Tuesday, March 31, 2009



APRIL, 2009

"In this era of pop-driven acoustic music, Notlob is keeping the folk tradition alive."

~ Jack Hardy

Notlob Concerts are 100% volunteer run and not for profit. After production expenses, all patron donations go to the artists.

We hope you find the entire concert series special, we strive to bring you the best. Spring marks a turning point:

  • A new “string grass” series featuring young musicians, in Arlington,
  • A new house concert series in Malden,
  • A new “small” series in an historic house (sound familiar?) in Newton,
  • A folk legend at a new venue in Somerville.

Separate reminders sent about one week before each concert will contain information about the featured and opening artists; you can learn more about all by visiting their websites. But two concerts being announced here today are worthy of special mention.

  • Folk legend “Spider” John Koerner (he taught Bob Dylan some fundamentals in Minnesota) will be in concert in a new venue in Somerville on Friday, June 5. Elizabeth Butters opens.

  • Voted “most wanted to return” to the 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival are emerging artists (and Boston’s own) Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers and (recent transplant from Austin to the Berkshires) Abi Tapia! Due to last year’s tornado, Falcon Ridge is not sponsoring the “most wanted” tour, but Notlob is doing its part to keep the tradition alive! This concert is produced with Anne Saunders’ approval. This is one of just two “FRFF most wanted” concerts to be produced before the festival (the other is in New York).

In this edition

  1. Next concert
  2. April through August concerts! / Advance tickets / Reservations
  3. Volunteers needed
  4. Other traditional folk, folk revival, roots, bluegrass, blues and Celtic concert recommendations
  5. New partnership with “Not Your Average Folk”
  6. Housekeeping

1. Next concert – Broken Blossoms & Folk Arts Quartet, Saturday, April 11, 2009 @ the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 55 Paul Revere Road, Arlington Heights.

Directions, Parking, Public Transportation & Handicap Access

Suggested minimum donation is $15.00 at the door & $10 for seniors and students with ID. Regular patron admission is just $12.50 if a reservation to notlobreservations@comcast.net is made at least 24 hours prior to the concert.

More information about Broken Blossoms and Folk Arts Quartet will be sent a week or so before the concert.

2. April through August concerts!

Date & Time



Suggested Donation

Saturday, April 11, 8:00pm


Broken Blossoms &

The Folk Arts Quartet

$15 @ door

$12.50 adv res

$10 seniors & students

Saturday, April 25, 8:00pm


The Bowmans


Saturday, May 9, 8:00pm


Joy Kills Sorrow &

The Boston Boys

$15 @ door

$12.50 adv res

$10 seniors & students

Saturday, May 16, 7:30pm


Kitchen Celtic ceilidh, Sean Smith, Doug Lamay & Katie McNally

$10 door,

$7.50 adv res, seniors & students

Saturday, May 23, 8:00pm


Falcon Ridge 2008 "Most Wanted" winners Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers & Abi Tapia

$15 @ door

$12.50 adv res

$10 seniors & students

Friday, June 5, 8:00pm


"Spider" John Koerner, Elizabeth Butters opens

$15.00 door

$12.50 adv res

$10 seniors & students

Friday, June 19, 8:00pm


Brendan Hogan

$10 door,

$7.50 adv res, seniors & students

Saturday, July 11, 7:30pm


Mary Lou Ferrante & US Sam

$10 door,

$7.50 adv res, seniors & students

Saturday, August 15, 7:30pm


Tim Mason & Tom Begich

$10 door,

$7.50 adv res, seniors & students

Venue Key:

  • UCG = Unity Church of God, 6 William Street (corner of College Ave.), Somerville
  • JH = Jackson Homestead, 527 Washington St., Newton
  • PA = Park Avene Congregational Church, 55 Paul Revere Road, Arlington Heights
  • CH = Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, 155 Powderhouse Blvd, Somerville
  • PHCM = Private house concert in Malden. By invitation only. If interested, send inquiry to the reservations address.

RESERVATIONS. Reservations for any concert can be made by sending an email at least 24 hours before concert time to notlobreservations@comcast.net.

Tickets for the Park Avenue Congregational Church concerts are available at The Music Emporium, 165 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA. Request you pay the full “suggested donation” amount.

3. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. A call to future patrons of the PACC (Arlington) venue. Concerts in the parish hall will require additional volunteers for room set-up/take down. And for all concerts a house photographer is needed. If you are interested, please read the volunteer policy ~ http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com/volunteering ~ and send a message via the email address listed there. Benefits await.


We believe the wider information about quality concerts is spread, the larger the folk/roots/Celtic/blues/bluegrass community will become. This is especially important as the world, national and local economies sour. Spread the word, support local live music and build the community. We wish there were one unified, uncensored music calendar, but until it exists, this is our contribution.

Wednesdays, ongoing ~ Avi and Celia’s "The Front Room Sessions", (Notl0b alum’s, by way of the Rowan Brothers). Wednesday nights at the Burren, Davis Square, Somerville.

Friday, April 3 ~ Grammy Award-winner and Blues Hall-of-Famer James Cotton w/ Lil Stevie & the Westsiders @ The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. More info/tickets.

Saturday, April 4 ~ Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks w/ Ellsworth and Hicks (OK, not folk/roots, but allow us a guilty pleasure). @ The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. More info/tickets.

Sunday, April 5 ~ MUSICIAN STIMULUS TOUR ~ Laura Cortese (Notlob alumna, by way of Lissa Schneckenburger, stay tuned for more details about both in the May newsletter) brings her 2009 MUSICIAN STIMULUS Tour to Club Passim in Cambridge. Following the show Laura will host her 6 month old game show Spell or Dare at 10pm as an after party for her show. As Laura tells it, “You shouldn’t need a swanky job or 5 figure salary to enjoy it.” Laura hopes her tour will inspire down and out CEO’s to join the pink slip brigade and become musicians.

