Thank You For Being Part Of The 35th Annual Woodstock Folk Festival — Reimagined

By Carol Obertubbesing, Board President, Woodstock Folk Festival

Thanks so much for joining us for the 35th Annual Woodstock Folk Festival — Reimagined. We greatly appreciated your participation and support. If you missed the Festival or want to watch some or all of it again or share it with friends, just go to our website, woodstockfolkfestival.org. You can click on the green button on the upper right of any page, find it in the Video Gallery, or go directly to it on this Gallery page.  There’s also the option of watching just the All-Sing Finale again. 

Donations

The Woodstock Folk Festival is grateful for your donations. If you haven’t yet donated, please consider a donation to help us cover expenses for this year’s Festival and help us bring you next year’s Festival. You can use the “Donate” button at the top right of every page on our website. 

We hope you will also support the performers directly by going to their websites, all listed on the Festival’s Gallery page, and buying their CDs, joining their Patreon or other platforms, and donating to them. 

Upcoming Programs

Please watch our Woodstock Wednesdays each week, tune in for special posts and music during our celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S. next month, and continue to check News and the Calendar on our website for updates on future events.  To get current information delivered straight to you each week, sign up for the email list on our website via the subscription box on the upper right of the home page.

Looking Forward to the 36th Annual Woodstock Folk Festival

Mark your calendars now for the 36th Annual Woodstock Folk Festival on Sunday, July 18, 2021, Noon to 6pm, back on Woodstock Square. We hope the following performers will be able to join us on the Main Stage next year:  Meghan Cary, Cielito Lindo Family Band, Fendrick & Peck, Joe Jencks, Megon McDonough, Pete Morton, Katherine Rondeau, and Jon Shain and FJ Ventre, along with Ashley & Simpson at the Open Mic Stage and a Blues Workshop with Jon Shain. We’ll present our Lifetime Achievement Award to Megon McDonough and our “Woody” Awards to Ray Beth, Lilli Kuzma, and Chuck VanderVennet. 

And remember, keep the “Power of Song” in your heart and take it with you wherever you go.

Stay safe and be well.

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Woodstock Wednesdays | Online Folk Music Concerts | Natalia Zukerman | August 5, 7pm/CDT

Join the Woodstock Folk Festival weekly for great music. We are excited to present Woodstock Wednesdays, a way to bring the best in Folk music to our community and to enjoy and support performers who have worked with us over the years. If you are not on our mailing list, please sign up using the Mailing List signup in the right column of our website.

The video premieres HERE at 7pm/CDT Wednesday, August 5. It will remain in our Gallery after the show if you would like to see it again or share with friends and family.

Featured Performer: Natalia Zukerman

Natalia performed at our Woodstock Folk Festival in 2009 and is very involved in Women’s Music. She is kicking off our month-long celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, the third and final anniversary from our “Power of Song” concert.

Musician, painter and educator Natalia Zukerman grew up in New York City, studied art at Oberlin, started her mural business Off The Wall in San Francisco, began her songwriting career in Boston, and now resides, writes, plays, teaches and paints in Brooklyn, NY. Having released seven independent albums on Weasel Records and her own label Talisman Records, Zukerman has toured internationally as a solo performer since 2005.

Her music can be heard on the soundtrack of several seasons of The L Word and ABC Family’s Chasing Life. She also created the score for The Arch of Titus, an independent film created for Yeshiva University and a Harvard online course called Poetry in America.

Throughout her career as a touring musician, she has accompanied and opened for some of acoustic music’s greats such as Janis Ian, Willy PorterSusan WernerErin McKeownShawn ColvinAni DiFrancoRichard ThompsonTom Paxton, Garnet Rogers and many others.

Alongside her touring career, Zukerman continues to paint private and public murals as well as illustrate children’s books, design and paint sets for plays in New York City and paint private portrait commissions. In February, 2017, Natalia became a Cultural Diplomat for the US Department of State, playing concerts and conducting workshops with her group The Northern Lights throughout Africa.

Natalia teaches private songwriting lessons and has taught at Rocky Mountain Song School, Sisters Song SchoolRed Rocks Womens Music FestivalWinnipeg Folk FestivalInterlochen Summer Music Program and other festivals and locations throughout the US and in Canada. In May 2018, she was the artist in residence at the cell theatre in New York City where she developed her multimedia one woman show, The Women Who Rode Away. She has since released the soundtrack and accompanying book of the show and has toured throughout North America in support of that project.

“…this is simply one of the most compelling and riveting events we have ever hosted on The Extended Play Sessions. It speaks of empowerment, struggle, tolerance, perseverance and history and the timeliness of this project could not be more poignant. A woman, seated alone on a stage, paying tribute to women…with beauty, style, grace and a boatload of talent!” ~ Bill Hurley, Producer, The Extended Play Sessions

To watch two promo videos for The Women Who Rode Away go to nataliazukerman.com. Natalia’s poignant personal reflections, music, and art will move you!

