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.

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

Date March 2 March 16 March 30 April 13 April 27
Setup Melissa Sarenac Joel Rutledge Debbie Klein Stephen Hopkins Joel Rutledge
Bulletin Board Faith Estelle Freedman Melodie Lyn Stem Debbie Klein
Host/ess Melissa Miki Murdoch Dave Sahn Yvette Tannenbaum Debbie Klein
Host/ess Jane & Dean Jennie Woodward Marisa Malvino Pazit Zohar Al Goodwin
Singing Room Debbie Klein Jim Letchworth Marlene McCall Jane & Dean Marlene McCall
Theme Cities and States Ireland Spring, plants, nature Lullabies, relaxing songs Stories in song
Cleanup Marlene McCall Al Goodwin Paula Joyce Marlene McCall Dave Sahn

Board Meetings

The SFFMC board meets on the 2nd 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 meeting.

NEXT FOLKNIK FOLD-IN/FOLK SING: Sunday, Sun., April 29, at home of Marian Gade, 136 Highland Blvd., Kensington (510) 524-9815.


We received our annual New Year greeting from the Tokyo Folklore Center to which the folknik is sent with an emphatic “Forever folknik!” on the card.

Ed Bronstein writes, “Every time I think of my 40 years of Friday night at 885 Clayton I feel a pleasant emotion. Thinking of the camaraderie, the serenity, the love that pervaded the whole house. Fond, fond, memories. May the essence of the SF Folk Music Club endure forever!”

Jessica Bryan and Tom Clunie write: Greetings to our friends in the SFFMC. We moved, again. (The politics and lack of social discourse and music in Coos County drove us out!) Anyone traveling north on I-5 is welcome at our new home in Talent (between Ashland & Medford). Great music sessions in Ashland every weekend. 541-535-6044.

Club News

Bonnie Hellevig’s DVD of Faith’s 90th birthday celebration was selected by a writer for the Australian magazine Rhythms as best music DVD of the year!

In Canada, a House Concert Circuit is being initiated on the Canadian prairies with plans to expand to Ontario and British Columbia this year. Sponsors are Home Routes, a new nonprofit, and CBC Radio. With centralized booking, Home Routes will offer artists a package of 12 gigs over 14 nights. What a deal!

A new-to-us venue is the Crosstown Community Center and Coffee House at 1303 High St. (at Encinal) in Alameda. Sylvia Herold and Euphonia were recently featured there. The coffee house is located in a church and is described as a place for young people to gather and listen to music and read poetry. (510) 864-8600, manager Faith Rusic.

Ecology Day at Boulder Creek Scout Camp

An ecology day will be held at the Boulder Creek Scout Reservation on Sat. March 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Learn about native plants of the Pacific Coast Redwood Region on nature hikes, how to plant trees correctly in the forest, how to identify invasive plants and remove them, and how to camp to “Leave No Trace.” Clean up some of the creeks in camp (weather and water levels permitting). Bring waterproof boots if you wish to participate. Recycling.

Overnight camping will be available. Bring a bag lunch.

This event will take place rain or shine, so dress appropriately. For more information and to RSVP, call Ranger Sonny at 831-338-3636.

Two New Events at Central Perk

Central Perk is a new and unique cafe and venue for music and folks gathering at 10086 San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito. The owners are delightful and their food is incredible. For info on either event, call Jan 510 865-6565 and 510 334-5837.

(1) A “Slow Guitar Jam Class” session 7:00–8:30 pm Monday evenings with Jan Seifert, for guitar players who aren’t quite ready for jams, and who want instruction regarding chords, progressions, accompaniments, styles, some theory, note reading, tab reading, learning tunes by ear one phrase at a time, some jam etiquette, as well as songs handed out at each session. Players must bring their own stands and pencils, guitars, tuners, and a folder for songs. $7 each class. Join anytime.

(2) Wednesday evenings, 8 pm until 10:30+, there will be an open acoustic and eclectic jam, primarily string instruments, playing folk, bluegrass, old-timey and fiddle music, swing, traditional, country, etc. No electric instruments except possibly an electric keyboard. Accordions and harmonicas are welcome, plus guitars, fiddles, banjos, dobros, mandolins, bass, pennywhistles, dulcimers, and the like, and voices of course. Free.

