April/May, 2017 – Vol. 9, No. 4

Molly Bauckham                               David Ingerson                          Colleen Raney

Past Concerts featured Molly Bauckham on February 10, David Ingerson on March 10, and Colleen Raney on March 31. This issue features two articles: “The Soul of a Fiddle,” by Stewart Hendrickson; and “Stan James (1935-2008) Legendary Seattle Folksinger,” by Percy Hilo. Upcoming events at the Couth Buzzard will feature CRÒNAN on Friday, April 14; a special concert by Claudia Schmidt on Sunday, April 30 (make your reservations now: email or phone 206-367-0475, leave a message, reservations held until 7:15 pm); and Lindsay Street on May 12. Every 2nd Saturday at the Couth Buzzard from noon – 1:30 pm, Stew’s Folk Music Corner will feature tunes, songs, and community singing.  The Events page lists some great concerts through the next few months. Keep tuned and revisit the NW HOOT as new articles may appear along with a new video of the week. We are still looking for more writers for the NW HOOT (send us your ideas and articles). Donations – Help support the Pacific NW Folklore Society. Donations of any amount are welcome – for $20 or more we will send you a free CD: “Songs of the Pacific Northwest“, or “Paddy Graber – The Craic Was Great“. Send a check to Pacific NW Folklore Society, 11720 1st Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98177. Thank you.

Stan James (1935-2008) Legendary Seattle Folksinger, by Percy Hilo

Stan James at NW Folklife. Photo by Paul Dorpat

Note: A continuing look at Seattle folksingers of the past. Reprinted with permission from the Victory Review, August, 2006, p. 18.

When we think about influences in the area of folk singing, we most often think of celebrities who’ve enjoyed a long-standing national audience. We hear our peers refer to the first time they heard a Pete Seeger recording, the first time they saw Utah Phillips on stage or some political documentary or news story w/Joan Baez singing and they were off and running: Soaking up songs, attending open mics and eventually bestowing upon us their literary/musical creation. This is all well and good, but it only takes one so far. To make genuine progress on this path, we need local and personal influences who demonstrate the viability of folk music and culture as a functional part of life on the physical/visible plane in our community. This is where someone like Stan James comes in. Continue reading “Stan James (1935-2008) Legendary Seattle Folksinger, by Percy Hilo”

Soul of a Fiddle, by Stewart Hendrickson

Some years ago I was given an old fiddle by a friend. It was his mother’s violin, but it had a sad and traumatic history. His mother was not always sane and used the instrument to punish and put fear into her children. It was painful for my friend to even talk about this, and he wanted to be free of it, but also give it to someone who might love it and bring new life back into it. Continue reading “Soul of a Fiddle, by Stewart Hendrickson”

Seattle Coffeehouses during the “Folk Revival” of the 1960s, by Don Firth

Pamir House (1960), University District, Seattle

According to legend, coffee was discovered in Ethiopia in the ninth century, first roasted, ground, and brewed by the Turks, then brought to Europe by Venetian traders. Coffee quickly spread throughout Europe and the first coffeehouse in England opened around 1650. Coffeehouses became known as “penny universities” because one could get a fairly good education sitting with a cup of coffee (a penny a cup) and listening to learned men as they discussed matters of great import. Not many years later, coffeehouses opened in Boston and Philadelphia, and were frequented by artists, poets, philosophers, and revolutionaries—like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. Continue reading “Seattle Coffeehouses during the “Folk Revival” of the 1960s, by Don Firth”

Seattle Coffeehouse Live! Pacific NW Folklore Society “Virtual CD”

SEATTLE COFFEEHOUSE LIVE!
In March, 2008, the Pacific NW Folklore Society began a monthly series of Coffeehouse Concerts starting at the Kaffee Shachor in Green Lake, then the Library Cafe on Crown Hill, and then the Wayward Coffeehouse in Greenwood from October, 2008 through April, 2010. In May, 2010 we moved to Couth Buzzard Books/Espresso Buono, also in Greenwood, for our concerts every 2nd Friday of the month. All tracks on this CD were recorded live at the Wayward Coffeehouse (cover photo), except # 7 and 16 at Couth Buzzard Books. All the performers were local musicians: Ginny Reilly, Alice Stuart, Down The Road, JW McClure, Smalltime String Band, Squirrel Butter, Jerry Middaugh & Orville Murphy, Eliza Manoff & Kim Ruehl, Val & Mike James, Michael Guthrie, Sarah Comer, Canote Brothers, Dan Carolla, Carolyn Cruso, Jillian Graham, Hank Payne & Claire Favro.  Pull up a comfortable chair, turn the lights down low, relax with a cup of coffee, glass of wine or a beer, close your eyes, imagine you’re in your favorite coffeehouse, and enjoy this 70-min. concert – play all tracks (streaming mp3 files). The following is a list of individual tracks with more information: Continue reading “Seattle Coffeehouse Live! Pacific NW Folklore Society “Virtual CD””

Spirit of the Times, by Don Firth

“A bunch of us, including Walt Robertson, got together in late 1952 or early 1953 and formed the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society. The fate of the organization is described below,”
Personal Reminiscences, Don Firth (1931-2015).
1954 – Pete Seeger in Seattle and the Fate
of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society

In fall of 1954 a major folk music event took place in Seattle. For the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society it proved to be more than a major event. Pete Seeger came to Seattle to give a concert. Under the aegis of the Folklore Society, Walt Robertson made the necessary arrangements and obtained the use of the basement auditorium of Wesley House, where several earlier Folklore Society events had been held. Continue reading “Spirit of the Times, by Don Firth”

A More Regional Folklore Society

While most of our activities are centered around Seattle and the Puget Sound area, we would like to have a more regional presence in promoting folk music and preserving its heritage and folklore in the Pacific Northwest. We recently sent an email to various folklore and folk music societies in the Pacific Northwest to solicit their help and involvement in creating a regional presence for our Society. It included several areas of interest in which we asked for input (see below). We welcome any ideas, help, and contributions that you can provide. Continue reading “A More Regional Folklore Society”

Odd Meters, 7/8 Anyone? by Stewart Hendrickson

 

Recently some Irish musicians have been composing tunes in odd meters such as 7/8. One example of this is the “Road To Barga” (starts at about 1:47 on the video) by Cillian Vallely of the Irish band Lunasa.

After a bit of difficulty, I learned this tune, and like to play it on fiddle at jams  (hear me play it)

The response I get is very interesting. Guitar players want to play along, but they get thoroughly confused with the rhythm, hopelessly out of beat, or just plain give up. Continue reading “Odd Meters, 7/8 Anyone? by Stewart Hendrickson”

CD Review: My Lovely Mountain Home


David Ingerson, Portland, OR, ©2016,  Reverbnation   Soundcloud

The songs on this recording are probably ones that you’ve never heard before, and they are sung un-accompanied in a style quite different from that which we are most accustomed to hearing in singing. Yet David Ingerson has put together a wonderful collection of songs – really stories – sung in the traditional Irish, or sean-nós, style. For the uninitiated this is an introduction to a different style of folk music. And for those acquainted with this style, a source of mostly-undiscovered material. Altogether a very pleasant listening experience. Continue reading “CD Review: My Lovely Mountain Home”