Club News

Musical Meetings

Musical meetings of the San Francisco Folk Music Club are held every other Friday at 885 Clayton Street, between Carl & Parnassus Streets in San Francisco. Singing and jamming in three separate rooms start at 8:00 p.m. Snacks are provided through $1 food kitty donations or finger food contributions. Guests are always welcome, no one is expected to “perform” and there is no charge.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Date July 3 July 17 July 31 August 14 August 28
Setup Joel Rutledge Ken Hayes Susan Wilde Dave Sahn Susan Wilde
Bulletin Board Susan Wilde Dave Sahn Al Goodwin Faith Petric Debbie Klein
Host/ess Faith Petric Susan Wilde Marisa Malvino Al Goodwin Debbie Klein
Host/ess Debbie Klein TBA Pazit Zohar Melissa Sarenac Estelle Freedman
Singing Room Marisa Malvino Tes Welborn Melissa Sarenac Marisa Malvino Dave Sahn
Theme 60s Songs Woody Guthrie* The World Prepositions** Truth & Lies
Cleanup Marlene McCall Paula Joyce Morgan Cowin Marlene McCall Ken Hayes
* July 18th is Woody Guthrie’s birthday.
** Prepositions include “in,” “out,” “over,” “under,” “between,” etc.

Board Meetings

The SFFMC board meets on the second Tuesday of each month — potluck at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 8:00 p.m. All Club members are welcome to attend the potluck dinner and the Board meeting.

NEXT FOLKNIK FOLD-IN/FOLK SING: Sunday, August 30, at Joan and Abe Feinberg’s

Club News

Redmond O’Colonies sends best wishes and greetings to all and lets us know where to find him: 1136 A Wychbury Ave., Victoria, B.C. CANADA V9A 5L2. His email is phone 250-381-9255. He may get down to see us sometime this year.

Riggy Rackin recently brought forth a project reflecting his life’s work in an album titled Somewhere in Between. It covers the genres of his journey: English folk song, Renaissance art song, English country dance instrumentals, Irish sea songs, American country and pop ballads. Stellar singers and musicians provide top-notch support, while veteran producer Jeff Martin makes magic of it all! Listen at

On April 14th, long-time Folknik editor-in-chief Phyllis Jardine was elected to the SFFMC board of directors, joining Hali Hammer, Donna Hyatt, Ed Hilton, Thad Binkley, Charlie Fenton, Ken Hayes, Jerry Michaels, Faith Petric, and Melissa Sarenac. Phyllis had already been attending meetings and contributing for many years.

The Arts Commission of El Cerrito has asked the folk club to put on a folk festival. They are providing us with the venue. It will be on Saturday, October 10th, at Windrush School, which is near the El Cerrito del Norte BART station. It’s a beautiful spot with a lot of potential. Acts are not being booked at this time. If you want to be involved in the festival, contact Ken Hayes at

Members write — Memorial Day Camp

How can I begin to recount my experiences under the redwoods, singing, sharing, playing, laughing, hiking, eating, meeting new people and seeing old friends at the SFFMC’s camp? Where else can I hear everything from a 17th century Celtic harpist to the Beatles and Bob Dylan, or share personal histories, or anecdotes of how songs came about, or who saw B.B. King or Pete Seeger in a recent live performance? Or hear 4 part harmony sweetening up a tune, or laugh at good jokes or groan at bad ones? This is where people can let it all loose, be themselves, tell stories, listen to each other’s hopes, wishes and dreams. Where else can my 11-year-old son hear a myriad of viewpoints on politics, history, music playing, and even cooking, or the various ways people cope with their lives? Where else can he get an education from a diverse background of people, some of them having lived through much of the 20th century? I am forever grateful to the folk club for organizing these camps and will try to get other families to come!