Songs of Peace on March 10

A very special show is in store for the next Hootenanny. This event will feature and celebrate songs of peace — peace in the world, peace in our communities, peace in our hearts. The air will ring with songs that inspire a desire for peace, protest against those who wage war, promote peace and tolerance among us, and pull people together in action for peace. Come raise your voices to sing along with classic peace songs and anti-war songs that you know and love, and also be inspired by new songs from today’s songwriters carrying on this most important aspect of the folk tradition.

The show will be at the International Cafe, 508 Haight Street (near Fillmore) in San Francisco, from 7:00-10:30 on Saturday, March 10. Parking can be challenging, so carpooling and using public transit are encouraged. Also, the earlier you come, the easier the parking, so think about coming at 6:00 instead of 7:00 and have dinner from the International Cafe’s great selections. Not only will you have an easier time finding parking, but you will in a small way be thanking the International Cafe for hosting and supporting SFFMC’s Hootenanny Night for many years now.

Come join us!

Lost & Found at Harmony 2006/2007

To retrieve items please contact Marv Sternberg or Shary Levy at 510/527-3224 or email

Black combBlack Pendleton cardigan sweater w/belt
Drinking glass String of battery Christmas lights
Black umbrella Short reddish skirt, front buttons
Assorted towels Small notebook w/listed songs
Black fuzzy gloves Black Stocking cap (Searle?)
Black T-shirt (O’Neill) Dark blue or black umbrella
Navy hooded sweatshirt Black baggy short pants
Heavy dark grey XXL shirt Pair of reading glasses
3 flashlights, one hand crank Girl’s lavender socks
Woman’s black jockey underpants Intellitouch tuner
Navy blue pullover sweatshirt w/zip collar 2 boas
From 2005/06:
Brass & black menorahEye glasses (reading)

Camp Harmony 2006-2007

Harmony was small and wonderful; there were fewer workshops, so we got 10-25 people at a workshop; one even ran out before all had had a chance to sing … lots of good singing. Much of the usual instrumental talent jamming in the registration hall didn’t come, so the younger folks made themselves at home there and sounded wonderful.

Last year we had 220 campers, this year 150 … we lost money, and apparently next year plan on renting just Camp Campbell, which is reputedly going to have upgrades and a new dining hall soon. I will miss gorgeous Camp Harmon and its trees and space and in-cabin bathrooms.

This year there were only about eight young kids, but, mysteriously, there were dozens of older kids and teenagers, many of whom apparently used to be the children, but are transformed. At three in the morning, there was still tetherball being played. Special moments for me: singing “bells, bells, bells!” on New Year’s, arm in arm with Faith; having to kick a dear friend every time his snoring got too loud in workshops; calling home, only to realize that I had nothing to say, I was so happy.

Those who chose not to come this year missed some wonderful intimacy and chances to take workshops that, for once, did not conflict with their other important scheduling. Of course, if they had come, those factors would have disappeared, so … huh. Anyway, there was no rain, some sun, room to move around between the dining hall tables, great cabin jams, and radiant health all around, all around. Come back next year, and bring your friends!

—Sadie Damascus

Our Harmony was just as magical as Sadie’s. It was totally different, too. After all these rainy years, we parking lot watchers could sit there with instrument in hand or cat on lap or both. Yes, it was COLD. What a wonderful trade-off for the rain! There were progressive workshops: beginning recorder, barbershop singing. The young folkies are assuming more responsibilities. The amplification of the concerts was a great improvement. Thanks to ALL the extra-effort-making people.

—Margie and Bob

General Meeting Minutes 12/31/06

The meeting, attended by about 60 campers, was called to order by President Ed Hilton. Katie Riemer, camp registrar, gave a short report on registration and drop-ins.

The 2007 Free Folk Festival will be held at City College of SF, with Karen Imperial & Michael Jones as co-directors.

A suggestion was made that the Club Web site’s address,, be put on the newsletter’s masthead for easy reference. It is being considered.

Charlie Fenton reported on Camp Harmony. So far, camp is running a $17,000 deficit. (It was later estimated at $8,000, reduced partially thanks to donations at camp.) Camp and food costs have increased, while registration is about two-thirds that of last year.

The Harmony Committee is planning to discontinue using Camp Harmon next year; Harmon costs $17,000 and the Campbell-to-Harmon shuttle bus costs $2,688; the Club would break even if both were eliminated and registration equaled this year’s.

