Roy Clinging is a native of Cheshire in the United Kingdom. Roy began performing in the UK folk scene during the early 70s playing guitar and English concertina. He was instrumental in creating several folk clubs in the Chester area, has been an active performer of folk “Souling” plays, and is also a member of the Chester City Morris Men. Roy has done extensive research into the songs and traditions of Cheshire including maritime material.
In 1999, he released ‘Cheshire Born’, a CD of material from his home county. Roy’s CD ‘An Honest Working Man’, released in 2001, includes a variety of traditional songs and tunes as well as several of Roy’s own compositions written in the traditional style. Mary Clinging, Roy’s wife, will join him on this New England tour. The Clingings also will be performing at the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival in NH at the end of September.
"Roy Clinging is a performer able to hold an audience in both a club and festival atmosphere. He is a gentle giant among singers and musicians, a strong singer, a good all-rounder, and well worth booking for clubs or festivals." -- Dave James, Birmingham Trad Folk Club / Alcester Folk Festival
Helen Bonchek Schneyer has been singing traditional American music for many years. Her wide-ranging repertoire, sung with piano or unaccompanied, includes hundreds of mining songs to sentimental Victorian numbers, to an occasional song by fine contemporary songwriters such as Bob Franke and Bob Coltman.
Helen started singing professionally nearly 65 years ago at the urging of Pete Seeger. She appeared with him and such other folk luminaries as Lee Hays and Woody Gurthrie on many occasions at hootenannies in New York City in the 1940s and '50s. She was a member, with legendary folksong collector Alan Lomax, of a group called the Priority Ramblers in Washington, DC, where she lived for many years.
She sang at the White House at the invitation of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, has been a regular guest on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion," and has performed hundreds of concerts and workshops at folk festivals and clubs throughout the U.S. and Great Britain.
Whether dealing with stark tragedy in a classic ballad like "Sheath and Knife," or rank silliness in the neo-Victorian "Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl, Helen immediately involves her audience in her songs. Every concert is an opportunity to be drawn into the music--to harmonize, to sing choruses both boisterous and reverent.
This will be a long overdue visit from Helen and we're very glad that she is opening our 2002-2003 season.
The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston presents the Old Paint String Band in concert on Saturday, October 26, 11am (possible second show at 1pm if there's sufficient interest), at a private home in South Acton. Address and directions will be provided when you call to make a reservation. Reservations required since space is limited: email email@example.com.
Old Paint plays and sings old-time tunes and songs of the Southern Appalachians on guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin, and they also sing in wonderful three-part harmony. This concert will feature rural songs that would have either have been sung by children, to children or both. Many of the songs have a charming quaintness and often feature surreal imagery. The show will also include beautiful fiddle and banjo instrumental tunes. There will be plenty of audience participation and an opportunity for families and kids to learn about the instruments and the family tradition of playing old-time music. Our mission is to bring the incredible beauty of old-time kids songs to the general public.
The band consists of Alan Kaufman on fiddle, mandolin, and vocals, Dana Sue Leichter on guitar, bass, vocals - and clogging!, and Rebecca Hall on banjo, guitar, mandolin, and vocals. Email us soon for a reservation -- you won't want to miss this concert!!
The Folk Song Society is pleased to present a special concert with the British duo Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman. Dave and Anni are well-known in traditional music circles, and have developed a talent and firm commitment to unaccompanied singing. Both were members of the British a capella quartet Beggers Velvet during it's eight year existence and two highly successful U.S. tours (1990, 1991). This is a powerful singing duo not to be missed.
Dave Webber's voice is rich and powerful, yet controlled, enabling him to deliver his chosen material with the commitment that he obviously feels. The delivery of his chorus songs is powerful to the point where you cannot resist joining in.
Anni Fentiman's voice is clear and sweet, is well-known for her delightful singing style. Her repertoire includes some unusual songs, including some in her native "Geordie" dialect from the Northeast of England.
As fine as each is as a solo performer, the duo's harmony singing is among the best you will hear anywhere. A reviewer from the Warwick Folk Festival opined "It's a magical experience whenever these two fine singers put their voices together. As for their harmonies, they are breathtaking".
