Every Memorial Day weekend for nearly two decades, aspiring and accomplished folk musicians have gathered for three days of workshops, concerts, and jamming. Traditional American styles such as old-timey banjo, Appalachian song, New England contra dance, bluegrass, and blues are mainstays. The influence of celtic and french-canadian playing runs throughout, and through the years, everything from Tuvan throat singing, to West African kora and drumming, to Mariachi, to Texas western swing has been a focus. With this years gathering ahead in just a few days, the Folk Show Road Show takes a look back to Folk College 2017.
Featured artists include
Happy Traum, the man who first recorded “Blowin' in the Wind” and who later collaborated with his friend Bob Dylan. Traum was at the center of the Greenwich Village Folk Revival, and founded Homespun Music Instruction, now in it's 50th year.
Amadou Kouyate in the 150th generation of the Kouyate clan of Manding peoples of Northwest Africa, an area that includes parts of 6 contemporary countries, including Senegal and Mali. Amadou has made it his life's work to spreading the music of west Africa, and to reconnecting those of the African diaspora with one another.
New York based, The Appleseed Collective blends jazz, old-time, funk, rock 'n roll, and eastern music. Andrew Brown is on guitar, Brandon Smith on fiddle, Vince Russo, percussion, and Eric Dawe standup bass. Joeseph Brotherton is on Trumpet, and Brian Priebe on Trombone.
The Bumper Jacksons bill themselves as “Roots jazz. Country Swing. Street Blues, ” and the time-lapse photo on their website suggests the abundant energy the band brings to what they call a “Mardi Gras Party. At the center of Bumper Jacksons, singer and clariner player Jess Eliot Myhre and banjor player Chris Ousley. On bass is Alex Lacquement, and Dan Samuels plays percussion. Joeseph Brotherton is on Trumpet, and Brian Priebe on Trombone.
Anna (Roberts-Gevalt) and Elizabeth (La Prelle) are two innovative young artist and musicians who delve deeply into ancient ballads to create sometimes avant-garde experiments. With fiddle, banjo, vocal harmonies they interpret tradional songs, and original songs they have based on their archival research. A visual aspect accompanies many of their songs: a hand-made pre-motion picture, scrolling artwork, or cranky.
Anna has been a fellow at the Berea College Traditional Music Archive ; three years artistic director of Kentucky’s traditional music institute, the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School; and co-curator of Baltimore's Crankie Festival.
Elizabeth is a student of master singer Ginny Hawker and National Heritage Fellow Sheila Kay Adams. She was the first recipient of the Henry Reed Award from the Library of Congress at age 16, and won the 2012 Mike Seeger Award at Folk Alliance International.
Anna and Elizabeth's 2018 album “The Invisible Comes to Us” in on the Smithsonian Folkways label.
Mavish is American fiddler Jaige Trudel, British born guitarist Adam Broome, and Matthew Olwell on flutes, bodhrán, and percussive dance. Their songs and instrumentals have roots in the British Isles, Ireland and America. The band's name comes from a bird, through the English colloquial word for Song Thrush
John Lilly sings classic country, traditional and original songs. He's unearthed gems from Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Louvin Brothers, and written songs that have won awards and been covered by his contemporaries. John takes traditional music seriously, but he's a funny guy, too, with songs like Bigfoot Stole My Baby, A Little Yodel goes a Long Way, and Haunted Honky Tonk. A reviewer came up with a great ll-word description: "If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he'd be John Lilly"