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Old Songs Festival 2008 Who's Going?

AllisonA(Animaterra) 05 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
kendall 04 Jul 08 - 04:36 PM
MaineDog 04 Jul 08 - 10:35 AM
bbc 04 Jul 08 - 10:17 AM
Jeri 04 Jul 08 - 10:15 AM
MaineDog 04 Jul 08 - 09:03 AM
bbc 04 Jul 08 - 08:35 AM
kendall 03 Jul 08 - 11:21 PM
GUEST,Pamela from Ithaca 03 Jul 08 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 03 Jul 08 - 03:11 PM
Jeri 03 Jul 08 - 03:04 PM
kendall 03 Jul 08 - 02:46 PM
Jeri 03 Jul 08 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Elmore 03 Jul 08 - 09:55 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 03 Jul 08 - 09:38 AM
Midchuck 03 Jul 08 - 08:53 AM
MaineDog 03 Jul 08 - 08:49 AM
kendall 01 Jul 08 - 09:20 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 08 - 08:33 PM
kendall 01 Jul 08 - 08:00 PM
jacqui.c 01 Jul 08 - 07:26 PM
bbc 01 Jul 08 - 05:49 PM
bbc 01 Jul 08 - 05:45 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 08 - 04:39 PM
Midchuck 01 Jul 08 - 04:27 PM
MikeT 01 Jul 08 - 12:54 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Jul 08 - 11:55 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Jul 08 - 11:13 AM
kendall 01 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
Midchuck 01 Jul 08 - 06:29 AM
georgeward 01 Jul 08 - 02:36 AM
Susan A-R 30 Jun 08 - 10:20 PM
kendall 30 Jun 08 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 30 Jun 08 - 10:19 PM
Ref 30 Jun 08 - 09:46 PM
Jeri 30 Jun 08 - 09:33 PM
Barbara Shaw 30 Jun 08 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Dani 30 Jun 08 - 09:04 PM
Zhenya 30 Jun 08 - 08:39 PM
Ref 30 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM
Jeri 30 Jun 08 - 07:49 PM
Ref 30 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM
Jeri 30 Jun 08 - 07:25 PM
Mark Ross 30 Jun 08 - 07:03 PM
Jeri 30 Jun 08 - 05:25 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 30 Jun 08 - 05:20 PM
Midchuck 30 Jun 08 - 05:10 PM
Jeri 30 Jun 08 - 05:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 30 Jun 08 - 05:03 PM
Peg 30 Jun 08 - 04:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

Well, this is the first time I've been near a computer since last weekend, and I'm sorry I've missed the discussion. I won't comment on the Utah memorial issue, since it has been so well-addressed and dealt with. But I have to say I had a lovely Old Songs, enhanced by the fact that my sweetie Hunt enjoyed his first one trememdously and is making plans for an encampment next year! He is often awkward in social situations until he knows folks, but he felt right at home here (thank you, Kendall!) and said that it felt like a gathering of the tribe!
Jeri, bbc, Duane, Kendall and Jacqui, Pam Goddard from a distance, Anglo, Caroline Paton, Dick and Susan, Charlie Baum (first Mudcatter I ever met, and yes, it was at Old Songs), not enough time with any of you, but it was great to make contact.
Me, I enjoyed Chuck and Albert, but wished for more music and less mime. I agree with the thoughts about Vent du Nord being over rated; I never did get to hear Deb Cowan sing (but got a wonderful greeting and hug). As usual, (I agree with Susan AR) I drifted a lot, spent lots of time visiting, and just soaked up the vibes.
A fond memory is of an encounter with Mike Agranoff as he sang a song about a first kiss.
and Ron Olesko, I begin to doubt that you exist! This was my 11th Old Songs and I have yet to meet you!

Well, I'm enjoying Southern hospitality this weekend in Macon, Georgia, so I think I'll go, cause I smell breakfast cooking!


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 04:36 PM

Jeri, give Mark Ross credit for that, not me.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: MaineDog
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:35 AM

The horrible pun was in fact not made up by me, but was well circulated around the festival for several years after that disaster. We had similar disasters at Fox Hollow. One year the entire parking lot flooded out, as well as the Aqua Vista Campground nearby. Water happens. Music goes on.

Jim


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: bbc
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:17 AM

Oh, no, Jeri; shame on you! Boats, think boats!


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:15 AM

Kendall, good one. I'll probably appropriate it.

