Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Music from the Spring" featuring the Kruger Brothers

Maestro Toshimasa Francis Wada says:

"I never cared for Blue Grass Music until I was forced to attend the Joe Val Festival four years ago and took a Banjo Class and attended the concert. When I heard the Kruger Brothers I woke up with amazement. I went to talk to all three of them after the concert if they would consider doing something together. This was just before they performed with Bangor Symphony. And here they come! I am so thrilled for this opportunity to perform with them. Great musicians and nice people."

Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2009
7:30 PM-10:30 PM
Suggested Audiences: College, High School, Middle School, Adult, Elders
Find Local Food & Accommodations
Stratos G. Dukakis Performing Arts Center
1050 Westminster Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Cost: $26 to $35
Sponsored by: GFA Federal Credit Union and Leominster Credit Union.
The Kruger Brothers join the Thayer Symphony Orchestra with their New American Style of Bluegrass music on Saturday, May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. at the Dukakis Performing Arts Center of Monty Tech School in Fitchburg.

This is the final concert of TSO's 35th season and is being sponsored by Fidelity Bank. Aubuchon Hardware is the Guest Artists' Sponsor, the Maestro Sponsor is Enterprise Bank and IC Federal Credit Union will sponsor a post-concert reception to which all concert attendees and sponsors are invited. Underwriters for this concert are GFA Federal Credit Union and Leominster Credit Union.
The Kruger Brothers' sound is both intense and tranquil, it's classic, classy and classical, and it's jazzy and grassy -- all at the same time.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Jens and Uwe Kruger have been performing professionally since 1973. After playing for twenty years throughout Europe in various styles and venues, Uwe on guitar and Jens on banjo, the brothers invited bassist Joel Landsberg to join them, and the three musicians formed the acoustic trio audiences around the world know as the Kruger Brothers.

The Kruger Brother performances are exciting, calming, entertaining and spontaneous, reflecting their sheer joy in playing music. Their virtuoso playing combined with the manner in which they interact with each other and with their audience makes their music uniquely special. The Kruger Brothers' musical style defies definition, encompassing all styles of music through their personal individual development, classical European musical influences, and love of the American spirit. Combine it all together and the result is what can only be described as new American music.

Tickets for the TSO concerts range in price from $26 to $35 and may be purchased by calling the TSO at 978-466-1800 X11. Visit are website for further information.

More Information: Website:
Phone: 978-466-1800

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Joy Kills Sorrow & The Boston Boys

notloB's acoustic folk/roots/Celtic/blues/bluegrass concerts are 100% volunteer run and not for profit. After production expenses, all patron donations go to the artists.

The next presentation is Saturday, May 9.....

Joy Kills Sorrow

Emma Beaton - vocals
Jacob Jolliff - mandolin
Matt Arcara - guitar
Wes Corbett - banjo
Bridget Kearney - bass

Joy Kills Sorrow is a prodigiously tasteful pop-grass ensemble emerging from the bubbling frenzy of young folk talent in Boston, MA. The five band members--each already respected practitioners on their instruments--share a deep knowledge and respect for the bluegrass tradition and have virtuosity to spare, but as an ensemble hold above all else a commitment to playing great songs well, and forging a new brand of folk music at once innovative and beautiful.

The Boston Boys

Eric Robertson - mandolin
Nate Leath - fiddle
Stash Wyslouch - guitar
Sam Grisman - bass
Nick Falk - drums

The Boston Boys is a new band of musicians emerging from the hotbed of talented young players in the hip Boston music scene. Featuring Eric Robertson, Nate Leath, Sam Grisman, Stash Wyslouch, and Nick Falk, all band members are either students at or Alumni of the prestigious Berklee School of Music. The Boston Boys sound is contemporary roots rock, blending reverence for the Beatles and the energy of the Avett Brothers with hints of Appalachian string band music.

Suggested minimum donation is $15.00 at the door & $10 for seniors and students with ID. Regular patron admission is $12.50 if a reservation to notlobreservations(at) is made at least 24 hours prior to the concert. Advance tickets are available at Music Emporium, located at 165 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02420.

Get 10% off dinner at a nearby restaurant, see website for details.


Saturday, May 9, 2009
Park Avenue Congregational Church
50 Paul Revere Road
Arlington, MA


Website ~
Mailing list ~
Blog ~

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Broken Blossoms

Notlob presented Broken Blossoms on April 11, 2009

Broken Blossoms

Broken BlossomsWhen I started learning to play bluegrass music as a teenager in the mid-1970s, the bluegrass mecca was the Washington, DC area. Seldom Scene and The Country Gentlemen were headquartered there, both considered wildly progressive by the traditionalists of that day.

Lexington, KY was also something of a hotbed in the ’70s, with heretical modernists like JD Crowe & The New South and Newgrass Revival emerging there.

These days, the Boston area is drawing talented young string players with a itch to stretch the boundaries of the music, resulting in an active and fecund environment for new music. The success of Crooked Still has surely fueled this movement, as have the twin academic trends of young players in conservatories trying their hand at acoustic string music, and these same schools seeking out students from the bluegrass and traditional music scenes.

