Tag Archives: Pete Seeger

Share the joy of song with Walkabout Clearwater this Saturday (Videos)

Joe Crookston

Joe Crookston

If you’re looking for a family friendly musical event this weekend, Saturday night’s Walkabout Clearwater Chorus and Coffeehouse get-together in White Plains, New York, may be just the thing for you.

The April 11 coffeehouse is the latest in a long series of ongoing monthly gatherings that starts with an informal, low-key audience singalong as a warmup to a concert by notable solo artists and groups springing from the world of folk music.

Mustard's Retreat

Mustard’s Retreat

This month’s performers are Ithaca, New York, -based singer-songwriter Joe Crookston and veteran folk duo Mustard’s Retreat from Michigan. (Duo Kim and Reggie Harris headline next month.)

Walkabout Clearwater has been around for more than 30 years. Founded by Pete Seeger in 1984, it springs from the same agenda that spawned the environment-friendly Hudson River Sloop Clearwater organization, whose best-known project is the annual Great Hudson River Revival festival held every year at Croton Point Park in Westchester County, New York (this year on June 20 and 21).

Continues below videos.

“Walkabout Clearwater is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and social action through song, education, and other activities,” the group’s website explains.

Anyone can buy a ticket to hear the guest artists. But if you want to get really involved with Walkabout Clearwater’s heart, you can join the chorus, a low-stress, no-audition singing group that rehearses separately at 6:30 p.m.  on the first Thursday of every month at the South Presbyterian Church, 343 Broadway in Dobbs Ferry.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Walkabout Clearwater Coffeehous, featuring Joe Crookston and Mustard’s Retreat

WHEN: Doors at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 11. Audience sing-along at 6:45, concert at 7:30.

WHERE: Memorial United Methodist Church, 250 Bryant Avenue, White Plains, New York.

TICKETS: $18 in advance, $23 at the door, $15 for students, $10 for children 6-12. Tap or click www.WalkaboutClearwater.org or call 914-946-1625.

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Pete Seeger, Hudson Valley-based singer, activist, environmentalist dead at 94 (video, playlist)

Pete Seeger onstage at a 2009 rally in Memorial Park, Nyack, N.Y. (© 2009, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Pete Seeger onstage at a 2009 rally in Memorial Park, Nyack, N.Y. (© 2009, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Pete Seeger is dead.

The legendary musician, environmentalist, and activist, a longtime resident of Beacon, N.Y., died Monday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, The New York Times reports.

His death comes six months after his wife, Toshi, died just short of their 70th wedding anniversary.

He continued to work after Toshi’s death, appearing in September at a Farm Aid Concert in Saratoga Springs, reports Peter Kramer of The Journal News in a wonderful obituary posted on lohud.com. (Be sure to check out the great video on lohud.com, including this raw footage of a rambling interview at Seeger’s Beacon home. Continue reading

New collection skims the cream of Caffè Lena’s rich musical history

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Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013 is slated for release on Sept. 24.

A review of Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013, with buying and streaming links after the jump

I’ve always meant to visit the legendary Caffè Lena, the tiny coffeehouse at 47 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Devonsquare, the sweet-harmonizing folk-rock trio, first piqued my curiosity about Lena and Bill Spencer’s cafe (or caffè, as they dubbed it, using two f’s) with their song “Caffè Lena” on the  1987 album Walking on Ice.

Caffè Lena was a place of mythical proportions to me then. For one reason or another, I never found myself in Saratoga Springs.

After all, I live close to The Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., a music cafe that is, while 16 years younger than Caffè Lena, has a similar mission and musical profile.

And then there was the Towne Crier in Pawling, N.Y.,  from 1972 until closing in June with plans to reopen soon in Beacon. That gave me a backup option just a bit farther afield than The Turning Point.

So  I never got myself motivated sufficiently to make the trek to Saratoga Springs.

I should have known I was missing out. And now the Tompkins Square record label has  shoved into my face some very real evidence of exactly how much I’ve missed. Continue reading

Take a trip through time in Greenwich Village tonight

New documentary explores the rich history of the fabulous Greenwich Village folk music scene

Rockland County resident Terri Thal and other people in the film to appear for panel discussion at tonight’s 7:25 screening at Manhattan’s IFC Center

Happy New Year. We’ve been meaning to write, but we’ve been busy. But today we have some news we just had to share.

The documentary “Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation” has been quietly making the rounds of film festivals. Some of you probably have heard some word-of-mouth, got a chance to catch it at DOC NYC 2012 or at least have seen the trailer.

