Friday, September 30, 2011

Brendan Hogan returns to Boston NPR radio

‎"Fans of Former Folk Radio WUMB" is reporting Brendan Hogan, former producer/host of "Blues on WGBH" will have a new program, "Dark was the Night", starting October 1 on the "Boston NPR music" affiliate, WUMB. The Facebook page's wall post is supported by a UMass Boston web page announcement.

Given the rigid management style at WUMB we in the Boston folk and blues community hope Brendan will be given as much artistic freedom as he had at WGBH. Before being terminated, that is.

"Blues on WGBH" and its sister program "Folk on WGBH" were terminated in December, 2009, when WGBH-fm went "single format." For that story, read 
 published here November 9, 2009. "Folk on WGBH" was co-hosted by Brad Paul and Naomi Arenberg.

The two long-running shows now occupying the time slot, Marcia Palmater's "Downeast Ceilidh" and Sandy Sheehan's "Traditional Folk" obstensibly will move to Sunday evenings. Wouldn't it have made more sense (and be more respectful to Marcia and Sandy and their listeners) to leave the programs where they are now and replace the Sunday evening syndicated programs with the new blues program?

In case the long-running "
Downeast Ceilidh" ("On October 12, 2002, the show and Marcia opened for business here at WUMB") and "Traditional Folk" ("Sandy Sheehan started doing the Traditional Folk show in the fall of 1986.") are eventually dumped and their web pages sent town the memory hole, as WUMB is wont to do (Barnes Newbury's "Hightway 61 Revisited" disappeared one sad Saturday morning when then music director John Laurenti was substituted by station management), they are displayed below.


Marcia Palmater's "Downeast Ceilidh"

Marcia Palmater
Marcia Palmater

Downeast Ceilidh

Saturday 8pm-9pm

Downeast Ceilidh consists of music of the Atlantic Provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, with a heavy emphasis on the music of Cape Breton Island, which is part of the province of Nova Scotia.
"I wanted to give something back to the Canadian-American community centered around Boston, in gratitude for the wonderful music and culture they have shared with me."
In addition to the fiddle music which forms the major part of each program, Marcia puts in a few songs, including songs in Scottish Gaelic and Acadian French, the native tongues of many people in the Atlantic Provinces.
A lifelong New Englander, Marcia was born in Boston but grew up in New Hampshire, save a few years in infancy and early childhood in Connecticut. "I learned to talk in Connecticut, sparing (or denying!) me a New Hampshire accent," she quips.
At home she heard her mother's favorites, Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. (Her father died when she was eight.) In her teens she rejected rock and roll. "I was grabbed by some Gaelic songs on a record from Scotland my sister had. The grandmother of a friend I've known since childhood was from the Isle of Lewis, a native Gaelic speaker, and my friend taught me a little of the language. I started going to square dances and fell in love with the jigs, reels and hornpipes, and the sound of the fiddle."
Marcia moved to the Boston area in 1961, and visited Canada's Maritime Provinces in the summer of 1963. It was a life-changing experience for her. A few years later she was given the opportunity to produce a radio program on the MIT radio station, and Downeast Ceilidh, a program dedicated to traditional and contemporary folk music of Canada's Atlantic Provinces, made its debut February 3, 1972.
On October 12, 2002, the show and Marcia opened for business here at WUMB. "This station seems like a natural home for us."

Sandy Sheehan's "Traditional Folk"

Sandy Sheehan
Sandy Sheehan

Traditional Folk

Saturday 9pm-Midnight

Sandy Sheehan started doing the Traditional Folk show in the fall of 1986. One of his goals is to expose listeners to artists and music they wouldn't hear on other programs.
The music on the program usually falls into the following genres: old-time, bluegrass, Celtic, blues, Cajun, cowboy, and anything else that is interesting and traditional. The program usually consists of a set of three or four songs or tunes of one kind of music, and then changes to a different kind.
A lot of good traditional LPs are being reissued on CD. But Sandy still plays LPs and cassettes as well since some of the greats were never reissued. A lot of good traditional music is being done by contemporary artists as well. Sandy draws on all of these resources for his show.
A traditionally-oriented community calendar is also heard on Traditional Folk.
Folk music has interested Sandy since the early '60s. At that time he met some musicians who played traditional music including old-time, Celtic, and bluegrass. Other musicians later introduced him to blues and Cajun music.
Sandy learned to play a little banjo, but was always more of a listener. He spent the '60s getting together with friends to play old-time music and go to contra dances around Boston and New Hampshire. He also attended many area festivals and concerts.
In 1970 Sandy started Sandy's Music to buy, sell, and repair instruments and sell recordings. The store is still on Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge and is one of the area's folk institutions.
Sandy often packs up the store stock and sets up a temporary shop at a some of the summer festivals and concerts throughout the year. Sandy also organize old-time music events. Every Monday night there's a jam session at Sandy's Music, and several times a year Sandy invites musician friends to Johnny D's in Davis Square, Somerville, for an old-time music night.


