Friday, December 4, 2009

Sorry, But I'm Still Alive

I haven been posting anything here lately, but I have been posting in nthe SVG Blog and doing some non-musical writing. Right now I have a bunch of mp3s in various traditions that are all on HDs that I have here in St Vincent. I'm spending my music time trying to make sense of them. Power Tunes lets one control multiple music libraries and I'm learning how to use that. But I've got so many mp3s, some with the same tune under different titles, that it is taking time.

But I'll get back to this blog eventually. In the meantime there are some things reprinted from Ceildh Columns, the publication of the SMU (U Mass Dartmouth) Eisteddfod that I edited for Howard Glasser. That may still be of some interest.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Doctors" In Calypso

This is the kind of event that should be record live and streamed on the Internet!

--- On Fri, 10/9/09, Clevil James wrote:

From: Clevil James
Subject: [Limers] TUCO to honour Calypso's Doctors
Received: Friday, October 9, 2009, 5:17 PM

http://news. php?story= 2009100915584937 0
Friday, October 09 2009 @ 06:00 PM AST
Contributed by: LieslThomas
More: 52

“Celebrating the Doctors in Calypso” is set to take place at Queen’s Hall, St Ann ’s from 6:30 pm on Monday, October 19, 2009. The event is being produced by TUCO to honour the Doctors of the Calypso fraternity:

- Dr. Slinger Francisco ‘Sparrow’

- Dr. Hollis Liverpool ‘Chalkdust’; and 

- Dr. Leroy Calliste ‘Black Stalin.’

Dr. Slinger Francisco, ‘The Mighty Sparrow’ or ‘Sparrow’ as he is affectionately called, was born in Grenada on July 9, 1935 and moved to Trinidad as a toddler where he launched and sustained a lengthy and successful career as a calypsonian. Sparrow began performing on major competitive circuits from the 1950s and continued into the 1990s. During this time he won several Calypso Monarch and Carnival Road March titles. 

Probably his most notable win occurred in 1956 for the song ‘Jean and Dinah’; claiming both the Calypso Monarch and Road March titles that year. Sparrow’s lyrics are known for being witty. His songs have touched on several subject areas to give him the term social commentator, his music has made the masses dance and sing in unison so that he can be called a renowned entertainer, and his contributions to calypso and culture have touched the shores of so many nations, making him an ambassador extraordinaire. Dr. Slinger Francisco is truly a calypso icon.

Dr. Hollis Liverpool, ‘Chalkdust’ was born in Trinidad in 1941. His music generally addresses the social and political issues of society and the lyrical content of his songs is hailed for having a high quality literary content. He was once a principal at Trinity College and is currently an Assistant Professor of History in the University of the Virgin Islands . He holds a PhD in History and Ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan . Chalkdust regularly conducts lectures and workshops on the history and culture of calypso music. He is even going to be lecturing on “Smut in Calypso” on October 20, 2009 at the Nalis Audiovisual Room from 7:00 pm. 

Chalkdust has been singing calypso since 1967 and has captured eight Calypso Monarch Crowns beginning from 1976 with the songs ‘Three Blind Mice’ and ‘Ah Put on Meh Guns Again’ to his most recent win in 2009 with the song ‘Doh Touch My Heart.’ He has won numerous titles in countries outside of Trinidad and Tobago as well. For his exceptional contributions to calypso music on both academic and entertainment levels, Dr. Hollis Liverpool is a calypso icon.

Dr. Leroy Calliste, the “Black Stalin” was born in San Fernando , Trinidad and Tobago on September 4, 1941. He is the most recent inductee, having received his honorary doctorate on October 31, 2008. He was also awarded the Hummingbird Medal Silver for his outstanding contributions to culture. Black Stalin is a five time Calypso Monarch title holder, wining with notable hits like ‘Caribbean Unity,’ ‘Wait Dorothy,’ 'Look on the Bright Side’ and 'Black man feeling to party.' Black Stalin’s music and entertainment persona generally exudes a feeling of optimism, fun and happiness. Dr. Leroy Calliste will forever be a calypso icon.

The event “Celebrating the Doctors in Calypso” will feature performances by younger calypsonians, such as Heather Mackintosh, Karen Asche, Jervae Caesar, Erphann Alves and Kizzie Ruiz, who will be singing the songs of these calypso icons. At least three selections from each of the icons will be sung by a younger member of the calypso fraternity in their honour. 

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -

- Story by Liesl Thomas

- Photo of TUCO President Eric Taylor by GISL

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pint & Dale Concert at Woods Hole

Since July, we've been singing and playing our way across the continent, venturing up as far as Canada's Maritime Provinces, traveling down the coast, and exploring the beautiful Chesapeake Bay area. It's been a tremendously fun trip.