Friday, April 10, 8:00 PM ~ The Eilen Jewell Band w/ Brendan Hogan (both Notlob alum’s) @ The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. More info/tickets.

Friday April 17, 2009 8:00 PM ~ Teddy Thompson with special guest Joyce Andersen at The Newburyport City Hall Auditorium, 60 Pleasant Street, Newburyport, MA. Richard & Linda's legacy continues. One of the country's most important emerging artists in a solo, acoustic evening in this intimate 19th centrury theatre. Tickets.

Saturday, May 2 ~ The Krueger Brothers @ Dukakis Performing Arts Center at Monty Tech, Fitchburg, MA. Virtuosity...Innovation...Humor…Performances are exciting, calming, entertaining and spontaneous, reflecting their sheer joy in playing music. Info/tickets (tell them Notlob sent you).

Ongoing ~ Bob Franke songwriting workshops. Bob is offering intensive songwriting workshops, which will be held right at his cottage on the lake in Peabody, MA. If you are interested, and either live in the Boston area, or are willing to travel there, please contact Bob at 978-535-3331, or e-mail him at bob@bobfranke.com for more details and dates.

(Insider tip - these and other “under the radar” concert suggestions can regularly be found in the NorthEastFolknRoots Database and Calendar. Your active participation is most welcome).

5. Not Your Average Folk

NotYourAverageFolk.com is proud to partner with the Notlob Concert Series to bring their amazing events to more folk and acoustic music fans. Not Your Average Folk is an online folk and acoustic music events magazine. Visit NotYourAverageFolk.com to see a full list of all shows happening in the Boston Area, read articles about upcoming artists and events, and support local music. To get a weekly concert calendar in your email and free music CLICK HERE to join our email list! If you are fan you get lots of free perks and if you are a venue or musician you can great exposure! Stop by NotYourAverageFolk.com and join our email list!

6. Housekeeping.

The fine print. Notlob Parlor Concerts presents the best local and touring roots, Americana, newgrass, traditional and contemporary folk and blues artists at several venues around the greater Boston area. Past artists include the Sacred Shakers, The Folk Brothers (David Massengill and Jack Hardy), Peggy Seeger, Geoff Bartley, Mary McCaslin, Bob Franke, The Rowan Brothers, Christine Thompson Lively, Dennis Brennan, Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still), Kristin Andraessen (Uncle Earl), Mike and Ruthy Ungar Merenda (the Mammals), Pat Wictor, Jud Caswell, Sharon Lewis, Brian Webb and many others. Visit the series’ website at http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com. Concerts in your home can be arranged.

Reservations / information. Send email to notlobreservations@comcast.net

at least 24 hours prior to the concert. More information about the concert series can be found at the Notlob website: http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com

Mailing list & street team: http://www.reverbnation.com/notlob

Keeping in touch. There are several ways to stay informed of scheduled events:

Volunteering / Street team. This is a 100% volunteer-run effort. Concerts would not be possible without volunteer assistance. All interested in helping can read the Volunteer Policy at http://groups.google.com/group/notlobmusic/web/volunteer-policy

“Guerilla” publicity builds community by spreading the word to family, friends and neighbors. Posting flyers in your neighborhood music shops, book stores, coffee shops and workplace is appreciated. To register, go to http://www.reverbnation.com/notlob, then send an email to notlobreservations@comcast.net requesting printer-ready files. Be a regular guerilla and you’ll receive a nice reward.

Admission is by donation. A suggested minimum donation (varies by concert), with discount to those making reservations and students and seniors, is requested. Your donations cover rent, sound system rental, sound engineer, publicity and other production expenses. 100% of the balance goes to the artists (many of whom travel many miles).

Photography, video recording, & sound recording. No still, video or sound recording is permitted without permission of the artist and the house. If you would like to share photos of past concerts, email the pictures and/or web link to notlobreservations@comcast.net

Refreshments. Coffee, soft drinks and water are available. No outside food or beverages, please.

Keep your lamp trimmed and burning!
Jeff Boudreau

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bob Franke & Martin Grosswendt in concert, Somerville, 3/28

"It's his integrity. I always think of Bob as if Emerson and Thoreau had picked up acoustic guitars and gotten into songwriting. There's touches of Mark Twain and Buddy Holly in there, too."
~ Tom Paxton

"He's one of the best fingerpickers I ever heard play..."
~ David Bromberg

Hosted by Geoff Bartley

Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church
155 Powerhouse Blvd.
Somerville, Ma.
Saturday, March 28 Doors 7:30, Concert 8:00

Suggested minimum donation is $15.00 at the door & $10 for seniors and students with ID.
Regular patron admission is just $12.50 if a reservation to notlobreservations@comcast.net is made
at least 24 hours prior to the concert.

For more information, please go to http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com

....and before the concert you will have two opportunities to listen to Bob and Martin live on the radio ~

3/27, 4pm ~ Bob Franke & Martin Grosswendt on WUMB, 91.9fm, www.wumb.org
3/28, 5pm ~ Bob Franke & Martin Grosswendt on WGBH, 89.7fm, www.wgbh.org
-Notlob Music

Friday, March 20, 2009

You are cordially invited

You are cordially invited

Clearwater: Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders
hosts a benefit concert in celebration of

Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

American Express Pre-Sale Monday, March 23 at 9:00 a.m. EDT at americanexpress.com/entertainment
Tickets On Sale Monday, March 30 at 9:00 a.m. EDT at ticketmaster.com

Pete Seeger
Native American Indian Cultural Alliance

All proceeds to benefit the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (www.clearwater.org),
a non-profit organization created to defend and restore the Hudson River.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Confirmed: WUMB laid off its weekend staff in February

First reported cryptically in this blog on February 11 ~ see "Changes in the Air for WUMB Weekend Live Programming" ~ I am now free to say that what was reported then is true, WUMB has laid off its weekend staff.

