Camp Harmony -
Ring in the New Year 2005
Time once again
to register for SFFMC's annual New Year's bash known as Camp Harmony.
This 5-day music/dance/tribal meeting/party for Club members and their
immediate families is brought to you by you and me and everyone who
participates: first-timers, old-timers, old pros, rank beginners, little
kids, old geezers, singers, musicians and dancers.
If you've never
experienced this camp, maybe this is the year to try it out. If you
have been to camp before, we are sure you are already gently peeling
your label from the back of this Folknik to stick it to your registration
When & Where
& How: 2:00 pm Tues. Dec. 28, 2004 to 2:00 pm Sun., Jan. 2,
2005 at Camps Campbell and Harmon on Highway 9 in the Santa Cruz mountains
near Boulder Creek (map comes with your acceptance letter). Facilities
include heated cabins for 8-16 people each, many with indoor plumbing.
Registration includes 3 full meals a day in the dining hall.
To register, you
must be a current SFFMC member. Early bird registrants whose membership
was current on Sept. 1 get first priority. Early registrations from
those who did not have a current membership on Sept. 1 - but who joined
or rejoined after that date - are priority 2. All members' registrations
postmarked after Nov. 1 are priority 3. Applications are sorted by postmark
date within each priority. All Priority 1 registrations are accepted
before any Priority 2, and so on.
a member and register early, however we have been able to accept everyone
who has wanted to come to camp for the last several years.
postmarked on or before Nov. 1 qualify for the Early Bird price. Early
Bird price for the entire camp is $270/adult, $140/child 3-12. Per day
Early rate is $57/adult/day, $30/child/day. After Nov. 1, registration
is on a per day basis (2:00 pm to the next 2:00 pm = 1 day), and is
$63/day/adult and $33/day/child. On-site registration (also known as
Drop In) is $43/day/adult, $25/day/child, but does not include any meals.
Some meals may be available for purchase from other campers. By the
way, we tried to hold our prices this year, but wholesale food costs
have gone up, and we had to cover that increase.
As part of their
payment for camp, every attendee age 6-100 (including Drop In) does
1 chore for every day registered. Giving a workshop does not count as
Camperships are available for those who need them. The limited funds
are allocated first-come, first-served. If you are flush this year,
please consider adding something to the campership fund: it's tax deductible!
To keep camp more affordable for families, child rates were left at
last year's reduced prices. Families are still eligible to take additional
campership funds, if necessary. Register early for Early Bird prices
and because Campership Funds can run out!
Workshops: Workshops spaces abound and all are invited to share their
favorite activities by leading a workshop. All workshops in songs, crafts,
dance, dance calling, jams, music, stories, instrument techniques, etc.
are welcome and open to all. Sign-ups for workshop times and spaces
are posted at camp. If you already know something you want to present,
contact Katie Grist at (510) 548-4727, Be11elaideATaol.com for pre-camp
scheduling. Contact Joan Feinberg at (510) 451-1122, jhfeinbergATjuno.com
if you can offer a beginning workshop in any instrument or if you can
loan an instrument for beginners to try at camp.
For health, diet restrictions, or limited access concerns, contact Ray
Frank (530) 756-7089, rayATmuircommons.org. Please contact Miriam Sundheim
(510) 523-4558 to find out about special family housing arrangements.
Chores: Camp Harmony is a community-organized, volunteer effort.
So that camp can happen, every attendee over age 6 commits to doing
1 organized chore per day registered. We have special chores for campers
aged 6-11. Most adult chores are a 1 hour commitment. Some chores (like
coffee making) cover a longer period of time and allow more flexibility.
Some of the more onerous chores, (like parking lot duty or end of camp
cleanup) count for two chore slots. Staying late on the last day to
help with clean up for 2-3 hours fulfills your full-camp chore requirement.
Contact Mary Luckhardt, maryATluckhardt.com to reserve one of these special
As usual, NO PETS are allowed at camp. In keeping with all SFFMC events,
computers, cell phones, beeping watches & other electronic noisemakers
are strongly discouraged at camp. Help keep camp beep-free. Please don't
save beds or cabins for folks arriving later. All Camp activities are
open to all campers, so please don't teach activities which exclude
anyone. No outdoor shoes on the dance floor, please.