Our east coast tour continues with a trip back up to Massachusetts for a concert at one of our favorite places to play. It's hard to imagine a setting more perfect for songs of the sea.

Woods Hole is a beautiful spot steeped in the history of whaling, fishing and shipping -- all stuff we love to sing about!

We'd love to see you at this one. We'd also love for you to pass the word along to any friends or family who might be in the area.

Sunday, October 4th

The Woods Hole Folk Music Society
Concert at the Community Hall

68 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Tickets $15.00

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tucott Website

Is the website of Trinidadian calypsonians and has a lot of interesting information

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Howard Glasser Archive

Howard Glasser

Posted in Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts by jfarrar1895 on June 18, 2009

On June 17, Howard Glasser toured the new Archives and Special Collections facility and met with archivist Judy Farrar regarding next steps in planning for the future growth of the Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts. Established in 2003, the mission of the Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts is to preserve the artistic and musical collecting legacy of retired design professor Howard T. Glasser. The initial donation, digital copies of his Scottish recordings, many original Eisteddfod recordings, and programs and flyers from the Carnegie and URI ceildhs, forms the core of the collection. The Howard T. Glasser Archives Fund was established the following year to help maintain these fragile materials, many of which reside on ageing magnetic reel to reel recording tapes. To date, the fund has enabled staff to pay for digital conversion of a related collection, the recordings of Paul Clayton, and a selection of the Eisteddfod recordings. The fund will also be used to begin conversion of the Tryworks concert recordings.

The archivist welcomes suggestions for donations of potentially important historic material to the collection from folk song groups, coffeehouses and other folk music venues, collectors, artists and musicians to document the folk music “scene” in New England. Contact Judy Farrar via email at

Tryworks Archive

Tryworks Coffeehouse Memorabilia Donated to Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts

Posted in Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts, Uncategorized by jfarrar1895 on June 12, 2009
On June 5th the Archives and Special Collections received the records of Tryworks Coffeehouse through former managers Maggi Peirce and Jody Heck. Many boxes were neatly packed and ready to go at the First Unitarian Church in New Bedford, the home of Tryworks since it moved from the Pilgrim United Church. Tryworks was in operation from 1967 to 2002 and was a popular venue for young people and budding musicians and poets. Coffeehouses were popular during the 1960s revival of folk music and remained relevant for many years. Tryworks was the second-oldest continuously-running coffeehouse in the country before it closed in 2002. The collection includes recordings, photographs, scrapbooks, programs, and flyers. The Tryworks archives will be part of the Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts. Read the article in the Standard Times at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sandy Paton RIP

From The Folk-Legacy Site

In memory of Charles Alexander (Sandy) Paton, who passed from this life,
July 26, 2009 at 6:32 pm, at the age of 80

Folk-Legacy Records founder Sandy Paton passed away on Sunday July 26 around 6:30pm. He had been hospitalized the last few days after becoming extremely fatigued. Sandy had been in poor health in recent years, suffering from emphysema which required that he was constantly connected to oxygen. About a month ago, Sandy & Caroline’s grandson died tragically – drowning in a river in Connecticut. Friends have said that Sandy took the loss extremely hard.

Sandy, with his wife Caroline and the late Lee Haggerty, founded Folk-Legacy Records as an independent recording company specializing in traditional and contemporary folk music of the English-speaking world in 1961. Over the 48 years Folk-Legacy has existed, they have produced over 120 recordings with Sandy doing the actual recording and taking cover photographs.

Sandy was a terrific singer in his own right, as well. He and Caroline were designated as the Official Connecticut State Troubadours for 1993-1994.

Sing Out! editor Mark Moss adds: “In a world where meeting your “idols” rarely works out very well, Sandy Paton was an inspiration. His love, dedication and vision for traditional music was unwavering … but he was never strident, pushy or rude about his impressive knowledge. This was a guy who was all about loving the music and wanting to share his love for the songs and singers. And each Folk-Legacy release exuded that passion. Once I “met” my first Folk-Legacy release (the original Golden Ring recording), I was hooked … and am proud to own almost every release from the label. Hardly “hi tech,” but the music Sandy captured, made and shared was the real thing in the truest sense of the words. It was an honor to have known him. My heart was already breaking for the family (after the loss of his grandson Kaelan in June) … I can’t imagine the pain the family is feeling now. A sad, sad day.”

Memorial service Oct 10. Check the Folk-Legacy site for details

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mike Seeger= NYTimes Obit

Mike Seeger, Singer and Music Historian, Dies at 75

Mike Seeger, a singer and multi-instrumentalist who played an important role in the folk revival of the 1950s and ’60s, died on Friday at his home in Lexington, Va. He was 75.

The cause was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, said his wife, Alexia Smith.

