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Waterman Creek for Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we return to Waterman Creek. This beautiful site among the redwoods is in Santa Cruz County on the way to Big Basin State Park, about an hour and a half from the Bay Area. We'll have the usual campfire sings and jams - but without the usual 10:00 PM curfew imposed by state parks.

FACILITIES: There are spaces throughout the 7.5 acres of woods for parking and tents, including two spaces where RVs can connect to electricity. In case of inclement weather, we can use a shelter which is 30 feet in diameter and has a roof and walls. Portable toilets will be provided.

Water is available. Bring food and regular camping equipment, including tables and chairs - also instruments. Garbage can be recycled, burned, used for compost or carried out.

WORK PARTY: We will organize a work party to help get the site ready. People who want to help with this can come as early as Wednesday and may camp free of charge for the days they are helping. Contact Donna Scarlett, at or 415-321-0835, for more INFO.

REGISTRATION: Please make reservations ahead of time for directions and to give an estimate of attendees We are camping on land owned by SFFMC member Mark Levy, and parking is limited - about 20 vehicles. Car pools are advisable. Registration blank is below. It is not necessary to be a folk club member to attend.

MAPS: People who pre-register receive a confirmation sheet with a map and exact directions to the site. If you register by mail, please send it in time to be received by May 15. This allows time for the map and confirmation sheet to reach you. If you need a map, please contact Donna Scarlett (contact INFO above) or Ed Hilton at or 510-523-6533.

For a printable registration form, click here

33rd Annual Free Folk Festival

SFFMC's wonderful, one-of-a-kind folk music and dance event is better than ever, June 13-14! This year we'll be at the very inviting Presidio Middle School near Geary and 30th Avenue, San Francisco. There is lots of open space for jamming and the layout will be more compact than last year’s.

Tell your pals and help us get the word out! This is a totally (and we mean totally) community-run, all-volunteer festival. Let us know what you want. If there’s a kind of music performance or workshop you’d like to see more of, please drop us a line.


Our space is limited—we literally turn down hundreds of performers each year. And we only book music we hear first. The best way is to have us hear you via an online sample. If you prefer to send a CD or press package, please contact us at for a mailing address. Out-of-towners, please realize that we are a FREE festival; we can't pay travel or any other expenses. Please make sure you are actually able to be here before you commit.

If you are interested in leading a music or dance workshop, please email or, appropriately. Prior years’ festivals have seen more than 60 great music and dance workshops, of all levels, led by experienced teachers from our local community and beyond.


We need a small army of volunteers to make the festival run smoothly. If you’re interested, contact Volunteering is always fun and opportunities are numerous and varied. And just so you don’t think it’s all work and no play, volunteers have been known to get jam sessions going at instrument check, at the INFO desk, in the parking lot....

For more INFO, regularly updated lists of performers and workshops, past years’ information, and photos: (There is also more contact information listed in Club News.) See you at the Festival!

Fold-in/Folk Sing April 26

The fold-in is at noon, Sunday, April 26, at the home of Marian Gade, 136 Highland Blvd., Kensington, 510-524-9815. The more, the merrier. Help with the folknik, enjoy a meal afterwards, and make music. Bring a potluck dish and instruments.

Anything Goes!

Saturday, April 4th, join The Anything Goes Chorus for its 28th Annual Concert. Celebrate Bay Area diversity through song! Ellen Robinson directs a combined group of her San Francisco and Oakland choruses in a variety of jazz, Broadway & pop songs, sometimes performed with the sprinkling of props and choreography. The show is at 7:30 PM, at the First Congregational Church, 2501 Harrison, Oakland. Tickets are $15.00.For more INFO:

California Coast Music Camp

California Coast Music Camp (CCMC) offers two sessions this summer, July 13-18 and July 19-25, in the Sierra Foothills. Instructors include Lisa Aschmann, Steve Baughman, Ray Bierl, Evo Bluestein, Mike Compton, Will Galison (of Youtube "Takin' it Back with Barack, Jack!" fame), Chris Grampp, Sylvia Herold, James Hill, Tony Marcus, Scott Nygaard, and Julian Smedley, among others.

CCMC provides small group instruction in guitar, mandolin, ukulele, bass, voice, fiddle, banjo, percussion, and songwriting in a variety of styles - folk, blues, bluegrass, swing, jazz, and Brazilian. There are also around-the-clock jams, song circles, open mikes, concerts, workshops, and dances, time to swim, relax, and meet new people. In its 18th year, CCMC is known for excellence in teaching and commitment to encouraging students to play to the best of their ability, whatever their level. There are still spaces available for this summer. INFO:,

Hootenanny Nights

SF's next Hootenanny night is March 14, at the Cafe International, 7:00-10:30ish PM. For INFO: This month, two dynamic duos and more.

Modern Music Recording

It's a great time to be alive if you're an amateur musician who wants to record your music, either at home or in a live setting.

Consider... When I started recording my songs in the late seventies, semi-professional recording used analog recording tape, running at 15 inches per second. At that speed, a 10 and 1/2” reel of tape gave roughly 45 minutes of recording time. Professional recording tape cost a fair chunk of change. A significant amount of time was wasted while the tape was rewound for over-dubbing. If you wished to bounce tracks on a multi-track machine you had to remember not to bounce to adjacent tracks. My tape recorders weighed 50 pounds each, which made on-location recording challenging. There were also issues of machine maintenance and of media longevity. In addition with excessive over-dubbing and copying you could hear a degradation in sound fidelity. At the time, I used two tape recorders; a four track and a two track. Both used DBX noise reduction to reduce tape noise. Back then my primary use for the two channel recorder was to mix the four channel down to stereo. Thinking back, I had a lot of fun recording using that medium.

Fast forward to the present... Today, the functions of both tape recorders (and more) are combined in a single unit weighing around twenty pounds. The noise reduction units are no longer needed. Bouncing to adjacent tracks is not a problem (at least with the machine that I have) and the maintenance tasks are a thing of the past. Rewinding is now measured in milliseconds (or less) and so over-dubbing tends not to get in the way of the creative process. And because the machine weighs so little, it's convenient to use for on-location recording. In my specific case, it takes about five minutes longer to plug in the recorder when I'm setting up my PA system. The machine records at CD quality and has a built in CD burner. Compared to magnetic tape, CD-Rs are cheap. And what's really cool about the medium is that there is no loss in fidelity as long as the recording and mix-down is kept in the digital domain.

Had somebody suggested to me in the late seventies that I would be able to make multi-track digital recordings that I could mix down to stereo and then make multiple copies I could distribute without any loss in fidelity I would have been incredulous. But here we are. As I said, it's truly a great time to be alive if you're an amateur musician who wants to record your music.

—Bob Keller