I say all that to say this… Broken Blossoms may be the next Boston-based group to emerge from this primordial goo of new music. I’ve been listening to their debut, self-titled EP/CD and there is some beautiful music there, with great promise of more to come.

This gifted young band is fronted by Jenee Halstead on vocals with Andy Cambria on guitar and vocals, David Goldenberg on mandolin, Kimber Ludiker on fiddle, Simon Chrisman on bass and Charlie Rose on banjo. 3 of the 4 tracks on the EP are originals and the arrangements owe a lot to the sound that Crooked Still has pioneered - female vocals out front, with sparse, semi-orchestrated string band accompaniment.

I asked Cambria if the band is bothered by the obvious comparisons to their fellow Bostonians.

”No, we don’t mind any Crooked Still comparisons – we’ll take all the Crooked Still comparisons we can get! Those guys are great friends of ours, so it’d be nearly impossible for their vibe not to rub off a little.”

Here are a couple of audio samples, with more available on the band’s MySpace page.

A Wife So Young - Listen now:

Preacher - Listen now:

Broken Blossoms has been invited to take part in the band competition at DelFest in May, and then at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in August. Perhaps they won’t be an unknown startup act much longer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Bowmans


notloB is assisting a friend with a house concert in Malden, the featured artists will be THE BOWMANS

The Bowmans began their performance career as "singing puppeteers" in their hometown of Davenport Iowa. Sarah and Claire's ability to harmonize was discovered (by their parents, of course) at the age of three. The twins began creating their own imaginative songs immediately upon the delivery of their first tape recorder with which they cut their first album, "Chicks and Families Radio Rocks," a compilation which included performances by various artists such as Snot the pig, Little Bear Second Brain, and Bellbina. The seeds of a lifelong partnership were sown from the far-reaching success of that first album.

The twins have performed together regularly since then, early becoming fixtures throughout the Midwest from coffee-shops to huge outdoor festivals. At Duquesne they furthered their craft, playing several venues in and around Pittsburgh area while studying at the university. After finishing college, the Bowmans moved to Baltimore and continued performing together throughout the Balto-D.C. corridor, despite the demands of Sarah's duties as an orchestra teacher.

These days, The Bowmans seem to be everywhere on the New York City music scene. And why shouldn't they be? Sarah's lyrics and vocals range from reminiscently droll to poignantly sublime. Coupled with skillful cello and guitar playing, Sarah has already afforded recognition as one of the top musicians on the city scene. Claire is an artful fiddler and evocative vocalist to match. Together, the twins' harmonies sound as if they come simultaneously from one astonishing voice. Sarah and Claire share the rare, almost telepathic bond common to twins, and because of this they are clearly always on the same musical page. The latest phase of The Bowmans' development began in 2004, when Sarah did what nearly all the American musicians do - made the move to New York City. She quickly became a fixture on the Anti-Folk scene as a solo artist and guest cellist, sharing the stage with more than a dozen of the hottest musicians and bands in town. No doubt noting her sister's immediate impact on the scene, Claire was quick to join Sarah, making the move up north later that year. The Bowmans reunited and the people of New York noticed. In a very short time, they have become nearly ubiquitous, receiving rave critical reviews and garnering themselves a devoted following from the famed Sidewalk Café in the East Village to the burgeoning Whiskey Breath weekly event in Williamsburg.

The Bowmans' sound is at once unique and prototypically American. Shades of Americana connect with characteristics of modern singer-songwriters; vaudeville blends with indie-folk; undertones of classical influences meld with loads of rock and roll edge. Though the Bowmans have worked together almost since their birth, they are beginning an enlivening new chapter to their richly musical lives.

The Bowmans, from Brooklyn, have been touring with Anais Mitchell and are expanding their fan base into the Boston area for the first time.
It will be a pot-luck along with a "suggested donation" of $15.

When: April 25, Door opens 7:00, pot luck 7:00-8:15, concert 8:30-10

More information/reservations (REQUIRED): notlobreservations(at)

Concert to be followed by more eating/drinking, a glass harmonica demonstration, and pool and ping-pong tournaments in the basement.

p.s. The artists have Friday, April 24 open, contact me if you can provide a venue in Vermont, New Hampshire or Massachusetts.

Future Concert Information

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Bedford Summerfest 2009 Lineup Announced on Facebook

Source is Facebook (at the time of this posting the festival's website was not yet updated, when it is artist links will probably be active).


Summerfest 2009

Start Time:
Friday, July 3, 2009 at 5:00pm
End Time:
Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 9:00pm
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
New Bedford, MA

This year's Summerfest promises to be the best festival yet! Our lineup this year includes such great performers as:

Roy Book Binder
Benoit Bourque
Susie Burke & Dave Surrette
Ronny Cox
Antje Duvekot
Stacy Earle & Mark Stuart
Cliff Eberhardt
Jonathan Edwards Trio
The English Men
Tim Erikson
Stephen Fearing
Bob Franke
John Gorka
Livio Guardi & Wilson Montouri
The Kennedys
Louis Killen
Claire Lynch
Lovell Sisters
Harry Manx
Danielle Miraglia
Maria Muldaur
Peter Mulvey
Ellis Paul
Red Hen
Red Molly
Le Reveillons!
Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan
Richard Shindell
Art Tebbetts
Daniel & Luc Thonon


It appears Vance Gilbert, previously announced, has dropped out.


