Archive for ◊ March, 2012 ◊

• Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

HUNTINGDON PA  — Musicians of all ages, instruments and skill levels are invited to attend Folk College 2012, where they’ll have the opportunity to learn from locally and nationally-known folk musicians in a fun and friendly environment.

The event will be held May 25-27 at Juniata College in Huntingdon PA (near State College and Penn State) and will feature workshops, concerts, jam sessions and more, culminating in a student concert where participants can show off the skills they learned throughout the weekend. Workshops range from beginner to advanced and cover genres including blues, old time and world music.

The Folk College 2012 musical staff include:

  • Atwater-Donnelly: Atwater-Donnelly performs a unique and thrilling blend of traditional American and Celtic folk music and dance, along with original songs and poetry. The highly praised husband-wife duo blends gorgeous vocals with an astonishing array of instruments including the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, tin whistle, guitar, limberjack, mandolin, harmonica, feet and more.
  • Four Shillings Short: Four Shillings Short is part of the creative fusion that is happening in World Music today.  Blending Celtic, East Indian and American Folk music with Medieval, Renaissance and original compositions, the international duo have carved out a musical identity all their own.
  • Simple Gifts: Three women plus twelve instruments equals one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage. Drawing on an impressive variety of ethnic folk styles, th award-winning trio of Linda LIttleton, Karen Hirschon and Rachel Hall play everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to hard-driving Klezmer frailachs and haunting Gypsy melodies, spicing the mix with the distinctive rhythms of Balkan dance music, the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling, and original compositions written in a traditional style.
  • The Horse Flies: A longtime favorite of critics and fans, The Horse Flies blend Americana roots with indie rock, ethnic percussion, creative songwriting, and a fierce, percolating groove. With a love of both the traditional and the modern, The Flies have consistently explored the intersection of the two to create a musical world all their own.
  • The Twilite Broadcasters: The Twilite Broadcasters are the missing link between vintage country, old time, early bluegrass and rockabilly. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the band creates traditional American music directly inspired by the likes of the Louvin Brothers and Bill Monroe.
  • Tomás Lozano and Polly Ferber: Barcelona born Tomás Lozano’s music incarnates his mix of cultural roots; a history of conquest and resistance masterfully expressed through his smooth voice, the vibrant fingerwork on his guitar and the soothing droning of his hurdy-gurdy. He will be joined by Polly Ferber, a percussionist, music educator, performer, and recording artist who specializes in hand percussion from the Middle East, the Balkans, Spanish Andalusia, and North Africa.

The weekend will also feature teacher training for the Mark O’Connor method of fiddle playing. This intensive workshop is designed for music teachers interested in learning O’Connor’s unique method of fiddle instruction.

Folk College is hosted by Simple Gifts nd sponsored by the Huntingdon County PA Arts Council. Those who register before April 1 can take advantage of a $200 “early bird” pricing; the cost is $235 after April 1. Meals and lodging in Juniata College residence halls are also available for additional fees.

Folk College 2012 will be held May 25-27 at Juniata College in Huntingdon PA. For more information, visit or contact the Huntingdon County Arts Council at 814-643-6220.

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Author: Margaret
• Friday, March 16th, 2012


2:30-4:30 pm

Ground-floor Commons Room,

Flora Rose House,

Cornell’s West Campus Dorm Complex


7:30 pm, 165 McGraw Hall,

Cornell Arts Quad,

with Jun-Kyo Seo (Jumba) opening

As a youth, Andy Cohen was nurtured on piano, cornet, and Dixieland jazz records, but when, at age 16, he met Rev. Gary Davis, “his course was set.” He got himself to the “source” to learn directly from the old musicians. His many blues friends and profound influences also include Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy, Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band, Skip James, Washington Phillips, John Hurt, and Brownie McGee. Andy Cohen’s mission, over 50 years of making music, is to preserve and carry forward the style and spirit of these masters. He gladly mentors younger musicians who want to play authentic blues. Raised in Massachusetts, he’s really “a Southern boy at heart” who lives in Memphis when he isn’t on the road with his big Washburn and sweet dolceola. He lays down mean and fiery blues from Memphis and beyond, playful ragtime, and soul-felt spirituals and gospel. He’s a virtuoso on guitar and his singing is joyful and unrestrained. Andy Cohen is widely considered one of the finest living performers of African American blues from the Southeast, 1900-1950. A grand raconteur, he can expound with authority, fervor, and energetic humor on blues, the dolceola, and any number of musicological and anthropological topics. He’s a born teacher and self-described “guitar-picking fool.”

