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

Seattle Coffeehouse Live! – a virtual CD of performers recorded at the Wayward Coffeehouse (and a few at the Couth Buzzard) in 2009-2010.

In March, 2008, the Pacific NW Folklore Society began a monthly series of Coffeehouse Concerts. Starting at the Kaffee Shachor in Green Lake, and then the Library Cafe on Crown Hill, we moved to 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, except # 7, 16 at Couth Buzzard Books. (cover photo, Wayward Coffeehouse)

Play all tracks (streaming mp3 files). 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.

1. Barbara Allen (Trad.) (5:26) Ginny Reilly 6/12/09. Ginny is half of Reilly & Maloney, one of Seattle’s favorite folk duos. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

2. I Won’t Bleed (Alice Stuart) Alice Stuart 1/9/09. Began her singing career in Seattle coffeehouses in the ‘60s. Favorite Seattle blues musician with her band The Formerlys. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

3. Leaving Home (Charlie Poole) (4:27) Down The Road 10/9/09. A trio of bluegrass musicians (Cathi and Gary Davidson, guitars and vocals, and John Tubbs, mandolin and vocals) from the towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie, east of Seattle. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

4. Cowboys on the Skyline (JW McClure) (3:47) JW McClure 2/12/10. JW, a veteran of the ‘60s coffeehouses, from Snohomish Co. JW, guitar, vocal; Thaddeus Spae, guitarron. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

5. Ain’t Got No Home (Woody Guthrie) (2:46) Smalltime String Band 1/8/10. A Seattle family band made up of Oliver (12, fiddle, vocal), Eli (8, banjo), Mom (guitar) and Dad (fiddle). PLAY   DOWNLOAD

6. Whiskey and Wine (Charlie Beck) (3:30) Squirrel Butter 1/8/10. Charlie Beck (fiddle, vocal) & Charmaine Li-Lei Slaven (guitar), also part of Tall Boys, Seattle’s favorite old-time band. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

7. Franklin D. Roosevelt Back Again
(Anon.) (3:25) Jerry Middaugh & Orville Murphy 7/9/10, at Couth Buzard. From Seattle and Kirkland, WA, singing together for several years. Jerry, lead vocal, guitar; Orville, harmonica, vocal). PLAY   DOWNLOAD

8. Old Crow Blues (Eliza Manoff) (3:05) Eliza Manoff 8/14/09. Talented finger-style guitar player, songwriter and singer from Everett. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

9. ‘Till the Elephant Sings
(Eliza Manoff) (3:46) Eliza Manoff & Kim Ruehl 8/14/09. Kim is a freelance music writer and Seattle musician. Kim, lead vocal; Eliza, guitar, vocal. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

10. Lady Julianna (Val James) (5:29) Val & Mike James 4/10/09. From Port Townsend, singing together for over 20 years – folk to jazz and blues. Val, vocal, guitar; Mike, guitar. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

11. Wiki Waki Shack (Michael Guthrie) (3:00) Michael Guthrie 2/13/09. Talented multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Seattle. PLAY   DOWNLOAD

12. Marmaduke’s Hornpipe (Trad.) (2:23) Sarah Comer 3/13/09. Award-winning (WA Old Time Fiddlers) traditional fiddler from Pierce Co., WA. Emmett Comer, guitar. PLAY    DOWNLOAD

13. Foolish Questions (additional verses, Greg Canote) (4:30) Canote Brothers 5/8/09. Greg (lead vocal) and Jere Canote (guitar, vocal), Seattle’s favorite old-time music duo. PLAY    DOWNLOAD

14. Thing That Fell Off The Kettle (Dan Carollo) (3:56) Dan Carollo 7/10/09. Talented Seattle finger-style Celtic guitar player. PLAY    DOWNLOAD

15. The Conversation (Carolyn Cruso) (4:51) Carolyn Cruso 4/9/10. From Orcas Island, a talented multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer and songwriter. PLAY    DOWNLOAD