2pm update - now has an active link to the performers, their websites and biographies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From Sam Bush

I hope this finds all of you doing well!

I am writing to share a great Rolling Stone article with you in which Sam and Del McCoury weigh in on new bluegrass acts - Enjoy!

The New Bluegrass: 5 Acts to Watch

Feel free to comment here and at the Rolling Stone site. What a cool piece!

The Notlob connection?

Kristin Andreassen has appeared twice (once, as a part of Sometymes Why, on June 2, 2007 and once as a solo feature (with Laura Cortese, occasional Uncle Earl bassist), on February 9, 2008).

Uncle Earl segment

Full article

Way to go, G'earls!

Uncle Earl

Sound: Uncle Earl are a rarity in the bluegrass scene: an all-female quartet that adds Irish-style "clogging" to their live show and occasionally sing in Mandarin Chinese. Their latest record, Waterloo Tennessee, is their most ambitious yet, mixing traditional fiddle-powered jams ("Black-Eyed Susie") and rich four-part harmonies with countrified covers of classics (Bob Dylan's "Wallflower") and old-time ho-downs ("One True"). "We try to make songs that have a pop groove," says Andreassen. "So we'll trade up instruments a lot more than your typical old-time band."

Story: Uncle Earl had only been performing on the folk-music circuit for five months in 2006 when they scored an unlikely fan: Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, who caught the band's live set at the Rock Grass Festival in Colorado that summer. "We didn't have enough songs to play so we looked into the crowd for people who could jam with us," says Andreassen. "John was there and we were like, 'Come on up and play mandolin!' " Soon after, Uncle Earl headed into the studio to cut Waterloo, with Jones as a producer. "He wasn't trying to make us into a rock band," says Andreassen. "He acted more like a coach and made us feel confident."

Key Track: "Wish I Had My Time Again," a breezy, amped-up lament about doing time in the slammer.

Expert Opinion: "Those girls are really great musicians," says McCoury, who shared a bill with the group last summer in Cape Cod. "They're a cross between old-time music and bluegrass, you know? It's unusual, but I tell you they're doing it right."

Monday, April 13, 2009

“Most Wanted” Emerging Artists from the 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Abi Tapia and Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers to play 6 shows in the NE

“Most Wanted” Emerging Artists from the 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Abi Tapia and Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers will play 6 shows in the Northeast

Each year the audience at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival votes for their favorite acts from the Emerging Artists Showcase. The top 4 vote getters are invited to return to the Festival the following year to perform in the “Most Wanted Song Swap.” The selected artists from the 2008 festival are Abi Tapia, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Amy Speace.

These selected artists often participate in a “Preview Tour” before the festival. Due to previous commitment
s and scheduling difficulties, this year’s preview tour will only include six dates and two of the acts. Still, these shows will be a great opportunity for loyal Falcon Ridge Folk Festival-goers and Northeast folk fans to get to know these emerging artists and reconnect with friends.

Artist Biographies:

Brewing up a
tasty mix of traditional music infused with zesty rhythms and innovative arrangements, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers is one of the most dynamic groups based in the Boston area today. True citizens of the 21st century world, BMUZ takes from the rooted traditions of many cultures and translates their essence into a unique, vibrant sound.

The members of BMUZ use an eclectic group of instruments. Bronwyn Bird plays the accordian and the ethereal nyckelharpa, the traditional bowed stringed instrument from Sweden, where she lived for a year. Andy Reiner, who comes from a musical family and has
studied at many a fiddle camp across the country, plays the five string fiddle and is especially rooted in the lively music of Cape Breton. A fiddler who has studied traditional music in Ireland and Norway, Mariel Vandersteel also plays hardanger fiddle, the traditional string instrument of Norway. Stash Wyslouch, who has traveled with guitar through South America and is influenced by hip hop and funk, brings a driving sense of rhythm and groove to the group with his guitar and melodica.

Abi Tapia undoubtedly gets her optimism from her mom who was expelled from Catholic School for being pregnant with her, but called it “the best day of her life.” Abi’s first fifteen years were a blur of Southern towns and yearly uprooting as her mother chased work and higher education. But the constant moving was presented as a big adventure and instilled in Abi the idea that new places have potential for happiness, discovery and success. So she kept moving. In fact, she just moved from Austin, TX to Berkshire County, MA.

Her new album, The Beauty in the Ruin, explores sadness and frustration, which after 8 years of the starving artist’s life Abi had plenty of, but there is a common thread of hope, redemption and joy in all of these supposedly sad songs. It is full of sing-able hooks and straddles country, folk and rock with ease, incorporating fiddle and pedal steel as well as some crunchy electric guitars and big drums.

