As the 46th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival gets ready for a new run this Memorial Day weekend it is interesting to look back to its beginning in 1972. Today with a budget of $1.3 million and over 5,000 artists performing on 25 stages it’s hard to realize that this festival had a very humble beginning. From some early Journals from the Seattle Folklore Society we can appreciate its roots and history. Continue reading “The First NW Folklife Festival – 1972 – A Modest Beginning, by Stewart Hendrickson”
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”
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! – a virtual CD of performers recorded at the Wayward Coffeehouse (and a few at the Couth Buzzard) in 2009-2010.
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, 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.
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
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
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
© 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.
“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”