Jim, I remember one year, the water on the fixed-facility bathroom side of the infield was so deep some tents floated away and there was a foot or two of water in the ones that didn't. I think MaryMac (former Mudcatter) was in one of those tents.

I'm ignoring the horrible pun. I didn't see it, it wasn't there.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: MaineDog
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:03 AM

Well, I can remember a time at Old Songs back in the eighties when the oval infield was literally a foot deep after a spate of thunderstorms. The suffering was said to be in tents, but thanks to my camper, I didn't get flooded out.

For years after that one dude even brought his boat to camp in, and he always had the mast up and ready to sail just in case.

I will make every attempt to attend next year. The two main reasons I did not come were, a direct conflict with another event, and not sure I wanted to be at Old Songs without Gail just yet.

Jim


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: bbc
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:35 AM

I'll second what Don & Pam said--a wonderful variety of music & an unmatched opportunity to see old friends & make new ones. For the record, staying in a motel didn't help w/ the mosquitos; I guess they got me during the day. I've stopped itching by now & I'll certainly want to return to Old Songs next year. Was it perfect? No, what it? Was it great, anyway? Yes! Don, I wore the bracelets you made for me all weekend & thought of you. Hope to see you next year. Pam, thanks for the hugs! :) Hollowfox, thanks for helping break-down the Folk Legacy booth on Sunday; it helped things go smoothly & it was great fun to see you!

best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 11:21 PM

Jeri, do you know the singer/songwriter's scale?

it's



me me me me me me me


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: GUEST,Pamela from Ithaca
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 10:29 PM

Hi Friends,

I've been watching this chat with interest. I've been going to Old Songs
for close to 20 years now, and have seen just about every kind of weather
during that time. I've seen gale winds with dirt in our eyes, rain going sideways,
pleasant, dry festivals, and weekends of mist. I'm sure there was hail in there
somewhere, but no snow that I recall.
I think the hottest year (almost 100 all weekend, the year John Roberts had his
heart attack) was followed by one of the coldest when we huddled in the Dutch
Barn late at night, singing to each other to keep warm. When I remember all of
the years that I sat in the mud watching the Saturday evening concert under
an umbrella, I'm glad that we have the option of an indoor space. I know it's
not the best thing - space is tight - but the sound was good and many of us
were dry and safe.

The mosquitoes were the worst this year that I remember.
I think it was a "perfect storm" of rain and warm for several days.
But otherwise, the weather wasn't too bad. There were many good friends
to see, some great performers I'd never know about without this festival,
and memorable singing experiences. Where else would I have the chance
to sit with Peggy Seeger on one side and Colleen Cleveland on the other, harmonizing
together on Balm of Gilliad during the Friday performance of The Visitors?

Speaking of which (which no one has, as yet) I thought that this program
was really great! Wonderful songs, performed by good people, with
compelling stories to link them all together. The full show meant more
than the hour-long sampler they were able to do end of Festival Sunday.
If you're anywhere near Great Camp Sagamore (Raquette Lake) in August,
don't miss it!

Ever since coming home I've been regretting the folks I didn't get to
hear enough of, and the friends I didn't get to visit enough with.
That's Old Songs.. too much of a good thing and not enough time.
I wouldn't miss it for anything.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 03:11 PM

The attraction for me is the concentration of Cats in one place. I wouldn't see Jeri, Kendall and Jaqui, BBC, Allison, Barbara, Sandy............ any other place. We are too spread out.

Had it not been for the impending death of my Mother and my son Geof going off to work in Korea I would have been there.

Complaints of the rain and the concert Saturday night not withstanding
I would have had fun. I can't ever recall a big concern of mosquitoes tho'.
I have endured grim heat, drizzle, wind, poor sales, and what may have been a heart attack but I continue to come back each year. I am counting the days until next year


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 03:04 PM

Kendall, "...being upset (because Kendall was) was a problem". It wasn't about you being uspet, it was about me. Me, me, me, ME, ME!

It's probably all your fault anyway. Give me a minute...


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 02:46 PM

Jeri, I was a problem? No, I HAD a problem.
I've always enjoyed Old Songs in the past 7 or 8 years I've gone there, but this year one thing piled on top of another and I threw a hissy fit.
George and Andy explained what I did not know about, so as far as I'm concerned it's all water under the dam, or over the bridge.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 10:33 AM

Most of my annoyances were just that. The bugs were a real problem (for all my swatting of mosquitoes, the only welt I came home with was, I think, an ant sting received when I was packing up the tent), me being exhausted was a real problem and me being upset because Kendall was was a problem.

