Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Summer Hoot at Ashokan

notloB Parlour Concerts is on Summer hiatus, so where can one go for notloB-caliber entertainment? Spend three days in the beautiful Catskills at the Ashoken Fiddle and Dance Camp with multi-time notloBBers and good friends Mike+Ruthy, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Chris Merenda, Lyn Hardy (and her band, the Cupcakes), their family, the "usual suspects" from Woodstock / Hudson River valley and friends!

The stellar lineup below was current as of a couple days ago but new artists are being added. For example, a local guy named Pete Seeger was added just today.

The Summer Hoot at Ashokan
August 23-25, 2013


Come to the Hoot and enjoy three days of world-class music, local food and beer, plus fun art activities and nature programs for all ages! Camp out, reserve indoor lodging or just come in for the day.

Weekend passes and lodging on sale above. Volunteers and kids under 12 get in free with an accompanying adult.

The gate opens Friday at 3pm with music beginning at 5pm.
The gate opens Saturday & Sunday at 9am with music beginning at 10am.
Music ends Friday & Saturday around midnight, Sunday at around 6pm.

The Hoot is organized by Mike + Ruthy and supports Ashokan's important environmental education programs which give children a chance to get out of the classroom and connect with nature and each other. We are proud to help the Ashokan Center as they nurture these future stewards of our earth, water and sky!

This year's performers include, (alphabetically) . . .
The Big Takeover, Robert Sarazin Blake, Burnell Pines (aka: Jeremy Bernstein), The Cupcakes, The Dirt Farmer Band (featuring Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs and Justin Guip), Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine, Greg Humphreys, The Ivy Vine Players, Natalie Merchant, Chris Merenda, Mike + Ruthy, The Murphy Beds, Adrien Reju, The Stacks, Richie Stearns & Rosie Newton w/caller Kristin Andreassen, Story Laurie and Friends, Happy Traum, Uncle Rock, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Lindsey Webster, The Wiyos, Zucchini Brothers, plus a few more artists still tba!

More fun stuff . . .
• Kid Zone activities and evening movie lounge.
• Indoor all-ages craft area by FiberFlame.
• Guided hikes, blacksmith demos, and more.

Fill your bellies . . .
• Hot breakfast in the dining hall by Chef Jill Freiberg
• Local food vendors with delicious lunch, dinner, snacks, treats, ice cream, and beer

Don't forget . . .
• Bring sunscreen, umbrella, water bottle, a blanket and your biggest smile!

See you at the Hoot!!!!!!

Mike and Ruthy


Facebook page

notloB Parlour Concerts goes to the Summer Hoot (Facebook event)

Ashokan Music & Dance Camps
477 Beaverkill Road
Olivebridge NY 12461


I have recently joined the Outside the Box Festival staff, which came onto my radar just a week or so ago. We had a staff/volunteer meeting tonight, where it was explained momentum was lost in April due to the marathon bombing. The producers got the green light to proceed in May, no doubt you will be hearing much more soon. Place the dates (7/13-21) on your calendar.

Volunteers are needed (16-18yo OK w/ parental consent), register online and/or attend the next orientation meeting this Saturday, 10am-noon at the Marriott Copley Place on the 2nd floor in the St. Botolph Room (there will be coffee, tea and cookies). See website for more about volunteering, and if you decide to, tell Debbi you heard about it here.


It’s coming… Outside the Box, the largest free entertainment event of the summer will transform Boston Common and City Hall Plaza into a moveable feast for music, theatre and food lovers for nine magnificent days from July 13 – July 21, 2013.

The inaugural festival will bring in more than 200 performers from the world over with headlining acts including Buffalo Tom, Ricky Skaggs, The Lemonheads, Los Lobos, Siobhan Magnus and Doubtful Guest, Taj Mahal Trio and a special reunion of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

“It’s my gift to the City of Boston and arts lovers everywhere,” said philanthropist Ted Cutler, creator of Outside the Box. “I want families to come out and enjoy all the great music and talented performers without having to buy a ticket. Their growing appreciation for the arts is priceless to me.”

Outside the Box will also feature performances from the Boston Ballet, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Rhythm of the Universe, Smithsonian
Jazz (with a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald), Italian performing artists Notte Della Taranta, Australia’s high flying Strange Fruit and emerging local artists including Gentleman Hall, Boston Bhangra and students from Berklee College of Music.

No, we didn’t forget the kids! Outside the Box will also feature daily, non-stop entertainment for children which will include clowns, puppeteers, escape artists, and mask makers.

Not all of the entertainment will be taking place “outside”. Outside the Box is proud to introduce to Boston the world renowned Spiegeltent (tent of mirrors) which has been a featured attraction at many international arts festivals.

With the understanding that “Food is Art”, Outside the Box will shine the spotlight on Boston’s top chefs including Ming Tsai, Todd English, Michael Schlow, Lydia Shire, Jody Adams, Jason Santos and Jeremy Sewall who will be providing cooking demonstrations and sampling on City Hall Plaza, which will also include a Beer & Wine Pavilion.

p.s. See the artist listing at, there is something for everyone.
Artists I will be seeking out:
RICKY SKAGGS (inside word is he will be backed by Berklee ringers)

*notloB alumni

Monday, June 17, 2013

What Does Passim Mean to You?

Received by email from
 Dan Hogan  via 
Dear Jeff, 

I want to thank you for your involvement with Passim and to ask for your support as our new fiscal year draws to a close on June 30. Below is some information that I hope will inform and inspire you to give in a way that is meaningful to you. 
  • Did you know that Passim is a nonprofit?  
  • Did you know that, to sustain our programs, we depend on our community for 40 cents in memberships and donations for every dollar in ticket sales?
  • Did you know that 80 cents of every dollar you give goes directly to our programs, while only 20 cents goes to overhead?
We hope your answer to all of these questions is "yes, we knew that!"

Our next question is:
  • Will you support our mission to "provide exceptional musical experiences, nurture artists and build community" by becoming a member or donating before June 30?
Again, we hope your answer will be a resounding "yes." If so, then just click here and you'll be well on your way to continuing your role in our community - a community that consists of newer and more seasoned artists, students, members and others, all of whom share a desire to show how vital music is to our lives.  Make the same statement today by showing how important live music is to your life. Our new fiscal year ends June 30 - help us end on a healthy note by becoming a member or donating today.
Thank you for your support.
With Warm Regards,
Dan Hogan
Executive Director

PassimMissionThe Passim Nonprofit Mission
The mission of Passim is to provide truly exceptional and interactive live musical experiences for both performers and audiences, to nurture artists at all stages of their career, and to build a vibrant music community. We do so through our legendary listening venue, music school, artist grants and outreach programs. As a nonprofit since 1994, Passim carries on the heritage of our predecessors-the historic Club 47 (1958-1968) and for-profit Passim (1969-1994). We cultivate a diverse mix of musical traditions, where the emphasis is on the relationship between performers and audience and teachers and students. Located in Harvard Square, Passim serves Cambridge and the broader region by featuring local, national and international artists. Our ultimate goal is to help the performance arts flourish and thereby enrich the lives of members of our community.

Passim is supported in part by:

Sent by reply email:

What does Passim mean for me?
It means the post-Siggins board / post Tim Mason-managed institution has abandoned its earlier mission as stated before February 2010:

"Music as a MissionPlans are well underway to ensure the mission of Club Passim continues. It's more than the sharing of good music. As a non-profit, the club believes it critical to preserve and promote folk and acoustic music by nurturing new artists, offering varied programming, and featuring both new and established talent. The challenge to fulfill this mission is to keep it financially sound by building its membership base and continue strong fundraising efforts through donations, corporate sponsorships and grants. We hope you join us this year in supporting the artists and helping us keep playing the music for another 50 years."

Apparently "Passim" (and the NPR version of WUMB) both have a problem with the "f" (folk) word being in their respective mission statements, websites and branding, as having such would inconveniently get into the way of presenting inferior-quality pop "artists." A case in point, I attended a recent concert where a friend was the featured act. My Eastman-trained date said of the very disorganized, untalented opener "who did she slept with to get the gig?"

Do us all a favor, abandon the "pop" experiment. Bring the old crew and the old Club Passim (Betsy, Tim, Millie, Elizabeth et al) back.

"Passim" also means that the dropping of the word "Club" dishonors the earliest years as Club 47.
From, copied 2/13/10
Passim History
It's hard to believe that thousands of musicians consider playing in a room no larger than 30' x 40' that intimately seats 125 in a basement in Harvard Square as "making it." But they do, because this brick-floored subterranean locale is Club Passim, one of the nation's legendary cultural icons and epicenter of great folk and acoustic music. A place where musicians like Joan Baez, Tom Rush, Jackie Washington, Peter Wolf, Taj Mahal, Patty Larkin, Goeff & Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin, and Suzanne Vega cut their musical teeth before playing larger venues.

Why Legendary?
For more than 50 years, Club Passim has been known as a premier national venue presenting new and established traditional, folk, and acoustic musical performers. In all its incarnations, from the original Club 47 (1958-1968) to Passim (1969-1994) and finally as its present Club Passim, the club has been a special place for both artist and audience member. Probably more than any other single site, Club 47 can claim to have produced a generation of performers, record producers, festival organizers, and managers who remain a great influence on today\'92s music industry. Club 47 may have been the most influential club of its kind during the 1960s folk boom, even more so than clubs in New York and Berkeley. The venue's role in America's musical and cultural history is still being assessed in books, recordings, television documentaries, articles, and autobiographies.
Making History
Club Passim first opened as a jazz venue in 1958 under the name of Club 47. The first few months were rocky as the club was shut down by the Cambridge police. The local blue laws at the time prohibited more than three stringed instruments in a place that served food and beverages. So they got a non-profit educational charter and reopened as a private club, making people members at the door.
It wasn't long before it earned a reputation for good music, coffee, and company. And it was here that a friend of then unknown 17-year-old Joan Baez rented the club out just to get her on stage. Baez quickly built a worshipful following and became a regular feature. Here, she introduced Bob Dylan who played between acts.
The Club was shut down by Cambridge police once again, but the performers rallied and held their own hootenannies to keep the music going. Supporters soon realized that they had built a strong community around the club-a strong, close-knit community that remains to this day. The Club Today-40 More Years When rock-and-roll electrified the music and became "the sound," its influence lessened folk's popularity and broadened the folk spectrum simultaneously. But when the '60s came to a close, so did the era of Club 47, which was reborn into Passim and run by Bob and Rae Anne Donlin, who kept its flavor true to its roots. Best of all, Club Passim remains a small venue, where the audience is close enough to feel reverberation of music, see the sweat of the brow, and be a part of the art. Club Passim remains that community that began 40 years ago. It remains a non-profit organization that relies on members, donors, and volunteers for support.
The key to Club Passim's continued success is its audiences, who support new musicians, take risks, and lend an educated ear. But it's more than the music that brings them back. A notation in the club's Memory Book, written by a fan whose association with the club spans its history, sums up feelings of others who've passed through the room: "...The beauty of this place is that in 30 years, those of you who pass through this sacred room will have equally wonderful memories of performers whose careers were launched here. I hope your memories, felt years from now, will inspire the feelings of kinship with special musical experiences that mine do for me. Come here often. The specialness of this room will grow on you."
"Passim evokes Bob and Rae Anne Donlin; "Club Passim" honors both Club 47 and the Donlins.
Bring back the hybrid name, Club Passim.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Think before you donate to so-called "public" radio

With so many local community and independent college radio stations out there, it is a wonder that anyone listens to corporate commercial or corporate, so-called "public" radio.

And on the "public" radio side, use this blog's search feature for "WGBH" or "WUMB" (two Boston NPR affiliates) to read horror stories about what they have done to eviscerate folk, blues and jazz, the peoples' music*, from Boston's public airwaves).

Instead of donating to corporate/government "public" radio, instead consider donating to and becoming involved with your local community and independent college station.

Community and independent college are types of radio service that offer a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial and public. Community and independent college stations serve geographic communities and communities of interest. They broadcast content that is popular to a local/specific audience but which may often be overlooked by commercial/mass-media and so-called "public" broadcasters. 

Community and independent college radio stations are operated, owned, and driven by the communities they serve. Community radio is not-for profit and provides a mechanism for facilitating individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences, and in a media rich world to become active creators and contributors of media.

So before you pledge to that corporate NPR affiliate, consider instead donating to your local community radio station.

*Jim Kweskin, used with permission.

Here's a Facebook event created yesterday you can share to educate the masses and spread the appeal.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"BIG news everybody! Joining us at the 2013 Philadelphia Folk Festival: Todd Rundgren..." What the Folk?

Todd Rundgren
Todd Harry Rundgren is an American multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and record producer. Hailed in the early stage of his career as a new pop star, supported by the certified gold solo double LP ... Wikipedia

The following news posting and subsequent discussion can be found on the Facebook "official" page of the Philadelphia Folksong Society

Saturday Main Stage Concert-The Mavericks, TODD RUNDGREN, In the Pocket, Black Prairie, more

Aug 17, 2013 - 4:00pm
Main stage
The Mavericks
TODD RUNDGREN (featuring Jesse Gress, Kasim Sulton, Prairie Prince, and John Ferenzik)
David Uosikkinen's In the Pocket: The Essential Songs of PhiladelphiaBlack Prairie
Sierra Leone's Refugee All StarsSleepy Man Banjo BoysBen Vaughn QuintetDavid FranceyTimes to be announced~bios to be added

So the Philadelphia Folksong Society, producers of the Philadelphia Folk Festival deems this 

to be "folk" music.

I see.

How does the National Endowment for the Arts define "folk"?
Traditional arts are those art forms that are learned as part of the cultural life of a group of people whose members share a common ethnic heritage, language, religion, occupation, or culturally united geographic region. Folk and traditional arts are shaped by the aesthetics and values of a shared culture and are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community through observation, conversation and practice. 
I see. How does the Philadelphia Folksong Society define "folk"?
It does not, but it does provide the following on its "about" page


PFS Mission

The Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS) is dedicated to preserving the past, promoting the present and securing the future of folk music and related forms of expression through education, presentation and participation.

PFS Vision

Preserving the Past - PFS will preserve artistic expression by offering programs that encourage participation in traditional folk music and educate the public of its history.
Promoting the Present - PFS will be recognized among the vanguard of emerging trendsetters and innovators within folk music. Diverse programs will encourage artistic development and experimentation.
Securing the Future - PFS will acquire a home to ensure the continuation and vitality of roots music and related forms of expression. This facility will be the physical embodiment of the PFS mission, housing rehearsals and classes for students; workspace for staff and volunteers; and concerts, workshops, and archival exhibitions for the public.

About PFS

The Philadelphia Folksong Society was founded in 1957 by a small group of folk artists and enthusiasts. The organization has offered programs of presentation, engagement, and education throughout Greater Philadelphia and the nation. These programs present a cultural history of society and provide enjoyment to thousands of people of all ages. The Philadelphia Folksong Society has contributed to the preservation of a vast variety of musical styles and historical perspectives. PFS has acquired international recognition and local acclaim through popular programs such as The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Fall Fling, Spring Thing, and Cabin Fever Festival. Seasonal programming of workshops, community service programs, concerts, PFS Presents..., Sings, and the Odyssey of American Music programs serve a diverse range of participants-members in the community, volunteers, artists, students, partner organizations, and PFS members. PFS programs range in scope from a small group of friends singing together, to tens of thousands of patrons gathered for concert presentations. A network of thousands of dedicated volunteers has allowed PFS to execute these programs in an unprecedented way since the organization's inception over 50 years ago.