“Natalia’s voice could send an orchid into bloom while her guitar playing can open a beer bottle with its teeth.” ~ New Yorker

“… a wise mix of rootsy styles from torch blues to country swing. If you’re a fan of Madeleine Peyroux, Bonnie Raitt or even Amy Winehouse, you’ll find stuff to connect with here.” ~ Philadelphia Daily News

Donations

Please visit performer websites to purchase their CDs and other merchandise and to donate to them. With all their gigs cancelled, they need your support. Your donations and purchases are a great way to thank Natalia Zukerman for creating this Woodstock Wednesday’s video! –nataliazukerman.com. You can purchase books and art work including pet paintings on Natalia’s site.

You may also donate to the Festival via the Donate Button at the top of the right column on every page of this website.

We hope you’ll enjoy the show!

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Celebrating Another 50th Anniversary: The Student Strike of 1970

This is the second of the three anniversaries the Woodstock Folk Festival is commemorating this year. See here for background on Earth Day (April 22).  And stay tuned for information about the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S. (August 18-26). 

Music played an important role in all three movements as shown in our April 5 concert and bibliography (still available on this site) as well as in the music selections mentioned later in this article. 

This article was written by Carol Obertubbesing, President of the Festival, a trained historian, and a participant in the Student Strike of 1970.

NOTE ON EVENTS

WDCB’s Folk Festival show hosted by Lilli Kuzma will feature a special segment on the 50th Anniversary of Kent State and Jackson State on Tuesday night, May 5, between 8-11 p.m./CDT.  Tune in to 90.9FM or wdcb.org.  There will be virtual commemoration events at Kent State on May 4, 2020.  Visit www.kent.edu for details.  Jackson State also scheduled commemorative events and an exhibition. Details are at mshumanities.org

BACKGROUND

The Student Strike began on May 1, 1970, the day after President Richard Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia.  Strike groups sprang up overnight on campuses across the country.  At its peak, students at over 700 college, university, and high school campuses joined the strike. 

On May 4, National Guardsmen killed 4 student protesters and injured more on the campus of Kent State; on May 15, 2 students were killed and others injured when police confronted students at Jackson State College in Mississippi.  The Scranton Commission, appointed by President Nixon to study unrest on college campuses, later found the shootings at Kent State – over 60 shots by Guardsmen –  and Jackson State – 460 shots by police in Jackson – to be “unjustified.”  Both universities now have memorials honoring the victims.  Sadly, many accounts of the anti-war movement mention only Kent State even though at the time we spoke of both events. 

In the ensuing weeks hundreds of thousands of students gathered in Washington and other cities across the country to protest the War, often shutting down ROTC offices on campuses.  In some ways it was a culmination of a decade of change, activism, and growing disillusionment with and protests against the war in Vietnam (or as the Vietnamese now call it “The Resistance War Against America” or “The American War”). 

The 1960s began with the election of America’s youngest (elected) president, John F. Kennedy.  His words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” fueled a decade of activism. 

In a May 1961 address, Kennedy challenged the nation to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.  He didn’t live to see that happen but it did happen on July 20-21, 1969.  Exploration of space fired people’s imaginations and made many people, particularly young people, feel that anything was possible.  It was a time of great hope and optimism.  The Voting Rights Acts and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs helped people attain things they had not had before.  With Vatican II, the Catholic Church was changing and there was a growing ecumenism.  Books such as The Man inspired people to talk about issues previously beneath the surface.  New teaching methods were implemented.  Women’s rights and gay rights began to be discussed and even reached pop culture.  There were new directions in literature, music, art, dance, and theater.  Experimentation became the norm rather than the exception. 

Yet there was a dark undercurrent as well.  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in April 1968; and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, in June 1968.  Cities experienced turmoil and riots broke out across the country – from Newark to Detroit to Watts.  Students began to protest – demonstrations at Columbia University in NY; University of Wisconsin in Madison; and then in 1970 all over the country.  Large scale demonstrations such as the 1963 March on Washington in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream Dream” speech and draft card burnings turned the attention of the nation to issues of civil rights, social justice, and the growing peace movement. Sometimes families were torn apart because of opposing opinions.  We were an angry nation as well as a nation of dreamers. 

Against this backdrop came the Student Strike of 1970.

A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE STUDENT STRIKE OF 1970

In September 1969, I stepped onto campus as a member of the first coed freshmen class in Princeton University’s history.  Princeton is one of the most idyllic campuses. There are many beautiful gothic buildings interspersed among quadrangles where students played frisbee, and “In A Gadda Da Vida” blasted from open dorm windows on warm days.  The sweet scent of magnolias was in the air.  Whig Hall which burned in the fall was being repaired and a construction wall had painted images such as a sun rising in the morning.  It was a time of discovery and new horizons but never more so than for a freshman girl who had grown up in the most densely populated city in the country and arrived at this storied university. 

I had been a supporter of the Vietnam War in early ’68 but by later that year, after seeing violence against students on the Columbia campus and violence against demonstrators at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, and after reading about teach-ins on the war, I had changed my mind.  Yet as I struggled socially, academically, and financially in 1969-1970, politics was not uppermost in my mind.  However, when President Nixon, who had pledged to end the war during his 1968 campaign, expanded the war by invading Cambodia, my interest in politics and in effecting change was reawakened.  Classes were cancelled or discussions turned to current events.  Many members of the Class of 1970 traded caps and gowns for black armbands, some with the peace symbol.   