Start Harmony early. Come to Mary Luckhardt's house in Richmond ((510)
233-5065, maryATluckhardt.com) on Tues., Dec. 7 for the pot-luck button
making party. Make a custom button for yourself, and help produce the
400 buttons we need for camp.
Please join us for a wonderful camp and a joyous beginn ing to a New
Year. back to top
Musical meetings of
the San Francisco Folk Music Club are held every other Friday at 885 Clayton
Street, between Carl and Parnassus Streets in San Francisco. Singing and
jamming in three separate rooms start at 8:00 p.m. Snacks are provided
through $1 food kitty donations or finger food contributions. Guests are
always welcome, no one is expected to “perform”, and there
is no charge.
“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
*Special Meeting celebrating Faith's 89th birthday! back
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
- September 14:
Phil Morgan's house
- October 12:
Ed Hilton's house
- November 9:
Marian Gade's house
Folknik fold-in: October 31, Marian Gade's house
Hayes plays Borachio in the Curtain Theatre’s production
of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at Old Mill Park
in Mill Valley, weekends September 4 through 12, 3:00 pm. Admission
Congratulations to Dean Howard
and Jane Tupper, married
July 4 with Faith officiating.
Folknik editor Phyllis Jardine will be away in September.
Please email items during that month to the usual page editors,
with a copy to Dean Howard (deanhowardATmindspring.com).
Mark Levy’s new CD Hail to the Thief II: Songs to Send Bush Packing
features his song “Son-of-a-Bush,” with Faith, Utah Phillips, and others. It costs
$15 postpaid from George Mann, PO Box 697, New York, NY 10033 (international
orders add $3), or from www.cdbaby.com.
Jude Reseigne is working on a new CD.and performing occasionally
at Café Neon, a new café in the Western Addition.
A new SFFMC directory is in the works. If you have a new name, address,
phone number, email address, or website, email it to sffolkATaol.com
or snail-mail it to Directory, SFFMC, 885 Clayton Street, San Francisco,
If you missed buying a San Francisco Free Folk Festival T-shirt
this year or last year, here’s another chance: they’ll
be available at 885 Clayton Street and at Camp Harmony. 2004
T-shirts cost $10, 2003 T-shirts $5.
Correction: The “California Sawplayers Association”
referred to in the last issue is actually the International Musical
Having a hoot, a wedding, or a baby? Have a new
CD or website? Looking to buy or sell an instrument? Email the Club
News editor: jmkellyATieee.org.
Camp, Boulder Creek:
Dear Folk Friends,
It was great to see some of you at the Free Folk Fest and at the
4th of July campout in Boulder Creek. A big thank you to all the
volunteers who coordinated these events and made them happen; they
keep our community rich and strong.
The Labor Day camp (September 3-6) will be at the same location
as the 4th of July in Boulder Creek; in addition to great campfire
jams, we’ll have some workshops, concerts and a Saturday night
potluck. This site has hot showers, a swimming pool, and a kitchen
where you can store food and use the dishes, stove, etc. (just clean
up!). There’s RV/van parking, tent cabins and campsites that
are close in or more remote nestled in the redwoods. Like all our
do-it-yourself camps, there’s lots of serendipity, and fun
musical surprises. It’s also very family-friendly and inexpensive:
$10 per night for adults, $5 for kids, $20 max per night for a family.
We are planning some workshops ahead. There’s already a great
variety, from chord progressions and Bossa Nova guitar to
song swaps, yoga and game relays. I’ll post the list when
camp is closer. If anyone would like to sign up for a workshop,
please write to me at storylaurieATlauriestories.com.
I know many of you have developed other Labor Day musical traditions
but our do-it-yourself camp misses you. Camp attendance has been
down over the years, making it a financial question of how and if
to continue the campouts . . . I think all of us in attendance over
the 4th had a great time and plan to return for Labor Day. Please
—Laurie Story Vela back
Under the Radar
and Hootenannies are only part of the Bay Area’s vibrant folk
music scene. Acoustic and semiacoustic bands and songwriters perform
weekly at the Independent Community Arts Network (ICAN) Gallery
(icangallery.com), a converted-warehouse
art gallery at 1310 Mission Street in San Francisco. Rotating art
exhibits line the walls; a monthly singer-songwriters’ showcase
run by Songs Alive (www.songsalive.org) began there in
CC’s Acoustic Underground Showcase Extravaganza (www.cause-music.com) takes place the
third Monday of each month at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia Street
in San Francisco. Local promoter CC aims for a series “where
you can chill out with the perfect mix of San Francisco’s
underground culturistas and experience moving performances in an
intimate setting while supporting important local causes.”