Although a quieter voice on the national stage than his politically outspoken, older half-brother, Pete, Mike Seeger was a significant force in spreading the music of preindustrial America during an increasingly consumerist era. In 1958 he helped found the New Lost City Ramblers, whose repertory came from the 1920s and ’30s, and in his career he recorded or produced dozens of albums of what he called the “true vine” of American music, the mix of British and African traditions and topical storytelling that took root in the South.

Mr. Seeger’s dedication had a strong effect on the young Bob Dylan, who wrote fondly of him in his 2004 memoir, “Chronicles: Volume One.” Although only eight years his junior, Mr. Dylan called Mr. Seeger a father figure — for helping the under-age Mr. Dylan with his paperwork — and rhapsodized about him as the embodiment of a folk-star persona.

“Mike was unprecedented,” Mr. Dylan wrote, adding: “As for being a folk musician, he was the supreme archetype. He could push a stake through Dracula’s black heart. He was the romantic, egalitarian and revolutionary type all at once.”

But Mr. Seeger made his mark less as a star than as a careful, steady student of his beloved Southern music. He was born in New York to a prominent musical family. His father, Charles Seeger, was a well-known ethnomusicologist, and his mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, a composer and folk-song collector. Besides Pete, Mr. Seeger’s sister Peggy also became a noted singer.

The intellectual pursuit of folk music was part of Mike Seeger’s life from an early age. At 5 he made a recording of the old British folk ballad “Barbara Allen,” his wife said in an interview on Sunday.

Mr. Seeger played banjo, guitar, autoharp and other instruments, which he learned from old records and in some cases from the musicians who played on them. A dogged researcher, he sought out musicians who had been lost for decades and introduced them to an eager (and young) new audience. One was Dock Boggs, a banjo player from western Virginia whose records were prized by folklorists. Mr. Seeger brought him to the American Folk Festival in Asheville, N.C., in 1963.

Mr. Seeger’s most recent album was “Early Southern Guitar Sounds” (Smithsonian Folkways), in 2007, and he played autoharp on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Grammy Award-winning album “Raising Sand” (Rounder), also released in 2007. In his career Mr. Seeger was nominated for six Grammys.

In addition to his wife, his half-brother Pete, of Beacon, N.Y., and his sister Peggy, of Boston, Mr. Seeger is survived by three sons, Kim, of Tivoli, N.Y., Chris, of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Jeremy, of Belmont, Mass.; four stepchildren, Cory Foster of Ithaca, N.Y., Jenny Foster of Rockville, Md., Joel Foster of Silver Spring, Md., and Jesse Foster of Washington; another sister, Barbara Perfect of Henderson, Nev.; another half-brother, John Seeger of Bridgewater, Conn.; and 13 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Mike Seeger R.I.P.

Mike Seeger and Alexia Smith

Folk Musician And Traditional Roots Music Preservationist Mike Seeger Dies
Battle With Cancer Ended Friday Evening, August 7th
By Patte Wood
Staff Reporter

Lexington, VA (August 8, 2009) - Alexia Smith, wife of folklorist and roots music preservationist Mike Seeger, has informed the Rockbridge Community that Mike died peacefully at his home on Enfield Road the evening of August 7th about 9 p.m. Seeger was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and decided to forego further treatment and entered hospice care. He was surrounded by family and friends during his last days as he wished. Seeger was 75 years old. According to the family, further information about arrangements will be forthcoming on Monday, August 10th.

Seeger contributed his musical talent and knowledge of Southern traditional roots music to the community in Rockbridge since moving here about 20 years ago. Throughout his career and while living in Rockbridge he pursued many projects to preserve traditional southern roots music and dance. Most notable are his recordings of roots music for the Smithsonian with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Locally, he was the main impetus in the creation The Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival, a music festival by and for musicians in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, in Rockbridge Countyin 1986 and encouraged Bruce Clark to found Clark's Ole Time Music Center, also in Rockbridge County. Seeger also performed locally at festivals and events, sharing his talent and knowledge of Southern roots music with the community.

Word about his death has quickly spread throughout the bluegrass and roots music community and been posted on various roots and bluegrass music websites. A compilation of his recordings and achievements can be found on the NPR website at

The following obituary, written by Bob Cherry on August 8, 2009, is from CYBERGRASS The Internet Bluegrass Music News Magazine

"Mike Seeger lost his battle with cancer last night, August 7, 2009. Back on Thursday, July 30, Mary Katherine Adlin at Folklore Productions informed us that Mike Seeger, one of the founding members of the New Lost City Ramblers, and the half-brother of folk singer Pete Seeger, had been battling leukemia for several years; just recently he was diagnosed with a new and very aggressive form of cancer, called multiple myeloma. In the same forthright way that he has lived his life, he made the decision to discontinue treatment and enter hospice care. Last night, August 7, his battle ended. Mike died in hospice care at his home in Virginia, surrounded by the loving care of his wife, his sons and his sister. He was at peace and not in pain.