Buried at the very end of an article in the Boston Globe about Club Passim's new alcohol policy, Joan Alderman writes:

"We got three kegs of beer and had to return two. And the first one was half-full," recalls Monteith, who recently laid off the station's weekend staff and part-time employees, slashed the budget by $100,000, and canceled the festival. "Booze and folk are strange bedfellows."

See the original post here, where your comments are welcome.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in Person at Carnegie Hall: The Complete 1963 Concert

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in Person at Carnegie Hall: The Complete 1963 Concert

(PRNewsFoto/Legacy Recordings)



Available at both physical and digital retail outlets starting March 3, 2009, through Columbia/Legacy

Three additional Clancy Brothers live recordings from the early 1960s available via digital retail on March 3rd: The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem In Person at Carnegie Hall 11/3/62; Hearty & Hellish; A Spontaneous Performance Recording

NEW YORK, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In the merry coming of springtime, 1963, with John Fitzgerald Kennedy -- our nation's first and only Irish Catholic president -- enjoying his time in the White House, the rise to fame of the Clancy Brothers (Liam, Paddy and Tom) and Tommy Makem was a wonder to behold on the American musical landscape. Their recognition as the premiere exponents of authentic Irish song on these Colonial shores -- ballads, sea chanteys, folk songs, drinking tunes, and traditional fare from near and far, and most of all the songs of rebellion that have stoked the fires of resistance for four centuries -- made the Clancys the most visible sons of Ireland this side of the auld sod.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO )

The group's ascendance to a new pinnacle of popularity and respectability was affirmed at Carnegie Hall in New York City on St. Patrick's Day 1963. The sold-out, overflowing, nearly two-hour concert was recorded by Columbia Records and issued six months later, almost to the day, as a drastically resequenced 38-minute, 11-track LP (whose last tracks dated curiously from a late-1962 concert). Brevity notwithstanding, the record has never been out-of-print in the Columbia catalog for four and a half decades. "If you only own one Irish album," it's been said, "make it this one." A landmark, to be sure, but as Princeton University's Sean Wilentz writes, "the larger work of art was lost."

Segue to We Shall Overcome, Pete Seeger's equally monumental two-hour Carnegie Hall concert of 1963. Also issued as a resequenced single LP on Columbia at the time, it was restored to its full-length glory as an award-winning double-CD back in 1989. In that same tradition, THE CLANCY BROTHERS AND TOMMY MAKEM IN PERSON AT CARNEGIE HALL: THE COMPLETE 1963 CONCERT finally restores the night in its entirety on two CDs, complete with between-song dialogues and introductions, and a bounty of 29 musical tracks. Among these are two medleys (including the 13-minute "Children's Medley") and the two 1962 concert tracks.

With introductory notes by Liam Clancy (the "last man standing" from the original group) and a 3,000-word historic essay by Wilentz, this long-awaited package will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting March 3, 2009, through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

On the same date, Legacy will release three additional Clancy Brothers live albums via digital retail: The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem Live at Carnegie Hall 11/3/62, Hearty & Hellish, and A Spontaneous Performance Recording.

As an introduction to the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem -- an Irish folk song in general -- there is no better source than THE COMPLETE 1963 CONCERT. They pleased their audience with many old favorites: "The Wild Colonial Boy," "The Cobbler," "Kelly, The Boy From Killane," "Brennan On The Moor," "Haul Away Joe," "Mr. Moses Re - Tooral - I Ay," Ewan MacColl's "Shoals Of Herring." And of course there were the infernal drinking songs, the curse and deliverance of all Irishmen: "The Moonshiner," "Port Lairge," "A Jug Of Punch," "The Parting Glass," "The Juice Of The Barley," and more.

All of the above (and others) were familiar from the group's four previous LPs on their self-owned Tradition Records label (1955 to 1961), as well as their first couple of live-performance Columbia LPs in 1961-62. Along the way, Clancy Brothers songs had solidly woven their way into the late-1950s and early-'60s folk 'boom' as the basis for many an aspiring folksinger's repertoire.

Several titles -- "Haulin' the Bowline," "Irish Rover," "Bonnie Prince Charlie," "Johnson's Motor Car," "Galway Bay," "The Jolly Tinker," among them -- were more recent additions to the Clancys' recorded repertoire. Perhaps the most conspicuous of these was "Patriot Game," a traditional song whose modern form is credited to Dominic Behan, songwriter and younger brother of Irish poet and playwright Brendan Behan.

The Behans were denizens of the White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village, the Clancys' favorite watering hole. The White Horse was an early destination for 20-year old Bob Dylan when he first arrived in New York City in the winter of 1961. He fell under the spell of the Clancys, becoming fast friends with Liam (who is six years older), the beginning of a lifelong friendship. (For a closer look, see the autobiography The Mountain of the Women: Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour by Liam Clancy, Doubleday, 2002) Two years later in 1963, Dylan adapted the "Patriot Game"'s melody for his new song, "With God On Our Side" -- whose first major public solo performance took place at his first major breakthrough concert, New York's Town Hall, the month after the Clancys' Carnegie appearance.

