer and Mark Murphy since last summer and are just now developing a sence of comfort with the material. We are profoundly grateful for the support and assistance we have recieved from all of the surviving Weavers and their manager Harold Leventhal. And while we certainly don't have the same tensions within the group regarding commercialism that the Weavers had, it is not a non-issue. James and I have gone back and forth many times about how much political commentary to include while still trying to remain accessible to varied audiences.    Frankly, I am not so concerned about whether we are called a tribute or a celebration or a docudrama. But some of you are right that there is no greater tribute we can give to the Weavers than to move their tradition forward by bringing in new songs relevant to today. Already we have included in some of our performances "Dazzling Dream," one of Lee's last songs that was never performed with the Weavers and Fred Hellerman's "Healing River," a call for peace that has appeared in hymnals but was never sung with the Weavers. The group is now preparing a list of songs to try over the next year. The idea is that eventually our two-act show will be one act of Weavers History and songs and another act that splices in new material. Some songs that come to mind are Stephan Smith's "Son Please Talk To Me," Lorre Wyatts' "Sommos el Barco" Pat Humphries' "Swimming To The Other Side," John Fisher's "In Jerusalem" (John is head of admissions at Yesheva University) and Pete Seeger's" take it From Dr. King." Any suggestions out there? - David Bernz


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST,David Bernz
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 09:12 AM

P.S. Sorry for any typos above. I am a hunt-and-peck typist with a slightly defective keyboard. David


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST,David Bernz
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 10:11 AM

P.P.S. Just to clarify, in case the comments above gave the wrong impression, Jamed Durst and I have always been on the same page as to the importance of the historical narrative and the need to go beyond nostalgia. - David


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 03:04 PM

Hi David.

May I please recommend to you the songs of Tommy Sands from Belfast area? His song "Love Will Come Again" is a natural for the Weaver's tradition. Also, the "There Were Roses" would be appropriate today though it is a longish ballad.

Pete and I have written a new one. You can check with him or me. I am getting together a lead sheet.

You might want to contact Charlie King who has introduced some new material (although I haven't heard too much in recent years.)

Pete has an interesting one on MLK. I remember it vaguely.

There needs to be more union songs. The union has been reviled by
the right-wing for its association with Hoffa and organized crime but
this is not indicative of many honest unions that are coming up now.
The dockworkers in North Carolina for example.

Also, check with Guy Carawn at Highlander and Hazel Dickens for material regarding coal mining and relevant environmental issues in Kentucky and Tennesee today.

All the best,

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 05:02 PM

David---you are more familiar than I, certainly, with all the performers in the group. Do give the list a taste of the talent of Mark Murphy (Bass) and the amazingly powerful voice and personality of Martha Sanderfer.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Work of the Weavers (new group formed)
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 09:21 PM

I don't know if I mentioned that the group will be at the Hurdy GUrdy Folk Music Club in Paramus NJ on 9/11---I do believe a most apropo time for some of their music and commentary.

If you are in the NE area you might check the Hurdy Gurdy website for information:   
www.hurdygurdyfolk.org

Bill Hahn


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