the folknik November/December 2004
(Volume XL, Number 6)
the San Francisco Folk Music Club
(click here for membership info)
Francisco Folk Music Club is a nonprofit corporation
dedicated to the enjoyment, preservation and promotion of
acoustic music in individual, family, and community life.
To make Camp Harmony more comfortable and more fun, SFFMC has chartered a school bus to take us back and forth between Camp Harmon (dining hall side) and Camp Campbell (music side) at Camp Harmony this year.
As an experiment, the bus will shuttle between the two camps on three of the days: Thu 12/30: 10 am-3 pm and 6 pm-12 am, Fri 12/31: 10am-3 pm and 6 pm-1 am (New Year's Eve), Sat 1/1: 10am-3 pm and 6 pm-12 am. The bus will run continuously during these hours, which include all three meals and the evening concerts. The lighted inter-camp trail is still available for those who care to walk. We hope that this new service will encourage more folks to attend camp.
Other recent improvements include restrooms inside each sleeping cabin at Camp Harmon. More details about camp are in this issue. If the shuttle is popular, and in particular if it increases camp attendance, we'd like to expand it next year to cover all days of camp. back to top
Camp Harmony is Tue, Dec. 28, 2004-Sun, Jan. 2, 2005 and is held at Camps Campbell and Harmon, 16275 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, CA, 3 miles north of Boulder Creek town center.
Be sure to get your registration to Mary right away! The deadline is December 6. If you are already registered and realize you can't attend all or part of camp, please contact Mary at (Subject: Camp Harmony Cancellation) or by phone at 510-233-5065 (before 9 pm please!) as soon as you can. Prompt cancellation gets you a bigger refund, and allows more folkies a chance to get in. Registration forms may be printed from our website at www.sffmc.org. Click Camp Harmony and then Forms and Registration.
Late Registrations and Drop Ins: If you have not signed up by Dec 6, check with Mary to see if camp is full. We may be able to take a few late applications. Phone before 9 pm or email as above with the subject: Camp Harmony Registration. If camp is full, members are still welcome as Drop-In campers. A drop-in day is 2 pm to 2 pm the next day, and includes a bed in a cabin if one is available. The price is $43/day ($25/day for kids 3-11) plus one chore. No meals are included in the price, but some meals may be available for purchase from preregistered campers. Check the Meal Sales box at camp.
Workshops: This camp has all-volunteer staff, so any camper can (and is encouraged to) hold a workshop. There is always a special need for beginning-anything! If you can teach a workshop, please contact Joan Hall-Feinberg at or 510-451-1122 (for beginners workshops) or Katie Grist at or 510-548-4727 (for everything else).
Joan is also the person to contact if you can loan an instrument to a beginners workshop. She is especially looking for child-sized fiddles and guitars, but will coordinate the loan and use of all loaner instruments. Joan and Katie will fit all those workshops into the camp schedule. There will be plenty of space left at camp for more workshops of all kinds. Check the Workshop Calendar when you arrive.
Chores: Workshops, evening concerts and dances and song and tune sessions are only a few of the activities at camp. One of the most rewarding activities is the way you help camp work for all of us: your chore hours. A favorite way to work off those required hours is helping Debby in the kitchen, but doing a stint in a parking lot is a fast way to work them off too. Sign up for those, and other jobs, when you arrive at camp.
If you can commit now to 2-3 hours on January 2 for Take Down, please contact Mary Luckhardt. This will fulfill all your chore hours for a full 5 days at camp! There are 12 of these choice spots, and we will all be able to enjoy camp, knowing there will be enough hands on tap to make the work flow smoothly at the end. Mary can be reached at or 510-233-5065. Whether you commit early or sign up for your chores at registration, the basic rule is the same: your chore hours are part of your "payment" for attending camp. You are responsible for the chores signed for in your name. Please show up on time and do them regardless of how much fun you might be having at the time.
