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 March 14 March 28 April 11 April 25 May 9
Setup Joel Rutledge Jean Oggins Ann Haebig Joel Rutledge Ken Hayes
Bulletin Board Estelle Freedman Debbie Klein Debbie Klein Yvette Tannenbaum Debbie Klein
Host/ess Ann Haebig Pazit Zohar Joe Lavelle Yvette Tannenbaum Paula Joyce
Host/ess Debbie Klein Al Goodwin Paula Joyce Faith Raymond Tseng
Singing Room Paula Joyce Marlene McCall Stephen Hopkins Tes Wellborn Estelle Freedman
Theme Women: for, by, or about* Days & dates April Fool Colors Music
Cleanup Marlene McCall Al Goodwin Al Goodwin Dave Sahn Marlene McCall

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.

at home of Marian Gade

Club News

Julie Bidou celebrates her 90th birthday with a CD of 35 Timeless French Songs and other favorites. Julie has been an active member of SFFMC and a regular contributor at every-other-Friday song swaps at 885 Clayton in San Francisco for 40 years or more. Those who've attended will have heard many of the songs on the CD and will treasure hearing her sing them again. See Reviews for more.

Utah Phillips was going to San Francisco to see about a heart transplant, according to a 2/1 e-mail sent to the Harmony list by Mark Ross. A few days later I e-mailed Mark Ross to see if there was an update. He said that Utah recommended listening to his podcast, On the 2/10 podcast, Utah's wife, Joanna, said there would be no heart transplant, that he was being sent home from the hospital with medications, soon they hoped.

On December 11, Faith Petric and Peter Kessler were interviewed on Pacifica Community Television Station 26 in Pacifica. The program consisted of questions and answers about the activities of the San Franciso Folk Music Club: our four annual campouts; the monthly Saturday Hootenannies; Friday Song Swaps; the folknik and the Free Folk Festival. The interview was interspersed with illustrative songs.

Open Jams at Central Perk

The open jams at Central Perk on Wednesdays will now start at 7:30. This event welcomes acoustic instruments, primarily strings, playing bluegrass, folk, old timey, fiddle music, swing, trad, and country. 10086 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA (Cross street Central Ave., same block as Cerrito Theater.) 510-558-7375. Free.


EnChantMent singing group meets one Thursday evening each month 7-9 p.m. in Santa Rosa. All singers welcome. For details contact or call (707) 322-7778 or (707) 824-9318


Fiddlekids 2008, now in its 11th year, is a summer camp for children 7-13 years of age, to be held June 23-27, 2008, at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, offering a joyful one-week immersion in fiddle music, with dance and art as well. See for all the information and to download all the forms.

We are excited about our new collaboration with Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse! Questions. Bobbi Shearn Nikles, director of Fiddlekids, c/o Freight & Salvage 510-848-2112,

SFFMC General Meeting

The General Meeting was called to order at 12:05 p.m. on 12/30/07 at Camp Harmony by President Ed Hilton. Ed gave some general information about the SFFMC, its events and its camps, then made a pitch for volunteers for the San Francisco Free Folk Festival. After giving this general information, Ed then turned the meeting over to Charlie Fenton of the SFFMC Camp Harmony Committee.

Possible new camp for Camp Harmony:

Charlie gave a short history of Harmony from Forest Knolls camps in the mid-1970s to the present. The Club has been at Camps Campbell and Harmon for the last 24 years.

He also reported problems that have developed at Camps Campbell and Harmon over the last few years or so, including a complete change of staff this year.

As a result, the Harmony Committee is considering a move to a new camp, Camp Newman, a Reformed Judaism camp located on Wilson Road and Porter Creek Road north of Santa Rosa. Charlie then gave a Power Point presentation with information and pictures of the camp. Some of the features of this camp are:

Current Camp Harmony registration report:

Charlie then turned the meeting over to Katie Riemer, the camp registrar. Katie reported: pre-registration was up by 10% -- there were 174 pre-registrants this time. There were 5 or 6 cancellations; the number of drop-ins is down to less than half of last year; therefore, at this moment, the Club is not quite breaking even this year, but not as bad as last year. An update will be issued after camp when the final count has been prepared. Donations will be accepted. Many things went better this year than they did last year.

Meeting adjourned 1:05 p.m.

Thad Binkley, Recording Secretary

with notes by Marian Gade, Corresponding Secretary

Constance Taylor Interview

By Linda Lewin

A delightful new voice was heard at the Songwriter's Showcase at last June's Free Folk Festival: that of Constance Taylor, a member of the SFFMC for over a decade. Her phrasing was smooth and her lyrics articulate as she sang several of her own songs, accompanying herself on the guitar, with backup by Jennifer Woodward. Included in the performance were "Marijuana Madness," "Come On, Come On," an activist rant, and "Ain't It Somethin' Like the Blues?"

Constance has found inspiration for her writing from Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and other folk-era songwriters, as well as classical melodies she heard her father play on the piano while growing up. Her greatest love has always been musical theater. She wrote a one-act musical play in college, and in the last few years has written several songs for a musical version of "Streetcar Named Desire."

"Melody is always of prime importance," says Constance. "Sometimes, often when listening to music, a line of melody with a lyric comes to me and I jot it down. That's the beginning of a song. Simple melodies seem to flow like water once I start writing, but the words usually take longer, with a lot more effort," she says.

Constance began writing songs and singing them at the age of four, when she composed both music and lyrics and her father wrote them down for her. She started cello lessons at eight, and continued through college and beyond, but gave it up when she started seriously writing songs and studying guitar. Just recently she started cello lessons again and says it's all coming back very quickly!

In her early song-writing years in New York, Constance supported herself for two years by singing on the Staten Island Ferry. She also sang in clubs and coffee houses in Greenwich Village, where she was a member of the Coop, a musicians' cooperative. Every month the musicians put out a "musical magazine," a record with a text insert, and Constance appears on one of those along with Suzanne Vega and others. The country music capital, Nashville, attracted Constance and she went there for six months, where she sang on "Bobby Jones Gospel," a Black Gospel TV show, which was, at the time, the number one TV show in South Africa. After returning to New York, she met songwriter Bill Ring and performed and recorded with him in a folk-rock group, Ironwood, and a spinoff duo, Cool Dolphin.

Besides folk ballads, Constance writes rock, country, bluesy jazz, swing-style and early jazz songs. She appears regularly with the San Francisco Starlight Orchestra, a1920s & 1930s jazz band, and with the Apollo Jazz Group, a swing band. Constance is working on her 3rd solo CD, the first two being "Lady in Waiting" and "Ten Years Before."

In addition to singing, Constance loves to dance, especially at festivals around the Bay Area. Her study of Isadora Duncan-style dancing has recently landed her a spot in the San Francisco company, "Mary Sano and her Duncan Dancers." Take a look at Constance's web page and blog at

Harmony Lost & Found

These are items that were left at Camp Harmony. If any of these belong to you, please contact Nick Holbrook at (415) 328-3790 or by email to