16. Don’t Say Goodbye (Jillian Graham) (3:48) Jillian Graham 6/11/10 at the Couth Buzzard Bookstore. Seattle singer, songwriter. Jillian, guitar, vocal; Jim Graham, upright bass. PLAY    DOWNLOAD

17. Blue Water Run Down
(Hank Payne) (4:16) Hank Payne & Claire Favro 12/11/09. Seattle duo – ”beautiful harmonies with entangled guitar accompaniments.” PLAY    DOWNLOAD

18. What Else Can We Do? (Carolyn Cruso) (3:15) Carolyn Cruso 4/9/10. PLAY    DOWNLOAD

© Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, Seattle, WA, 2010.
This CD is free to listen to or download. If you’ve enjoyed this, consider making a donation to the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society. Thanks.

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”

Future of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, by Stewart Hendrickson

Update, 9/22/16: Since running this article I haven’t seen a groundswell of volunteers. This time I’d like some advice and feedback: What are we doing well? What could we do better? What new directions could we pursue? How can we improve the way we promote concerts? Ideas for new exciting performers to book. New articles for the NW HOOT – any volunteers to write them? Please respond through comments or email, and meet me at the Couth to talk over a cup of coffee or tea (my treat). Thanks, Stewart

The Pacific Northwest Folklore Society was founded in 1953 by Walt Robertson and friends in the University District of Seattle to support the understanding and development of the folklore and folk music of this region. After a rough beginning during the turbulent years of the McCarthy “Red Scare,” the Society became inactive by the early ‘60s. Fast forward to 2007. Don Firth and Bob Nelson, two founding members of the Society in 1953, and I decided to revive it. Our first event was a house concert with Jeff Warner, a world-class folklorist and folk singer from New Hampshire. He had trouble finding a venue in Seattle, and we thought it was time to revive the Society in order to present and preserve the more traditional folk music and provide a venue for traditional folk musicians, particularly those from our region. Don Firth has now passed on, and Bob Nelson is no longer active in the Society. I will turn 80 next year and am not sure how much longer I wish to continue. We need new people to help carry it on. Continue reading “Future of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society, by Stewart Hendrickson”

Midnight on the Ocean and Other Nonsensical Songs, by Stewart Hendrickson

Silver Threads Among the Gold, copyrighted in 1873, was a popular song in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The lyrics are by Eben E. Rexford, and the music by Hart Pease Danks: “Darling I am growing old/ Silver threads among the gold/ Shine upon my brow today/ Life is fading fast away.” It was recorded by Richard Jose in 1903, and later by Bing Crosby in 1948. A beautiful but very sentimental song, it was destined to be the tune for many silly nonsensical parodies throughout the early to mid twentieth century. Continue reading “Midnight on the Ocean and Other Nonsensical Songs, by Stewart Hendrickson”

Genre And Style – How Much Do You Know? by Laurie Riley

What’s your musical genre? Have you consciously chosen one? Do you really know all about it? How does it differ from others? Can you describe its nuances? Every genre and sub-genre or style of music is characterized by specific features, some obvious and some quite subtle, without which it just isn’t really authentic. Many nuances may be completely overlooked by players who don’t realize they are important, and maybe don’t hear them, because they aren’t familiar enough with the genre and don’t know what to listen for. Continue reading “Genre And Style – How Much Do You Know? by Laurie Riley”

OF SCALES AND MODES by Stewart Hendrickson

I’ve often heard said about a traditional song or tune, “it must be modal.” What does that mean? Strictly speaking, a mode is just an ordered series of notes defined by the intervals between. In that sense there is no difference between scales and modes; a mode is simply a particular musical scale. Music of every culture has evolved around particular scales. In our modern western culture we are used to hearing music played mostly in traditional major or minor scales. That kind of music sounds normal. Music played in other scales sounds different, and we often use the term modal to describe it. In that sense modal has come to mean something different from our usual major and minor scales. But there are many musical scales that sound normal to other cultures, but different to our western ears. I’d like to explore some of these scales, characterize them, and discuss what makes them different. Continue reading “OF SCALES AND MODES by Stewart Hendrickson”