Dave and Anni's work can be sampled on a number of recordings, including Together Solo, Bonnet and Shawl, and Constant Lovers (their newest.) They can also be heard on Lady of Autumn (Beggar's Velvet), The Widow's Uniform (with Brian Peters) and Shanties and Songs of the Sea (with Johnny Collins).
All recordings are available from Camsco Music
Tony Saletan and Molly Lynn Watt (then known as Mary Gustafson) were among the first members when the Folk Song Society was founded over 40 years ago. Molly's husband Dan became active in the Society shortly after that. This program will weave songs of the Spanish Civil War with recently discovered wartime letters written between Dan's parents, George (in Spain) and Ruth (in New York). Accompanying Tony's banjo and guitar will be popular accordionist Sylvia Miskoe.
The letters of George & Ruth Watt were recently discovered by Dan and Molly in a box of family archives that was taken from the home of George and Margie Watt after George died. Ruth died in April 1940, just a few weeks after giving birth to Dan. In 1941, George married Margie Wechsler. Margie raised Dan as her son from the age of 16 months. Steve Watt, George and Margie's second son, was born in 1944.
Ruth kept all of George's letters in a scrapbook along with photos and clippings from Spain. She worked in a WPA office with access to a typewriter and kept carbon copies of most of her letters. Letters written longhand were lost. Dan and Steve did not know of the existence of George's letters until after he died. No one in the family knew that Ruth's letters had been saved until they were discovered in an attic box in January 2002. They had been stored for 65 years!
Ruth writes on Nov. 1, 1937: "During the wait for the election returns Bert Witt led the group in some new songs about Spain. You could see he really loved those songs, and so did everyone else." The letters used in this presentation are just a small sample of the correspondence between the Watts, from July 1937 when George sailed for France, until shortly before his return in January 1939. The excerpts selected for this performance were chosen to go with the songs and to focus on the personal side of George and Ruth's relationship. The letters also contain much more information about George's observations in Spain reflecting on the political and military sides of the war, Ruth's political work with the America Student Union (ASU) and Young Communist League (YCL), and a lot of "gossip" about their friends on both sides of the Atlantic. Dan and Molly Lynn Watt are engaged in preserving, transcribing, and editing a much large selection from these letters for eventual sharing with family and possible publication.
Please join us for the singing of many songs!!
This exciting duo, whose harmonies will send shivers up your spine, has racked up a string of successes in songwriting, studio recording, and crowd-pleasing displays of instrumental and vocal virtuosity. They have appeared on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" public radio show, and have toured from coast to coast. Their first album together, "Satisfied Customers", on the Flying Fish label, gives testimony to their wide-ranging abilities.
Sally Rogers (www.sallyrogers.com) gives new meaning to the word dynamism. Besides being a first-rate guitar and mountain dulcimer player, critics describe her voice as "captivating, beautiful, and pure." But her greatest talent is her ability to engage audiences. She holds them enthralled with her songs and her stories. Her repertoire of traditional folk and contemporary acoustic music, as well as songs of her own ranging from poignant to whimsical, speak to people on a level that is spiritual. Since becoming a parent, she also has turned her talents to recording and performing music for children and families. And, as one would expect, she is capable of delighting audiences of five- and ten-year olds as much as she does "mature" groups. Her personality and grace - not to mention her music - fill a hall. Sally is a two-time winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award; two-time winner of the Indie Award for Best Children’s Recording, and received the Oppenheim Portfolio Award. She was also the Connecticut State Troubadour in 1997.
Howie Bursen is a winemaker, consultant and musician (not necessarily in that order) who plays banjo, guitar, and sings, producing both both traditional and original music. Howie also holds a PhD in Philosophy from Cornell University. Howie is known for his warm baritone voice, devilish sense of humor, inventive guitar arrangements, and red-hot banjo wizardry. Chicago Magazine said, "stunning guitar arrangements...easily one of the finest banjo players ever heard." His song, "Small Business Blues", was recently recorded by Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Holly Near on their album, Harp. Pete also included it in his book, "Carry it On", published by Simon and Schuster.
