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.
|Date||March 11||March 25||April 8||April 22||May 6|
|Setup||Melissa Sarenac||Melissa Sarenac||Faith Petric||Bob Allen||Bob Allen|
|Bulletin Board||Rick Myers||Debbie Klein||Jenni Woodward||Jean Oggins||Estelle Freedman|
|Host/ess||Melissa Sarenac||Forest MacDonald||Forest MacDonald||Debbie Klein||Helen Parker|
|Host/ess||Tes Wellborn||Debbie Klein||Marisa Malvino||Mark O'Harps||Pazit Zohar|
|Singing Room||Estelle Freedman||Melissa Sarenac||Debbie Klein||Stephen Hopkins||Tes Wellborn|
|Theme||Song of, for, by and about women||Spring||Shapes & Sizes||Transportation||The Outdoors|
|Cleanup||Joe Lavelle||Forest MacDonald||Bob Dunn||Morgan Cowin||Marlene McCall|
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, April 25 at home of Marian Gade,
Peter Kasin, long-time folk club member and ranger at the Hyde Street chanteys, was married in a September 5th ceremony in Oakland to Susan Walsh. They met three years ago at the Starry Plough Irish music session, where they both play and sing.
Every year we receive a New Year card from the Tokyo Folklore Center in Tokyo. This year was no exception. Our “Happy New Year 2011” from Kiyohide Kunizaki is here! Incidentally, while mistakes in any project are inevitable, it’s interesting that one was made in the case of the Tokyo Folklife Center. Although the Center pays its dues annually and was not in arrears at the time we sent letters asking people about getting the folknik, one such letter was sent to them. They apparently took this to be a dues reminder and sent an additional $10 check. Perhaps it was assumed they must be getting a free copy simply because they are overseas.
Folk Club members may remember Johnny Harper, who did a great job as leader of the house band and lead guitarist in the SF Hootenanny tribute to The Band in 2009. Johnny returns to the Café International (508 Haight St., SF) with a solo performance on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 pm.
Johnny’s solo show is a virtual tour of American roots-music idioms, from early blues and traditional folk ballads to rockabilly, deep-South soul music, funky New Orleans R&B, unusual versions of classics by Dylan and The Band, plus powerful original songs in all these styles! He accompanies himself with complex, exciting electric and acoustic guitar parts and hot solos, tells fascinating stories about the history of the songs – and always gets the audience singing along.
Please contact Nick Holbrook at 415-328-3790 or
Dear Beloved Special Friends
(and you know who you are):
To parody a well-known line from the good Mr. Dickens, it was the worst of weeks, it was the best of weeks. Missing Harmony 2010 was not on my agenda, and neither was being stranded at a major New York airport for two days, unable to get where I wanted to go or even, for a few hours, making it home either.
So when, on Friday afternoon, New Year’s Eve, around 2:30, the phone rang, I little expected to happen what indeed did happen. When a number of voices at the other end said, rather loudly, “Harmony,” I felt an emotion very hard to describe: part warmth, part magic, and part wonder, to hear friends calling to cheer me up and say hello from Harmony and wish me a happy holiday season and tell me I was indeed missed at camp.
Until then I’d been feeling depressed and very frustrated at what had happened. For the next 15 minutes, what followed made me realize that music is indeed in all of us and everywhere at once. In fact, music was indeed part of the call, for I was asked to sing a song, and I sang a traditional piece, “The King,” in honor of the wren as king of the birds. In return, they sang me a John Denver song, which, oddly enough, I was planning to sing in Melissa’s John Denver workshop, had I actually been at camp to do so. Music is indeed part of story and vice versa, something I have always affirmed, and no more so than during that magical phone call.
Yes, indeed, I did miss all those things making Harmony special: standing in line at mealtimes, talking and singing with friends old and new, listening to good music at the nightly dances, the nightly sings and ballad swaps, Saturday afternoon’s Barleycorn, the no-talent concert Saturday evening, the impromptu jams both in and out of doors, and so much more that indeed makes Harmony what it is.