Recent performers include a capella trio Copper Wimmin, Ireland’s
David Hopkins and local singer-songwriter Mokai; on September
20, look for Charles Gonzalez and Liz Ross (of Sun of Mercury)
and Alan Tower (of Ancient Future).
Strings (www.strings.org), at 6320 San Pablo
Avenue in Emeryville, is one of the best places in the Bay Area
to hear acoustic music. It’s a “private club”—but
if you show up, you’re a member. The suggested donation is
$10; it’s a labor of love run by an all-volunteer crew. Concerts
are every Wednesday evening; check the website for coming performances
by great and often local musicians. back
is like having the SF Free Folk Music Festival the second Saturday
of every month instead of just once a year. From 7:00 to 10:30 p.m.,
we bring traditional, old-time, experimental, alternative folk and
acoustic acts to the Café International, 508 Haight Street
in San Francisco. Each show ends with a jam open to all. The Café
will be closed in September, so our next two shows will be
October 9 and November 13.
October 9 we’ll have The Shots’ Irish/Americana, a rollicking
show with great harmonies (www.theshotsmusic.com); the twisted
and talented Mark Growden
in a Hoot premier (www.markgrowden.com); brilliant country
blues fingerpicking legend Alan
Smithline; and AJ Roach,
one of the best young folksingers anywhere (www.ajroach.net).
November 13—our third anniversary!—we’re
celebrating with East Coast singer and song collector Debby
McClatchy—Sing Out calls her one of our best
interpreters of old-time music (members.cox.net/debbymcclatchy);
The Shut Ins, reigning champions
of the Hulabilly sound (www.theshutins.com); Belle Monroe and her Brewglass Boys—high
spirits, high energy, and highly entertaining! (www.brewglassboys.com); the Sons of San Quentin, with Chuck Wheeler,
who sings like one of the lost Sons of the Pioneers, and Art Peterson,
one of the finest accordian slingers west of the Pecos (www.artpeterson.com); and the Quake City Jug Band with jumping good-time
classics from the 20s, 30s, and beyond.
For more information and updates, see www.sf hootenanny.homestead.com
or call (415) 673-3212.
—Richard Rice back
|Minu Mast, a long-time
Club member, died July 4 in Moraga at 92 years of age. Her
husband Dexter, a writer who had self-published two collections
of short stories, had died previously.
Minu was a good and loyal friend to many people, played the concertina
joyfully and loved our singing and playing. She opened her home
to all of us, on holidays and many other times, let us swarm around
her kitchen to make meals for all the friends, and never stressed
over anything we did.
After her retirement from teaching in 1975, she wrote two cookbooks
and was working on mystery stories.
Agnes “Sis” Cunningham died June 27 at age 95.
She was best known as founder in 1962 and for about three decades
editor of Broadside magazine, which in those years published more
than a thousand songs, including works by Phil Ochs, Janis Ian,
Tom Paxton, and Bob Dylan, among many others.
She was also a member of the Almanacs along with Pete Seeger, Woody
Guthrie and other singers. Fifteen albums of Broadside songs
were released by Folkways Records and in 2000 songs from Broadside
were made into a CD, The Best of Broadside 1962-1988; Anthems of
the American Underground From the Pages of Broadside Magazine. It
was nominated for two Grammys for best historical album and best
The influence and importance of Sis and her husband Gordon Friesen
on contemporary, socially-conscious songwriters and singers
is monumental, as well as on the consciousness and work of those
striving to make the world a more just and loving place.
Long-time Club member Mary Rakin died
May 31. She is keenly missed from our song circles. back
During the July
4 Concert at Boulder Creek, behavior by some Club members, quite
frankly, bothered me.
I believe that the stage, during a concert, should be restricted.
This was not the case at the concert.
There was no designated person to ensure fire safety. Some children
had to be chastised for playing with fire. Children ran down onto
the stage during the performances. Why didn’t the parents
of these kids either keep them under control or remove
them from the concert area?
Some adults crossed the stage while others were performing.
I usually find myself performing early in the program (someone
has to go first). I noticed that a number of performers signed
up to perform later in the program, arrived shortly before their
sets, and then left shortly afterwards. These late arrivals were
a distraction. Further, why should I hang around to listen to what
these folks have to say musically when they seem unwilling
to extend same courtesy to me or to those whose sets came earlier
in the program?
A two-hour concert dragged on for three. In part, this was
due to some performers being absent when called, wasting the
time of the audience while they tuned up on stage, etc. Performers
should be tuned up and ready to perform when called.
Recently, I heard these concerts compared to a song circle. Possibly.
Personally, I think we should treat them as a semi-formal event
where professionalism, preparedness, and courtesy are the standard
for all, not just for some.
—Bob Keller back
Thanks to Yorkman
for reminding us about more great Bay Area public radio. You can find
program information about Barndance and other fabulous KKUP programming
Steve Hathaway has hosted ÒThe Cupertino Barndance," for
over 32 years on KKUP. The program features classic country music (50's
and 60's honky tonk, western swing, bluegrass, rockabilly, and anything
contemporary that fits). It airs 9:00 pm to Midnight, Sundays at 91.5
FM on the dial. The middle hour features a current release of either
a new artist or reissue."
ISC is an annual
songwriting competition whose mission is to provide aspiring musicians
and songwriters exposure in the international arena. We cordially invite
members of SFFMC to enter. We will be giving away a total of $100,000
cash and prizes to 50 winners this year.
Categories include: Roots/Americana, Country, Blues, Folk/Singer-Songwriter,
Jazz, Gospel/Christian, World, Children's Music, Instrumental, among
For an entry form, more information and to enter online, please visit:
www.songwritingcompetition.com.Multiple Entries welcome. $30.00/entry.
Deadline for submission is October 15, 2004. back
SF's Sea Music
As ever, for the
16th Annual Sea Music Concert Series on Hyde Street Pier's beautiful
Balclutha, the park brings us leading, international exponents of sea
All concerts begin
at 800 pm, aboard the Balclutha. Tickets are $16, park association members
$14. Season tickets - a substantial discount for all four concerts -
are available for $45. Tickets and more information: (415) 561-6662,
ext 33. This year's lineup is:
10: Jerry Bryant. Bryant, from Amherst, MA, will perform a program
of Napoleonic-era sea songs.
Saturday, October 23: John Conolly & Pete Sumner. England's
John Conolly, singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the composer of the famed
sea song ÒFiddler's Green," and many other fine songs. He's
accompanied by Pete Sumner on mandolin.
Saturday, November 20: Robbie O'Connell. One of Ireland's outstanding
folk singers, now living in Massachusetts.
Friday, December 10: Holdstock And Macleod. Local heroes Dick
Holdstock and Allan MacLeod round off this year's series in rousing
fashion! back to top
Hyde Street Pier
A special Chantey
session will close the 2004 Sea Music Festival on October 16 (see page
7 for festival details).
The sing is from 8:00 pm-midnight, aboard the C.A. Thayer. Reservations
required, call 415-556-6435 or email to peter_kasinATnps.gov.
The next regular
chantey sing aboard one of the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier
will be on Sept. 4th They begin at 8:00 pm; enter the pier anytime after
7:30 pm. The sing is free, but reservations are required.
To reserve space,
send an email to peter_kasinATnps.gov, or call the ranger office at (415)
556-6435. Free parking is available at the foot of Van Ness Blvd., and
in upper Fort Mason, via the Bay and Franklin streets entrance. Warm
clothing encouraged, and bring a pillow and a mug for hot non-alcoholic
beverages served from the ship's galley. back
The fold-in is
at noon, Sunday, October 31, at the home of Marian Gade, 136 Highland
Blvd., Kensington, (510) 524-9815. The more, the merrier - to help with
the folknik, enjoy a meal afterwards, and to make music. Bring a potluck
dish and instruments. back
Festivals 'n Such
Dana Point Tall
Ships Festival - September 11-12
Ocean Institute Dana Point, CA . Sea Chantey Concerts:Holdstock &
MacLeod, Get Reel!, Bill Dempsey & Connie Allen & more. Maritime
exhibits & demonstrations, crafts, food, and ship tours. Info: (949)
Festival - September 17-19
Millpond County Park, Bishop, CA. Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion,
Ashley MacIsaac, Palm Wine Boys, The Lovin Spoonfull, Darol Anger &
Mike Marshall and more. Info: (760) 873-8014, (800) 874-0669, www.inyo.org/millpond
back to top
Festival - September 18-19
Frank Lane Park, Julian, CA. Workshops: Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo,
Vocals. Julie Wingfield, Cliff Wagner & The Old #7, Virtual Strangers,
Farlie Mason, The Brombies, Connie Allen & Bill Dempsey and more.
Info: (760) 480-0086, www.julianbluegrassfestival.com back
Music Festival - September 23-26
Sebastopol Community Center, Sebastopol, CA. Concerts and workshops.
Baka Beyond, Altan, Lunasa, Old Blind Dogs, Battlefield Band, Shay &
Michael Black, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill and more. Info: (707)
823-1511; www.cumuluspresents.com back
Music Convention - Sept. 24-26
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley Farmers Market, Ashkenaz, The Jupiter
& more. Squaredance, concerts, workshops, old time cabaret, clogging
workshop, jamming at all times, & a stringband contest. Friday night's
concert features Kate Brislin and Jody Stecher, the Thompson String
Ticklers and more. Info: www.berkeleyoldtimemusic.org back
8th Annual Cajun/Zydeco
Festival - September 25
Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont CA. Showcasing some of the best Louisiana
traditional Cajun and Zydeco music & dancing. T. Broussard &
the Zydeco Steppers w/ MaryJane Ardoin, Queen Ida & her Zydeco Band
& more. Food, vendors, dance lessons. Info: (510) 544-2313, www.ebparks.org/events/zydeco.htm
back to top
Blues Festival - September 25-26
Great Meadow, Fort Mason, SF. Featuring: Buddy Guy, Keb' Mo', John Lee
Hooker Jr., Marcia Ball, Charlie Mussselwhite, Peter Green and more.
Info: (415) 979-5588, www.sfblues.com back
Highland Games - October 2
Highlands Park, Ben Lomond, CA. Celtic Music, games, clans & societies,
celtic marketplace, reenactment, food & drink. Info: (831) 457-6716,
llcs95ATlochlomondceltic.org, www.lochlomondceltic.org/games.htm back
Bluegrass - October 2-3
Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, SF, CA. FREE! Hazel Dickens, Gillian
Welch, Del McCoury Band, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum w/the Guest House
Band, Ralph Stanley, The Waybacks w/Darol Anger, Hot Rize, The Peasall
Sisters, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder & many more. Info:
Retreat - October 8-10
Walker Creek Ranch, near Point Reyes, CA. Women Making Music. Vocal
& intrumental workshops, drumming, jamming, singing, dancing, &
a great time for all. Register by Sept. 10 to be sure of a place. Info:
Sue Dolf, SueDolfATcs.com or Lynne Pethtel (541) 245 9540. back
7th Annual Train
Song Festival - October 9
Old Poway Park, Poway, CA. 10:00 Am-4:00 pm. Music and entertainment
about the songs inspired by the history and culture surrounding railroads.
Train-related vendors & displays, train robberies, arts & crafts,
and kids' entertainment. Rides aboard the 1907 Baldwin No. 3 Steam Engine.
Info: (858) 679-4313; www.powaymidlandrr.org/songfest.htm back
Blues Festival - October 9-10
Courthouse Park, Merced, CA. Son Seals w/James Solberg & his Band,
Chris Cain, Chicago All Star, & more. Info: (209) 383-4959, infoATCentralValleyBluesFestival.org,
Didgeridoo Festival - October 14-17
Joshua Tree Lake Campground, Joshua Tree, CA. Beginning-advanced workshops,
performances, camping. Info: (559) 642-6434, didgefestATaol.com, www.jtdidgefest.com
back to top
BACDS Fall Weekend
- October 15-17
Monte Toyon Camp, Aptos, CA. Family-friendly, highly eclectic mix of
dance, music, and singing workshops. English Country Dance, Contra Dance,
Display Dance, Irish Set Dance. Info: 650/365-2913, www.bacds.org/camps/fallwk2004
back to top
Weekend - October 15-17
Mount Madonna County Park, between Gilroy and Watsonville, CA. Camping
fee $15 and program fee $5 for adults, kids free. Relaxed play-music-together-sing
and-perform-around-the-campfire weekend. Info:
Anna Green (408) 379-4090, swmusicATsfbay.net, www.sfbay.net/swmusic
back to top
7th NCBS La
Honda Bluegrass Festival - October 15-17
La Honda Gardens, Hwy 84 between Hwy 1 & Skyline Blvd, La Honda,
CA. Top bands, jamming, camping, Fireman's BBQ, Restaurant & Market.
Info: www.scbs.org/LaHonda/index.htm back
SF Sea Music
Festival - October 16
10:00 Am-5:00 pm, Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco. The rich 19th century
seafaring heritage is alive on Hyde Street Pier, and aboard the 1886
square-rigger Balclutha. Experience maritime history - hear the songs,
try a hand at shipboard work (raise a sail to the sea chantey beat)
or create traditional arts & crafts of the sea. Louis Killen, Kevin
Burke, Tom Lewis, The Holdstocks, Waterbound, Allan MacCleod, Shay &
Shosi Black, Riggy Rackin, Richard Adrianowicz & Peter Kasin &
more. Info: (415) 556-6435, www.nps.gov/safr/seafest.html back
Festival - November 12-14
Yolo County Fairgrounds, Woodland, CA. An indoor festival featuring
the best in California Bluegrass music: Acme String Ensemble, True Blue,
Sidesaddle & Co., Mossy Creek, Done Gone Band Reunion & many
more. Info: (916) 989-0993; sacbluegrassATyahoo.com, www.cbaontheweb.org
back to top
West Coast Ragtime
Festival - November 19-21
Red Lion Hotel, Sacramento, CA. 6 venues for listening & dancing
to every kind of ragtime & ragtime related music. Seminars on all
facets of ragtime. After-hours jam sessions, dance instruction, open
piano, piano lessons, Ragtime Collectors Exchange. Info: Petra Sullivan
(916) 457-3324, festivalinfoATwestcoastragtime.com,
Send anything you
would like reviewed to the SFFMC, 885 Clayton Street, San Francisco,
CA 94117. Send reviews of books, CDs, and other publications to <kathryn_lamarATyahoo.com>),
with a copy to Phyllis Jardine at <folknikedATearthlink.net>.
back to top
Three. Nightingale, P.O. Box 154, Brattleboro,
VT 05301 (802) 257-4720.
was published in FolkWorks and is reprinted in shortened form by permission.
the third CD of the Vermont-based trio Nightingale, is a musical
feast-full of thoughtfully crafted medleys, excellently played. Becky
Tracy's fiddling is strong and expressive, whether she's singing
out a melody, weaving in a harmony or providing a rhythmic riff. In
Jeremiah McLane's inspired accordion and piano playing, you can
hear evidence of his study of styles such as Quebecois and French music,
as well as his master's degree in contemporary improvisation. Keith
Murphy not only plays superbly on mandolin, guitar, piano, and doing
foot percussion; he also has a fine singing voice.
an extremely popular contradance band, and their CD is likely to get
listeners moving. However, contradance tunes make up a small proportion
of the recording. There's also a Swedish polska, a French mazurka, a
strathspey, and two schottisches, as well as a number of different dance
tunes from Brittany. Similarly, there is variety in the tunes Keith
sings. There are traditional songs from Newfoundland, Quebec, and Louisiana;
one song describes the hills of Vermont; the lovely Psalm of Life
combines a traditional tune with words by Longfellow.
Uniting the material
on Three is a quality of rhythmic strength. It's not that the tunes
are rhythmically similar to one another; some are lyrical and flowing,
some meditative, others lively, or driving and intense. Tunes are in
meters of two, three, four, five, or six. But it's consistently evident
that the band has worked out the rhythmic character for each part of
the tunes, and each player is solidly within the right groove. Their
harmonic approach is likewise creative and intriguing. This is stimulating
stuff to listen to. -Nancy MacMillan back
and Tony Barrand: Twiddlum, Twaddlum. Golden
Hind Music, CD No. 107. Golden Hind Music, Box 1792, Schenectady, NY,
This latest Roberts-Barrand
musical collaboration is a double tribute: (1), in memory of Steve Adams,
tragically lost at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, and (2) to recall
the 35 years over which Roberts and Barrand have been delighting and
entertaining with their very special brand of traditional British Isles
music, dance, recitations, and ritual and folk drama. The 16 selections
on this wonderful recording represent a cross-section of the finest
material in this great duo's vast performing repertoire, recorded from
two live concerts, performed in September of 2003 in Altamont, NY, and
New Bedford, MA.