Performance Dates:

Saturday, April 18, 2009 8pm
The Golden Apple Coffeehouse
Mt Kisco, NY
Price: $15/$8 Seniors and students

Sunday, May 10, 2009 6pm
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, DC
Tickets: Free

Friday, May 15, 2009 8:00 PM
Cafe Veritas
Rochester, NY

Saturday, May 16th, 2009 8:00 PM
Common Ground Coffeehouse
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 8:00 PM
Notlob Folk Concerts
Park Avenue Congregational Church
Arlington, MA
Price: $15/$12.50/$10

Friday, May 29th, 2009 8:00 PM
Pioneer Arts Center of Easthampton (PACE)
Easthampton, MA
Price: $12/$10 Members

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Fire Next Time-Folk Variety-Alastair Moock

Saturday, April 11, 2009
*The Fire Next Time-Folk Variety-Alastair Moock

Bad Moock Rising, Alastair Moock, Bad Moock Rising Records, 1999

Recently I posed a question in this space about who would continue the blues tradition today, now that most, if not all, of the famous old blues singers are dead or retired. One answer that I came up with was the talented Keb’ Mo’. There are others I am sure. I would like to pose that same question here in regard to the folk music movement that now is seeing more than its fair share of old time performers pass from the scene, most recently the likes of Odetta and Utah Phillips. This reviewer has spent much ink in this space over the past year or so touting various old time folk singers like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Dave Van Ronk, Rosalie Sorrels and so on. That tip of the hat to the folk revival of the early 1960’s begged an important question. Who would, if anyone, continue that old folk tradition?

That is where the artist under review, Alastair Moock, comes into the picture. He has gone back to the roots with some songs of his own creation that would do his predecessors proud. Moreover, I note that I first heard Mr. Moock in person while attending a concept concert that he put together doing material in honor of Woody Guthrie. The name of the project, “Pastures Of Plenty”, which just happens to be the name of a famous Woody song. Moreover, the very first song that I heard the Moock do (on the local folk radio) was a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Let Me Die In My Footsteps”. Yes here is a man who is serious about roots, and serious about making his own contributions to that scene. Hell, a few years ago I recall that he had a following of 'groupies' that called itself the Moockettes. Sounds about right to me.

So what is good here? Obviously that above-mentioned Dylan cover. For you topical folk types with a little sense of humor how about “Here’s A Latte and My Middle Finger”. “Your Good (For Man Like Me)” and “Take Me When You Go” deserve a listen but if you have only time to listen to one give a listen to the old Woody Guthrie tune (complete with Alastair comments) on “ Pretty Boy Floyd” then you will know why the old folk tradition like the blues is still in capable hands. Kudos, Moockster.

"This Land Is Your Land"-Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Hard Travelin'

I've been havin' some hard travelin', I thought you knowed
I've been havin' some hard travelin', way down the road
I've been havin' some hard travelin', hard ramblin', hard gamblin'
I've been havin' some hard travelin', lord

I've been ridin' them fast rattlers, I thought you knowed
I've been ridin' them flat wheelers, way down the road
I've been ridin' them blind passengers, dead-enders, kickin' up cinders
I've been havin' some hard travelin', lord

I've been hittin' some hard-rock minin', I thought you knowed
I've been leanin' on a pressure drill, way down the road
Hammer flyin', air-hose suckin', six foot of mud and I shore been a muckin'
And I've been hittin' some hard travelin', lord

I've been hittin' some hard harvestin', I thought you knowed
North Dakota to Kansas City, way down the road
Cuttin' that wheat, stackin' that hay, and I'm tryin' make about a dollar a day
And I've been havin' some hard travelin', lord

I've been working that Pittsburgh steel, I thought you knowed
I've been a dumpin' that red-hot slag, way down the road
I've been a blasting, I've been a firin', I've been a pourin' red-hot iron
I've been hittin' some hard travelin', lord

I've been layin' in a hard-rock jail, I thought you knowed
I've been a laying out 90 days, way down the road
Damned old judge, he said to me, "It's 90 days for vagrancy."
And I've been hittin' some hard travelin', lord

I've been walking that Lincoln highway, I thought you knowed,
I've been hittin' that 66, way down the road
Heavy load and a worried mind, lookin' for a woman that's hard to find,
I've been hittin' some hard travelin', lord

Oklahoma Hills

Many a month has come and gone
Since I wandered from my home
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.
Many a page of life has turned,
Many a lesson I have learned;
Well, I feel like in those hills I still belong.

'Way down yonder in the Indian Nation
Ridin' my pony on the reservation,
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.
Now, 'way down yonder in the Indian Nation,
A cowboy's life is my occupation,
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.

But as I sit here today,
Many miles I am away
From a place I rode my pony through the draw,
While the oak and blackjack trees
Kiss the playful prairie breeze,
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.

Now as I turn life a page
To the land of the great Osage
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born,
While the black oil it rolls and flows
And the snow-white cotton grows
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.