"All through the night they would sing drinking songs, country ballads and rousing rebel songs that would lift the roof," Dylan wrote of the White Horse times in Chronicles: Volume One (page 83). "The rebellion songs were a really serious thing. The language was flashy and provocative - a lot of action in the words, all sung with great gusto. The singer always had a merry light in his eye, had to have it. I loved these songs and could still hear them in my head long after and into the next day. They weren't protest songs, though, they were rebel ballads...even in a simple, melodic wooing ballad there'd be rebellion waiting around the corner...you couldn't escape it." In the heat of 1963-64, Dylan bristled at the term "protest" to describe certain songs he was writing, he always preferred to call them songs of "rebellion."

"For me, I never heard a singer as good as Liam ever," Dylan told filmmaker David Hammond and journalist Derek Bailey at Slane Castle near Dublin, during a 1984 interview published in The Telegraph. "I don't think I can think of anybody who is a better ballad singer than Liam."

The Clancys' influence on the impressionable young Dylan was enormous and immediate. At his legendary Carnegie Recital Hall debut of November 1961, he opened the program with "Pretty Peggy-O." Eighteen days later, he recorded it at the sessions for his first Columbia LP with producer John Hammond, "the way the Clancy Brothers would have done it," as he told The Telegraph 23 years later. "All the legendary people they used to sing about, 'Brennan On the Moor,' or 'Roddy McCorley,' I wasn't aware of them when they existed, but it was as if they'd just existed yesterday...I would think of 'Brennan On the Moor' the same way I would think of Jesse James or something you know, they just became very real to me."

The Clancys' performance at Carnegie Hall on St. Pat's Day 1963 was even more momentous because of their appearance at the White House a month and a half before, at a presidential 'command performance' celebrating the beginning of Jack Kennedy's third -- and as fate would have, final -- year in office. As Wilentz emphasizes, the Clancys' offhanded barbs and asides throughout the Carnegie Hall show, often more caustic than playful (as fellow Irishmen can be), are impossible to separate from the evening's musical goings-on.

Surely it was a fantastic journey from the White Horse to the White House! In March 1961, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, where a one-song slot turned into a 15-minute sensation. John Hammond signed them to Columbia overnight, the same year that the legendary producer signed Pete Seeger, Aretha Franklin, Carolyn Hester, and Bob Dylan to the label. As he had done with Pete Seeger, whose first five Columbia LPs were all live performance recordings, Hammond decided to capture the Clancys in front of a spirited audience. He assigned them to staff producer Robert Morgan who delivered A Spontaneous Performance in 1961 (accompanied by Pete Seeger), Hearty and Hellish: A Live Nightclub Performance in 1962, and the touchstone of their career, In Person At Carnegie Hall in 1963.

"The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem," Wilentz sums up, "still powerfully influence artists ranging from Dylan and his devotees to Irish singers and songwriters as different as Paul Brady and Shane MacGowan [of the Pogues]. Their music and its spirit retain an enthusiastic following across the globe. More's the reason to celebrate the full recovery of their art, as they superbly performed it one Saint Patrick's Day evening in Manhattan long ago."

(Columbia/Legacy 88697 42571 2)

CD One - Selections: 1. Intro 2. Bold O'Donahue 3. Dialogue 4. My Johnny Lad 5. Dialogue 6. Shoals Of Herring 7. Haulin' the Bowline 8. Dialogue 9. Irish Rover 10. Dialogue 11. Mr. Moses Re - Tooral - I Ay 12. Dialogue 13. Marie's Wedding 14. The Moonshiner 15. Dialogue 16. Patriot Game (*) 17. Kelly, The Boy From Killane 18. Johnson's Motor Car (*) 19. The West's Awake 20. Medley: O'Driscoll (The Host Of The Air); The King Of The Fairies; Eileen Aroon (*) 21. Reilly's Daughter (*).

CD Two - Selections: 1. Intro 2. Children's Medley: When I Was Young; Shellicky Bookey; Up the Long Ladder; Big Ship Sailing; Ahem! Ahem!; Wallflowers; Mary the Money; Frosty Weather; Man Of Double Deed; The Wren Song; Up the Long Ladder; Some Say the Devil's Dead; The Irish Soldiers; Up the Long Ladder (*) 3. Dialogue 4. Legion Of the Rearguard (*) 5. Dialogue 6. Haul Away Joe 7. Dialogue 8. Bonnie Prince Charlie 9. Dialogue 10. Galway Bay (*) 11. Dialogue 12. The Wild Colonial Boy 13. The Cobbler 14. Dialogue 15. The Jolly Tinker 16. Dialogue 17. A Jug Of Punch (*) 18. Dialogue 19. Brennan On The Moor 20. Dialogue 21. The Whistling Gypsy 22. Dialogue 23. Port Lairge 24. The Parting Glass (*) 25. The Juice Of The Barley (*) 26. Oro Se Do Bheatha Bhaile(*). (Tracks 25-26 recorded November 3, 1962.)

Note: All tracks are previously unreleased with the exception of (*) originally released on The Clancy Brothers And Tommy Makem In Person At Carnegie Hall (Columbia CS 8750), released September 16, 1963.

SOURCE Legacy Recordings

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Folkways Collection

The Folkways Collection
A podcast series from Smithsonian Folkways and CKUA Radio

This series of 24 one-hour programs explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings). The music of modern day giants like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Ani Difranco is interwoven with original Folkways recordings to demonstrate the lasting legacy that Folkways Records has on popular music. Recent and archival interviews with Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Mickey Hart, Studs Terkel, and others help reveal the remarkable human stories behind this equally remarkable collection. The series was produced by CKUA Radio in Alberta, Canada and originally aired in 1999.