The concert starts early, with Cornell sophomore Jun-Kyo Seo (Jumba), president of the Cornell Folk Song Society, opening at 7:30 pm. He’ll show his mettle with blues and ragtime tunes in the style of southern blues guitarists from the early half of the twentieth century. His passion for the genres makes for mighty fine playing. It’s been 8 years since Andy did a gig for Cornell Folk Song Society, so you don’t want to miss him, or the chance to hear some solid young talent.

Concert tickets: Ithaca Guitar Works, GreenStar, Autumn Leaves Bookstore, Bound for Glory, and online at $15 advance/$17 door; $3 rebate for members, seniors, teens; children 12 & under free. Cornell students $10/$12. Info: 607-279-2027 or website.

WORKSHOP (2:30-4:30 pm): Old pro Andy Cohen will give instruction in blues guitar in the Commons Room of Flora Rose House, West Campus Dorms, Cornell. This workshop is not to be missed by those who want to hone their chops while having a rollicking and mind-stretching good time. Here’s Andy’s description: “I call it ‘Cohen’s Law’, which is really the explicated consequences of striking the root of the chord with your thumb on the one beat. I will walk the guitarists through five pieces: Come Let Us March, Louis Collins, Freight Train, Rev. Davis’s Candyman, and Rev. Davis’s Buck Dance, progressively tricking the picking thumb into doing more and more, within the thumb-on-the-root-on-the-one framework.”

Limited to 12 participants, so pre-register, if possible, to reserve a spot (E-mail Jumba <> or Margaret <>). Payment at the door is acceptable (students $10/non-students $25). There’s a discount price for attending both workshop and concert: students $15/ others $35.

– Margaret Shepard

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• Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


After being blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1950s, folk song revivalist, civil rights advocate, and social activist Pete Seeger began performing unannounced “community concerts” at schools, camps and community centers. Seeger considers these performances to be some of his most important work. On April 17, 2012, Smithsonian Folkways will release ‘The Complete Bowdoin College Concert, 1960,’ recorded live on campus at the Brunswick, ME, school in 1960.

This is the earliest complete Seeger concert recording available and the only available complete “community concert” recording. The live album features 35 tracks on two discs including two songs — “Al Smith Holds the Bottle” and “I Had a Dream” — unavailable on any other Seeger recording.

Listen to “Penny’s Farm.” (

Listen to “Hieland Laddie” (

‘The Complete Bowdoin College Concert,’ produced and annotated by GRAMMY Award-winning Smithsonian Folkways archivist Jeff Place from a pristine recording of the 1960 event by the staff at WBOR FM, captures Seeger’s breathtaking show for a rapturous audience that audibly hangs on his every note and word. In a notably ironic twist, Seeger’s blacklisted status resulted in him communicating directly to the young audiences authorities were possibly trying to shelter.

“…the only thing that could make me any happier is to know a lot of you take these words and spread them around the world wherever you go.”

– Pete Seeger’s commentary from ‘The Complete Bowdoin College Concert’

Seeger’s college concerts capture not only his finest twelve-string guitar and banjo performances, but also his ability to share and celebrate folk music with a community of young intellectuals eager to create change in the face of political strife. Seeger’s charisma shines as he introduces each song with candor and humor, encouraging the audience to join him for a wide array of traditional, topical and international music pieces during a revolutionary time in American history.

Pete Seeger is a recipient of The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1993), The National Medal of Arts (1994), the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Honor (1994) and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1996). In 2008 he was honored with a GRAMMY Award for best traditional album for ‘At 89,’ and he earned The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award for his commitment to peace and social justice as a musician, songwriter, activist, and environmentalist. He has also been suggested as a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Seeger will celebrate his 93rd birthday on May 3rd, 2012 and he continues to compose and perform folk music as well as advocate for social change. In January, 2009, he was seen singing “This Land Is Your Land” before hundreds of thousands on the Lincoln Memorial steps during the pre-inauguration concert before Barack Obama became President of the United States. Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records, released 49 albums by Pete Seeger, and Smithsonian Folkways has released seven more. It’s the largest collection of Seeger’s work.