"Just a few days ago, we wrote about The New Lost City Ramblers DVD video. This is sad news to follow that happy release announcement. Mike Seeger and The New Lost City Ramblers captured the essence of old music from early 78 records and spend decades performing the traditional music in the traditional way thus preserving it for many generations.

"During the '60s folk movement, Seeger and the New Lost City Ramblers were one of the most influential bands going. Scores of new bands picked up on what they were doing and pushed the music into the public's eye. Seeger was both a musician and a historian devoted to preserving the music he loved.

"Seeger was a folk musician who was also accomplished on multiple instruments. He performed playing the fiddle, banjo, mandolin, dobro, and other instruments. Seeger's love for the old time music resulted in a half dozen Grammy® nominations, four NEA grants and numerous other awards.

"Just as he set his own path musically, he chose his own path for his final journey as well. May God be with him.

"Mike is survived by his wife Alexia. Condolences may be sent to:

Folklore Productions

1671 Appian Way

Santa Monica, CA 90401"

A performance by Mike Seeger at The Kennedy Center can be seen at

Further information will be forthcoming in The Rockbridge Weekly as it becomes available.

Rockbridge Weekly & Alleghany Journal Newsline (9 August 2009)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sandy Paton=RIP

Email from Howard Glasser

HTG Archive -- Judy --

Sandy and Carolyn Paton -- (FOLK Legacy Records)
Were - for many years - invited by me to be advisors as well as performers
to the SMU/UMASS Dartmouth Traditional Arts Festival --
Their contribution to our project was huge --
Our Archive should note this loss -- Sandy was a folklorist --
Collector of the finest of the old traditions --
Producer of commercial recordings of these surviving artists --
As well as, producer of recordings of the new generations of, like thinking, artists --
Sandy and Caroline Paton received the Annual Eisteddfod Award
for their encouragement and support of artists continuing aspects of our heritage --
and for their preservation achievements.
Howard Glasser

Subject: RE: Obit: Sandy Paton
From: bbc - PM
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:05 AM

Good morning, folks,

We suspected that the news would filter out from Pinewoods first, since
Sandy's granddaughter, Linnea, is working there this summer. Yesterday
marked 40 days since Sandy & Caroline's grandson, Kaelan, drowned. Sandy had
been deeply grieving, since that time. We had all been concerned about him,
but it was unclear how much of his condition was emotional & how much was
physical. Last week, with Kaelan's memorial & the burial of his remains
past, Caroline felt that Sandy needed to see his doctor. I drove the two of
them to the office on Thursday afternoon, July 23rd. Sandy was unusually
fatigued & was having wide variations in his blood oxygen with any activity.
As soon as he saw him, Sandy's doctor called for an ambulance to take his to
nearby Sharon Hospital (Sharon, CT) for observation. Sandy was checked into
a room, after being observed in Emergency, & Caroline was told they'd like
to keep Sandy for a few days. If I am remembering correctly what Caroline
told me, the hospital called Saturday evening & said that Sandy wasn't doing
well & they didn't know if he'd make it through the night. The family was
able to go to the hospital that evening & spend time with Sandy. During the
night, Saturday, he lost consciousness. During the day, on Sunday, family
was in & out. Duane & I visited for a couple of hours in the early afternoon
& said our goodbyes. When we returned for a second visit at about 7 pm, not
wanting Sandy to be alone, his sister-in-law, Linda, gave us the news that
he had passed from this life about a half hour earlier, at 6:32 pm on
Sunday, July 26, 2009. We waited for Caroline to come & stayed with the
family until they left. Sandy died peacefully, with no heroics, just lightly
breathing until he drew his last breath. The cause will probably be listed
as congestive heart failure. My first thought, when I heard that he was
gone, was happiness for him. In recent times, his life had become more &
more of a burden to him. Because of his emphysema, he had to be connected to
oxygen all the time. His movements & activities were limited. Changes in his
voice meant that he was no longer able to sing &, sometimes, even to make
himself easily heard. He was broken-hearted over Kaelan's death. I feel sure
that Sandy was content to leave.

Now, we pick up the pieces of life without him. Caroline has her two sons &
her sister, all of whom live locally. She, also, has Duane & me. Together,
we will be giving personal support & helping to get Folk Legacy onto a new
chapter. Your support is needed. Although I have more that I'd like to say,
I'll end this, for now, to give you the basic information. Since phone is
the only way Caroline can conduct business, I might suggest that you send
condolences by mail, for now, to give us time to get up-to-date on the
backlog of orders, due to Kaelan's death & Sandy's health. As is the family
custom, Sandy's passing will be marked by a memorial gathering at some time
in the future. Sing your songs for him, folks! A great man has passed.