To subscribe to the series, copy and paste this URL into your podcasting program.

Or download each episode as an MP3 file directly to your computer from the following list.

Episode 1: A Folkways Overture

The opening program in the series paints a broad canvas, presenting outstanding musical samples that reflect the strength and diversity of the Folkways collection. Included is a sampling of original and archival interviews with the many personalities featured throughout the series, including Pete Seeger, Mickey Hart, and more. This program also introduces the key themes explored over the 24 programs, such as the role of music in social activism.

Episode 2: Moses Asch: Man and Myth

This program examines Moses Asch, the founder of Folkways Records, and the influences which guided his choices in building the Folkways Collection. Among those interviewed for this program are Asch's son, Michael Asch Professor Emeritus of the University of Alberta; Asch's biographer, Peter Goldsmith of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire; and renowned folk singer Peter Seeger. Musical selections for this episode reflect works which Asch himself considered particularly significant or which had a profound bearing on his work.

Episode 3: Folkways: An American Canon

The third program in the series explores the Folkways collection in terms of its remarkable breadth and the fascinating way in which it was catalogued by Moses Asch. The program incorporates many and varied examples of the material Asch recorded over the years, ranging from field recordings of rural blues and folk music, to ethnic recordings from around the world, to 'soundscapes', to oral history, to recordings of the poets of the Beat era, to the studio recordings of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, The Lost City Ramblers and Lead Belly.

Episode 4: The Anthology of American Folk Music Part I

This is the first of three programs which take an in-depth look at the Anthology of American Folk Music, an award-winning collection edited by Harry Smith as a commissioned project by Folkways, and recently re-released on Smithsonian Folkways. This episode focuses on the original material in the anthology and the process by which it was collected and published.

Episode 5: The Anthology of American Folk Music Part II

This is the second of three programs which take an in-depth look at the Anthology of American Folk Music. This episode tells the fascinating story of the life of film-maker, record producer and entrepreneur Harry Smith and his life-long musical odyssey, which took him across the United States and beyond.

Episode 6: The Anthology of American Folk Music Part III

This is the third of three programs which take an in-depth look at this award-winning collection compiled by eccentric record collector and folk historian Harry Smith. This episode examines the enduring legacy of the Anthology of American Folk Music, and features 'cover' versions of works found in the original Harry Smith collection.

Episode 7: Huddie Leadbetter (Lead Belly)

Huddie William Leadbetter was a convicted murderer who overcame adversity to establish himself as a music legend.In addition to his own compositions, Lead Belly was a living library of old European ballads, black work songs, southern ballads, blues and even cowboy songs. His own work included such popular favorites as "Goodnight Irene" and "Rock Island Line". In this program, we learn about the life and music of the man known as 'Lead Belly,' through Folkways recordings of his performances and both archival and contemporary interviews.

Episode 8: Woody Guthrie

An original folk hero, Woody Guthrie transformed the folk ballad into a vehicle for social protest. Guthrie wrote literally hundreds of songs, many of them now revered classics, including the unofficial anthem "This Land Is Your Land." He was also a major influence on music superstars such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Moses Asch, who recorded much of Guthrie's material, thought of Woody as nothing less than a full-blown genius. Program eight is devoted to a portrait of this giant in American folk music.

Episode 9: Blues

Among its other accomplishments, the Folkways collection captures significant developments in the evolution of the Blues as a dominant genre in American roots music. This program looks at key blues artists in the collection, including Lead Belly, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Lightnin' Hopkins, and reviews musical examples from a variety of blues styles: tradition rural blues, piano blues and urban blues. Among the works incorporated in this program are selections from a Folkways blues anthology entitled Asch Recordings 1939-47, Volume 1: Blues, Gospel and Jazz.

Episode 10: Jazz

The Folkways collection is primarily regarded as a repository of folk music, but Moses Asch's appetite was eclectic if nothing else, and he was an early recorder of jazz music. A number of notable jazz recordings found their way into the collection. This Program explores the connections of a number of jazz greats, such as James P. Johnson and Mary Lou Williams, to the Folkways collection.

Episode 11: Country and Bluegrass

The Folkways collection captures the evolution of modern day country and bluegrass music through its field recordings of rural American music earlier in this century. The focus of this program is on the music and artists of the southern country and bluegrass genres; music from Tennessee, Kentucky and the Appalachians. Artists such as the New Lost City Ramblers, the Carter Family and Doc Watson are featured.

Episode 12: Pete Seeger

Born of a renowned musical family, Pete Seeger's name is synonymous with the post-War American folk music revival. A contemporary of and collaborator with Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger casts his own long shadow over the folk music genre. This program overviews Seeger's life and music, including his work with Guthrie, and features recent interviews with Seeger and those who have known him well.

Episode 13: Music and the Winds of Change: The Labor Movement

This episode is the first of three programs which look at how Folkways artists have used music as an instrument for social activism. This particular program focuses on musicians whose songs inspired those struggling for improved working conditions and wages. The works of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Cisco Houston, have all played a vital role in the labor movement, and we celebrate that history in this episode.

Episode 14: Music and the Winds of Change: The Civil Rights Movement

The second of three programs on music as an instrument of social activism, this episode pays particular attention to material in the Folkways collection which documents and reflects the civil rights struggle, especially through the ten year period between 1955 and 1965. The program draws on such Folkways albums as "Voices of the Civil Rights Movement (Black American Freedom Songs, 1960-1966) and an audio-verite recording of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington entitled "We Shall Overcome." Original interviews with Bernice Johnson Reagon of the SNCC Freedom Singers and one-time Black Panther activist Angela Davis blend with archival interviews from Smithsonian Folkways to recapture the spirit of the struggle and to provide contemporary context to its meaning.