Words and Music by Woody Guthrie and Jack Guthrie
© Copyright 1945 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications , Inc.
and Michael Goldsen Music Inc / Warner-Chappell Music

Pastures Of Plenty

It's a mighty hard row that my poor hands have hoed
My poor feet have traveled a hot dusty road
Out of your Dust Bowl and Westward we rolled
And your deserts were hot and your mountains were cold

I worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes
I slept on the ground in the light of the moon
On the edge of the city you'll see us and then
We come with the dust and we go with the wind

California, Arizona, I harvest your crops
Well its North up to Oregon to gather your hops
Dig the beets from your ground, cut the grapes from your vine
To set on your table your light sparkling wine

Green pastures of plenty from dry desert ground
From the Grand Coulee Dam where the waters run down
Every state in the Union us migrants have been
We'll work in this fight and we'll fight till we win

It's always we rambled, that river and I
All along your green valley, I will work till I die
My land I'll defend with my life if it be
Cause my pastures of plenty must always be free

Pretty Boy Floyd

If you'll gather 'round me, children,
A story I will tell
'Bout Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw,
Oklahoma knew him well.

It was in the town of Shawnee,
A Saturday afternoon,
His wife beside him in his wagon
As into town they rode.

There a deputy sheriff approached him
In a manner rather rude,
Vulgar words of anger,
An' his wife she overheard.

Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain,
And the deputy grabbed his gun;
In the fight that followed
He laid that deputy down.

Then he took to the trees and timber
To live a life of shame;
Every crime in Oklahoma
Was added to his name.

But a many a starving farmer
The same old story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little homes.

Others tell you 'bout a stranger
That come to beg a meal,
Underneath his napkin
Left a thousand dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City,
It was on a Christmas Day,
There was a whole car load of groceries
Come with a note to say:

Well, you say that I'm an outlaw,
You say that I'm a thief.
Here's a Christmas dinner
For the families on relief.

Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

Walking Sounds, Alastair Moock, Bad Moock Rising Records, 1997

So what is good here? For you topical folk types with a little sense of humor how about “Me And My Friend” (with a very nice sense of the use of language getting a strong workout here). “Dance in the Night” and “Walking To The End Of The World ” deserve a listen but if you have only time to listen to one give a listen to “ What If Love Came Too Soon” then you will know why the old folk tradition like the blues is still in capable hands. This is an early CD (maybe his first?) and reflects a little unsureness about where he was at and a little showing off of the literary end of his work. That’s okay. We know from later experience that he has the goods.

Labels: Alastair Moock, folk guitar, folk historian, folk revival, folk singers, pete seeger, woody guthrie

posted by markin at 4:37 PM

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Special Nora Guthrie Tour Announcement

Hey friends!

Nora's going on a short tour in Oklahoma and Texas next week! I hope you can make it out to these wonderful events.

All the best,
Anna Canoni
Programs & Events Director

April 15, 2009 - 8:00p
The Live Wire Listening Party - A FREE EVENT!
Nora Guthrie hosts a live listening session of her 2008 Grammy award winning album, The Live Wire: Woody Guthrie in Performance followed by a discussion on the project.
The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Venue website

April 17 - 20, 2009


"And there on the Texas plains right in the dead center of the dust bowl, with the oil boom over and the wheat blowed out and the hard-working people just stumbling about, bothered with mortgages, debts, bills, sickness, worries of every blowing kind, I seen there was plenty to make up songs about. . . . I never did make up any songs about the cow trails or the moon skipping through the sky, but at first it was funny songs or songs about what all's wrong, and how it turned out good or bad. Then I got a little braver and made up songs telling what I thought was wrong and how to make it right, songs that said what everybody in the country was thinking. And this has held me ever since."
- Woody Guthrie

This exhibit will illustrate how the years Woody Guthrie spent in Pampa, Texas, from age 17 formed the foundation of a life that was to influence the folk music genre for the generations to come. Family tragedy, the Depression and Dust Bowl years, and picking up a guitar and giving a voice to the plight of the American worker were the driving forces that guided Woody throughout his prolific, but too-short career.


We hope you join us for this special weekend long symposium on Woody Guthrie.

* April 17 from 7:00p - 8:30p
Nora Guthrie presents This Land Is Your Land: The Story of Woody Guthrie

* April 18 from 2:00 - 5:00p
Concert with Jimmy LaFave

* April 18 from 5:30 - 7:00p
Nora Guthrie presents Bound For Glory: The Legacy of Woody Guthrie

* April 19 from 2:00 - 5:00p
Concert with Josh Paulson, Cody Jasper, Andy Chase and James Davis

* April 20 from 5:30 - 8:00p
Film screening of Man In The Sand followed by A Conversation with Nora Guthrie

For more information on the Exhibition or Symposium, please visit the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum's website -

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Broken Blossoms & Folk Arts Quartet, Arlington, 4/11

notloB Concerts is proud to present BROKEN BLOSSOMS & FOLK ARTS QUARTET at the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road, Arlington Heights, MA 02476 just off Mass Ave.) on Saturday, April 11 at 8:00 pm (doors 7:45).