The annual FSSGB members' concert is always a popular event. Our members perform songs which range from traditional ballads to original compositions, and from instrumental to a cappella pieces. Some of the instruments that have been played at this concert in the past include violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keyboard and concertina. Some FSSGB members who have performed at this event have gone on to have successful performing careers, such as Elijah Wald, Mark Ryer, Fool's Errand and Merle Roesler.
Many new musical relationships have formed as a result of the members' concert, including our hosts for the evening, Two for the Show - Ellen Schmidt and Jake Kensinger! They began playing together many years ago for a members' concert, and have since become very active performers in the local folk music scene.
Members are invited to sign up to perform - one song or a spoken word piece. You may perform alone or with others. Some performers have been participating for years; others will do so for the first time. Children are most welcome. The program will feature professional musicians as well as living room folk enthusiasts. All are welcome. The Midweek Singers are an important part of the program as are the many members who show up especially for this event. The audience is always supportive and lively.
To sign up, you may contact Ellen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Roberts is one of the finest living interpreters of traditional music and the long-time performing partner of Tony Barrand. He is internationally known for numerous recordings, superb ballad-singing, delightful renditions of musical hall and humorous songs, and wonderful accompaniments on banjo, concertinas, and hurdy-gurdy.
Widely acclaimed for his lively and entertaining presentations of English folk songs, John has performed at major festivals, colleges, clubs and coffeehouses throughout the United States, Canada, and his native Britain, both solo and with Tony Barrand. He sings ballads and songs of the sea, of rural pursuits, of social and sociable situations, of industrial toil and strife, and much more, typically arranging the material thematically to better illustrate the lives and the social history of the people who made and sang the songs. His songs are punctuated with tales, monologues, dances and tunes, giving a more complete appreciation of the wealth, diversity, and vitality of the English folk tradition.
In their many years together as a professional team, Roberts and Barrand have recorded with a number of companies including Swallowtail, Front Hall, Folk Legacy, National Geographic, and, most recently, Golden Hind. These recordings include a critically-acclaimed album of authentic sea shanties, an album of drinking songs recorded live in a Chicago tavern, An Evening at the English Music Hall, and four albums of songs from their celebrated Christmas pageant, Nowell Sing We Clear. Their latest release (August '92) is a program of English folk songs entitled A Present from the Gentlemen. They have also recorded a selection of the songs that the composer Percy Grainger collected in Lincolnshire during the early years of this century.
John, an able folk dancer, is often found providing the music on concertina. When not singing or dancing (and often when he is), John is a freelance music engraver and desktop publisher. This is a show not to be missed!
In 1975, after spending 5 years as a floor singer around the many folk clubs in the North East of England as well as being a resident singer at the famous Davylamp Folk Club in Washington, Bob Fox met fellow North Easterner Tom McConville and his career as a professional folk singer/musician began. In the duo with Tom he toured the vibrant folk club scene of mid 70's Britain playing a mixture of Irish and Scottish dance music and singing mainly traditional songs primarily from their native North East, Tom on fiddle and Bob playing guitar and piano.
After 2 very successful years Bob and Tom parted company and the duo with ex Hedgehog Pie man Stu Luckley was formed. This proved to be one of the most innovative and highly acclaimed collaborations ever seen on the folkscene and led to Bob Fox and Stu Luckley releasing their first album ‘Nowt So Good’ll Pass’ which was voted folk album of the year and remains a unique and classic album. Bob and Stu were in great demand and played almost every folk club and festival in the U.K. The duo released a second album, 'Wish We Never Had Parted', in 1982 before breaking up to pursue individual projects.
Since that time Bob has continued to work as a solo artist. He has also been singer/keyboard player in Celtic Band The Rub and in the short lived Vin Garbutt Band. He has been Folk Artist in Residence for the District of Blyth Valley and Music Development Worker for Easington District Council during which time he was inspired by the discovery of a photographic archive to produce a songs/slide show with Benny Graham celebrating the rich and varied culture of the coal mining communities of Durham and Northumberland 'How Are You Off For Coals?' In 2002 Bob was nominated "Best Folk Singer" by BBC Radio.
