Call for Papers Issued for Woody Guthrie Centennial Conference

Article written by on Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 in Concerts,Conferences

The Pennsylvania State University has announced a call for papers for Woody@100: Woody Guthrie’s Legacy to Working Men and Women, conference and concert to be held at Penn State, September 7-9, 2012. The event is part of a year-long centennial celebration of Guthrie’s life and work created by the Grammy Museum and the Guthrie Foundation and Archives.

As described in the Penn State press release, “papers may address any aspect of Guthrie’s legacy and influence with regard to folk music, art, literature, rhetoric, philosophy, media studies, politics, and culture; labor history; gender, free speech, and class issues; the history of social movements; the global fight against fascism; and/or the work of the many writers, artists, and musicians whom Guthrie inspired and influenced.”

Those interested in contributing should send 200-word abstracts to by April 1, 2012. (The deadline has apparently been extended from the date originally posted on the PSU site.)

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Cecil Sharp Appalachian Diaries to Inspire New Music

Article written by on Monday, Feb 28, 2011 in Concerts,Conferences,Organizations,People

English folk musicologist Cecil Sharp and his secretary Maud Karpeles spent several months of 1916-1918 on multiple trips through the Appalachian Mountains collecting folk songs, largely those Sharp believed to be of British origin. Sharp’s Appalachian diaries are the focus of an upcoming residential project sponsored by the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

Participants include British folk artists Steve Knightley, Jackie Oates, Andy Cutting, Jim Moray, Patsy Reid and Kathryn Roberts; American folk artist Caroline Herring and Canadian folk artist Leonard Podolak. The week-long project begins March 18 and is intended to result in new folk music works. Concerts and a CD release will follow.


[Photo © rosta –]

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International Folk Alliance Conference February 17-21

Article written by on Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 in Concerts,Conferences

The 2010 International Folk Alliance Conference is being held in Memphis Wednesday through Sunday. Public events include a Roots Music Spectacular on Friday and Songwriters in the Round on Saturday, both free at the Center for Southern Folklore, and paid performances at the Bartlett Center of a Sacred Steel Gospel Review on Friday and Songwriters in the Round on Saturday. More details are available on the conference web site.

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Moab Folk Camp and Festival November 1-8

Article written by on Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009 in Conferences,Festivals

The 2009 Moab Folk Camp gets underway in a few weeks. Held in Moab, Utah November 1-6, the camp offers six days of musical instruction and interaction including classes in voice (solo and harmony), guitar, harmonica, mandolin, songwriting and even outdoor art.

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Buddy and Julie Miller Take Top Honors at Americana Music Festival

Article written by on Friday, Sep 18, 2009 in Awards,Conferences

The Associated Press reports that singer/songwriter Buddy Miller was given the artist of the year award at Thursday night’s Americana Music Association awards ceremony, part of the Americana Music Festival and Conference. Buddy and his wife Julie Miller won the duo/group of the year award and won the album of the year award for Written in Chalk. The song of the year award was given for “Chalk,” a song on the same album, written by Julie Miller and performed by Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin.

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Abalone Dots Streaming Live from SXSW Tonight

Article written by on Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 in Concerts,Conferences

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Swedish bluegrass group Abalone Dots will be playing at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas this weekend. Live music from their performance at the Belmont tonight is available through UStreamTV. Please note that, as is often the case with music events, scheduling may change without notice.

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SXSW Music Conference in Austin March 18-22

Article written by on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 in Concerts,Conferences

The 23rd annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference starts next week in Austin, Texas, kicked off by the presentation of the Austin Music Awards on Wednesday, March 18th. Folk musicians are in the minority at this conference, but the ones who come, come from all over. Some of the participants are The Deep Dark Woods (Ryan Boldt, Burke Barlow, Chris Mason and Lucas Goetz), a folk rock group from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; the Lost Bayou Ramblers (Andre Michot, Louis Michot, Chris Courville, Cavan Carruth and Alan LaFleur), a Cajun roots group from Lafayette, Louisiana; The Low Anthem (Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky and Jocie Adams), a folk/rock/blues ensemble from Providence, Rhode Island and Charlie Mars, a folk singer from Oxford, Mississippi whose music reminds me just a tad of Jeff Buckley’s.

Then there’s Moriarty, a family group (Rosemary, Arthur, Zim, Thomas and Charles Moriarty) based in Montreuil, France. One look at the instrument list and you know this one’s a little different even among folk groups. Mixed in with the usual suspects are a thumb piano (okay, a little world music), “scotch-tape trumpet” (what?) and “drilling machines” (not your usual sound effects). Their Sonicbids page describes them this way: “The music of Moriarty floats between folk, country, blues and cabaret set somewhere around Dallas in the 1930’s, the Russian Taïga and Paris.” They should be right at home in Austin!

Sharing in the playfulness is Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, an indie folk group from Albany, New York. Their list contains such items as coffee mugs, “squeaky glass pot top” and “avant garde steel chair.” Band members are Alex Muro, Tim Koch, Dan Pardee, Donna Baird, Eric Krans, Adam Muro, Louis Apicello, Jen O’Connor and Adam Zurbruegg.

Folk country band One Hundred Dollars (Ian Russell, Simone Fornow, Paul Mortimer, Stew Crookes, Jonathan Adjemian and Dave Clarke) hails from Toronto, while folk rock group Telegraph Canyon (Chuck Brown, Chris Johnson, Austin Green, Tamara Cauble, Andrew Skates and Erik Wolfe) will be coming from Fort Worth, Texas after a slight detour to play the NX35 music event in Denton.

Two Dollar Bash, a group currently based in Berlin whose members are originally from Scotland and France, performed at last month’s Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Their mixture of country, folk and blues shows a bit of Celtic and European influence and every now and then contains a dash of swing music, rock or bluegrass. Members are Tony Rose, Matt de Harp, Mark Mulholland and Joe Armstrong. More country folk blues music will be provided by Gordie Tentrees, a 2008 North American Folk Alliance Showcase winner from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, accompanied by Ken Hermanson and Matt King.

The Travelin’ McCourys represent bluegrass music that is not only performed in traditional style, but is a family tradition. Ronnie McCoury and  Rob McCoury are sons of Del McCoury; Jason Carter and Alan Bartram round out the group. A couple of nice surprises are the bluegrass group Abalone Dots, from Vastervik, Sweden, composed of Rebecka Hjukstrom, Louise Holmer, Elin Mork and Sophia Hogman, and the Americana band Song Island Revue based in Arhus, Denmark, with members Kevin Welch, Poul Krebs, Claudia Scott, Henning Kvitnes, Louis Meyers, Troels Skjærbæk and Frank Marstokk coming variously from Denmark, Norway and the U.S.

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NX35 Music Conferette in Denton, Texas March 12-15

Article written by on Sunday, Mar 08, 2009 in Concerts,Conferences

North by 35 (NX35), originally formed to highlight Denton artists in Austin as part of the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference (SXSW), has grown into its own celebration and will be held in Denton this year. (Interstate Highway 35 goes through both cities.) The directors have christened the event a “conferette” and have expanded its scope to include artists from outside of Denton. Nine venues near the town square will host concerts by over 100 groups. Panel discussions and a record and craft show will also be part of the festivities.

Folk, alternative country and Americana artists include Pinebox Serenade, the A.M. Ramblers, Laura Gibson, Dirtfoot, James McMurtry and The Heelers.

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