Suggested minimum donation is $15.00 at the door & $10 for seniors and students with ID. Regular patron admission is $12.50 if a reservation to is made at least 24 hours prior to the concert. Advance tickets are available at Music Emporium, located at 165 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02420.

notloB Concerts is new to Arlington but has been producing quality acoustic folk/roots/Celtic/blues/bluegrass concerts in Boston and the surrounding area for more than two years. Their concerts are 100% volunteer run and not for profit. After production expenses, all patron donations go to the artists.

This is the first of three stringband/Celtic/folk concerts Notlob will be producing at this venue during the months of April and May, the others being
  • On May 9, Joy Kills Sorrow (newgrass) & The Boston Boys (bluegrass)
  • On May 23, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 2008 "Most Wanted" winners Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers (Scandanavian folk) & Abi Tapia (contemporary singer/songwriter).

See the website for information about concerts in June and beyond.


The beauty of Broken Blossoms is that they are both new and familiar, rooted in tradition, yet rejuvenated by unique arrangements—a happy convergence of traditional bluegrass, gospel, country blues, and folk-pop.

Broken Blossoms is the unification of a group of highly recognizable performers in Boston's celebrated folk-music circuit—its members gathered by gifted songwriter and guitarist, Andy Cambria, in support of one the area's most prominent singer-songwriters, Jenee Halstead, who released a solo LP (The River Grace) in 2008.

Halstead performed regularly with Cambria, mandolin player David Goldenberg, bassist/hammered dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman and banjo player Charles Rose, throughout 2008. The group recruited friend and fiddle virtuoso, Kimber Ludiker, just before the year drew to a close and recorded a four-song EP in January 2009. Tracked live in one day at the Unity Church of God in Somerville, MA, the eponymous debut offers up three original songs penned by Cambria and Halstead alongside the band's arrangement of the spiritual, "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning."

Although the members of the band have impressive personal resumes, with performances on such legendary stages as Grey Fox, Wintergrass, The Birchmere, The Grand Master Fiddle Championship, Falcon Ridge and Club Passim to their credit, it is their strength and style as a unit that's made an instant impact on Boston's roots-music scene. Talent buyer, Geoff Bartley, operator of Boston's bluegrass Mecca, The Cantab Lounge, describes them thusly: "Every time I hear this band, they're tighter, deeper and more poised. The sultry vocals and refined songwriting, steeped in traditional roots and bluegrass, vault the group into another category. Look out—these folks could become well-known very fast."

The EP, Broken Blossoms, was released March 23, 2009.


The Folk Arts Quartet (FAQ) combines folk styles from the fiddle world with the arts heritage of the classical string quartet. The result is a new hybrid genre, "ChamberGrass." As the four young women of FAQ pioneer this style they are gaining recognition for their musicianship and innovation.

The members of the Folk Arts Quartet…

Liz Davis Maxfield, Cello

Julie Metcalf, Viola

Ivonne Hernandez, Violin

Hannah Read, Violin

…met while studying at the Berklee College of Music. Although they were classically trained, they all have extensive experience in folk styles. Hailing from Scotland, Canada, and the United States, they each have distinct musical styles. The FAQ has had the honor of being mentored by some of the best contemporary string players around, including Matt Glaser, Natalie Haas, Eugene Friesen, John McGann.

The Folk Arts Quartet arranges traditional tunes and original compositions using an array of techniques and ideas—some they've learned from Classical string quartet pieces, others from folk bands, and others they've invented on their own. With the addition of the occasional beautiful song or energetic step dance, their groovy, contemporary style nods to their many influences and breathes new life into folk and chamber music.

The Folk Arts Quartet has performed in legendary Boston music venues including Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Boston Celtic Music Festival; and the Berklee Performance center. The FAQ has been highlighted by Berklee College of Music as a representative ensemble of the College and its string department for feature performances around the world.

The Folk Arts Quartet has stormed onto the global folk scene, receiving rave reviews wherever they perform. From their unique look to their fresh take on folk and chamber music this is a group not to miss!


Park Avenue Congregational Church, UCC

50 Paul Revere Road, Arlington, Massachusetts

By car: From Route 2, take the Park Avenue exit (Exit 58), and turn north into Arlington on Park Avenue. Continue to the top of the hill, past the water tower on the right, and down the long, steep hill just until you see the traffic lights at the intersection of Park Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue. The church is on the left, one block south of Massachusetts Avenue at the intersection of Park Avenue and Paul Revere Road.

By bus: MBTA

Parking: Ample on-street parking is available on Park and Massachusetts Avenues.

Have dinner before the concert at Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant, 1360 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington. 781-648-8882

Show proof of admission (your email reservation confirmation or ticket stub) for 10% your food bill.

Thak you for supporting live music.

-notloB Music

Monday, April 6, 2009

The voice of protest sings on

The voice of protest sings on

If the G20 rioters had really wanted to make people listen to their call for an end to global markets and climate change, they should have turned to a man who knows how to get the message across and who is now nearly 90.

It was one of those appointments one had waited so long for and finally it happened, in a church on a Brooklyn corner: Pete Seeger in concert. It had been 16 years since I had run home, barely adolescent, clutching the LP of his concert in the Carnegie Hall on 8 June 1963, the night the American civil rights movement and a subsequent generation was handed down its anthem like an 11th commandment: "We Shall Overcome".