The Complete Bowdoin College Concert, 1960

Disc 1:

1. Goofing Off Suite-Opening Theme (Pete Seeger)

2. Penny’s Farm

3. He Lies in the American Land (Andrew Kovaly/Pete Seeger)

4. Deep Blue Sea

5. Hieland Laddie

6. Oh, Riley

7. Banjo Medley: Cripple Creek/Old Joe Clark/Old Dan Tucker

8. Summertime (George and Ira Gershwin)

9. D-Day Dodgers (Hamish Henderson)

10. Quiz Show  (Ernie Mars)

11. Al Smith Holds the Bottle

12. What a Friend We Have in Congress  (Ernie Mars)

13. Living in the Country (Pete Seeger)

14. Water Is Wide

15. Bells of Rhymney (Pete Seeger/Idris Davies)

16. Goodnight Irene (Lead Belly)

17. Intermission

Disc 2:

18. Big Rock Candy Mountain (Harry McClintock)

19. I Had a Dream (Big Bill Broonzy)

20. Oh, What a Beautiful City

21. In the Sweet Bye and Bye/Preacher and the Slave (Joe Hill)

22. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (Ed McCurdy)

23. Medley: Colorado Trail/Spanish Is the Loving Tongue/From Here on Up/Texas Girls/We Pity Our Bosses Five/The Scabs Crawl In/Swarthmore Girls

24. Open the Door Softly/Road to Athay/Why Do Scotsmen?

25. Hold Up Your Petticoat/Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (Pete Seeger)/Step By Step/Joe Hill’s Last Will (Joe Hill)

26. Vive La Quince Brigada

27. Suliram (Indonesian Lullaby)

28. Wimoweh (The Weavers)

29. Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

30. Commentary

31. Bourgeois Blues (Lead Belly)

32. Black Girl (Lead Belly)/ Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (The Weavers)

33. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena

34. Worried Man Blues (A.P. Carter)

35. Conclusion

About Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States, dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound.

Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials, Smithsonian Folkways seeks to strengthen people’s engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others. This mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document “people’s music,” spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world.

The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the Folkways commitment to cultural diversity, education, increased understanding, and lively engagement with the world of sound.


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• Monday, March 12th, 2012

Open Jam at The Canaan Institute every Wednesday 7:00 - 10:00 pm - The focus is Celtic, American and world fiddle dance tunes suitable for contra dance. NOT a slow jam, but newcomers are always welcome. All instruments: Fiddles, Guitars, Mandolins, Banjos and etc are welcome! Sheet music and MP3’s available. This is the Ithaca area’s longest running contra tune jam and the launching point for many new bands and jams! WORKSHOPS offered and DIRECTIONS to

YFN Open Band opportunity: Annual Boy Scout Troop 13 Spaghetti Dinner Trumansburg NY Mar 31st 4-7 pm RSVP to Mike. Details

APR 22 - Musicians’ Workshops with NYS fiddle champ Phil Banaszak and Traditional NYS song and tune expert Dave Ruch from The Canal Street String Band at The Canaan Institute. Phil and Dave will teach 2 workshops concurrently: one in the farmhouse and one in the music building at the Canaan Institute (Mike Ludgate’s place). See Sunday April 22nd 2012 2:00-4:30 pm RSVP to Mike - Workshop details

ITHACA NY - Fiddlehead Frolic Apr 28 (Musicians: There will be JAMMING and musician’s WORKSHOPS at this event.) Schedule on pdf file below. Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca will host its fifth Fiddlehead Frolic, a day of music and dance featuring one of the region’s hottest contra dance bands, TUNESCAPE (Tim Ball on fiddle, Rachel Bell on accordion, Nadine Dyskant on flute, Jodi Austin on keyboard, and Peter Blue on percussion and nyckelharpa). Calling with them will be Ron Buchanan of Pittsburgh. Contra and waltz sessions with August Wheat, a square dance session with the Uphill Battle Boys, and a panoply of skillful local callers. Register in advance and pay the low, low price of only $22 for the whole day! You’ll find a PDF of the brochure (with registration form) INFO THREAD REGISTRATION FLYER

FOLK COLLEGE 2012 - May 25-27 - A festival by musicians, for musicians, recognized and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts! A weekend of musical fun in a college setting in Huntingdon Pennsylvania, on the picturesque Juniata College campus. Featured performers-teachers: The Horse Flies, Atwater-Donnelly, Four Shillings Short, The Twilite Broadcasters, Tomás Lozano & Polly Ferber and many others, including T’Burg and Ithaca’s own Gordon Bonnet, Debbie Rifkin, and Kathy Selby.”  LEARN MORE register now for early discounts!

Ithaca Festival JAM TENT — Probably will be in Dewitt Park this year. I started a 2012 news thread here

Contra Dancing on the Ithaca Commons - Starts on the Monday right after Ithaca Festival Monday June 4th. Open band and contra dancing all summer long 7:30-10:00 pm every Monday night.

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