While Princeton had campus demonstrations, particularly at the nearby Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), it had avoided the extreme violence that some campuses had seen.  President Robert Goheen encouraged an atmosphere of dialogue so when the strike began, there was a convocation of the campus community – administrators, faculty, staff, and students — at Jadwin Gym.  Three major groups formed on the Princeton campus. 

The first, the Student Strike Committee, was, at least in my mind, the most radical; they wanted change on many fronts, not just the war.  I felt that they had such a broad agenda that they would spread themselves too thin and not be able to accomplish any specific goals. 

Another committee was the Movement for a New Congress which sought to effect change through the electoral process.  If we elected different representatives, we could change the nation’s course.  The fall break at Princeton, where students could return to their hometowns to work for candidates for a week before the election (and some vote themselves), was the result of this.  At the time, students felt disenfranchised.  Young men could be drafted at 18 but couldn’t vote until they were 21.  Since elections usually came during the semester, many students couldn’t return home and because their dorm address wasn’t considered a permanent address, they couldn’t vote where they went to school.  Movement for a New Congress sought to change that.

The third organization founded on the Princeton campus was the Union for National Draft Opposition (UNDO).  This organization, in my mind, had a specific and more achievable goal.  Since many boys in my public high school didn’t go on to college and were subject to the draft, I saw a disparity and injustice.  If they did object to going to war (for political, moral, or religious reasons), they often would not know where to get help.  By pamphleting draft boards, speaking at schools, and providing counseling, I believed we could help them.  More radical leaders in this movement included Father Philip Berrigan, his brother Father Daniel Berrigan, and other members of the Catonsville Nine as well as the Chicago Seven.  There were some violent incidents during the anti-war demonstrations and draft protests, but most were peaceful.   

There have been drafts throughout American history, but the 1940-1973 draft began with the Selective Training and Service Act and was the country’s first peacetime draft.  Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. military drafted over 2 million American men.  Thousands of men, including the late singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, fled the country, many to Canada.  The lottery established in 1969 strengthened the anti-war movement. The draft ended in 1973. 

The University gave us office space in Palmer Hall and we immediately began to set up an office – everything from learning how to set up a postage meter for bulk mailings to giving talks to the community to traveling to Washington for demonstrations to setting up chapters at colleges and university across the country.  From schools such as Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY to the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR, we communicated, by phone and mail (no internet or email nor cellphones in those days), with colleagues across the country.  Occasionally we sent speakers and organizers to those other colleges.  I met community members from organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee, the War Resisters League, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  The walls between the University and the community were coming down.  As a symbol of that, the University’s Fitzrandolph Gate was opened and has stayed open ever since.

It was a “heady” time — yes, for some people that meant smoking grass and taking drugs — but for others such as myself, it was a time of learning, of new ideas, of new paradigms.  My mind was exploding.  I remember long rap sessions at night talking about politics, music, books, poetry – and almost any other topic under the sun.  Living with a group of 10 people in a house we rented near the campus so we could continue to work during the summer was my first experience of living outside my family home.  I feared my father, a World War II veteran, would disown me but he didn’t.  I realized later that for some people who fought in wars, they fought for a cause, but they didn’t want to see any more war.  I did have friends who were disowned by their parents – some lost all financial as well as emotional support.   

As I was living this important part of American history, my personal history was changing too.  I met another UNDO staff member, Mike Epstein, then a junior at Princeton.  On June 10 there were major demonstrations around the country, I demonstrated outside the draft board in Trentons, NJ; Mike went to Washington, where he was held up at knifepoint while sleeping with hundreds of others in a church. 

In late June the organization needed two people to go to Milwaukee for a conference featuring David Dellinger.  We stayed in the home of faculty members – this is long before the days of Air bnb.  That trip was the beginning of a relationship that lasted over 40 years.  Years later when Dave Dellinger spoke at the Chicago History Museum, we went to hear his talk and afterwards told him that our marriage was an unintended consequence of the Student Strike.  We all laughed and he had some kind words for us.  I recommend reading his book, From Yale to Jail. 

After the conference we hitchhiked to Madison to visit some of Mike’s friends who took us to my first folk concert.  People were sitting all around one of the lakes singing songs of peace, love, and freedom.  My love of folk music began at that moment.   

Popular slogans included “Hell No I Won’t Go” and “Just Say No” (a friend has a famous poster that says, “Girls Say Yes to Boys Who Say No”). 

That summer we’d spend nights working in the office — I, preparing documents and handling mailings – he, learning to play guitar in between his projects.  He taught me the music of Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, and Bob Dylan.  In the mornings, we would get up at 4 to protest at the draft board in Newark.  With our roommates at the house, we’d listen to music from Cream to Jacques Brel; we’d share poems with each other; we’d stay up into the wee hours of the morning talking about politics and life.  It was a time of finding the energy to do things we might otherwise have thought impossible.

When histories of the 60s are written, they often focus on “drugs, sex, and rock and roll” or “flower power.”  They usually fail to capture the tremendous optimism of the 60s – the sense that “yes, we can change the world.”  Perhaps that’s why Barack Obama’s campaign slogan “Yes We Can” resonated with many of us “baby boomers.”  It was also a time when young people came together, put their energy and hearts into these issues, and worked tirelessly – at least for a few years — to achieve these lofty goals.  What did we achieve?

LEGACY

The draft ended in 1973.

