February/March, 2018 – Vol. 10, No. 3

Jaspar Lepak                                                                Marvelous Minstrel Boys

The Past Concerts featured Jaspar Lepak on Dec. 8 and  The Marvelous Minstrel Boys, on Jan. 12. This issue features an article on music therapy, The Power of Music, by Bob Nelson; and two articles about the homeless in Seattle: The Power of Song – The Endless Mile, by Bruce Baker, and You’d Have To Be Crazy, Homelessness in Seattle, by Peter Wieben. Also two CD Reviews: “Hark the Dark – Claudia Schmidt,” and “Kate MacLeod – Deep in the Sound of Terra.” The next Upcoming Concert at the Couth Buzzard will feature Jocelyn Pettit on March 9.  The February concert with Small Potatoes is cancelled. 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.

Support the Couth Buzzard – My Dream Cafe and Bookstore

Our favorite Seattle Coffeehouse/Bookstore/Venue has been going through some tough times of late, and they need our support. This has been a great venue for our PNWFS Coffeehouse Concerts as well as other community events. In June/July, 2012, I wrote an article for the NW HOOT, My Dream Cafe, which compared the Couth to other music venues – this is my dream cafe and bookstore. We need to support the Couth now more than ever – it would be a tragic loss to the community, music and the arts if it does not survive. Please consider helping them out with  a donation to their GoFundMe campaign (ends March 21). Come to the  the Couth for live music, food, beverages and a few books to take home. You’ll be helping to keep a great community resource alive and well.
Stewart Hendrickson

The Power of Music, by Bob Nelson

It was just about seven years ago that Judy and I started to participate in a musical event that has changed our lives forever. This was not just a performance, but was a series of events that lasted for over four years! The events started when our good friend, who also happened to our personal physician, was diagnosed with A.L.S., which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. At this time, there is no known cure. Continue reading “The Power of Music, by Bob Nelson”

The Power of Song – The Endless Mile, by Bruce Baker

sketch by Peter Wieben

The Endless Mile is a song written by Julie Snow – “Here came a wanderer, a woman with no name, she said ‘I only have one question, am I crazy or sane.’” I enjoy singing this song, but this morning it was different. Continue reading “The Power of Song – The Endless Mile, by Bruce Baker”

You’d Have To Be Crazy, by Peter Wieben

sketch by Peter Wieben

You’d Have TO Be Crazy
Homelessness in Seattle
by Peter Wieben
reprinted with permission, June 13, 2016, The Awl

Seattle has a strikingly visible population of homeless people. One out of three of them are mentally ill, which is strikingly visible too. Lately though, rents are skyrocketing, and people are being priced out of their neighborhoods.  Read the whole article


Beethoven and Banjos – Cross-Genre Musicians, by Stewart Hendrickson

Classical music and folk music may seem like two opposing ends of the musical spectrum, yet many folk musicians today have started out with classical training and many classical musicians have crossed over to the folk music genre. Beethoven and Banjos is a collaboration between members of Decoda (Carnegie Hall’s affiliate classical musical ensemble) and folk musicians, creating and performing music together. Evan Premo, a member of Decoda and a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is the artistic director and founder of this collaboration. Together with his sister Laurel Premo, a Michigan folk musician, fiddle and banjo player, and their parents, they produce an annual series of cross-genre concerts and workshops in the UP. Here we profile some of the artists and show how they span cultural and musical boundaries in their music. Continue reading “Beethoven and Banjos – Cross-Genre Musicians, by Stewart Hendrickson”

Andy Blyth “Banjo Andy” (June 7, 1945 – July 27, 2017)

It is with sadness that I share with you the passing of another member of our great musical family. I first met Andy Blyth at Rainy Camp (Seattle Song Circle) when I moved to Seattle about twenty years ago. I recorded two songs he sang for our CD, “Songs of the Pacific Northwest”- Frozen Logger, and Apple Pickers Reel.  He also participated in Victory Music open mics in the Seattle area, and with his wife, Sue Peterson Blyth, formed the Raging Zephyr band of musicians. And he was a founding member of Tickle Tune Typhoon, “a playful troupe of magical musicians, colorful dancers, and creative arts educators.” But Andy was much more than that – he was the most positive, upbeat, friendly person I’ve known, in spite of  health problems endured throughout his life. In 2008 Andy and his wife retired to Berea, KY, where he continued to play music and spread joy in his community. Andy Blyth’s Memorial video is here. And here is his obituary. – Stewart Hendrickson. Continue reading “Andy Blyth “Banjo Andy” (June 7, 1945 – July 27, 2017)”

CD Review: Hark the Dark – Claudia Schmidt

Claudia Schmidt – ©2017
“I have always loved winter, and the older I get, the more I love it. I joke about how the long nights and short days give us cosmic permission to underachieve. But when I look at the way our lives seem to fill up with busy work that eclipses contemplation and dream time, I realize the underlying seriousness of the situation! So here is my love note to the oft-maligned season of winter. Bring it on. Hark the Dark!” – Claudia Schmidt

This welcome new CD by Claudia Schmidt, her 22nd recording, takes a new turn – it is a thematic journey through dark winter in various genres, moods, and styles. Only about half the songs are her original pieces; she has also gathered some musings of fellow musicians and thrown in a couple standards. For those of us who are familiar with her earlier recordings, this is a change, with a new sound, but it is still the same Claudia with her heartfelt renditions, and a voice that is as strong and expressive as ever. Continue reading “CD Review: Hark the Dark – Claudia Schmidt”

CD Review: Kate MacLeod – Deep in the Sound of Terra

Kate MacLeod © 2017                Waterbug Records

This is the first full-length instrumental recording for Kate MacLeod, an award-winning singer-songwriter, and acclaimed violin player and composer. Her previous vocal recordings have always included a few instrumental tracks, but as much as I enjoy her singing, I always wanted to hear more of her violin playing. Now I have that opportunity in a single long-awaited recording. Continue reading “CD Review: Kate MacLeod – Deep in the Sound of Terra”

What Is A Folk Song? by Stewart Hendrickson

What is a “folk song”? This is a question that has been raised over many years with no agreed-upon answer. Here we explore the origins of this term, and the collection of these songs. Continue reading “What Is A Folk Song? by Stewart Hendrickson”