Colin Irwin writing for Folk Roots makes this declaration: "Fox always was one of the scene's superiour singers and his voice is as confident and ebullient as it ever was!"
"Bob is a local lad and blessed with one of the best voices you will ever hear. He is also a very talented musician playing guitar, piano and dulcimer. Add to that a full and varied repertoire of traditional and modern songs and plenty of good 'crack' and you can be sure of a good night." -- Terry Freeman - Davylamp Folk Club
Since 1953, Joe Hickerson has performed over a thousand times at concerts, festivals, coffee houses, folk clubs and societies, colleges and universities, community groups, and radio programs (including "A Prairie Home Companion") throughout the United States and Canada. He has been referred to as the "folksinger's folksinger." His wide-ranging repertoire of English-language songs and ballads includes occupational and labor songs, children's song, humorous songs and parodies, Irish-American songs, sea songs, and chorus songs, which he sings unaccompanied and with guitar.
Although not known as a songwriter, Joe is the author of the 4th and 5th verses of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". (The first verses were written by Pete Seeger.)
Joe has three solo recordings:
In 1963, Joe was appointed Reference Librarian and, in 1974, Head of the Archive of Folk Song (later called the Archive of Folk Culture) at the Library of Congress. One of the founding members of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington (1964), Hickerson has been the Society's President, Program Chair, and Book Review Editor. He has also served as Bibliographer and Secretary of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Chair of the Committee on Archiving of the American Folklore Society, and on the advisory boards of the John Edwards Memorial Foundation, the Audubon Expedition Institute, and Foxfire.
Halali is a traditional Celtic band featuring dynamic fiddlers Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese, and Lissa Schneckenburger. They play a dynamic mix of Celtic and American folk styles in new and innovative arrangements.
Hanneke Cassel’s fluid and graceful fiddle style has brought her honors as the winner of the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, as well as the ’92 and ’94 National Scottish Junior Championship. She has a degree from the Berklee College of Music in violin performance and has performed across the U.S., Cape Breton, and Scotland with the likes of Alasdair Fraser, Matt Glaser, and Buddy MacMaster. She is currently performing regularly with the Cathie Ryan Band. In addition to performing, Hanneke teaches at Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp and on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. She is featured on Darol Anger’s "Diary of a Fiddler" album.
Fiddler Laura Cortese was the 1998 New England regional Scottish Fiddle Champion. She was featured on tour with Alasdair Fraser and the San Francisco Scottish Fiddle Club in California and Alaska. She has studied with Fraser, as well as Martin Hayes, Buddy MacMaster, Catriona MacDonald, Jerry Holland, and Carl MacKenzie. Laura has also gained acclaim as a step-dancer. During an apprenticeship with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, she performed fiddle and dance at the Mission folk Festival in British Columbia. She has choreographed modern dance performances at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and studied step-dancing with Mary Janet MacDonald, and Eileen Carson. Laura taught step-dance workshops in California and Alaska. She has performed on BBC Scotland with cellist Christine Hanson.
Lissa Schneckenburger made her professional debut recording The Mad Hatter on the Outer Green Label in 1997. Drawn from her study of Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, and contradance fiddle styles, the CD also includes many compositions of her own. The Mad Hatter has been aired on National Public Radio’s international Celtic show, Thistle & Shamrock, and has been reviewed in every major folk publication in the United States as well as several in Europe. Lissa has been featured in countless radio and television broadcasts, including a solo on National Public Television’s "A Taste of Chanukah" filmed in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, a live performance on WBZ Boston, and annual features on Maine Public Radio’s Live at 11.
All proceeds from the concert will go to Renewal House, a battered women's shelter in Boston.