But it was the searing, yearning lines of another song that froze the flesh with insurgent hope that night in Brooklyn and I can still feel Pete Seeger's split tenor pierce the skin when he sang: "O healing river, send down your waters/ To wash the blood from off the sand."

It was a quarter of a century ago, 1984, and Pete Seeger had just reached retirement age.

But this was not nostalgia in Brooklyn: the support act was a young and edgy African-American act called Serious Bizness, singing about race and food stamps, people who would not sing what they sing were it not for Pete Seeger. Like Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Joan Baez, Eddie Vedder, Richie Havens, Kris Kristofferson, Taj Mahal, Billy Bragg and the rest - all of whom will perform at another concert in Madison Square Garden next month, in honour of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday.

We've seen a week of protest in London and Strasbourg, but long before anyone ever used the words "global markets" or "climate change", back in a time of black-and-white Pathé News, Seeger was giving 'em hell.

For many years, Seeger and Woody Guthrie, another critic of corporate exploitation, sang and toured together (though Guthrie was baffled by Seeger when they first met "because I didn't drink, smoke or chase girls," Seeger wrote).

And at the Lincoln Memorial concert on the eve of President Obama's inauguration in January, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen together put aside their own feted songs in favour of America's other national anthem, Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land", adding the verse banned in 1942, and hardly ever sung since except by Country Joe: "As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there/ And that sign said no trespassin'/ but on the other side it didn't say nothin'/ Now that side was made for you and me."

Pete Seeger was born in New York in 1919 with red in his genes and folk music in his DNA. His father, Charles Louis, was a musicologist and a driving force in the US Communist party. With Aaron Copland, he had formed the Composers Collective, and he had taken Copland to meet coalminers in West Virginia - where folk and contemporary "classical" musicians were taking up labour and gospel songs sung by strikers - thereby inspiring "Fanfare for the Common Man". Pete would have been happy playing the penny whistle and listening to the conversations.

He won a scholarship to Harvard, but dropped out. He tried to make it as a newspaper reporter, but as a member of the Young Communist League could not find a job. He painted people's houses in exchange for room and board and performed puppet shows for striking dairy workers. Then in 1940, he met two people who would change his life: Alan Lomax and Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie.

Lomax, the great documenter of American folk music, wanted Seeger to transcribe a collection of protest songs for a book, Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People, with notes by Guthrie (it wouldn't find a publisher for 27 years). Then Guthrie, seven years Seeger's senior, took the younger man to another world, Oklahoma, and - initially together, then separately - they hit the road and radio stations.

A joint appearance on CBS in 1942 would provoke the headline "Commies Try to Take Over the Airwaves": it was the last time Woody Guthrie was allowed to broadcast. While Woody's guitar bore the slogan "This Machine Kills Fascists", Seeger's banjos always read, a little more gently, "This Machine Surrounds Hate and Forces It To Surrender".

Seeger suffered lighter censorship, initially banned from joining in the war effort, but then touring hospitals on Saipan with a quartet called Special Services, serenading the wounded.

Demobilised, he toured New York's "subway circuit" and founded the Weavers. But after a few hits, the group came under investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee and was blacklisted. Seeger moved upstate to write children's songs, but was called to testify to the committee. He refused to do so and was convicted of contempt of Congress in 1961, sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. He served one of them and was released on appeal.

By now, in America, his time had come.

To call the 1963 Carnegie Hall concert a launch event for the entwining of the music and politics of the 1960s is no overstatement. It was from there that "We Shall Overcome" moved to Washington six weeks later, sung by Martin Luther King and his marching followers. Meanwhile, among the very many musicians inspired by Seeger was Bob Dylan, for whom Seeger secured a slot at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, only to express distaste for the historic, electric performance the younger singer famously delivered.

When Seeger came to write his autobiography, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, he subtitled it: "A Singer's Songs, Stories, Seeds, Robberies". For Seeger did not so much write songs as pick like a jackdaw at a heritage of gospel, folk, protest and labour union anthems, even slave chants.

"We Shall Overcome" is a blend of two old gospel songs in turn derived from the plantations. He said it himself once: "I swiped things here and there and wrote new verses." This way of writing resounds through his work, in the tone and melody of his songs, to give them timelessness and endurance. One is never quite sure whether songs such as "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" were written decades or centuries ago and the answer is, sort of, both.

In 1994, Seeger turned 75 and there was another round of tributes, awards and accolades, including a National Medal of Arts presented at the Kennedy Centre in Washington. By now, with Bill Clinton in the White House, America had had to deal with sufficient demons to make yesterday's troublemakers today's national heroes. The irony was not lost on Seeger: "The whole situation is hilarious," he said. "I've usually come down to Washington to picket the White House and now I'm coming to get a medal! I'll have to be careful not to shoot my mouth off."

I met Seeger a few years later when he played another night at Carnegie Hall to mark the 50th birthday of Folkways Records, a Lomax creation on May Day 1948 at the insistence of none other than Albert Einstein, who urged him to record Leadbelly. Now, in 1988, Seeger recalled the days when "Woody and I were goin' around singing to striking oilfield workers". He called himself "still a socialist" just as "bombs still come down and kill innocent women and children". But, he thought: "It's going to happen on a local scale, chipping little cracks in the system."