Added at 2pm. The following announcement was received by email about two hours after this blog was written,

Excerpt: "I'll be programming and hosting a new radio show on WUMB, 91.9 FM (and streaming online at beginning October 1. It will be called "Dark Was the Night" (after the Blind Willie Johnson recording), and will feature blues, roots, and songwriters from Lightning Hopkins to Steve Earle, Bob Dylan to Bessie Smith. Guest performances and discussions, and music from yours truly, too. The show will air on Saturday nights from 8 PM to 12 AM. Also, the show will be pre-recorded, leaving me open for gigs/tours..."


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flynn Cohen and the Deadstring Ensemble

notloB Folk Concerts

Thursday, October 20, 8pm
Loring-Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA
More info at the notloB website

Guitarist/composer Flynn Cohen leads his own band of string geniuses performing original multi-genre acoustic music. Primarily instrumental, they combine influences ranging from Irish traditional music, old-time appalachian, bluegrass, folk-rock, and early music. The band consists of some of the finest and most experienced acoustic plucked-string players in America.

FLYNN COHEN – guitar/mandolin/vocals

Acoustic Guitarist Flynn Cohen has performed all over the world with many notable acts in traditional and contemporary acoustic music. He can be seen on concert and festival stages with the neo-trad folk band Annalivia, legendary Irish Accordion player John Whelan, fellow trad guitar player Matt Heaton, modern bluegrass band Tony Watt & Southeast Expressway, and his own group of acoustic string wizards, TheDeadstring Ensemble.

Flynn has also performed with HALALI, The Sevens, Aoife Clancy, Cathie Ryan, Lawrence Nugent, Skip Healy, Joe Derrane and Frank Farrell, John McGann, Matt Glaser, Adrienne Young, Jake & Taylor Armerding, Gail Davies, Gilly Martin, Malibu Storm, Bruce MacGregor, Lissa Schneckenburger, Laura Cortese, Mark Simos, Women of Ireland, The Vancouver Symphony, the Orchestra of Indian Hill, Revels, and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, among others.

He studied Music at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England and at Mills College in Oakland, California and now teaches in the Music Dept at Keene State College in New Hampshire, as well as The Music Emporium in Lexington, Massachusetts.

JOHN McGANN – guitar/mandolin
John McGann is a Professor of Strings at Berklee College of Music, 1985 National Mandolin Champion, and has a long resumé of international tours and recordings with Celtic Fiddle Festival, The Wayfaring Strangers, The Boston Edge and many others. Complete bio:

 – guitar/bouzouki

Though he studied classical guitar at Northwestern University (MMus) and Italy, played rock in Chicago, and tango in Denver, it is Boston’s vibrant Irish music scene where he has made his musical home. What began as an obsession with an unlabeled cassette tape (which later turned out to be “The Planxty Collection”) and a courtship with a young Irish flute player named Shannon, has led to a vibrant Irish music performance career. In addition to his duo work with wife Shannon, he is highly sought after as accompanist, and has performed with traditional luminaries Aoife Clancy, Robbie O’Connell, Emily Smith, and the Boys of the Lough.

DANNY NOVECK – guitar/fiddle 
Danny has worked as both a fiddler and guitar accompanist with such trad music luminaries as Liz Carroll, John Williams, Tony DMarco, and John Whelan. He has a PhD in Anthropology that took him Mexico to study the fiddle music of the Tarahumara Indians. Danny teaches at the Boston branch of Comhaltas music school and is the composer of the well-known session tune "Sligo Creek".

Thursday, October 20
Loring-Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain
Suggested donation $14 + $1 preservation fee

More information about the series:
To reserve: notlobreservations at gmail dot com