So, many thanks to those who made that Friday afternoon, for a few minutes, something I will always remember. Harmony 2011 or bust.
Later the same day, I received a second phone call from Camp Harmony. This one was specifically from Amelia Hogan, Irish singer extraordinary, and one of the West Coast’s best musical treasures. She told me what was happening at camp and, in her own words, sent warm hugs and wishes that I were there and not back here in the wintry snow. And once again, it was almost as if I could hear all the wonderful music and magic taking place in the hills that special and wondrous week.
Always loving and grateful,
P.S. Also, many thanks to the musical mavens who run pages 5 and 6 for including two songs in the last issue by one of Canada’s finer singers and songwriters, Bill Gallaher. His “Last Battle,” the powerful, poignant and tragic story of the métis’ attempt to be free and control their own destiny, has been part of my repertoire for years, and shows quite amply how music, story and history can truly come together. Let’s have more of his songs in future folkniks to come.
Ninety-one-year-old folk legend Pete Seeger won a Grammy Award on February 13. His album “Tomorrow’s Children” with The Rivertown Kids, produced by Appleseed Records, won in the category Best Musical Album for Children. Collaborators of the album also included Dar Williams and Pete’s wife Toshi.
According to the record label, “When Beacon fourth-grade teacher Tery Udell invited Clearwater educator and singer Dan Einbender to teach her students about the Hudson, class sessions became songfests, and where there are songs, there’s Pete. He became a regular visitor to the kids’ classroom in 2007. The classroom gatherings led to a series of recordings by Pete, Dan, musician and CD co-producer (with Dan) David Bernz, the children as well as adult musicians, high schoolers and even fourteen grammar school percussion students.”
by DJ Hamouris
We’re starting a new series of weekly classes for beginning mountain dulcimer students at the Freight & Salvage: Mountain Dulcimer I, starting Monday, March 7, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.; and Mountain Dulcimer II, also starting March 7, 7:00 to 8:15 p.m.
Details at www.freightandsalvage.org.
Dulcimer students are always entitled to one half-price private lesson and invitations to dulcimer jams. Feel free to contact me at 510/910-2574 if you need assistance in finding an instrument or have questions about dulcimers and lessons.
Longtime SFFMC member Ron Adams died Saturday, January 22 at Eskaton Manzanita at the age of 78 from complications of pneumonia. He had battled Parkinson’s disease for several years.
Ron attended Camp Harmony and other campouts for many years, taping concerts and bringing his children along. He played dobro and autoharp.
Besides loving music, he was an avid motorcycle racer, having garnered numerous trophies. His other interests included cross-country skiing, white water canoeing, airplanes, sailing, traveling, hiking, backpacking, and camping.
He is survived by his partner of 25 years, Jane Jackson; his daughter, Julie Horrigan; two grandchildren and four step-children.
A service was held in Citrus Heights on January 28.
The Vaughan Williams Library has mounted online the first batch of printed material donated to the library by Leslie Shepard, the expert on the British broadside trade, at catalogue.efdss.org/. When completed, the catalogue will be a major bibliographic resource in the library, which has the best collection of folk song and dance material in Britain.
A schedule of concerts by skilled performers and bands that feature folk, pop, and country songs of yesteryear is planned at a major Oakland country club on a weekend basis. If you play or sing folk or country music in the style of Peter Paul & Mary, The Weavers, Bud & Travis, The Chad Mitchell Trio, The Highwaymen, Judy Collins or Joan Baez, contact Alan at or (510) 728-0982 with your performance background. We’ll discuss business arrangements only after a review of your musical genre and instrumental skills. Thank you.
Backup editors, especially for pages 4, 7, and 1 and 8.
Basic requirements: computer, knowledge of e-mail, and experience with page layouts, on word processors or page layout programs.
Requirements vary slightly for each page. If you’re interested and qualified, contact Phyllis Jardine at