The voting age was changed from 21 to 18.  If young people were asked to go to war, shouldn’t they have a say in the people who made those decisions? The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving citizens 18 years of age or older the right to vote, was ratified in July 1, 1971, just a little over a year from the time the Student Strike began, the fastest time an amendment to the Constitution had been ratified. 

Rules changes opened up the political conventions. 

Issues beginning to be discussed in the 60s came to the forefront and both laws and attitudes have changed as a result of that.  Women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, environmentalism (everything  from organic farming to vegetarianism to climate change), concerns about fitness and health, and social justice issues, received more attention in the years since 1970. 

THE ROLE OF MUSIC

Music brought people together – it’s hard to sit in a song circle and hate the person sitting across from you.  It highlighted the issues, provoked thought, moved us to actions — sometimes in a serious way such as Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” or Phil Ochs’ “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” sometimes in a more humorous way such as Phil Ochs’ “Draft Dodger Rag,”  sometimes in provocative songs such as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and  other times in beautiful songs such as “Get Together.”  I encourage you to listen to these songs as well as the following to try to capture the thought and spirit of the time. 

  • “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – written by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings
  • “Kent” by Magpie (the duo of Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner) on their album Give Light; Terry Leonino is a survivor of the Kent State shootings
  • Dave Brubeck’s cantata “Truth is Fallen” was dedicated to the slain students of Kent State and Jackson State and other innocent victims
  • Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”
  • Steve Miller’s “Jackson-Kent Blues”
  • Bruce Springsteen’s “Where Was Jesus in Ohio?”
  • Barbara Dane’s “The Kent State Massacre”
  • “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin-to-Die” by Country Joe and the Fish
  • “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield
  • “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” by Joan Baez
  • “The Universal Soldier” by Buffy Sainte-Marie (also a hit for Donovan)
  • “Bring ‘Em Home” by Pete Seeger
  • “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon
  • “Masters of War” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan
  • “War” by Edwin Starr

OTHER RESOURCES

You may also wish to check out:

  • The Cost of Freedom: Voicing a Movement after Kent State 1970, an anthology that includes poetry, personal narratives, photographs, songs, and testimonies, some written by eyewitnesses to the day of the shootings. 
  • The 1981 movie Kent State focused on the four students who were killed. 
  • In 2000, Kent State: The Day the War Came Home, a documentary featuring interviews with injured students, eyewitnesses, guardsmen, and relatives of students killed at Kent State, was released.

CONCLUDING THOUGHT

For most of us – no matter what generation – there is a soundtrack to our lives, but perhaps there was never a time when that soundtrack was so inextricably mixed with the burning issues of that time. 

Posted in Reflections & Memories | Leave a comment

Happy Earth Day! 50th Anniversary, Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Reflections compiled by Woodstock Folk Festival Board President Carol Obertubbesing

We extend a Happy Anniversary to Festival supporters who also celebrate their anniversaries
on April 22:

  • Amy and Ray Beth
  • Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso
  • Debbie Solomon and Bruce Rosenberg

During the Festival’s recent “Power of Song” concert (still available in the Video Gallery (menu) at https://woodstockfolkfestival.org/aiovg_videos/woodstock-folk-festival-9th-annual-invitational-concert/), we told you we would commemorate three major anniversaries this year:

  • the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S.
  • the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
  • the 50th Anniversary of the Student Strike of 1970

And we will explore the role that music played in all of those movements. Today marks the first of those anniversaries, Earth Day.

We will offer a quiz, some environmental tips, reflections, a poem, suggested songs, and even a recipe for a celebratory AND environmentally conscious drink. We also encourage you to visit www.earthday.org (official site), www.earthrise2020.org, almanac.com, space.com, and www.epa.gov for virtual activities and events, background and educational materials, and other resources.

Non-profit organizations around the country, including the Shedd Aquarium and Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, have online events and resources. Many organizations have devoted much time and effort to this anniversary, only to see their in-person events cancelled. Please help them out by checking out the websites and supporting environmental organizations.

Many of the Festival’s past performers include songs about the environment in their repertoire. The Festival’s co-founder Amy Beth has often participated in Earth Day activities, either solo or with the Kishwaukee Ramblers. The Festival’s 2018 spring benefit concert, “Earthrise,” featured a multitude of songs about our planet. Today’s post is a continuation of the Festival’s history of presenting performers and concerts that feature songs related to the issues of our day.

Earth Day Quiz

  • Who wrote the book that is often considered to be the birth of the modern day environmental movement?
  • Who organized the first Earth Day in 1970?
  • Was there a day focused on the environment before 1970?
  • Which U.S. President established the U.S. Forest Service, as well as creating several National Parks, National Monuments, bird reserves, and game preserves?
  • Was there an environmental movement in the 19th Century and was it connected to the Suffrage Movement?

Read on for answers to these questions:

Background for Earth Day

The early Conservation Movement dates back to the 19th Century with the management of fisheries and wildlife, conservation of water and soil, and protection of forests. John Muir was well known as one of the early environmentalists, but women such as Susan Fenimore Cooper, Graceanna Lewis, Martha Maxwell, Florence Merriam Bailey, Ellen Swallow Richards, and Dr. Alice Hamilton were among the early pioneers in the study of nature and environmentalism; in some cases Women’s Suffrage and environmentalism are linked. You can read more about these women in Rachel Carson and Her Sisters by Robert K. Musil.