Terri Thal, right, with singer Terre Roche at the 2010 Gerdes Folk City Reunion. (Photos 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Terri Thal, right, with singer Terre Roche at the 2010 Gerdes Folk City Reunion. (Photos © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

We’ve only seen the trailer. It’s hard to tell from the clips alone how well the feature-length film really tells the fascinating story of the unique cultural, political and geographical elements nurtured so much talent. But the rare footage and new interviews — among the subjects are Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Chapin, Lucy and Carly Simon, Oscar Brand, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ian Tyson, Eric Andersen, Israel Horovitz, Jose Feliciano, Kenny White, Sonny Ochs, Sylvia Tyson, Pete FornataleHappy Traum and John Sebastian —  alone are surely worth the price of admission to anyone who’s interested in the time and place.

Sylvia Tyson at the 2010 Folk City Reunion.

Sylvia Tyson at the 2010 Folk City Reunion.

The film has begun a six-screenings-a-day run through next Thursday, Jan. 24, at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street in Manhattan. Click here for schedule, ticketing and information about the theater. Tickets are $13.50 for adults, $9.50 for children and senior citizens, and $8.50 for IFC Center members.

But tonight only, at the 7:25 screening, some of the people you’ll see on screen

Happy Traum at the 2010 Folk City Reunion.

Happy Traum at the 2010 Folk City Reunion.

will appear in person to participate in a panel discussion. Musicians Traum, Doug Yeager and David Amram and radio personality Brand are scheduled to appear.

Terri Thal —  known in Rockland County as a longtime defender and protector of history and the environment as an officer  of the West Branch Conservation Association — who played an integral, nonperforming, role in the fertile musical scene.

Who needs roadies: Pete Seeger is 90 and still carries his own gear!

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The crowd in Nyack’s Memorial Park was getting antsy after dark fell last night. The several hundred people gathered in the park on the banks of the Hudson River were waiting for one man: legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.

He was the headliner for the Health Care for All rally. The organizers kept assuring the crowd that Pete was on the way, racing to Nyack after an appearance in Manhattan’s Central Park. But by shortly after 7, it started looking like the rally’s 7:30 end time would come and go before Pete got there.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

Then someone near the park entrance shouted, “He’s here. Somebody just saw him.” That caused some in the back of the crowd to turn and face the driveway into the park, expecting to see a livery car racing in. Instead, through the gathering darkness strode a rail-thin man in a chambray shirt and jeans, a floppy hat on his had, with two gig bags, one slug from each shoulder.

Yes, it was the 90-year-old folk icon, walking into the park, carrying his own gear. A roar rose up from the crowd, which seemed to double in size as people pushed forward to get a glimpse of Pete.

He apologized for being so late, explaining that this was is fourth event of the day — which he spent racing between his home in Beacon, to NYC to Nyack. And then he launched into energetic performances of  a handful of familiar songs, including a “rap” version of “English is Crazy,” a singalong of “This Land is Your Land,” and a beautiful rendition of his 1950 chart-topper “Goodnight, Irene.”

The energy was intense. And I’m sure that the doubters who left before Pete arrived are kicking themselves for missing out on such a vital performance.

A number of other musicians performed brief sets during the nearly four-hour-long rally, including the Roues Brothers of West Nyack, Tom Chapin of Piermont and Emory Joseph of NYC.

Check out the Nyack News & Views report here.

Click through to the jump for more photos. Continue reading

Pete Seeger, Tom Chapin perform at Nyack health-care reform rally

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger and Piermont’s own Grammy Award-winning folksinger Tom Chapin will headline a Health Care for All Rally in Nyack’s Memorial Park tomorrow.

Tom_Chapin_CROPPED

Tom Chapin

Pete, 90, and Tom top a roster that also includes  New York City blues rocker Emory Joseph and The Roues Brothers from West Nyack.

The rally for universal health care was organized by Health Care for All Now and is co-sponsored by The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Rockland Progressive Dems, Spring Valley NAACP, Nyack NAACP, WESPAC Foundation, Organizing for America, and Rockland Women’s Political Caucus.

For further background, click here to read an article from  The Journal News about the rally.

Health Care For All Rally, Sunday, Oct. 4, 4:30-7:30 pm. Memorial Park, 53 Piermont Ave (at Depew Ave.) Nyack, NY. (845) 512-3261 http://healthcareforall.tripod.com.