The YMCA is engaged in a long-term $16-million campaign for capital improvements to Camp Campbell. A new dining hall and kitchen building is expected to be completed by summer 2007 .The new building’s donor wants to demolish the existing dining hall, recreation hall, and the common porch, which include the areas that the Club now use for registration, socializing, instrument storage and dancing. Camp staff and others want to keep the old buildings, since they are still fairly sound, are made mostly of redwood, and have some historical significance. The new hall would probably have a slab floor that would be unsuitable for dancers; the existing dining hall has wood floors that are quite “danceable”.

The camp staff proposes moving the dining hall to another location and demolishing the recreation hall. However, there is concern that moving the old building would damage it and would be quite expensive. There is a letter-writing campaign to save the buildings and porch, and Club members are encouraged to write to: Marcus King, Client Services Coordinator, Camp Campbell, 16275 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek, CA 95006, if they wish to give their views on the buildings’ preservation. People should, when writing, use the YMCA building names (dining hall and recreation hall) and specify that we want to save both buildings and the porch.

Other planned improvements: new cabins on the hill near Half-Hut, with bathroom facilities similar to Harmon cabins, an improved septic system, and retrofit of the existing cabins with bathrooms. Enough of the improvements should be completed by next year’s camp to accommodate SFFMC.

There was considerable discussion of the availability of meals for drop-ins. Some drop-ins had assumed that they could eat when “seconds” were announced. However, the policy, apparently unclear to some, has been that drop-ins without meal tickets should refrain from taking any food or drink from the dining hall. Charlie stressed that early registration is necessary so that Debby can coordinate bulk food purchases and quantities; it is less economical to have to purchase extra food during camp, as has happened this year. He stated that the Harmony Committee had tried different methods of providing meals for everyone, but the only thing that seems to work is limiting meals to registrants. And drop-in fees, which some thought too high, are purposely set at that rate so as to encourage early registration.

Registrar Katie Riemer urged campers to register early to ensure they will get meals, and to let her know as soon as possible if you find you will not be coming to camp after registering.

—Thad Binkley, Recording Secretary; Marian Gade, Corresponding Secretary.

Sam Hinton Moves To Bay Area

Sam Hinton, longtime folk singer, moved to a rest home in the San Francisco Bay area in December to be closer to his daughter, Leanne Hinton, after the death of his wife in 2005.

He was welcomed by a hootenanny in January at the Berkshire Retirement Center in Berkeley, where some thirty musicians, most from the SFFMC, sang and gave tributes to his longtime career. “We’ll sing a song, one of the few that we didn’t learn from Sam,” announced one couple. Hinton sang along with most of the songs that afternoon.

Sam began his career as a folk singer in 1937, singing with his sisters on a popular national radio program, “Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour,” playing seven instruments. He was hired to be part of a troupe that toured the country, and was billed as a folk singer — the first time a performer had been known publicly by that term. He eventually recorded more than a dozen solo albums and played at every major folk festival in the country.

Now at 89, he has moved to a small board and care home in Richmond, where he will have a more appropriate level of care after a fall and subsequent therapy. He is living at Maggie’s Home, 2800 Santa Clara St., Richmond Annex, Richmond CA 94804. He likes visitors, especially those with songs for singing along. Visitors are asked to phone Maggie’s Home at (510) 526-4139 to make sure he is in.


Steel guitar Hall of Famer Tom Morrell, leader of the Time Warp Tophands, passed away on January 29, 2007 after a long illness. Tommy’s musical contribution is immense, his legacy monumental. As well as producing the 15 classic TWT CDs with Texas’ top contemporary talent, Morrell was a first-rate standard guitar player. He led the revival of the steel guitar (with no pedals) in swing music. Artists of Morrell’s stature can never be replaced — only sorely missed and fondly remembered. I urge folknik readers to acquire the TWT collection on WR Records, and enjoy the timeless artistry of my hero, mentor, colleague & friend Tom Morrell. RIP Tommy.

—Don Burnham

Celtic harper Gabriel Carrillo, who lived here in Monte Rio, recently died peacefully of cancer and AIDS. He played his harps, large and small, everywhere in his day. He sang and taught many a song in a multitude of living and dead languages. He ran the Celtic sessions in Guerneville at the Main Street Station for years.

—Sadie Damascus