The Sierra Club was established in 1892. At the beginning of the 20th Century, President Theodore Roosevelt furthered the cause and brought it to national attention through establishment of the U.S. Forest Service and the creation of numerous National Parks, National Monuments, bird reserves, and game preserves.

Many people credit Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring published in 1962 with the beginning
of the modern day environmental movement. Denis Hayes organized the first Earth Day on
April 22, 1970. Teach-ins and rallies occurred across the country. In 1990 Earth Day went global and led to a U.N. Earth Summit in 1992. In the U.S., public television’s “Operation Earth” outreach campaign in 1990 offered special environmentally-themed programs, including “Race to Save the Planet,” throughout the year, and local stations, working with community organizations and government agencies, presented additional programs, community events, beach and park clean-ups, concerts, and public service announcements. According to some accounts, it is now the world’s most celebrated secular holiday.

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Climate Action.” The United Nations has dedicated numerous years to environmental issues; 2020 is the U.N.’s “International Year of Plant Health.”

Arbor Day, celebrated on April 24, is dedicated to planting and conservation of trees. Some
accounts date this holiday to Spain, with a plantation festival in 1594 and the first modern Arbor Day in 1805. The first American Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1872 and it is now celebrated, usually with tree-planting, on the last Friday in April.

Environmental Tips

  • Save energy and money by turning off lights when you leave a room.
  • Use vinegar, lemon, and baking soda instead of chemical products for cleaning.
  • Choose local, seasonal produce – patronize the local farmers markets, such as the award-winning Woodstock Farmers Market, that open soon.
  • Use less paper and when you do need to use it, try to use recycled paper.
  • Plant a tree or support tree planting and community gardens.
  • Check out environmental organizations’ websites for additional tips.

Celebrate with Poetry and Prose

See the bibliography that is part of the 9th Annual Invitational Concert Video post.

April is National Poetry Month, so here are some ideas for a dual celebration:

  • Mary Oliver wrote many poems about nature; you can read them in books such as American Primitive, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984.
  • Robert Frost also wrote many poems whose themes spring from nature. “Birches” is one such poem.
  • Read Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees.”
  • Here’s a poem by Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Tricia Alexander which reminded me of how our inner selves can spring to life at this time of year. It seemed especially appropriate at this difficult time:

INSPIRATION

By Tricia Alexander (used with permission of the author) – You can purchase Tricia’s books and CDs through her website, https://triciaalexander.org.

inspiration comes more slowly these days
like a brand new spring
bubbling up gently
from some undiscovered depth in me
bringing in its essence
a kind of pure sweetness
and a quiet certainty
that seems to whisper
“she survived”
“she survived”

The Lookout, Myrtle Beach, SC, February 1996

Celebrate with Music

WFF Radio Partner WDCB’s “Folk Festival” show hosted by Lilli Kuzma will feature songs for Earth Day on Tuesday night, April 21, the eve of Earth Day, from 8-11 p.m./CDT on 90.9FM or wdcb.org.  Hour 1 will have the most Earth-Day-oriented songs.  The show is archived for 2 weeks at wdcb.org/archive.

Magpie, the duo of Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, performed at our Festival in 2009.  Many of their songs relate to the environment, but “Living Planet” and “Songs for the Earth” are filled with such songs.  You can listen to Magpie singing “We Belong to the Earth” from Seed on the Prairie on YouTube (there’s also a version with WFF Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Kim and Reggie Harris from the Spoken in Love Concert CD online) and you can purchase their CDs via their website, magpiemusic.com

Songs by many other artists including Malvina Reynolds, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, John Denver, Peter, Paul & Mary, Oscar Brand, and Neil Young; music by the Paul Winter Consort and John Cage; Live Earth Concert from 2007; Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”; and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”

Fun Recipe for Toasting Earth Day

Provided by Joe Jencks (Joe is scheduled to perform at our July 19, 2020 Festival; in the
meantime, check out online concerts and CDs at www.joejencks.com)

Note: I cook improvisationally much of the time. Instinct and experience. The measurements may vary based on the specific grapefruit. All cooking is experimental.

Take the rind/peel from one large grapefruit (with pith and bits of fruit still attached) and cut each half of the rind in half again. Cut those quarters in to 1/4 to 1/3 in. strips. Measure the volume of the rind/skin loosely. Use about 2.5 times that much water — SO for two cups of rind, use maybe four – five cups of water. Bring the rind and water to a boil in a saucepan for about five – ten minutes. Cover and simmer on low for about another 40-45 minutes. Turn off the stove and let it cool covered for an hour or so.

Strain the rind and pith out, reserving the liquid.

Mix 2 cups of liquid and 2 cups of granulated sugar (regardless of volume, a simple syrup is always about 50/50 liquid and sugar). So maybe start small . . . 1 cup of liquid and 1 cup of sugar. Try it first and see if you like it.

On low heat, slowly and occasionally stirring, bring the syrup just barely up to a simmer.  Then turn off the heat and let it cool.

In a pint glass or large water tumbler, mix a tablespoon or two of the syrup with a splash of lime or lemon juice. I prefer Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice. But whatever you use, only a tiny amount/splash is needed. It just brings a little fresh zip in to support the base grapefruit flavor. Add in tap or fizzy water to fill the rest of the glass. It’s all about what tastes good to you . . . so try various strengths of the syrup.

