October marks the release of my CD collaboration with poet Jane Yolen and the 3 Ravens band with Lui Collins and Max Cohen. “The Infinite Dark” FREE concert is Friday Oct 12 at Sweeney Hall at Smith College. (click on the flyer for a full-size image)
Also in October 2018, my collaboration with artist and calligrapher Kathleen Lepak goes online. I’ve penned a new verse to Katherine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful” and Kathy has rendered it with grace and meaning. She and I are selling this as a fundraiser, with all profits divided equally between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Hole in the Wall Camps (Newman Foundation). Order this print.
The Great Groove Band sang the new verse to end performances at the 2018 Old Songs and Philadelphia Folk Festivals. (Video © 2018 Jamie Stanek, used with permission.)
My 70th birthday party Sept. 23 raised money for Old Songs Inc, which produces concerts year round and the Old Songs Festival of Music and Dance, where the Great Groove Band started in 1998. Friends, current and former bandmates Lyn Hardy, Gretchen Koehler, Josée Vachon, Liza Constable, Alan Bradbury, Max Cohen, Lui Collins, Jane Yolen, Robare Pruyn-Bush, George Wilson, Toby Stover, Paul Rosenberg, Alex Bell and Molly Hebert-Wilson put on a non-stop show from 2-9pm. The cake was pretty and delicious. Many thanks to all involved and to Nancy Goody and Wanda Adams Fischer for telling everybody! Music IS our birthright! (photo © 2018 Nancy Goody)
Music from the vaults . . .
There’s a hundred feet of air between me and the ceiling of the Cathedral del Gésu in Montréal in the video below, grabbed by a festival-goer at the 2014 La Grande Rencontre. We play the Scots-style air that I wrote with Max Cohen, Raven’s Wing. We’re un-amplified, if you don’t count cathedral reverb. This impromptu workshop jam was shared with (left to right) Bruce Molsky, Robin Bouliane, Pierre Schryer (fiddles) and Quinn Bachand (guitar). Bruce was the only one but me who’d even heard the tune before and the jam was his idea. I love fiddling – not only does it make you dance; sometimes it lets you fly!
More music – Max Cohen and I at the Upper Potomac Fiddle Summit in West Virginia – and a story. A few years ago, my daughter Molly met some kids at Falconridge Festival who were jamming on Dad’s and Circular Reels. They told her they’d learned both tunes from this video and then they played it for me through her phone. A year later the young fiddler came to a workshop and now he’s my regular student. That’s modern technology put to good use!