Gordon Bok grew up around the boatyards of Camden, Maine, and sailed on the lovely old schooners that hail from that port. As he sailed, he sang: songs and ballads of the sea and the schooners and the fishes and fishermen. At a time when folk music was experiencing a great revival, he was a leader in preserving, collecting, creating and sharing a wide variety of rich and intensely beautiful songs of both land and sea. His mastery of 6- and 12-string guitars and his well-known trademark, the 'cellamba, added to his already well-developed vocal expression to create an unmistakable style that has carried him through decades of being one of our most cherished folk artists. He has made more than a score of albums, and many other musicians, including Archie Fisher, Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem, have recorded his songs. In addition, his music has been used in films and published in folk music anthologies, including Rise Up Singing and his own collection, Time and The Flying Snow.
Gordon grew up in a musical home and started playing guitar when he was nine. After high school, he worked on boats and collected sea songs. During the winter, he worked as a carpenter and teacher in Philadelphia where he discovered a thriving folk music scene and began performing. Dissatisfied with the images generally portrayed of people who work on the water, he began to write songs based in the experiences of those he knew, real people whose language was honest, whose feelings were credible. These early works, songs like "Bay of Fundy", began to get attention, as did his rich voice and fluid guitar work. Paul Stookey, of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, produced Gordon's first album for Verve.
Just as Gordon might invent a musical structure to suit his needs, he has also designed and built instruments to supply the sounds he couldn't find elsewhere. When he couldn't get the pitch and timbre he wanted from a pennywhistle or recorder, he invented his own Bok-whistle. Over twenty-odd years, he and instrument maker, singer and songwriter Nick Apollonio (http://www.mint.net/~memusic/) have designed and built guitars, lauds and viols, including a twelve-string guitar specially suited to the gentle expression and intricacies of Gordon's ballad-singing.
In addition to performing in concert halls, coffeehouses and festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Scandinavia, Gordon has taught choral singing and song-writing at summer music camps and other gatherings. He has organized choral groups in his own community and gladly shares his knowledge with others wishing to do the same. A superb storyteller, he often introduces songs in concert with a bit of their origin and history.
Besides his countless solo appearances, Gordon has toured for nearly thirty years with the trio, Bok, Muir and Trickett, and in recent years with his wife, harper Carol Rohl. He has also performed with Anne Dodson and Matt Szostak, Cindy Kallet, Bob Zentz, Margaret MacArthur and other well-known folk artists. He has appeared in concert with the Paul Winter Consort and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and has been heard on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion. He has served both as Artist-in Residence and faculty member of the College of the Atlantic. Although he never graduated from college, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1997.
Carol Rohl was born in Elkhart, Indiana and graduated from Carroll College in Wisconsin with a B.S. in Social Work. She came to Maine to take a 26-day course at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and was employed there for the next 7 years as a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, followed by a variety of seasonal outdoor jobs: lift-operator at a Colorado ski area, volunteer at the 1980 Lake Placid and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, gardening, sailing to Ireland and Scotland and working in a firewood business. She lives on the St. George River in Warren, Maine.
Carol began playing her grandmother’s 1912 Clark Irish harp in 1986 and now performs with a 34-string Triplett Celtic harp. She plays traditional Scottish, Irish and South American tunes as well as music by contemporary folk composers. In 1989 she studied Paraguayan harp at the Edinburgh Folk Festival. Her harp performances have included weddings, receptions, open houses, birthday parties, concerts, benefits, church services, memorial services, radio broadcasts, plays, talent shows, schools, folk clubs and festivals, boat launchings, restaurants, nursing homes, libraries, art auctions, fairs and banquets.
With her husband, Gordon Bok, she has performed at a variety of venues throughout New England and the Canadian Maritimes including Maine’s Rockport Folk Festival, the Festival-by-the-Sea in Saint John, New Brunswick, and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival in Nova Scotia. They have also toured together across the US, in British Columbia and Scotland.
Since 1996 Carol has also been playing at the bedside in hospitals, homes and hospice settings. She is certified as a harp practitioner with both the International Harp Therapy Program and the Music for Healing and Transition Program. She conducts workshops on the power of music and healing.
Carol’s harp can be heard on nine recordings to date including Gordon Bok’s In the Kind Land, Gatherings, and The Play of the Lady Odivere; James Stewart’s Marco Polo Suite; Dave Goulder’s Stone, Steam and Starlings; Nick Apollonio’s Music of the Maine Coast; Anne Dodson’s From Where I Sit; and So Bravely Dream: The Songs of Jan Harmon.