Also try making the citrus rind infusion with more or less water. the next goround if you prefer it stronger or weaker. And of course it depends on the individual fruit. So outcomes vary a little with each kind of fruit. I used one large Ruby Red Grapefruit peel with nice thick skin. 

Refrigerate the leftover unsweetened infusion for making more syrup or for use in the culinary projects. Refrigerate the syrup as well. Because it has sugar and fresh cooked fruit particulate,
and no preservatives, it will stay stable for about a week or two in a glass jar on the counter, but it will eventually start to ferment, unless refrigerated. 

Use the syrup in glazes for fish, poultry, tofu, whatever. Use it in tea. Use it drizzled on a hot buttered scone or biscuit. I made the same sour of syrup with a combination of Clementine & Minneola orange peels, and used that as part of my sauce for a tofu, vegetable and cashew nut stir-fry. That was yummy too!

You can use this basic recipe to make syrup from any citrus peel. I also do this with fresh ginger root. Make the infusion, strain, 50/50 liquid and granulated sugar. Also YUM. And that syrup is very good in stir-fry and other glazes. The ginger syrup REALLY carries depending on the strength of the ginger. You use a few ounces of fresh ginger to about 4-5 cups of water.  That alone with a pinch of sugar makes a marvelous tea/infusion/hot beverage. Experiment and enjoy!

And… Let me know if you think of new variations or uses for these marvelous not-so-simple syrups! (I will note that for those who partake, they are also a marvelous addition to a gin and
tonic).

Slainte! – Joe Jencks.

And STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS ON MAY 9 AND 15 CONCERTS.

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Woodstock Wednesdays | Online Folk Music Concerts | Jack Williams | July 29, 7pm/CDT

Join the Woodstock Folk Festival weekly for great music. We are excited to present Woodstock Wednesdays, a way to bring the best in folk music to our community and to enjoy and support performers who have worked with us over the years.

The video premieres HERE at 7pm/CDT Wednesday, July 29. It will remain in our Gallery after the show.

We know you’ll want to get all the information about who’s performing and how to see the show. If you’re not on our mailing list, please sign up using the Mailing List signup in the right column of our website. 

Featured Performer: Jack Williams

Jack Williams will perform at the virtual Fox Valley Folk Festival over Labor Day weekend. You can find more information at foxvalleyfolk.com.

Jack played at the July 16, 2000 Woodstock Folk Festival. He was so popular that he was invited back to do a guitar workshop and concert. Off Square Music booked Jack to perform in August, 2018. We look forward to a time when we can see and hear Jack in person.

Jack Williams, a South Carolina-born artist, is celebrated by the contemporary U.S. folk community as a singer/songwriter of national stature and an uncommonly unique guitarist whom Sing Out! Magazine describes as “one of the strongest guitarists in contemporary folk.” 

Until COVID-19, Jack had continued to tour the U.S. constantly out of the sheer love of music and performing. Williams has added extremely successful tours of England, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, France and Austria to his list of recent performances at festivals, house concerts and major folk venues. A featured performer on the Philadelphia and Kerrville (TX) main stages, Jack has also appeared on the New Bedford (MA) Summerfest and Boston Folk Festival stages.

In addition to his successful solo career, Jack’s credits include guitar work with legendary singer/songwriters Mickey Newbury, Harry Nilsson, Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow, and Steve Gillette, among others. He currently has a DVD (High Cotton) and seven CDs of original songs on Wind River / Folk Era Records: “Bound for Glory – Live,” “Laughing in the Face of the Blues,” “WALKIN’ DREAMS,” LIVE & In Good Company,” “Eternity & Main,” “Across the Winterline,” and “Dreams of the Song Dog.” His CD “Don’t Let Go” is a collection of cover songs reflecting the major influences on his musical development.

Williams’ music is born at the meeting ground of the traditional and the contemporary – original Southern-American songwriting and performance at its best, drawing deeply from the eclectic well of our musical heritage. Jack’s fusion of guitar, voice and songs – which are loaded with delightful influences from his career in jazz, classical, rock, blues, country and folk – should not be missed.

“…[Jack Williams’] artistry… is nothing short of amazing. Dazzling picking, expressive voice, unique and interesting songs.” ~ Rich Warren, WFMT “Midnight Special”

“…soulful singer and a superb guitarist…” ~ Dick Weissman, Folk Musician, in his book “Which Side Are You On”

And legendary singer/songwriter, Mickey Newbury added,
“Jack and his music are an American treasure.

For further information, please see Jack’s website at JackWilliamsMusic.com

Donations

Please visit performer websites to purchase their CDs and other merchandise and to donate to them. With all their gigs cancelled, they need your support. Your donations and purchases are a great way to thank Jack Williams for creating this Woodstock Wednesdays video! JackWilliamsMusic.com. You can also go directly to Jack’s donation sites: 

“Become a Patron at www.patreon.com/jackwilliams. You can make a recurring donation of any amount you choose, down to $1 per month, to help Jack continue to make music. Thank you, your help is greatly appreciated.