It was also a problem that the Woodchucks weren't all there (they aren't all there when they're all there, if ya know what I mean). Being out in the 'projects' at my age and whininess means I'm hoping for a shuttle bus into the festival area. I miss the late night acapella jams, but I didn't even look this year. In the past, I've been wandering as the sun was peeking over the horizon around 4AM and finding no one else awake--except Barry Finn.

I'd hit my second wind by Sunday. Physically, anyway. As I got in my car to leave, I heard Joe Jenks singing something and I almost walked the quarter mile or so to the sheep barn. I'm not quite sure why I decided to get in my car and leave, but I did.


I don't know if staying in a hotel would help. It sure would eliminate the early exhaustion from putting up the stupid tent in a sauna-like environment and it would help with not having to wait in line for a too-fast shower (anything less than a half hour). It might also cut down on the night-time roving, although I might be more willing to do that if I had a comfy place to crash later. The buffet sounds wonderful compared to $7 potatoes (although they looked really good). If gas keeps going up, all this speculation may be moot.

I don't blame 'the festival' for the mosquitoes. I think that comes down to the town of Altamont OR (more likely) the rain, because they can't fog in the rain or when it's going to rain. Blame doesn't matter anyway. The conditions existed and may exist again, and people may find them intolerable.

This is my 'home-town' festival, I see many old friends there, and I'd rather NOT give up going, but it's getting to be a lot of work.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: GUEST,Elmore
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 09:55 AM

IMO the performers more than made up for the bugs and heat.Sorry Kendall didn't get to play at Utah's memorial.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 09:38 AM

"Sounds like I picked a good one to miss."

Just remember, everyone has different experiences. Putting up with the inconveniences and quirks of a festival does not please everyone, and in latter years it becomes even more difficult to deal with - but just keep in mind that there were plenty of people who I saw (including myself) that really had a great time over the weekend. Mosquitoes are out in record numbers this year, and you cannot blame a festival for them, nor can they be blamed for rain and humidity.   There are other issues that can be worked on, but all communities grow and work together - and encourage growth. I would hope the comments posted here would be more constructive and not discourage others from attending this superb festival.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Midchuck
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 08:53 AM

Sounds like I picked a good one to miss. I'm sure I would have been very upset by all that stuff, and I probably would have made matters
worse by losing my cool.


My thoughts exactly (with regard to myself, that is).

P.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: MaineDog
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 08:49 AM

Sounds like I picked a good one to miss. I'm sure I would have been very upset by all that stuff, and I probably would have made matters
worse by losing my cool.
BTW, for me Allegra makes most bug bites tolerable, even bee stings. You need to be on it for a month or more fir it to really work.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 09:20 PM

That's closer. Maybe it was the Scotch? hehehe


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 08:33 PM

Sorry, Kendall. It was a bad way to word it. I hope you know what I meant. Just that you felt like it was the right thing to do.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 08:00 PM

Jeri, my friend, at no time did I feel that I had a right to be part of the memorial. Andy and George have each explained their side of it, and I'm satisfied, so I'll have no more to say about it.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 07:26 PM

The mosquitoes were the real problem for me. I am allergic to their bites, which come up as red welts and are very painful. I think I collected about 50 this time. They got so bad that I had to take two doses of Benedryl Sunday night/Monday morning and I'm still dealing with the after effect of that as I am also sensitive to anti-hystamines.

This was in spite of constant application of bug repellent. This is not the first time that this has happened at Altamont and it really did spoil my enjoyment of the weekend. I really cannot deal with that level of pain again and so will not be coming back to Old Songs.

The sessions I saw I enjoyed - particularly Si Kahn and Andy Irvine - and it was good to see Priscilla and Deb Cowan performing.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: bbc
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 05:49 PM

P.S. from bbc:

Link to VanNorstrand homepage: http://www.vfiddle.com/vwelcome.html

and to Matt Watroba's: http://www.folkslikeus.org/watroba/home.htm


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: bbc
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 05:45 PM

George & Mike,

Thank you for your posts. Nothing is ever easy & it helped to have some explanation. I know Kendall, Caroline, & Priscilla & I hurt a little for each of them. Caroline is too gracious a lady to have complained. Tears came to my eyes, reading what you wrote about her, Mike. I just copied it in an email to her & Sandy, as well as your post, George, in case they miss the thread on Mudcat. They are very busy, these days, running Folk Legacy by themselves. Priscilla found her own remembrance, singing the song she recorded with Utah in her set on the Main Stage; I was glad she did so. Kendall, I'm so glad you were able to do the joint show with Utah; maybe that needs to be enough. Duane & I will enjoy watching our copy of the dvd; tonight, I think! Thanks, Jacqui!

