Noted composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and author David Amram received an Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award during a star-studded International Folk Music Awards Show, Feb. 15, on the opening night of the 29th Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The late activist songwriter Malvina Reynolds (legacy) and prolific Canadian folklorist Helen Creighton (Business/Academic) were also named as recipients. [To continue reading this article, which includes more information on the awards and on the conference, click on the headline.]
Oscar Brand may well have been the first folksinger and songwriter who I saw perform live when I was a youngster. My parents brought me to see him at a local library on Long Island, NY, where Brand, who died of pneumonia Sept. 30 at age 96, also lived with his family. Over the years, I saw him perform in concert and at festivals and special events many times -- most recently at the opening reception for the “Folk City” exhibit at The Museum of the City of New York last year. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
Music festivals abound in New York State in late June. Among those of note are Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival (June 20-21 in Croton-on-Hudson), Old Songs Festival (June 26-28 in Altamont), American Roots Music Festival at Caramoor (June 27 in Katonah) and Rockland-Bergen Music Festival (June 27-28 in Tappan). To continue reading this article, which also includes information about the Huntington and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals that take place later in the summer, click on the headline.
Jean Ritchie, the Kentucky-born folksinger, songwriter and song collector who helped to popularize hundreds of traditional Appalachian ballads and spur the so-called folk revival of the mid-20th century in the U.S., died June 1, 2015 at her home in Berea, KY. Ritchie, 92, was surrounded by members of her family, who sang at her bedside during her last hours. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
Guy Carawan, a folksinger, musician, ethnomusicologist and activist perhaps best known for introducing the anthemic protest song “We Shall Overcome” to the American civil rights movement during the 1960s, died in his sleep May 1 following a lengthy illness. He was 87. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
New York-based female Americana roots trio Red Molly had the most-played album (The Red Album) on folk radio during 2014, while Indiana-based singer-songwriter Tim Grimm had the most-played song (“King of the Folksingers”), according to charts compiled by Richard Gillmann from radio playlists submitted to FOLKDJ-L, an electronic discussion group for DJs and others interested in all folk-based music on the radio. Pete Seeger, the American folk music icon who died last January at 94, was the most-played artist. [The 2014 year-end FOLKDJ-L charts, which are based on reported airplay by 184 different radio DJs, are posted on AcousticMusicScene.com with permission. To view them, click on the headline.]
Peter, Paul and Mary’s music and social activism helped to shape a generation. Through the years, the seminal folk trio has touched the hearts and consciences of millions of people worldwide, won five Grammy Awards, received eight gold and five platinum records, had 13 top 40 hits, and been the subject of five PBS documentaries. A new one entitled 50 Years with Peter, Paul and Mary has begun airing on PBS television stations throughout the U.S. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
Nearly 200 people are expected to converge on the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, North Carolina, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Asheville, May 14-18, 2014, for the seventh annual Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA) Conference -- an extended weekend of contemporary and traditional folk music, networking, and learning opportunities. John McCutcheon is the keynote speaker. AcousticMusicScene.com will host late-night song swaps and a Midnight Hoot on the opening night. [To read the full article -- including listings of artists performing in official and AcousticMusicScene.com showcases -- click on the headline.]
Bright Side of Down, the new release by singer-songwriter John Gorka, was the most-played album on folk radio during February 2014, closely followed by Where Have All The Flowers Gone? The Songs of Pete Seeger, according to charts compiled by Richard Gillmann from radio playlists submitted to FOLKDJ-L, an electronic discussion group for DJs and others interested in all folk-based music on the radio. Gorka's "Holed Up in Mason City" was reportedly the month's most-played song. The monthly top albums and songs charts are posted with permission on AcousticMusicScene.com. To view them, click on the headline.
Nominees in more than 80 categories have been named for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, to be presented at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Of particular interest to readers of AcousticMusicScene.com are the nominees in the American Roots Music Field. Among them, Sarah Jarosz and Steve Martin & Edie Brickell received nods in two categories. [To read the full article, click on the headline.]