Episode 15: Music and the Winds of Change: The Women's Movement

Moses Asch was committed to supporting and reflecting the struggle for equality by American women through a number of the artists featured on Folkways, among them Peggy Seeger. This Program reviews the material on this subject and features interviews with prominent contemporary female artists, reflecting on the contribution of Folkways to the women's movement.

Episode 16: Children's Music

One of the great treasures stored within the Folkways collection is the body of children's music recorded by such artists as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Ella Jenkins. The Program takes us on a voyage of joyful rediscovery, aided by the perspectives of Seeger, Jenkins and others.

Episode 17: Voices of History

A significant section of the Folkways collection is devoted to documentaries and oral history. This program gives the listener a sense of the remarkable material contained within these recordings and a sense of the foresight which Moses Asch demonstrated in preserving this material for future generations.

Episode 18: Music of the World

The phenomenal diversity of the Folkways collection becomes immediately apparent when one examines the field recordings of ethnic music which Moses Asch collected from around the world. In many respects, this body of work set the stage for the explosion of so-called 'world beat' and 'world fusion' music in the 1990's. This is the first of two programs dedicated to this subject, incorporating both original recordings from Folkways and modern examples of world music hybrids.

Episode 19: Music of the World II

This is the second of two programs dedicated to exploring Moses Asch's field recordings of ethnic music from around the world, incorporating both original recordings from the Folkways collection and more contemporary examples. This episode also includes interviews with some of the notable artists who have led the parade toward a truly global sound in music, such as Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

Episode 20: The Poets

Poetry held a special place in Moses Asch's heart, and the Folkways collection includes original recordings of some of the most influential poets of our time, such as Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes and Leonard Cohen. This program reviews these unique artists--and many others--as captured on vinyl.

Episode 21: Subterranean Homesick Blues I

It seems almost everybody who was destined to become a somebody to the Beat Generation turned up in Greenwich Village in the late 1950s, and, of course, Moses Asch and Folkways were right in the thick of it. This is the first of two programs in the series dedicated to this fascinating era, revealing the personalities, rivalries and creations of some of the most influential people of the time: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Phil Ochs, to name a few.

Episode 22: Subterranean Homesick Blues II

Greenwich Village in the late 1950s and early 1960s--the time and place has taken on the flavor of legend. This second of two programs focusing on the era looks at Folkways Records' documentation of the burgeoning folk music revival and the New York coffee house scene which led to the birth of the singer-songwriter genre.

Episode 23: Phil Ochs

For a time, Phil Ochs was considered Bob Dylan's greatest rival for the crown atop the politicized folk music movement of the 1960s. His life ended in tragedy; his downward spiral as an individual and as an artist coinciding with the increasingly confused and cynical mood of America in the late 60s and early 70s. This program examines the legacy of this great singer-songwriter.

Episode 24: Epilogue

This final program in the series revisits some of the great music and oral tradition of the Folkways collection and incorporates interviews with a variety of artists, biographers and music historians to place the Folkways collection in its proper historical context--at least as clearly as can be determined just fifty years after the Folkways label was born.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Notlob "kitchen concerts"

Notlob "kitchen concerts"


Newton – The Newton History Museum is proud to announce a new acoustic music series to be presented at the historic Jackson Homestead, 527 Washington St., Newton, MA 02458, located at the corner of Washington Street and Jackson Road, between Newton Corner and Newtonville. The series is produced by Jeff Boudreau, who presents similar concerts as a hobby and labor of love in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington under the name Notlob Folk Concerts ~ http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com. Having produced 27 “parlour” concerts at the historic Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain from June 2006 to June 2007, Boudreau had been searching for a similar venue since the Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club decided to terminate all indoor events except guided tours. “The Loring-Greenough House was a wonderful venue for music, but proved to be too delicate for use of up to 40 patrons. The Jackson Homestead will be a worthy successor.” The Jackson Homestead performance space is actually the homestead’s former kitchen, so instead of “parlor concerts” the Newton series will be dubbed “kitchen concerts”. With a capacity of 30, slightly less than the Loring-Greenough House, the acoustic concerts will be intimate affairs.

Genres to be presented will include Celtic, Quebecquois, pre-war and country blues and traditional folk music, as well as poetry and spoken word. “There's the whole "kitchen racket" (i.e. jamming in the kitchen) ethos in Celtic and American roots music, so the appellation fits”, explains Boudreau.

“So many wonderful musicians live in and pass through the greater Boston area, the problem, if one can call it that, is choosing ones that fit the environment.” Boudreau will focus on local and rising talent, and has asked BCMFest (Boston Celtic Music Festival) director and Newton resident Sean Smith to lead the first concert, dubbed a “Celtic kitchen ceilidh.” Another talent source will be nationally touring “name” musicians performing mid-week. “They need to earn an income while on the road between big gigs, so if they are flexible so will we.”

Suggested donation is initially set at $10-15 at the door, $7.50-10 with advance reservation to notlobreservations@gmail.com at least 24 hours in advance. Discounts for seniors and students with ID. Immediate family maximum $35-40. Exact prices will be determined in the near future and published to the venue and Notlob websites and mailing lists.

“All of my concerts are run on the house concert model. All door donations are used for expenses and to pay the musicians. This keeps cost of admission low so more members of the community can attend,” explains Boudreau.

Volunteers and service organization partners are needed. Contact Boudreau through the reservations email address.

