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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Mark Roffe What got you started? (73* d) RE: What got you started? 21 May 99


Playing clarinet in grade school in NY, listening to my big sister play piano, listening to classical and jazz, getting first guitar at age eleven - first song I figured out was "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy" from maybe a Weavers album. My jewish mom was not impressed.

Then Harry Belefonte's first Calyso album or two came out and I was hooked on the sounds of the islands, mon.
Then the Washington Square folk scene led to my first band, "THE SANDY ROCK SINGERS," with Lee and Larry Nelson, the twin sons of the guy who sang "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestles makes the very best....Chawk-lette" with his puppet Farfel. We did folk music and I discovered the blues of Josh White, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker.

Then college - listening to and imitating mostly blues, Dylan, Donovan, Ochs, Anderson, Even Dozen, Ian and Sylvia, Kweskin, Koener-Ray-and Glover, Fahey, Holy Modal Rounders, Fugs, etc.

Then I moved to the Caribbean and got deep into calypso, had a few dance bands. Taught folk music to (and learned folk music from) West Indian school kids. Traveled as musical director of a West Indian musical.

Then I decided to be a jazz guitarist, moved to NY because I heard that a guy named Howard Morgen was a fine teacher there. He squeezed me in and taught me jazz theory.
As a side interest, I was teaching myself classical and South American guitar, and worked on my reading skills.

Then a few bands in Florida.

One day I walked though a San Francisco park and listened to a group of woman playing real good Bluegrass for free. I was mesmerized by the dobroist, Sally Van Meter. I asked for lessons. She was a great teacher.

Then marriage, kids, and playing only at home or at friends' parties. But a couple of years ago I started playing on the radio (KVMR Nevada City CA), and I've been doing diverse shows there: calypso, classical (with a cellist), blues. Have another blues show coming up. Joined the temple choir last year. Started writing songs finally. Found Mudcat while looking for some blues lyrics. Joe O. invited me to a song circle, and now I'm back in the saddle again!

Barkus Woofy


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