Pete Seeger became green long before environmentalism became mainstream. In 1966, he formed the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, launching a sloop of that name in 1969 - a reconstruction of an 18th-century Dutch vessel - as a campaigning vehicle for cleaning the Hudson in particular and the planet in general. The project increasingly absorbed Seeger, so that when we met again last summer, it was all that mattered.

Summer rain poured down, sadly, on the Corn Festival of folk music and, well, corn, at the riverside town of Beacon. Seeger was chopping wood, for all his frailty, and was absorbed in that. I think I wanted to talk about "bombs still raining down", about Woody, and whatever happened to those unions. Seeger wanted to talk about the ingenuity of his team in devising the right kind of woodwork mesh to create swimming pools in the now cleaner Hudson. "I don't think people can think big," he said.

The music played by Seeger's young entourage was well-intentioned but sanctimonious. Which seemed sad when there was so much good, edgy young folk music to hear: even that night, back in New York City, a boy called Chris Jamison was giving his all at the Bitter End club where Seeger sang in the Sixties, owing no conscious debt to Seeger but echoing him far louder than the coterie upriver, with passionate songs about soldiers returning traumatised from Iraq.

Seeger's mantle still passes through Greenwich Village, with the man himself, approaching 90, on his way - via Obama's inauguration - back to Madison Square Garden for this epic celebration next month.

The Seeger lowdown

Born: In New York on 3 May 1919 to a musical family. His father, Charles Louis Seeger, was a composer and ethno-musicologist. His mother, Constance de Clyver Edson, was a concert violinist and teacher. Seeger went to Harvard on a scholarship but dropped out and moved to New York.

Best of times: The Weavers were formed in 1948 and songs such as "On Top of Old Smokey" put them at the top of the folk revival of the 1950s. Seeger's performance at Carnegie Hall in 1963 and the subsequent use of Seeger's version of "We Shall Overcome" by Martin Luther King Jnr's civil rights movement made Seeger a national treasure.

Worst of times: His life-long membership of the Communist party in America resulted in his blacklisting and the Weavers being disbanded. His appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refusal to answer any questions resulted in his imprisonment for 10 years, though he only served one before release on appeal.

He says: "I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody."

They say: "Pete Seeger is the spiritual father of all of us. He gave a real soul to protest movements."
Jeff Halper, a leader of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions


Notlob note: Although I applaud the author for the article, I detect the editor, like most members of newspaper management, is subliminally spinning the impression in the readers' mind eye via the negative title. Pete is not anti-war as he is pro-peace; he is not a "protest singer" as he is a bearer of positive possibilities.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hard economic times at Troubadour 1700

Troubadour 1700 AM

An FCC Part 15 compliant low power radio station in Shirley, Massachusetts USA

Reaching the neighborhoods of Shirley Center, North Shirley, and Woodsville
And worldwide through our live stream.


Progressive easy listening music

(Folk, world, and new age that's ready for the commercial mainstream)


The culture and lifestyle that go with it.

First, thanks to all for the mentions and corrections in recent posts about the
station and the unique category it is in. One thing I never wanted for
Troubadour 1700 is for it to become like a public station that begs for money
every time you turn around. I HATE on air fund raising and off air is almost as
bad. And I have always taken pride in my independence. But during the past few
days, my personal financial situation has become SO depressing, and it is
putting such a straitjacket around my life, that I find it difficult to have any
hope anymore or to even function normally. So I feel the need to make public
something I would normally keep private.

In early February, an intolerable situation forced me to quit my weekday "slave"
job. Despite many attempts to find another income source, none have
materialized. As a result, I have been surviving on $70 to $120 a week. I am
also owed many thousands of dollars from individuals who have borrowed on my
good credit. But the people who owe me are now in even worse economic straits
than I am. Finally, I have already incurred $800 in auto repair expenses - and
may incur hundreds more - before I finally pass state inspection. I can't
maintain what little income I have left without my car.

On the Troubadour 1700 website, I have set up a "ChipIn" donation box. I ask
anyone who enjoys the station, and is in a secure economic position during this
depression, to please chip in a few PayPal dollars to help pay for my internet
connection. This connection is the lifeblood of my stations. If I can get it
paid for the next several months, I can devote what little I earn to vital
living expenses.

Finally, there is one thing I can absolutely guarantee to anyone who is kind
enough to help during this difficult time. Unlike the high living prima donnas
at a certain "public" radio station, your dollars will NOT be pooled with
hundreds of thousands in tax payer revenues in order to hire some self-appointed
"consultant." Whatever money comes in with be spent on the most BASIC ESSENTIALS
OF HUMAN EXISTENCE: keeping a roof over my head, the stations on the air, and
maybe just a bit for inspiration to give me a reason to carry on.

Thanks to any of you taking the time to read this, but, quite honestly, I would
feel a lot better and more comfortable if I didn't have to burden you with it.

Troubadour 1700 AM