Margaret MacArthur grew up hearing traditional music, first in the mountains of northern Arizona where her forester step-father was cruising timber for the Forest Service in the Tonto National Forest, later in southern Missouri where he was raising seedlings for the Mark Twain National Forest, then in Southern California where he was raising guayule rubber plants during the war.
After marrying John MacArthur, she moved to Vermont in 1948. She began collecting songs both in Vermont and in western Kentucky where her parents had settled. Living in the 200 year old farmhouse in Marlboro furthered her interest in old ways and old songs. After meeting Helen Hartness Flanders, she became closely connected to the Flanders Collection of Vermont and New England material. In 1962 Moe Asch of Folkways issued her first recording, Folksongs of Vermont. Since then she has recorded ten albums, some of which feature songs of Arizona, where she was an artist in residence in schools for many winters.
She has toured nationally and internationally, and been featured at many festivals, including Inverness, University of Chicago, Mariposa, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Old Songs, Champlain, Eistedfod at University of Southern Massachusetts, Louisville, Fox Hollow, Southern Acoustic Music, and Pine Mountain, Cranberry, Black Swamp, and Memphis Dulcimer Festivals.
The awards Margaret has won over the years are too numerous to mention, but are listed on her website, www.margaretmacarthur.com.
A champion of simpler times and rural places as well as a collector of heartfelt poems and curious tales ... , MacArthur imbues them with warmth and tunefulness." - Washington Post
Sara Grey is one of the most gifted and knowledgeable artists working in the field of traditional music. Sara's singing is both powerful and sweet, with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American songs and ballads of Ireland and Scotland.
It is not Sara's lovely voice alone that makes her one of the most popular singers on the folk scene; on many of her songs Sara accompanies herself by frailing a five string banjo and, when playing dance tunes, it is obvious why she is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of the clawhammer style.
As well as singing and playing, Sara is well known for her storytelling - specialising in stories from New England where she grew up learning many of her stories from her father.
Sara grew up in New Hampshire but has lived in North Carolina, Ohio, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wales, Scotland and England. As a youngster in North Carolina she developed a love for old time songs and banjo music. She cites Kyle Creed as the chief influence on her understated, syncopated clawhammer banjo style. She has now been performing professionally for more than 30 years.
Anita Best is a true renaissance artist in the Newfoundland folk/traditional scene. Best's involvement in research, teaching, broadcasting and her position as one of Newfoundland's most talented traditional singers has placed her at the forefront of Newfoundland art.
Anita began professional work as a classroom teacher, oral historian and folk archivist and eventually incorporated these into careers as diverse as radio broadcasting, professional recording and university level instruction. She was the host and writer of a local radio series, "A Little Ball of Yarns" in 1995-96, which served as a means for her to continue her much loved oral tradition but it is her singing that has made her most famous. Best has been recorded on any number of albums and has two complete works to her credit, "The Colour of Amber", with Pamela Morgan, and "Crosshanded.” Anita Best's beautiful singing and careful interpretation has enriched and extended an art form she has devoted her life to preserving.
Anita is the creator of Newfoundland Voices, her own production company witch runs a bi-weekly concert series from Cape Spear in the summer months, and "Bards and Ballads" from Finnigan's wake. Best tours extensively as both storyteller and singer, and also freelances as an editor, copyreader, and as a professional researcher.
For 19 years, Pamela Morgan was lead singer, guitarist, and arranger for the Canada’s pioneering “Celtic” band, Newfoundland’s Figgy Duff. Since then, Pamela has been spearheading her own independent record label, Amber Music, and producing albums for various artists, including, most recently, herself. She continues to write, arrange, perform, and tour, in her own highly original and hauntingly beautiful style.