—Doris Williams. Come luting with Lady Doris at

Doris, your letter reminded me of my introduction to the folk club campouts, when I was newly single, and the single father of four kids from age 7 to 14. For me the camp outs were a blissful relief, a place where I could relax my vigilance and let them wander with complete safety within the boundaries of our group camp. By contributing to and sharing in the tending of the Stone Soup pot, I could give each of the kids a camp cup and be assured that, as a fail-safe, they’d be well fed on soup while I sang or played my harmonica. Like in the communities of my own youth, everyone automatically kept an eye on all the kids, and if mine got into anything risky they were cautioned by others. If they didn’t pay attention to other adults, I’d soon hear about it. The point was that my kids were safe, often fed at any campfire at which they tarried, and were safe in the bosom of the community. They were amongst good people and surrounded by good music and feelings of mutual tolerance and respect. For me, used to taking all responsibility upon myself at home and dealing with life and death at work, it was nothing short of miraculous to discover a place where I could close my eyes for an afternoon nap and know that my kids were among friends and would be just fine. The oldest kid will be 50 this summer and is a college professor. The youngest, who got drunk at thirteen on the dregs of New Year’s wine bottles at Bothin, is now 43 and sober 28 years. He’s a digital production manager, making movies you have all seen. The middle two are a pilot and a lawyer. I know that some part of what they are has to do with the campouts we attended in those first three years after my divorce. The folk community ethic was ingested along with the kindness and sustenance they received at the campfires. Thanks, Doris, for reminding me.

—Denis Franklin

July 11 Hootenanny tribute to The Band

—Marlene McCall

On July 11, from 7:00-10:30, the SFFMC and Hootenanny Night will present a special show honoring the music of that admired and influential assemblage of musicians, The Band. Not only will you be treated to their well-known songs (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Shape I’m In,” “It Makes No Difference”), but also some of their wonderful album cuts you might not have heard before.

This event will be held at Café International, 508 Haight at Fillmore in SF, and will feature 16 local musicians (many of them folk club members) leading Band songs, backed by a 6-piece house band created especially for this event. What a fantastic experience this will be. Come and sing along. Free!

Websites of Interest

—Marlene McCall

Yes, it’s a bit unusual to publicize websites in a print publication (although some of you are reading this folknik article online), but there are so many great websites out there, how could we NOT let you know about some of them? The Bay Area Open Mic Calendar. This site lists a huge number of open mic opportunities throughout the Bay Area. What is an open mic? An open mic is a rare opportunity for both veteran and untried performers to get in front of an audience and do whatever it is they do. Not all open mic events actually use a microphone; some are acoustic. Some book in advance. Some are reserved for poetry or musical performances only. Most have an MC who organizes the event and introduces the acts. Most open mics limit performers to 10 to 15 minutes of time onstage. Basic etiquette is to show up early if you want to perform, respect the other acts by listening politely and have your own stuff well-rehearsed and ready to go when it’s your turn. The open mic list on this site is divided into three geographic regions (San Francisco, East Bay/South Bay, and North Bay), and within each region, by day of the week. Most open mics recur monthly on the same day of the week. About Folk Music. This site is all over folk music. Information about folk music in general and specific genres, blogs, top ten lists, extensive lists of folk artists, and lots of links to other folk-music-related sites. Kim Ruehl, creator of this site, is a writer and musician who has been actively involved in the folk music scene since 1996. Not very long, some of you might say. Nevertheless, she writes with passion about the significance and importance of folk music. A good read on a rainy day. Chordie.OK, we all know you can’t depend on the lyrics and chords that you get online to be accurate. After all, each song is documented and submitted by some musician out there in the real world who could be great at identifying chords, or … not. With that caveat in mind, this chord site is better than most. It isn’t focused specifically on folk music, but it has a wide selection of songs, often several versions of a given song. You can search by song or (recording) artist, and if you poke around the artist list a little, you can find some interesting clues, like there are 188 songs listed under the artist “Traditional” and 1,559 songs listed under the artist “Various Artists”, many of which are traditional folk songs. There’s also lots of pop, country, and bluegrass songs. The song pages open quickly (compared to some other sites) and even though there is advertising, it is fairly easy to ignore. Santa Monica Traditional Folk Music Club. April Wayland, their founder, moved from the San Francisco area and started the Santa Monica club in 1978 because she missed SFFMC. They have interesting multiple themes for their monthly musical meeting, and all themes are linked to something historical in the month’s calendar. There’s a good links page as well. Carter Family Fold. This is a paid site, but if you’re a Carter Family fan (or lovers of bluegrass and old-time harmony singing and playing), it’s worth it. To quote from their home page: “Welcome to the Carter Fold Online Streaming Video Site. The Carter Fold is the birthplace of Country Music and every Saturday night for the past 30+ years people gather at the Fold to watch some of the best Country and Bluegrass Music around. This site lets you watch the 2 hour video shows online for only $10 month. The Carter Fold is a 501c Non Profit and your support goes to keeping the Fold going for generations to come.” You can watch one-minute clips before deciding to subscribe. Radio Shows in Northern CA. This list of folk, acoustic, and bluegrass radio shows is maintained by the Northern California Bluegrass Society. If you’re a radio listener, you’ll see some that are familiar to you already, but you’ll undoubtedly find some more obscure shows that you didn’t realize existed. Todd’s Musical Petting Zoo. The things you find on the Internet…Todd Crowley has been traveling to folk festivals in the Washington DC area, bringing festival-goers a hands-on, interactive experience of a panoply of traditional instruments. Read all about it here. Evo Bluestein Rhythm and Dance Residency. Read how Evo Bluestein’s dance program is being used in a Porterville kindergarten to further social and academic development.