My experience of Old Songs was a bit different this year. I gave some limited assistance at the Folk Legacy booth. I introduced a new friend to the festival. I went to some sessions, greeted & hugged many old friends, got eaten alive by mosquitos. Highlights for me were hearing Matt Watroba & the VanNorstrand Brothers for the first time--both great--as well as seeing Marge & Joe Bruchac--wow! Things may not have been perfect (particularly my experiences at the Best Western), but still a worthwhile festival. I expect to go next year & hope to see you all.

best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 04:39 PM

I've got an idea what Utah might say about this squabbling.

George and the Old Songs folks did the best they could, and it was a fine tribute. I understand Kendall felt like he had the right to be included and I understand he feels rejected. I would have liked to hear him as well.

There IS no solution to what has already happened, and I'd rather not remember Utah and this tribute with bad feelings. The only way to have done the tribute to everyone's satisfaction would have been to have a full day or two of songs and memory-telling. It couldn't have been done at this year's festival.

If anyone else wants to get into this, please try to be as kind as Utah would be.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 04:27 PM

If I was asked to name my favorite singer of folk music in North America, or at least in the parts of it that I know, I would have to say it was Captain Kendall Morse...

- Utah Phillips, on "Starlight on the Rails: A Songbook," Disk 3, track 24

All I am aware of is the pain of his loss and the rejection at his tribute. As I said, he was not just someone whom I admired, he was a dear friend, and all I asked was three minutes which didn't seem like I was asking too much.

- Kendall Morse (previous post in this thread.)

It must be nice to know what Utah would have liked better than Utah did...

I'll stop before I become overstimulated.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: MikeT
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 12:54 PM

Well, I was one of the folks who had the honor of performing Bruce's words and songs at the Old Song's remembrance. No one would really know me, as I perform infrequently, but I was around the music scene in Saratoga in the 60's and early seventies. I had the good fortune to know Bruce well, and as I wrote in a story on the closed tribute thread, I have always considered Bruce to be sort of a second father, as well as a major influence on who I am today. I had wanted to go to his service in Nevada, but family obligations prevented that. I really wanted to do something for him, before he died, organize a benefit, attend one of the benefits, maybe get to sing a song for him or something, but none of this happened. George wrote me about my post here on mudcat, and told about the remembrance that was planned at Old Songs. Thinking nothing ventured nothing gained, I asked him if I might be able to say a few words or sing a song or two. I fully expected to hear 'thanks but no thanks', and you could have knocked me over with a feather when George replied that I could be a part of the remembrance. When I saw the final schedule I was overcome by emotion when I was given the oppurtunity to sing Queen of the Rails, my favorite song of his, as well as end the tribute by singing Ship Gonna Sail, and reciting his introduction to this powerful song. I consider this piece to be an anthem of unusual power, along with 'This Land is Your Land', Where Have all the Flowers Gone, Blowin' in the Wind, etc. I practiced for weeks. I felt a deep obligation to Bruce to continue the work he did during his life. I spoke with him about this song in Saratoga in 2005, I asked him for the words to it, and he said he would send them to me as well as the introduction, so I know he wanted the words to be performed with the song. The opportunity to perform this work, share his words and song was a huge gift to me, and the feeling that in some small way I was carrying the message he can no longer carry is life-changing.

The most meaningful part of the day for me did involve Caroline Paton. After the remembrance, and the audience had left she came over and talked a bit about Bruce, times past and other things. She sang me 'Sweet Briar', the song that was sung as Bruce's coffin was lowered into the ground. I can't describe what having Caroline sing a song like that while standing 2 feet away feels like. I felt like I was experiencing some of what I missed at his funeral. She sang a bit more for me and left. I'm still stunned.

Kendall, I'm sorry you didn't get to perform. I heard Priscilla Herdman couldn't either. I'm sure there were many others. I still don't understand how or why I was given this rare gift. I am very grateful for it , and worked as hard as I could to be worthy of the honor I was given.