Patrons can stay informed of the concert schedule in one of three ways:

  1. Visit the The Newton History Museum website - http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/jackson, register to receive its newsletter.
  2. Subscribe to the Notlob Folk Concerts mailing list - http://www.reverbnation.com/notlob
  3. Bookmark the Notlob Folk Concerts website - http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com

The season

The first four concerts will serve as a trial. With community support the series will continue into the Fall and beyond, at a rate of approximately one or more concert per month.





Saturday, May 16

Celtic kitchen ceilidh

Newton kitchen Celtic ceilidh, led by Sean Smith, featuring Katie McNally and Doug Lamey






Friday, June 19

Minimalist, down-tempo blues

Brendan Hogan



Saturday, July 11

Pre-war & country blues

Marylou Ferrante & US Sam



Saturday, August 15

Spoken word, poetry & folk

Tim Mason & Tom Begich





The artists

Sean Smith

Whether in concert or just among friends, Sean has long enjoyed playing music and singing songs from the traditions of England, Ireland and Scotland. Sean has performed as a soloist and as a member of several bands (not necessarily all at the same time) at places like Club Passim, the Boston Celtic Music Fest, Springstep and the Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival. He also tries to get out regularly to sessions around Boston, whether in pubs or parlors.

Katie McNally

18-year-old Katie McNally, runner-up Junior National Scottish Fiddle Champion, has performed with and opened up for such notable musicians as Hanneke Cassel, Brittany Haas, and Laura Risk. She has played at such venues as the Cantab Lounge; the Boston Celtic Music Festival; Brighton College in Brighton, England; the New Hampshire Highland Games; and Club Passim. An active member of the Boston Celtic music scene, Katie can be seen playing with Scottish fiddle band 5 A.M., local contra-dance band, Oh CONTRAire!, and the bluegrass group Boston Road. Throughout the year, Katie teaches Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle and in the summer, she travels across the country to fiddle camps like Valley of the Moon, Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp, and the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School. Recently, Katie has become involved in the Scottish Country Dance community and often plays for dances and events in the Boston area.

Doug Lamey

Doug Lamey is twenty-three years old and is the grandson of Bill Lamey. Bill was an extraordinary Cape Breton fiddler and contributor to the Scottish and Cape Breton heritage in the Boston area for over thirty-five years.

Doug has studied and performed for several years all over North America and has a true pride and passion for the traditional style of Scottish and Cape Breton Fiddling, just like his grandfather, Bill Lamey.

One of Doug’s first fiddle teachers was Sheila Falls Keohane. Sheila is one of the instructors for the Comhaltas Ceoltsirm Iireann School located in Boston.

Doug has attended The Gaelic College in St. Ann’s Bay, Cape Breton and the Ceilidh Trail of Music in Inverness, Cape Breton, Boston College s Gaelic Roots Summer School in Boston Massachusetts and The Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in San Francisco, CA. These opportunities allowed Doug to study with such renowned fiddlers such as, Buddy MacMaster, John Campbell, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie, Sandy MacIntyre and Seamus Connolly and Alasdair Fraser, to name a few.

Doug has performed in many live sound environments as well as broadcasted performances, such as WGBH radio station and several local television studios in Massachusetts. He has also performed at the annual Glendale Festival in Cape Breton, the Washington Irish Festival and the N.H. Highland Games. He has had the privilege to perform in the Boston area with such artists as Andrea Beaton, Glen Graham, Sandy & Johnnie MacDonald, Cliff McGann and Mac Morin.

Brendan Hogan

Hogan was born out of the deep muck of the River Charles’ banks - literally - in the old wing of Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts circa 1980. He’s fourth generation, somehow, in a city where transience is all but a given; coming from a long line of police officers and butchers, undertakers and nurses.

As a teenager Brendan was an outsider and introvert, preferring the sound and mystery of music to bubble gum and gossip. Being from the Northeast and coming up in a family of type-A personalities, the blues did not come to Brendan so much as he frantically sought it out. In high school, Robert Johnson’s 1930s Columbia recordings were on steady rotation in his bedroom stereo as he slept. Brendan thought it would become a part of him through osmosis, and it did. As most kids discovered Blind Melon, Brendan found Blind Lemon Jefferson. In his tastes, Lead Belly has always precluded Led Zeppelin.

Brendan has indeed made a name for himself as solo artist and as a regular member of the traveling caravan of young Cambridge and Somerville-based singer/songwriters. His initial foray into the blues, combined with good musicianship, has resulted in Brendan becoming just a damn fine songwriter. As with the finest examples of Lucinda Williams, he manages to let the blues influence good songs instead of always being the focus.

It’s been said that there are innovators and there are curators. Brendan Hogan manages to be both. Not long after he was old enough to have a beer at a bar, he began hosting and producing 'Blues on WGBH', imparting a wealth of knowledge to radio listeners, introducing them to old blues classics and forgotten tunes as well as new artists from the Boston area and beyond..

"Brendan Hogan is a Zen warrior for the blues — a talented country style picker, singer, songwriter and performer...." – Ted Drozdowski, The Boston Phoenix.

With residencies at renowned Boston area venues and a consistent touring schedule, Brendan Hogan is rapidly making a name for himself as a performer locally and beyond.

This is Breandan’s second Notlob concert, having performed with Danielle Miraglia and Tom Bianchi at the Loring-Greenough House on July 20, 2007.

Marylou Ferrante

Marylou Ferrante was described by music critic and writer, Daniel Gewertz, in the Boston Herald, as the Bay State's finest female acoustic blues interpreter.

Marylou is an artist who performs pre-war blues from the 1920's & 30's. She covers major artists from the delta to east coast piedmont style players such as Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Blind Boy Fuller and Memphis Minnie along with mandolin players such as Yank Rachell.