As a regular attendee
each summer of the old and beloved Fox Hollow festivals in east central
New York State, I vividly recall Roberts and Barrand doing their thing
on stage; 35 years later, the magic and excellence of their performances
have not dimmed one iota. They know what a truly good song is all about,
and the music and the lore from Britain come to wondrous life.
talents as a fine raconteur are amply demonstrated with two very amusing
recitations: Jonah and the Grampus, inspired by the Old Testament,
and the music-hall-inspired Nell. From the pen of Rudyard Kipling (via
the late Peter Bellamy) came their rendering of The Anchor Song
and Pilgrim's Way, while from the ballad tradition came their
versions of High Barbery, The Golden Vanity, Old Bangam, The Week
Before Easter, and The Cockerham Devil. Other outstanding
pieces include Who Killed Cock Robin, the Rawtenstall Annual
Faire, and Row On, but everything seems to come up a winner.
For fans of British Isles traditional music, and for fans of John Roberts
and Tony Barand, this latest recording is an absolute must. Robert
Rodriguez back to top
Live and Thriving at the Thirtieth National Storytelling Festival.
The National Storytelling Press, 101 Courthouse Square, Jonesboro, TN,
Directed by Susan
Klein, herself a notable storyteller, this 2-CD set highlights the best
of over 100 hours of fine storytelling that took place at the 30th Annual
National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, TN in October, 2002. In
this recording, dedicated to the memory of the late master storyteller
Ray Hicks and all tellers in his generation, listeners are treated to
nearly 2.5 hours of some of the finest yarn-spinning ever, from tellers
like Heather Forest, Elizabeth Ellis, David Holt, Johnny Moses, Bobby
and Sherry Norfolk, Waddie Mitchel, and Jay O'Callahan.
The material ranges
from the stories of Robert Service through the down-home humor of the
Appalachians; world folktales of heroism, love, and wisdom; tales of
ghostly and spectral images and manifestations; to ancient creation
myths and personal tales of everyday life-each story representing the
best and most diverse elements of today's storytelling revival. From
Waddie Mitchel's retelling of the Cremation of Sam Magee to Heather
Forest's delightful rendition of the traditional Lute Player to Bill
Lep's original West Virginia tall tale, The Seventh Second, to Dan Keding's
shivery Marie Yvonne, the magic of the oral narrative takes center stage
and transports listeners, along with the 10,000 storytelling devotees
present at the festival, to every magical place where the art of storytelling
reigns supreme. Robert Rodriguez back
One. Big W Productions; 212-431-5252; <http://www.emmasrevolution.com>.
is Pat Humphries and Sandy O, so know in advance that this CD will provide
you with a spectacular listening experience, one that will leave you
feeling empowered, vindicated, and above all connected to humanity and
not alone in experiencing life's emotional journeys. All songs were
written by Pat or Sandy or cowritten by both. Each provides vocals,
guitar, and appropriate percussion, and the extremely competent supporting
musicians contribute background vocals, percussion, guitar, bass, piano,
and electronic wizardry (warning to "traddies": although the
vocals here are front, center, and never overshadowed, this is not an
The unifying theme
to the album is reflected in the title. Bound for Freedom celebrates
the choices of individuals to act on their principles and beliefs, One
by One reinforces the importance of individuals taking collective
action (in this case, against the School of the Americas), and the absolutely
gorgeous We Are One (written to honor Korean unification and
the balancing of all natural forces) reminds us that we are also one
with the physical and natural worlds. Songs without "one"
in the title also support the theme: If I Give Your Name narrates
stories and fears of relatives of the anonymous "illegals"
killed in the 9/11 WTC attack, and Refugee celebrates the individual
and collective women of the Refugee and Immigrant Women's Network. The
closeness of environmental issues to our lives is touched on in Silent
Spring and Kilimanjaro, and the ways these issues affect
and can be affected by individuals are explored in Nikki & Carrie
and Seed. For those looking for the personal touch, they have
included This Love, which asks for validation of their union
by the larger community, and the heart-wrenching but life-affirming
I Will be With You, which describes how the death of her mother
spurred Pat to leave an abusive relationship. The remaining songs (Peace,
Salaam, Shalom and CodePink) are political but
nonetheless great fun to sing. Altogether, this is an enormously satisfying
album that you can play in your car until all the songs are memorized
before you even begin to tire of any of it! Kathryn LaMar
back to top