“If you are struggling through this time, please don’t feel pressured to donate – your friendship and support are all we need. But if you are able and would like to help out, you can also donate through PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/jackwilliamsmusic. If that link doesn’t work for you, go to your account at paypal.com and send money to jack@jackwilliamsmusic.com.

You may also donate to the Festival via the Donate Button at the top of the right column on every page of this website.

We hope you’ll enjoy the show!

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News from our Friends at Windborne

We’re gettin’ the band back together!

Ok, we never broke up, but it has been a loooong four months since we’ve seen each other in person, and we are SO thrilled to reconvene at the end of July for a week of singing, swimming, eating, and livestreaming!

Livestream Concert Coming Soon To A Screen Near You

Saturday, Aug 1 on Facebook Live
TWO shows: 1:30 and 6:30pm/CDT
Facebook.com/WindborneSingers/live

On Saturday, August 1 we’ll present TWO shows with different set lists, one at 1:30pm/CDT so our friends in the UK and Europe don’t have to stay up all night, and one at 6:30pm/CDT for our US fans. You can watch either one, of course, or come to both!

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Off Square Music Hosts A New Concert Series

Off Square Music is hosting a new concert series beginning July 26 on the Historic Woodstock Square. The concerts will be held from 5 to 7pm/CDT every Sunday evening for the next 8 weeks. Local bands will be featured, and the event is free.

If you would like to leave a donation for the artists, it would be appreciated. We will practice social distancing, and this is a chance to hear some good live music outside.

Most of the bands are lined up, and the first five weeks are listed below. These are all great bands, offering a wide range of music. The first evening is split between Big Fish and Cheryl & the Downhome Boys.

Off Square Music Schedule — On the Woodstock Square

  • 7/26 – Cheryl & Downhome Boys | Big Fish
  • 8/2 – Sessions Jazz with Al Skaronea
  • 8/9 – LeftOvers
  • 8/16 – Bad Penny
  • 8/23 – Cassandra & Ken Johnson

These are trying times, but good music will help us through!

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Woodstock Wednesdays | Online Folk Music Concerts | Meghan Cary | July 22, 7pm/CDT

Join the Woodstock Folk Festival weekly for great music. We are excited to present Woodstock Wednesdays, a way to bring the best in folk music to our community and to enjoy and support performers who have worked with us over the years.

Here’s the link for the video: https://woodstockfolkfestival.org/aiovg_videos/meghan-cary-woodstock-wednesdays-premieres-july-22-2020-7pm-cdt/. The video will remain in our Gallery after the show.

We know you’ll want to get all the information about who’s performing and how to see the show. If you’re not on our mailing list, please sign up using the Mailing List signup in the right column of our website. 

Featuring Meghan Cary

With masterful storytelling and award-winning songs, Cary engages audiences on a powerfully personal level, inviting them in and leading them through an experience that has been called healing, inspiring and outrageously joyful. A frequent performer at such venerable festivals as Philadelphia Folk Festival, Spring Gulch, Huntington, DelMarVa Folk Festival, and music venues around the country, Cary’s message of unity and the power of raising our voices together infuses every show, and her song, “Sing Louder”, has become an anthem for the music-loving community. Her smoky voice, emotional singing, and vulnerable writing garner favorable comparisons to Melissa Etheridge, Brandi Carlisle, and even Bruce Springsteen. 

Also, be sure to check out the River Rock Project, an independent project by singer/songwriter activist Meghan Cary. Fueled by the desire to film and share Cary’s empowerment anthem, River Rock, and inspired by the compelling story of the Justice Bell and the women who employed this powerful symbol in the fight for women’s right to vote, The River Rock Project shines a spotlight on women who fought for equality throughout history and gives voice to women who are continuing that fight today. Meghan’s engagement with the history of women’s suffrage makes her a perfect lead-in to our month long celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S. next month.

Meghan Cary will open the 2021 Woodstock Folk Festival

What people are saying about Meghan.

“These times require songs of compassion and commitment which inspire us to reach our higher selves and Meghan sings them with such infectious joy you can’t resist joining in.”

— John Platt, WFUV 90.7 FM

“Can the world stand one more storytelling troubadour? If the artist in question is Cary, the answer is resounding yes. Seek this one out.”

— Billboard Magazine

“Meghan Cary, with indefatigable energy, molds every song with sophisticated melodies and intriguing lyrics. “Sing Louder” delivers hard-won, uplifting realizations from life’s struggles. ” – Richard Cuccaro

— Acoustic Live NYC

Donations

Please visit performer websites to purchase their CDs and other merchandise and to donate to them. With all their gigs cancelled, they need your support. Your donations and purchases are a great way to thank Meghan Cary for creating this Woodstock Wednesdays video! https://meghancary.com/

You may also donate to the Festival via the Donate Button at the top of the right column on every page of this website.

We know you’ll enjoy the show!

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Woodstock Wednesdays | Online Folk Music Concerts | Joann & Lee Murdock | July 15, 7pm/CDT

Join the Woodstock Folk Festival weekly for great music, fun and friends. We are excited to present Woodstock Wednesdays, a way to bring the best in folk music to our community and to enjoy and support performers who have worked with us over the years.

Here’s where to enjoy the show when it premieres at 7pm/CDT: https://woodstockfolkfestival.org/aiovg_videos/joann-and-lee-murdock/. The video will remain in our Gallery after the show.