Her passionate expression of these old songs comes from a love of the music and the arrangements themselves, as well as what she says is an appreciation for "the history of these folks and the difficult circumstances they endured."

Marylou has honed her craft listening to the old recordings and learning from some of the great blues players today such as Paul Rishell, Guy Davis, Robert Jones and mandolin great Rich DelGrosso. Marylou has taught at The Cellar Studio, Salem MA

  • "Marylou is a killer. I have watched her grow, and now she's taking over. Blues lovers look out!"... GUY DAVIS
  • "Marylou has the soul of a blues Woman" Detroit's Blues Man... ROBERT JONES

This is Marylou’s second Notlob concert, having opened for and played with Dennis Brannan at the Loring-Greenough House on October 6, 2007.

U.S. Sam

The Saga of U.S. SAM..... Wanted:Fer Rustlin' & Butcherin' Rock'n Country & Blues Songs! Along With His Faithful Guitar, "Grace", Some Harmonicas, "SAM"bourines, and A Saddle Bag Full Of Original & Older & Newer Cover Songs, They Roam Wild & Free Across The Wastelands of Samerica! Samerica? Is He Loco? Si'!

Tim Mason

Timothy Mason has been actively promoting poetry and folk music in greater Boston since the mid 1980's. A member of the first National Poetry Slam Team from Boston in 1991 and the first Worcester Team in 1993, he honed his performance style around the campfires of the fabled Kerrville Folk Festival giving the songwriters a run for their money.

An extensive background in human services, three years volunteering for a telephone crisis intervention hotline, training as a rape crisis counselor, four years working with developmentally disabled adults, a stint with court-involved youth, and eight years volunteering in a battered women's shelter have given him a unique empathy with the quiet battles of daily survival.

Born in the Midwest and raised in North America, his family eventually settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, which he still calls home, although he has been a New Englander for well over two decades. On the east side of the Big River, he hails from Worcester, Massachusetts, and "The People's Republic of Cambridge". Currently he resides in Fort Point, South Boston. He supports himself by booking folk music into Club Passim, the legendary Harvard Square coffeehouse, and recently at Capo's in Lowell MA.

Prior to programming Club Passim, he brought The Old Vienna Kaffeehaus in Westborough, Massachusetts, to national prominence.

"His insight is genuinely hip because it is accessible.
And sensible. And kind."

As an undergraduate at The University of Utah he chaired the student committee responsible for bringing The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the big screen behind "the Zion curtain quot;. Mason later attended graduate school at Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire, earning a Master's degree in Organization and Management. He was voted "Most Standardly Deviated" and "Most Ambiguous". He thought it best to avoid the corporate world. Thus far he has achieved this goal.

His poetry is drawn from his diverse experiences and is written to be performed aloud. He has collaborated with musicians on a number of occasions, including recording the cassette single Saddam's Insane with prize-winning guitarist Geoff Bartley. Saddam's Insane aired on National Public Radio's HEAT show at the onset of the Gulf War.

"You reminded me of the Russian poet Yvegeny Yevtushenko in his earliest and best days."

The late '90's and early '00's have seen Mason's poetry reach a new maturity. His first book Gently, Like Water, Cracking Stone was released in April 1997. The 50-page perfect bound volume includes a CD of live performance. Introduced by social activist Barry Crimmins, this volume has opened many doors and its innovative presentation has caught the attention of many artists and audiences alike. Recent festival and club appearances have enabled Mason to reach a wider audience and solidified his place among contemporary New England artists. With his release of the full length CD "Bloodlines" which features music by award winning musician Geoff Bartley and follow up collaboration "Bones and Breath" where they continue to break new and dynamic ground using a format that combines song and poem into a seamless new creation. The fully produced album plays with a complete musical background.

Tom Begich

"It’s the words that tell the story." That is Tom Begich. The bohemian son of a family steeped in Alaska politics and the product of a life of music, Tom’s music resonates with stories and the conflicts of the human condition.

Part of the Alaska music scene in the early 1980’s, Tom dropped out and tuned in to the world of politics and business for a decade before finding his way back to local coffee shops, street corners, and music festivals. Since returning to performing and recording, Tom has opened for recording artists Stephen Fearing, Don Morrell, Paul Geremia, and Kim Richey. Tom also hosted a monthly Songwriter’s Showcase in his hometown of Anchorage for three years and has performed live on numerous radio stations and on the nationally syndicated radio show “West Coast Live” (October 1999).

Tom has released four CDs, "Such a World" in 1997, "Hotel Metropol" in 1999, and “Albuquerque Road” in 2001. His latest CD, “Cool Blue Light”, was released November 20, 2004 and has already garnered favorable reviews.

Tom continues to play in Alaska and small venues throughout the country. Citing musicians as different as Taj Mahal, Harry Chapin, and Christopher Parkening as influences, Tom combines an easy picking style with blues rhythms and storytelling skill to create a musical montage that is always interesting to the ear. His music includes a wide-variety of music ranging from acoustic instrumentals to blues and folk rock. A musician with a wholly original sound, Tom Begich will keep you humming for more long after he’s done.

Pete Seeger sings about turning sap to syrup.

Dot Earth: Portent of Spring: Sap to Syrup
Published: March 10, 2009
Pete Seeger sings about turning sap to syrup.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pete Seeger, 1921

May 23, 1921. Washington, D.C. "Professor Charles Louis Seeger and family." Charles Seeger, wife Constance de Clyver Edson and their 2-year-old son Pete, of future folkie fame. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative.