October and Upcoming Song Circles
PLEASE NOTE! Because
the December Circle would fall between Christmas and New Year's,
and It's a very busy time for everyone, there will not
be a Circle in December. Therefore, the next OCSC will be
Saturday, November 23, 1996 and we will not meet again
until January 25th, 1997. I hope everyone has a very merry
and musical Christmas, and that the feelings spill over well into
the New Year.
October's Song Circle was lightly attended
again. At 7:40 there was no one but me - even Lori was upstairs
making pottery (for her upcoming Open House and Sale). By 8:00
there were just nine of us, but we started in with songs about
"Growing Older". Three more joined us by 8:30, and then
four more at the break so we ended with 16. It was nice to hear
the piano (thanks Jack2) and meet four new folks, including Emily
with her harp (she tried to stop playing Scarborough Fair after
one verse, but we wouldn't let her) and Deborah from Goderich
with her 2 binders of songs. And the return of some long-missed
faces too. BUT, we seem to be missing most of the 'regulars' from
last year. If there's a specific reason that I can remedy, please
let me know what it is! Otherwise, hope to see you when you can!
Since November's Circle is the same
day and place as Lori's pottery sale, I thought that a good theme
would be "Making Things". This would include the things
we make, the work we do, why we do it and so on. Work with it
if you can, and if you can't pick songs some other way, but please
try to come with a song or two prepared. See you then!
2000 Years of Christmas, Trilogy, December 10, 1996
Well, this is it; time for my big, hard
selling job on this terrific show. Several of you have bought
tickets already, or have even taken a block of tickets to sell,
and I really appreciate that. But there are many more who
I have not seen or heard from in the last couple of months, and
who I know would love this show, and have friends, family
and co-workers who would love it as well. So here's some inspiration
to pick up the phone and call!! We need to sell 100 more tickets!!
Many of you know Robin Jones. He bought
a couple of tickets last week, and I over-heard him telling people
that this is a must see event. I have to agree completely.
Eileen McGann, Cathy Miller and David K. are not only three of
the brightest lights in the singer/songwriter sky, but they are
also three of the nicest, funniest, most thoughtful and dedicated
people you will run across. They have crafted this program from
a collection of seasonal songs from the 15th to the 20th centuries,
combined with well-researched tales of Christmas traditions and
customs. They are so well-researched that they invite the
audience to challenge them with Christmas tradition trivia! When
we saw the program in Brantford last year we all agreed it was
an inspiring way to begin the Christmas season, and what a great
evening it was.
This is the third year that they've
taken the show across Canada. It's been on Morningside and was
part of the CBC Radio Boxing Day special last year. The soundtrack
has just been released, but quite frankly you'll get so much more
out of it once you've seen (for example) Eileen McGann with
a cow where her hand should be. How many touring Canadian 'folk
music' shows can you think of? Or be a part of? Stops this year
include Harbourfront in Toronto, Calgary, Yellowknife and Ottawa.
And our own concert on Tuesday, December 10 at Zion United Church
in Kitchener. Since it's a 'school night', we've set an early
start time of 7:30, so that people can be home by 10. Come on
Here are examples of what you'll hear:
Magnum Mysterium (16th century), Gloucester Wassail, Coventry
Carol (15th century), Cherry Tree Carol (Child Ballad #54), Huron
Carol, Dona Nobis Pacem, Who's The Fool Now?, Light From the Lighthouse
(spiritual), Tonight Is For Christmas (Cathy Miller), Turn It
Around (Eileen McGann), Christmas In The Trenches, You're A Mean
One, Mr. Grinch.The CD will be available at the show and at Readers'
Ink Bookshop in Waterloo.
Tickets are $12 in advance; children 12 and under are $8. Both are $2 more at the door. Older children and those who love music will enjoy the show. So will you! Tickets are available at: Readers' Ink Bookshop, from me at 519-578-6298 / firstname.lastname@example.org, at November's Circle or from many Song Circle members. (Note to those selling tickets and to those who volunteered to help: please report in by November 23).
Some Reflections on Mariposa-By-The-Shore, Cobourg, 1996 (Part 3) Merrick Jarrett
Merrick was a performer at the first Mariposa, and
played his retirement gig this year in Cobourg. He has very kindly
put his thoughts on the matter to paper, and has been even kinder
in allowing me to serialize them in the newsletter. This is part
3. (For those who can't wait, Merrick's entire text is available
on the OCSC site.) Jack
(Merrick has been describing some of the workshops at Mariposa '96............)
Back to the Festival, this time about
Those of us who are lucky enough to
have children who have followed along in our musical footsteps,
whether it be instrumental, singing
traditional folksongs, perhaps becoming singer-songwriters, get
nice warm feelings when they perform with us. We feel that we
are "passing it on" to future generations.
So who can blame us for being proud
when we see Caitlin Hanford and her husband Chris Whitely, along
with Dan and Jenny; Paul Mills and his son Trevor; Kevin Kennedy
and his daughter Samantha; Martha Wainwright, Louden Wainwright
and Anna McGarrigle's daughter; my daughter Kate and her husband
John Hart; and doubtless there will be others coming along at
future festivals. Isn't that a nice legacy?