Bring Your Cup! Of course you'll bring your own mug to camp and carry it with you everywhere. Just in case you forget, we will again have rental cups available in the Dining Hall, Reg. Room and a few in Sommer Lodge, $1.00 for the whole week. These cups are your responsibility for the duration of camp, so you must wash them yourself. Camp staff will not wash any cups during camp, which is one of the many reasons we must now provide our own. We also will have a limited number of paper cups available, but to discourage waste and cover our costs, we will need to charge 10 cents for each cup you take. We've used over 6000 cups each year in the past, and this change has significantly cut the amount of waste we generate. Parents, please provide cups for your children, too. Please bring and carry your mug with you!
Swing Dance Night: Adam Cavan is coordinating the music for Swing Night at camp. If you want to bring an electric instrument to camp, please talk to Adam first. Remember, Camp Harmony is primarily an acoustic music camp, and electric instruments are discouraged at all but this special camp event. Contact or 415-989-7552.
Notes: If you have any health, disability or dietary concerns, contact Ray Frank at or 530-756-7089. Flu shots are highly recommended and are most effective at least 6 weeks before they are needed. Isn't that right about now? As always: NO PETS! Also no beeping things are allowed to beep at camp.
Button Party: The Camp Harmony Button Making Party is Tuesday, December 7 at David and Mary Luckhardt's house in Richmond. Call 510-233-5065 or email for directions. Make a special button for yourself, and help crank out the 400 buttons we will need for camp. This is always a fun party. Happy New Year to all our Harmony Family from the Camp Committee. We hope to see you all at Camp! Harmony. back to top
On Dec. 10 at 885 Clayton, SF, everyone is invited to our annual observation of Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas and other observations of the holiday season. Bring favorite treats-finger foods and drinks-and good cheer and heartfelt songs. Non-alcoholic and wine grog are provided by the Club.
Also on Christmas Eve, December 24, all are invited to spend the evening singing and playing whatever they feel like at 885 Clayton. This is the first time in years that we've had a get together this close to December 25 but as it falls on our regular meeting date we'll give it a try! back to top
Help friendly folkies find you; send your updated contact information, including email and website to Directory, SFFMC, 885 Clayton, SF, CA 94117 or email it to . The deadline for submitting information for inclusion in the new Directory is Jan 31, 2005, so do it now. We will also collect updates at Camp Harmony. back to top
The fold-in is at noon, Sunday, December 19, at the home of Abe and Joan Feinberg, 1121 Ashmount Ave., Oakland, 510-451-1122. The more, the merrier-to help with the folknik, enjoy a meal afterwards, and to make music. Bring a potluck dish and instruments. NEW AND IMPROVED Fold-ins! Now involving less work and more fun eating and making music. No more marching around the table collating pages! back to top
This year's Revels draws on Scottish heritage, featuring stirring vocal and instrumental music, traditional dance, and story-telling in the glorious Scottish tradition.
A few of the featured performers will include soprano Susan Rode Morris, storyteller and musician Kevin Carr, folk musician Chris Caswell, singer Wendell Brooks, The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers and the Revels Highland Dancers. Revels performances take place in Oakland at the Scottish Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside Drive, a short walk from the Lake Merritt Bart Station. Perfomances are December 10-19. For more information and tickets: 510-452-9334, , www.calrevels.org back to top
folksinger and autoharp virtuoso is giving a series of free concerts
in public libraries this December-February.
Two great concerts
yet to come in the 16th Annual Sea Music Concert Series. Hear great
music aboard Hyde Street Pier's beautiful Balclutha. Concerts begin
at 8 pm. Tickets $16, park association members $14. Tickets and INFO:
(415) 561-6662, ext 33.
“There is no standard set for the singing here, but we set a very high standard in listening.”
—motto of the Góilín Traditional Singer’s Club, Dublin, Ireland
back to top
The SFFMC board
meets on the second Tuesday of each month-potluck at 6:30 p.m., meeting
at 8:00 p.m. All Club members are welcome to attend the potluck dinner
and the Board meeting.
Steve Davidson, long time SFFMC member but living in the east the last 20 or 30 years, flew out to a medical conference in San Francisco a day early to come to the October 15 musical meeting. His presence was a great pleasure and he left warmest greetings to all, especially the old-timers who remember him.
Jimmy Borsdorf continues under intensive treatment for cancer. A benefit concert is being held in Sacramento November 6; for information call (530) 534-8434. Donations to help Jimmy and Nancy in these financially trying times may be sent to P.O. Box 2111, Oroville, CA 95965.
Charlie Fenton sends word via the Camp Harmony group at Yahoo (groups.yahoo.com/group/SFCampHarmony) that getting around camp will be easier this year the Club has chartered a school bus to shuttle us between Camp Harmon (the Dining Hall side) and Camp Campbell (the Music side). The bus will run continuously between the two camps Thursday, through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to midnight, extended to 1:00 a.m. for New Years Eve. The lighted inter-camp trail will still be available for those who care to walk.
Hali Hammer is the Featured Performer at the Freedom Song Networks November 13 Songswap at 885 Clayton St., San Francisco. Hali writes songs, sometimes funny, sometimes pungent, about war, peace, social justice and our lives and families. She has recorded several CDs and for the last few years coordinated the Berkeley Free Folk Festival; more recently shes organized a Free Speech Movement memorial hootenanny (see page 3) and a Folk the Vote evening at her house in Berkeley. The Songswap is free, with a potluck 6:30 and Songswap at 8:00. Everyone welcome. For FSN information, call (415) 648-3457, or email Ed Wyre at for information via email about FSN and other progressive Bay Area people, organizations and events about twice monthly.
Folksinger and autoharp virtuoso Adam Millers new CD Along Came a Giant features 22 traditional American folksongs for children ages 4 - 14. The album includes songs by Eugene Field, George Cooper, Bob Blue, Bonnie Lockhart, Celia and Peter Scott, Gordon Bok, Bob Devlin, Mark Ross, and Sam Hinton. Its available from www.folksinging.org or at (650) 804-2049.
The Road is My Mistress, Tales of A Roustabout Songster is a book just out by Rik Palieri, who knows what he is writing about hes been there, does that and has written a simple little book about my life, music and the traveling community. Its recommended for all traveling folkies, for those who want to be such and for anyone with friends who do it, plus all of us who just like to dream and read about such a fascinating life, or anyone who likes a good book about a real persons real life in music. Available from Amazon and from Rik at 66 Kozas Run, Hinesburg, Vermont 05461 for $16.95. Check it out at www.banjo.net, (802) 482- 3185. Rik also plays Polish bagpipes, which in themselves can lead to interesting adventures. back to top
On November 13, Hootenanny Night in San Francisco celebrates its third anniversary with five fun-loving acts and the usual hootenanny high jinks. All this free music and free food, too! As if that were not reason enough to venture into the lower Haight on a Saturday night, this will be our last concert-style show. So you definitely do not want to miss this one!
The December show marks big changes in the Hootenanny enterprise. Starting January 8, the jammers and singers take over Hootenanny Night! After three years of presenting Hootenanny Night as a free performer showcase with a short jam tacked on at the end, the hoot committee has decided to try an all jam/sing-along format a Hootenanny in the old-fashioned meaning of the word. Anyone interested in singing, playing along, or listening is welcome to stop by and join in. No mics, no sound equipment, no stage. We will attempt to avoid musical chaos by having a moderator and perhaps occasionally a theme. We will wrestle with the details of how to run the perfect jam over the ensuing months and, we hope, eventually reach the structured looseness most folkies seem to crave. Your input and involvement are most appreciated; email me at and tell me what you think.
We will still do concert-style showcases from time to time. Chuck Poling is planning an all bluegrass/old-time country show for the spring, and there will be others in the future.
I want to give a big ol Hootenanny Hug and Smooch to the group of people who toiled tirelessly to help put on the shows (more than thirty concerts in three years, not too shabby!), namely Doug Jones and Mike Bechler for doing the sound, Karen Imperial and Ed Hilton and Robin Cohen and Lisa Whitman(!) for emotional support, and James Brown and Tom Murray and especially Doug Jones (that guy gets around) for all the beautiful posters.