We know you’ll want to get all the information about who’s performing and how to see the show. If you’re not on our mailing list, please sign up using the Mailing List signup in the right column of our website. 

Featuring Lee Murdock

Lee Murdock has uncovered a boundless body of music and stories in the Great Lakes. Taking snapshots from history, his songs summon the listener to take a front-row seat, to look through the eyes and into the hearts of individuals who have shaped our heritage on and around the Great Lakes. His concerts invoke a sense of place, but it is a universal place, and a timeless repertoire that celebrates the North American people, their triumphs and tragedies, work songs and pastimes.

Noted as a fluent instrumentalist on six and twelve string guitars, Murdock combines ragtime, Irish, blues and folk styles with this flair for storytelling in songs. His musical influences span fifteen generations, and combine original compositions with traditional music.

There is an amazing timelessness in this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard word, hard living, ships that go down and ships that come in.

“I’m interested in trying to find the life in these songs; in making music that’s exciting to people today. I am looking for the songs and the interesting stories, not only for the people who already enjoy folk music, but for those who think they don’t like folk music.” Lee Murdock

Lee and Joann Murdock were the recipients of the 2011 Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joann Murdock founded the booking agency, Artists of Note, in 1984, and for more than three decades she has been a dedicated and full-time supporter of the folk arts. In addition to the agency, Joann is a founding member and former Treasurer/Board Member of the Folk Alliance International, and she volunteers her time for many other organizations dedicated to folk music. Not a music maker, Joann plays the computer keyboards and in her spare time she works at fiber arts.

What people are saying about Lee.

“ … bringing a fresh musical sound to the Great Lakes. Not only is he a recording artist, he’s a historian … he has given the Great Lakes the limelight using authentic Great Lakes source material, of the past and the present, as the basis for his music.”— Richard Palmer, in Inland Seas, the Quarterly Journal of the Great Lakes Historical Society (Toledo OH)

“The premier interpreter of songs and tales about the Great Lakes … Murdock’s regionalist approach does the area proud.”— Paul-Emile Comeau, Dirty Linen Magazine

“Your program was our highest attended program or event to date. Our patrons have been raving about your concert! Songs of the great Lakes was entertaining, educational and pure joy!”— St Charles IL Public Library

Donations

Please visit performer websites to purchase their CDs and other merchandise and to donate to them. With all their gigs cancelled, they need your support. Your donations and purchases are a great way to thank Lee and Joann for creating this Woodstock Wednesdays video! http://leemurdock.com/

You may also donate to the Festival via the Donate Button at the top of the right column on every page of this website.

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Woodstock Wednesdays: Amy Beth – July 8, 7pm/CDT

Join the Woodstock Folk Festival weekly for great music, fun and friends. We are excited to present Woodstock Wednesdays, a way to bring the best in folk music to our community and to enjoy and support performers who have worked with us over the years.

Click here to enjoy the concert. The video will remain in our Gallery after the show.

We know you’ll want to get all the information about who’s performing and how to see the show. If you’re not on our mailing list, please sign up using the Mailing List signup in the right column of our website. 

Featuring Amy Beth

Woodstock’s own lady of story and song, Amy Beth, is always doing something to bring people together to share music or reflect on life’s meaning and purpose. An accomplished instrumentalist, singer, teacher, and storyteller, Amy will make you feel good about being alive.

In 1986 Amy Beth founded the annual Woodstock Folk Festival and was the President of the Board of Directors and served as Artistic Director until she retired in 2002. In 2005 she was presented with its fourth annual Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over the years she has learned to play violin/fiddle, clawhammer style 5-string banjo, autoharp, fretless banjo, cello, ukulele, flute, and mandolin. Her repertoire has grown to an impressive number of songs—both serious and humorous—and tunes.

Amy plays violin in the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, and has served on its Board of Directors from 2008 to the present. Amy is a member of the Kishwaukee Ramblers, a trio that plays traditional American and Celtic folk music, children’s songs, and instrumentals. She also performs with the Merrie UkuLadies group.

What people are saying about Amy.

“Amy’s music and stories have graced McHenry County for years. Her humor, environmental consciousness and talent are sure to entertain you.” ~ Jerry Paulson, McHenry County Defenders

“Amy has a clear vocal style and presents a wide variety of music including folk, country, old timey and contemporary humor. She plays guitar, clawhammer banjo, autoharp, fiddle, Appalachian dulcimer, mandolin, bones and percussion. Amy provides individual instruction on many of these instruments.” ~ Woodstock Folk Festival

“She makes it look easy. That takes hard work, …but that’s Amy for you.” ~ Christopher Shaw

More About Amy Beth’s Activities

Amy holds a regular monthly event on the 3rd Friday of every month. To find out more about Amy Beth’s many musical activities and check out her schedule including Amy Beth and Friends, be sure to visit her website – (http://woodstockfolkmusic.com/amybeth/)

We look forward to having you join us at this week’s Woodstock Wednesdays show.

Donations

Please visit performer websites to purchase their CDs and other merchandise and to donate to them. With all their gigs cancelled, they need your support. You may also donate to the Festival via the Donate Button at the top of the right column on every page of this website.

Posted in News, Woodstock Wednesdays | Leave a comment