I was thrilled to participate in a workshop
on "Mariposa Reflections" with Sid Dolgay, one of the
original members of Canada's own folk group, "The Travellers",
Estelle Klein, whose contributions as Artistic Director for many
years blazed a path, not only for Mariposa, but for other festivals,
and Bill Garrett, whose musical contributions are legendary. Estelle
has a complete set of programs from the first Mariposa
in Orillia in 1961 on; and what a treasure that will be for anyone
delving into the Mariposa years!
A good workshop, touching on what Mariposa
has been and where it is going.
I have mentioned various performers,
and I don't like singling out some over others, but one of my
own magic moments came when listening to Rick Fielding.
Rick is one of those people who has been under-appreciated by
the public, having spent much of his career playing northern Ontario
bars trying to make a living, teaching guitar, etc. So fame and
fortune haven't completely touched him yet. But Rick, like Gordon
Bok, Pete Seeger and others, bridges the gap between traditional
and contemporary. Listening to Rick and his superb accompaniments
was something to be remembered.
Two other magic moments were
Sylvia Tyson ending the Sunday concert with a beautiful set of
numbers, sung in her inimitable style that has made her one of
our outstanding singer-songwriters, and a stunning performance
by Tom Russell, singing his own songs, accompanied by some amazing
guitar work by Andrew Hardin.
Remember Navajo Rug, sung by
Ian Tyson on one of his cowboy history albums? My family fell
in love with this song, as did I. I didn't know Tom had written
it until I read about it in his and Sylvia's book, "And Then
I Wrote...."; and hearing Tom sing this, and other equally
great songs of his....well, the performance was memorable.
Who can forget the magic moments following
the Sunday evening program, when Sylvia, following her set, and
with most of the Mariposa performers on stage, led us all in Will
The Circle Be Unbroken, followed by Chris Whitely leading
Good Night Irene, and Sid Dolgay and I ending the festival
with This Land Is Your Land, with the audience and the
performers singing their hearts out.....and since Sid, who is
one of the original Travellers who wrote the Canadian version
of the Woody Guthrie classic was on stage, that made it even more
memorable. Truly, a night to remember.
(And here, my abject apologies to those
who heard me blow the lines to This Land Is Your Land.
I guess I got carried away emotionally by it all, and lost my
concentration. Too bad that I'll be known as the guy who forgot
the lines to Canada's national folk song, a song I've sung dozens
of times...."c'est la vie", but we finished up OK!)
I feel very sorry for those of you who
didn't make it to Cobourg. I wasn't at the Bracebridge part of
Mariposa, but from all accounts it was the same; a happening,
a joyous meeting of public and performers, a warm, friendly atmosphere,
great talent, interesting workshops, beautiful surroundings -
all of which go to make a folk festival.
(Merrick concludes next month with
thoughts on where Mariposa might be heading.)
Upcoming Events (limited by space. Check Acoustic Cafe!)
Nov 14 Thursdays at Angies, Open Mic, no cover, with Beverlie Robertson. Angie's on Erb St., Waterloo
Nov 15 Borealis Records Launch, CBC Building, Toronto. Eileen McGann, Grit Laskin, the Whitelys and more. $15
Nov 16 Black Walnut Folk Club, Victoria Park, Kitchener. 8 PM. $3. Also Dec. 21.
Nov 16 Jeremy Greenhouse with Beverlie Robertson, Waterloo Community Arts Centre. Tickets $10 at 12th Night Music.
Nov 16 Don McGeoch, Button's House Concert Series, Aylmer. $12 519-773-7139
Nov 22 Pierre Schryer & Friends, London. $10. 705-246-0449. Incredible fiddler + 7 other performers!
Nov 23 Old Chestnuts Song Circle, 111 Chestnut St., Kitchener. 8 PM. 578-6298 (Lori's pottery sale all day long!!).
Nov 23 Ian Tamblyn, The Grindstaff's, London, 519-472-7622
Nov 30 Brian Taheny & Loretto Reid, Goderich, 519-524-2400
Dec 1 The Battlefield Band, Flying Cloud, Toronto 416-410-FOLK
Dec 7 Mill Race Folk Club Singaround. Christmas Wassail. Ernie's in Cambridge. Also Jan 4.
Dec 10 2000 Years of Christmas, Kitchener. See above for info.
Dec 14 Anderson & Brown Christmas Concert, Goderich. 519-524-2400
Dec 15 Traditional Music Sessions, Golden Kiwi in Cambridge. Also Jan 12.
Dec 21 Garnet Rogers, The Grindstaff's, London, 519-472-7622. Also Dec 22 & 23. (The Grindstaff's final concert after 12 years.)
Old Chestnuts Song Circle, 111 Chestnut St., Kitchener.
About this newsletter..... This
newsletter is emailed if I have your address. It is available
at OCSC and BWFC get togethers. Also available by regular mail,
but for that I request a few stamped envelopes or a contribution
to postage. I would love to have articles submitted, please!
And event announcements are always welcome. Hope to see more of
you in November, and at 2000 Years! Seems like many places have
declining attendance....too many choices?