I especially want to think Zahra and Robert, the owners of Café International, for turning over their coffee house to the SFFMC every month. I actually think we owe them more than thanks. I think the club should offer to do something nice for the Cafe, like pay to paint a beautiful mural in their bathroom, or buy more chairs. It is the least we could do after they have given us this space free of charge for three years.
And now the details: The Club presents Hootenanny Night the second Saturday of every month at the Café International, 508 Haight St. (at Fillmore), San Francisco, from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m. For information and updates, go to www.sfhootenanny.homestead.com or call (415) 673-3212. back to top
Nov 13 - Our
The Shut Ins - The reigning champions of the Hulabilly sound. Soaring harmonies and furious ensemble playing = a Guaranteed Good Time! (www.theshutins.com)
Belle Monroe and her Brewglass Boys - To call em one of the top local bluegrass outfits doesnt quite cut it. High spirits, high energy, and highly entertaining! (www.brewglassboys.com)
The Sons of
San Quentin - They were nice enough to let these fellows out on
a weekend pass. Watch as Chuck Wheeler channels the Sons of the Pioneers,
Art Peterson channels Lawrence Welk, Ed Sherry channels Bill Monroe
on mandolin, and our ol pal Don Burnham channels the Home Shopping
Quake City Jug Band - Every Hootenanny should have a jug band and this is one of our favorites. Jumping, good-time classics from the 20s, 30s, and beyond.
Dec. 11: Sing
The World Harmony Chorus has started up again with a repertoire of wonderful music from around the world. Everyone is welcome, there are no auditions and no singing experience is necessary. The chorus will perform several times throughout the year, principally in December and in the spring.
The chorus rehearses once a week, on Mondays in Mountain View, Tuesdays in Oakland. Members of both groups come together for performances. There is a fee for participation, with work study and scholarships available; this will all be discussed at rehearsals. Nobody will be excluded for financial reasons. Go to www.InstantHarmony.com/chorus.html to learn more, or just show up at a rehearsal and check it out. Daniel Steinberg back to top
Warren Hellman, who puts on the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival of bluegrass, folk and rootsy country music in Golden Gate Park for 60,000 of his closest friends is heartily thanked by the Club. To give something back to the community - and something I really like, he says, its a mitzvah. back to top
What could be better
than a hootenanny to celebrate the Free Speech Movements fortieth
anniversary? Thanks to organizer Hali Hammer, people of all ages
gathered at UC Berkeley October 9 to hear from and sing with the Freedom
Song Network; veterans like Eliot Kenin, Sylvia Bagge, Betsy Rose, and
Alex Bagwell; and rising young stars like Mokai, Maxina Ventura, Diane
Patterson, Rebecca Riots, and Judith Kate Friedman. Special mention
must be made of the Freedom Song Carolers revival traditional
carols that made the buses ring all the way to jail, like this version
of Jingle Bells:
We The Planet
Festival - Nov 13
Auburn Christmas Festival Nov 13-14
BACDS Fall Ball - Nov 20
Kolo Festival - Nov 25-27
Sonora Christmas Festival - Nov 26-28
Holiday Crafts Fair - Dec 3-5
Song Society Retreat - Dec 3-5
No-Snow Ball - Dec 4
Encuentro del Canto Popular - Dec 4-5
& Hands Singing Camp - Dec 30-Jan 2
Music Festival - Jan 14-16
& Hands Guitar Camp - Jan 14-17
West 2005 - Jan 14-16 Los Angeles, CA.
FRANKIE ARMSTRONG, SARAH HARMAN & SHANEE TAYLOR:
Frankie Armstrong is a doyen of British folk music, with a long-time commitment to social issues; Sarah Harman runs a community-based choir, is involved in theatre, and is a peace activist; and Shanee Taylor sings and writes songs and works as a chiropractor. These three women from South Wales unite on Darkest Before The Dawn to demonstrate the power, both musical and political, that can emerge from the joining of voices, sending a strong message of peace, justice, freedom, and healing.
The songs, which
address war, injustice, and gender issues sometimes with humor
include Taylor's Questions (written after September 11th);
Harman's War Of The Poor; Pete Seeger's Darkest Before The
Dawn (from the Vietnam War era); Colum Sands' Cease Fire;
Leon Rosselson's The Voice That Lives Inside You (about "the
still small voice of dissent"); and Noi Vogliamo (rebellion
from female rice weeders in Italy). Australian Judy Small's There's
Life In The Old Girl Yet is also on the album, as well as Ron Kavana's
Reconciliation-Now there's a time to fight/And there's a time
for healing. -Sue Barrett (Australia)
Seventeen of the 20 selections on this hour-long recording are instrumentals. As the liner notes grandly proclaim, the music covers a period of nearly a thousand years and seven different countries, cultures, and musical traditions. Here are songs and tunes from the USA, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy, and Germany. Many of the tunes will be familiar to fans of Celtic and old-time American music-e.g., Golden Slippers, Haste to the Wedding, Rights of Man, Child Grove, Black Nag, and Road to Lisdoon Varna. The musical diversity ranges from a German Christmas piece, There Comes a Vessel Laden, to an Italian Renaissance favorite, La Rota, and from the American Cluck Old Hen, to the beautiful Welsh The Ash Grove. Three vocals are included: the post-Easter uprising song Foggy Dew from Ireland, and two English songs, Lowlands of Holland, and the apocryphal ballad The Cherry Tree Carol sung by Cole, a song that in five verses gives us the birth and death of Christ along with two miracles thrown in for good measure, awfully good for a ballad this short. Another personal favorite is their rendering of the hauntingly mysterious and melodic Abbot's Bromley Horndance, circa eleventh century, perhaps the oldest piece on this recording. There are no gimmicks or tricks to this recording; it is traditional music, nicely played and sung by a very talented group of folks who know how to treat the gold old stuff. Even though Belltaine surfaced first in 2003, I hope we will hear much more from them in the near future. But for now, we have Brilliant Fire-and let us hope that wonderful musical fire never goes out or dims its joyous flame. -Robert Rodriguez back to top
What present do you get for someone who loves to garden? More plants are out. Tools? Nope. Here's the solution to your gift problem!
Twilo Scofield, master gardener and musician, has, with the help of a dozen friends, made a CD with 20 songs and legends relating to gardens and what grows in them. Legends told include that of Demeter and Persephone and one each for the Pansy, Tulip, Rose, Forget Me Not, and Dandelion. Of the songs, some you'll already know, such as Barbry Allen, Tiptoe Through the Tulips, and White Coral Bells. Some, like Welcome to the Garden written by Twilo, are new, and some are traditional. Just as a garden has a variety of plants and flowers, various voices tell the legends and lead the singing. Accompanying instruments include autoharp, piano, psaltry, reed organ, glockenspiel, wing psaltry, and Appalachian dulcimer, all played by Twilo, as well as guitar, bass, and percussion, contributed by others.
The enclosed booklet is a delight, giving words to the songs and tidbits of information about flowers, gardens, and the legends that will enhance your pleasure both in gardens and in the recording. So while you're getting the CD for someone else, go ahead and get one for yourself! - Faith Petric back to top
To me, each piece is a tone poem, evoking images. My personal favorite, Children's Games, evoked images of elephants proceeding majestically along. Sometimes the images metamorphosed when I learned the name of the piece; while at other times they didn't. For example, those evoked by After the Fires changed from general pastoral images to the entire ecological succession following forest fires, helped along by the evolving rhythms and complexity of the music. When specifically cued up, a piece called Penguin called up visions of penguins tending their eggs and young on the Antarctic ice and swimming/flying underwater; did they change when I discovered that it was written in honor of the afore-mentioned Penguin Café Orchestra,? They did not! Way-cool!
of the pieces adds another enjoyable dimension, as the series progresses
like the movements of a symphony. Here, the number of levels at which
each piece and the totality can be appreciated is limited only by the
listener's imagination. Highly recommended for anyone willing to explore
both music and their own imagination. -Kathryn LaMar back