Lee Stripling

Lee Stripling, who was well received at the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention in 2007, passed away at age 87 on April 20 after a brief battle with cancer.

Lee and his brother Robert accompanied their father Charlie Stripling during the 30s, and Lee later went on to lead western swing bands during WWII. After the war, he married, moved to Seattle, and quit playing professionally.

In 2000, after a gap of almost 60 years, he resumed his professional musical career, fiddling with several groups of younger musicians, and recorded four CDs.

Revered as a fiddler and singer, Lee was a true gentleman, an infinitely generous human who encouraged and inspired those around him. In sessions, he’d ask everyone in the circle to do a tune, and was especially excited to get the children joining in. He always had something nice to say, or a corny old joke, and a twinkle-eyed smile, and remembered everyone’s name and favorite tune. He epitomized growing old gracefully. He will be missed.

Lisa Atkinson

Lisa Atkinson passed away May 9 after a long illness. She was an SFFMC member for a long time, a big name in children’s music and singer-songwriter circles in the South Bay & peninsula, the host of KKUP radio show Don’t Panic (It’s Just Us Folks), and the &ldquot;mother” of South Bay Folks, a community of musicians, singers, and songwriters. With Dave Perasso’s help, Lisa planted and watered the initial seeds of that organization, which continues to provide folk-oriented, all acoustic open mics as opportunities for performance, collaboration & musical development.

She was a great singer, a talented songwriter and a loving person who gave the gift of music to many people.

Clyde Forsman

Clyde Forsman, founder and former frontsman of Those Darn Accordions, passed away peacefully June 5, at the age of 94, of diabetes complications and a series of strokes.

Clyde was a tireless champion of the accordion and a wonderful entertainer, whether he was knocking them dead with his takes on Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” and Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” or just chatting with fans.

Clyde’s performances with Those Damn Accordions were legendary. He joined TDA in 1989 at the age of 74, and stayed with them until 2000, wowing crowds at hundreds of shows. SFFMC member Art Peterson, who had Clyde as a roommate most of the time while he toured with TDA, reports that Clyde said that those tours were the highlight of his life. He drew great pleasure from the time he spent with TDA and the kind words and encouragement from his fans.

Clyde was a highlight and inspiration to many.

Don Brown

Don Brown, proprietor of the Teahouse of the Mullah Nasruddin’s Donkey at the Renaissance Faire, passed away June 9. Don was the head and heart of the coffeehouse at Faire, Lark in the Morning and other music camps in northern California. He hosted, if not officially, the belly dancing at northern faire, and often drummed for the dancing.

He also provided early morning and late night sustenance for faire participants, and coffee and chai to everyone. Don is drumming for the houris tonight.