Some resources for folkies, that Roger recommends

A Page with a list of songsheets for you to download and use when you sing with your friends!  This is [part of] a collection that I have built up over the years, including quite a few that I have brought to our RUSH sings.  Help yourself!

Coffeehouse and concert series places nearby.  Most of these have a ticket price, though the PVFS passes the hat.

  • Pioneer Valley Folklore Society – runs a Song and Story Swap on the first Saturday evening of the month, going around with a chance for everybody to sing a song, tell a story, or whatever, of the monthly theme, and then the featured performer has a half-hour to perform.  Then a break, then reconvening for more of the same.
  • Wendell Full Moon Coffeehouse – monthly session starts with an introductory opening act, then the featured performer comes on.  Lots of refreshments offered in this old town hall.
  • Saint James Coffeehouse – in Greenfield, has a great list of performers, put on in a huge room with round tables like a gigantic coffeehouse, of course with great goodies.
  • uNi coffeehouse coffeehouse and concert series – in a Unitarian Church in Springfield, a little tricky to get to but with a fine series of performers.  I hope it is still going but I’m not sure.
  • Pioneer Valley Singing runs the Bridges Coffeehouse and Open Mic in Amherst on the second Saturday of the month.
  • Sounding Board Coffeehouse, kind of distant in Hartford, but with a fine concert series.
  • Pub Sing 3-5pm on the 4th Saturday of each month at McNeil’s Brewery at 90 Elliot St, Brattleboro. All are welcome, rain or shine or blizzard, to the free event to lead songs, request songs, just listen and/or join in the choruses. While you’re there, enjoy one of the justly famous McNeil’s ales.  For more information, see “Brattleboro Monthly Pub Sing” on Facebook: could be better than getting together with a bunch of folks including the greatEnglish singer, our own Tony Barrand, fora couple of hours of lusty vocal harmonizing, good songs and good beer?    -PA
    From Tony Barrand <>

Local singers in our area that Roger happens to know about and really like:

  • Local heroes Peter Blood and Annie Patterson have a website and are the originators of the world-famous Rise Up Singing songbook.  They go all around the world leading singalongs, including a recent bunch in the Jones Library of Amherst.  Annie is a sterling performer and often gives local concerts herself or with others.  Peter sells the songbook as well as a lot of Pete Seeger books and CDs (Peter has worked with Pete Seeger for decades.)
  • Tom Neilson, “the bard insurgent,” writes and sings a vast collection of songs of progressive political satire, songs of nonviolence, liberation and human rights, often with a lot of humor built in.
  • Jay Mankita – American songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. His touring van runs on recycled vegetable oil. He’s based in Northampton but rambles around widely making people sing and laugh wherever he goes.  I love this guy!  and his wife and kid Mojo.
  • Charlie King and Karen Brandow – musical storytellers and political satirists, a great married couple, they sing and write passionately about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.  Sadly, Karen Brandow died in 2014 so now this link is for Charlie King.  It is a wonderful thing though that there is a one-hour concert by Karen, singing and telling about her beautiful life, at
  • Sarah Pirtle – If you are fortunate to catch Sarah in a concert you will be charmed by the warmth of this caring and delightful woman, who loves to help children (and others) develop social skills.
  • Red Valley Fog -was Ben Grosscup and Dan Inglis.  Although they no longer sing together, their music is still up at myspace.  Ben sings locally a lot and is the executive of Peoples Music Network.  Dan  conducts groups, teaches, and has a CD you can listen to.
  • Paul Kaplan – does not give many concerts but when he does, they are great.  Paul is also the host of the monthly Song and Story Swap in Amherst.

Festivals that Roger thinks are fabulous:

  • Old Songs Festival – in Altamont NY near Albany, a family-friendly festival of folk, traditional, Celtic and world music and dance, known for its relaxed atmosphere, interactive sessions and workshops,hands-on experience and participatory nature. In addition to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night concerts there are 120 daytime workshops, lots of spontaneous jams, crafts, a well-run children’s area, and way more.  A 10-ring circus!  Inexpensive and wonderful!
  • Clearwater Festival – in Croton-on-Hudson NY, originally started by Pete Seeger as the Great Hudson River Revival, it has grown into the country’s largest annual environmental celebration, its music, dance and storytelling, education and activism attracting thousands of people of all ages to the shores of the Hudson River.  Here too as for the Old Songs, there are lots of choices, all good, and even a chance to sail on the Clearwater sloop itself, on the Hudson.
  • There are more… NEFFA, the Last Gasp, the Gotta Get Gone, and on and on.  We are in a very rich part of the country for people who love music!

And finally, an organization that has two great all-weekend gatherings each year, at the end of January in a city and on the first weekend in June in the country.  This is the People’s Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle, a group of musicians who love politics and political activists who love singing.  Our own Diane Crowe is the coordinator of the group.  Their gatherings are full of energy and enthusiasm.  Every Saturday night on these weekends there is a kind of open-mike marathon with lots of people doing their bit, usually going from 7pm until midnight or later.  Exhausting but exhiliarating!  Give PMN a try.


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