Pamela has been a leading performer in the Celtic music scene for the past twenty five years. Pamela and Figgy Duff grew famous for their strikingly original and beautiful arrangements of traditional Newfoundland/Celtic material as well as their equally impressive and powerful original material. At the forefront was Morgan's haunting and mesmerizing voice. Pamela and the other core Figgy Duff member, founder Noel Dinn, led the band through the production of six albums, several videos and countless tours throughout North America and Europe; taking Figgy Duff from local innovators to a powerful international presence in the burgeoning worldwide folk/Celtic scene.
With the release of her first solo album, "On A Wing And A Prayer"(1995), Pamela carried on the tradition of Figgy Duff in her own innovative way with tales of romance, longing, a wounded heart, and various jewels of traditional Newfoundland/Celtic culture. Many of these songs found their way onto compilations throughout North America and Europe. Innovative, beautiful, powerful, and highly original, Pamela Morgan continues to set the standard of integrity, perseverance, and artistic vision for artists of all musical genres.
Together Anita and Pamela have recorded two albums, "Amber Christmas" and "The Colour of Amber", which Sing Out! Magazine called "a quiet masterpiece." These longtime friends are teaming up to present an evening of traditional Newfoundland songs which is not to be missed.
Dónal Maguire has been singing and playing in public on and off for thirty years. Like so many other young Irish kids, Dónal was affected by the charismatic Clancy brothers and their triumphal return to Ireland from the USA in the early 60s. Whilst admiring Luke Kelly's strident style, Dónal soon became enamoured of the high style exemplified by Joe Heaney, Paddy Tunney and Elizabeth Cronin.
Dónal's emigration to England as a fifteen-year-old paradoxically accelerated his interest in Irish music and culture. The London Singers Workshop helped to develop his singing and he became a resident at the Singers Club, joining Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, John Faulkner, Sandra Kerr, Terry Yarnell et al.
Dónal helped to the set up the Knave of Clubs in Bethnal Green, East London, together with Yarnell, Faulkner, Kerr and other members of agitprop group Combine. Latterly, Dolores Keane joined the residents. Dónal moved to Lancashire in 1976 and soon teamed up with virtuoso 2-row accordion player Liam Webster. They played together for over 20 years.
While Dónal has been primarily associated with unaccompanied singing, he has significant other 'strings to his bow'. Dónal is a fine interpreter of contemporary material, as well as an excellent singer of traditional material, and can accompany himself on a range of stringed instruments. He is universally recognised as one of the finest players of Irish dance music on mandolin and tenor banjo.
Dónal has conducted many singing workshops, and they are characterised by his relaxed, yet highly informative, professional style. He has also collected many songs, not only in his native Co. Louth, but from many sources in the U.K.
In 2001 Dónal decided to realise a lifetime ambition and devote himself to his music on a full-time basis. The Clergy's Lamentation album has been re-released on CD with additional tracks, and is receiving very positive reviews.
Danny Spooner moved to Australia 30 years ago with a wide repertoire of songs learned in his native England during his years as a bargeman and lighterman, and he is now considered a national treasure there. Thanks to a prodigious memory and a willingness to learn about his craft, Danny quickly developed into one of the best singers of British folksongs in Australia. Over the years he has augmented what he learned "on the job" with a vast repertoire spanning almost every part of the British tradition - as well as a respectable portion of the Australian folk heritage.
Danny is a superb singer, excellent concertina and guitar player, raconteur, amusing, all round worthwhile. He has a few songs from Australian tradition, a few from his grandmother, and a whole bunch from the docks and the tugs. Obviously a lot of sea material, some of it very well known, but some that is quite new.
For 30 years around Australia, audiences have enjoyed his concerts, workshops and one-man shows, his deep multi-disciplinary understanding of social history, his personal warmth, and his immense repertoire of songs covering the full range of human emotions, endeavours and experiences.
He is a spellbinder who can make traditional music seem new and can make new songs seem old. Danny has performed in folk clubs all over Australia, New Zealand and in Britain on his visits home, and has appeared at every major folk festival in Australia, at which he has given a vast range of workshops on aspects of folk songs of Britain and Australia. Many of these presentations were recorded live by ABC national radio.
His passion is getting people singing, and he has inspired and encouraged many in developing their singing craft. Nothing gives him more pleasure at a festival than getting a good singing session going.