Community Notes

From The Folknik Sept/Oct 1998

CPA Needed-Do You Qualify?

We need a volunteer CPA who has the experience and is willing to do non-profit corporation taxes for the SFFMC, since we are now a 501(c)(3) organization (a number from the IRS code), designated as a public charity organization or a non-profit corporation.

These tax returns are complicated and take a special accountant to do them. If you can do this type of return and are willing to help out the club, we'd appreciate it greatly-these services are expensive. Contact our treasurer, Sandie Schuitema, (510) 865-3645, or e-mail

SF Folk Music Center/ Bill Staines

Just a few words to tell you about Bill Staines and his upcoming concert, and to bring you up to date on what's happening at the San Francisco Folk Music Center.

Bill Staines first came to the Bay Area over 20 years ago and played at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. His next year out here he performed at the Plowshares Concert Series and has been there ever since. However, Fort Mason has almost tripled our rent on the Firehouse, so we have eliminated the concert portion of the Folk Center's activities and have asked Bill to play at the Freight instead-he'll be there on Monday, October 12.

Other Folk Center activities are still in full swing. We are presently doing fundraising for the Malvina Reynolds biography; donations may be mailed to Charlotte Patterson, 212 Princeton, Mill Valley CA 94941. Make checks payable to "SF Folk Music Center" and specify on the check that it is for the Malvina biography project.

The Folk Center also cosponsors the San Francisco Free Folk Festival and the annual Musical Saw Festival in Santa Cruz and Roaring Camp. The Free Festival got a nice write-up in last month's folknik. The Saw Festival takes place during the third weekend in July and has been growing of late; we've had players from China and Japan for the last three years, and this year (the 21st annual), we added one from Czechoslovakia and one from England. A lot of other musicians also showed up for the jamming that took place Saturday night and all day Sunday.

Soxcheck out the Saw Festival next year, and, of course, the Free Festival; and don't forget Bill Staines at the Freight on Monday, October 12-a great way to cap off your three-day weekend.

Jimmy Driftwood Dies

Jimmy Driftwood, whose best-known song was probably "The Ballad of New Orleans", died Sunday, July 12 at the age of 91. He was a teacher and said that he wrote "The Battle of New Orleans" as part of a history lesson for his students. He wrote the song in 1957, and it became famous in a 1960 version by Johnny Horton.

"Tennessee Stud" was another of his best-known songs and was a hit for Eddy Arnold. Driftwood wrote about 6,000 folk songs, and 300 of them were published or recorded.

When not performing, with the Grand Ole Opry or on other stages, he had spent most of his life in Arkansas on the family farm.

WVAG 1998

The Willamette Valley Autoharp Gathering is more structured than an SFFMC campout, with workshops for two days and concerts in the evenings.

A 1998 innovation was the Learning Tree-for beginners in small groups to ask questions informally of some of the instructors.

The '98 WVAG featured a surprise visit and concert from a "giant" of the autoharp world, Bryan Bowers, who performed with his wife, Kate.

Thad Binkley and Phyllis Jardine traveled to Southern Europe in April, renting a motorhome in Milan and driving along the coast of Italy and France, then to Madrid and back. Some highlights of their trip were Carcassone, the medieval walled city in France; Andorra, a tiny, beautiful, mountainous and snowy country; and the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid.

J. Stephen Coyle offers an f-style mandolin case for sale--lovely hardshell, covered in thick hand-tooled leather, floral-and-unicorn motif, inside padded in kangaroo hide, no handle. He's asking $100, or will trade for a good Weissenborn case or a National tricone squareneck case. Contact Stephen at <>.

Denis Franklin is looking to sell a Yamaha KX-88 88-key weighted piano keyboard, synthesizer, and speaker/amps that together make a fine-sounding piano. He's asking $850 for the keyboard; $200 for the ProFormance (EMU) synthesizer; and $200 for the speakers--a Fender 70 Watt for the left (bass) channel and a Radio Shack 25 Watt for the right (treble) channel. Contact Denis by e-mail at <> or by phone at 510-482-1755 if you have any questions. He'll even arrange for you to "audition" this set-up!

Suzy Thompson writes that The California Cajun Orchestra will be performing at the 2nd Annual Cajun-Zydeco Experience, at Ardenwood Historic Farm on September 26 ad 27. Also appearing will be Motor Dude, the Aux Cajunals, Tee Fee, Zydeco Magic, Tete Rouge, Zydeco Flames, and special guests Joe Simien and George Broussard. For info, call Maryanne at (510) 635-0135, X2513. Also the CCO will be in Carmel Valley on Sat. October 17, from 4-7 PM. Call the Carmel Performing Arts Festival for information: 408-644-8383.

Chris Thorman will teach a Shape Note/Sacred Harp sight-singing class in San Francisco for beginners and intermediate singers. Learn songs from The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition. Classes are on Monday nights, September 14 through November 2, from 6:30 to 8:15 pm, plus 2 Sunday afternoon sings, September 20 and October 18 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. The cost is $25, and Sacred Harp song books available to class members for $10. Call Chris at (415) 431-7664 if you want to attend.

Classes: Autoharp at CSU, Hayward

Evo Bluestein, Instructor

Beginning- Sat. Nov. 7, 8:00 a.m-6:00 p.m.

For absolute beginners. Evo Bluestein is considered one of this country's most accomplished Appalachian-style autoharpists. Bluestein is known as a teacher and performer on many American folk instruments and performs folk programs for schools throughout California.

Intermediate-Sat. Nov. 14, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

By request-from past autoharp students, this is the class you've been waiting for. Don't worry about it being too advanced. Intermediate just means you have already taken Evo's beginning class or already play the autoharp in some style.

Now that you have learned to use the harp to accompany singing, you can learn more repertoire and techniques to advance your playing skills. If you are a music teacher or an experienced autoharp player, you may also attend as there will be some review. Pre-tuned autoharps are a must. Bring your thumb and finger picks. A tape recorder is optional. Questions for Evo: Phone: (209) 297-8966 or e-mail <>

Both classes will be at California State University, Hayward. To register call (510) 885-3605.

Classes: Irish Flute

Grey Larsen is now offering concerts, master classes, residencies and a variety of educational offerings in Irish flute to music schools and music departments in academic institutions. Visit his web site, <>, for full information and details. You may request a packet to be sent to you by U.S. mail.

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