About Old Songs. This was the first one I had been to, and yes the rain and the bugs were annoying. But, as I walked around the grounds, I thought back to the 1960's and the my time with the early days of the Pickin and Singin Gatherin, the early days of the Caffe Lena, and the Fox Hollow festival, when and where this musical community was born. I was struck by how this community, based on a love of traditional, participatory acoustic music and social awareness had not only survived but flourished and grown over the years. I was amazed by the work that Andy, George, and others did to organize this festival, and keep the spirit of those old days alive and growing. I was grateful and humbled to be welcomed back into this community even though I had not been around much over the last few years. In these days of Clear Channel, and corporate control of the media, I think it is so important to support and treasure festivals like Old Songs, and be grateful for the hard work done by so many to stage these events. As Bruce said so many times: "Today, revolutionary music is music you make yourself. Welcome to the Revolution!"

Mike


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 11:55 AM

Midchuck-
I've never attended a successful festival that wasn't the product of the personality of one person (or a small group of people). Festivals have personalities; that's why there are some I love and some that bore me (but not others) to tears.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 11:13 AM

George, that was a beautiful post and words that we need to remember. You are right about Utah and how his life was lead to pass the message on to others.   I think it is because of that message that some of us feel that Kendall belonged on the stage as well. I don't know Kendall other than through the few recordings I have of him and reading his insightful posts here on Mudcat.   The image I glean from all of that is that Kendall is also one of the "disciples" and his message is also about passing it along.

However, your point is well taken about the short time you had to produce the tribute and how it was impossible to include everyone. I completely respect and understand that, and again I thank you for your post to give those of us watching from the outside some insight.   A few years ago I produced a re-creation of the Woody Guthrie "Bound For Glory" revue that was originally created by Millard Lampell in 1955. I produced this at NERFA, which is a gathering of several hundred musicians. You can imagine how difficult it is to repeatedly explain why only a handful of musicians participated. It was nothing personal, but as producer you have to make choices.   I can appreciate the fact that an artistic director or producer needs to make decisions that won't always be popular - but it is the only way that they can create their vision. Aside from this one issue, I've only heard wonderful things about the tribute. Unfortunately I was unable to see it - always a problem with festivals!


Peter made a comment - "Festivals walk a tightrope between becoming too democratized and collapsing into chaos, and becoming so controlled by those few people that they crawl up their own butthole and die, culturally speaking."   

I would never want to attend a festival that is truly "democratic". You need control whether it is from one person, a committee, or individuals with designated responsibities - just as a recording is a statement created by an artist and producer, or a book is a reflection of the author, or a movie the vision of a director.   I attend a number of festivals each year, and each one is unique and a reflection of the festival staff. The more successful ones are the ones that have tighter control. They may not please everyone, but you can see that the attendance is increased and the performers respond by giving "something extra". I've attended some festivals that were so loose and chaotic and ended with the producers scratching their heads wondering why they lost money and the performances were drab.

I know there has been a number of complaints registered here on Mudcat about Old Songs.   With all due respect, it might be that we are growing older and the inconvenieces of rain and mosquitoes and dirty shower stalls make us grumpy. We are of an age where we no longer suffer fools. We are becoming the image of the angry old neighbor who stands on the doorstep yelling "hey you kids, get off my lawn!".

But we need complaints. Complaints lead to improvements. At the same time, we can't expect all of our individual needs to be met - and even a collective group of the same mindset does not always speak for the entire audience. Let's hope we can find the middle ground.

I, for one, left Old Songs on Sunday with a wonderful glow (okay, the glow might have partially been caused by the Calamine lotion covering my bug bites)and I am already counting the days until next year's fest.

For me, Old Songs is a booster shot for folk music and community. Old Songs is a reminder of the wonderful diversity and sharing of cultures that occur in our traditions. We get an opportunity to see some old familiar faces and meet new ones that show us the traditions are alive and well - and will carry on.

While I am the proud owner of two left feet, I enjoy watching the after concert dances. I find it comforting that the dances are attended by so many young people - teenagers and young adults who are starting their own traditions. (Not being a dancer, I'm curious about contra dances in other parts of the country - are young people responding and turning out?)

I enjoy the after concert sings in the Dutch Barn and all the wonderful songs that are shared. The various workshops and informal jams that result in some of the finest music of the weekend. While it may seem spontaneous, these spur of the moment events are the result of the planning and foresight that put all the ingredients together to make it work.

I realize that my view of Old Songs differs from others, and perhaps I am too optomistic and need to work on my crankiness a bit more (I'll be 51 in two weeks and I am already getting irritated about minor things!!!). I believe that Old Songs has created a community that will not become a ghost town - we will say goodbye to old friends and welcome new ones in their place, just as we do in all the healthy towns we live in.

I for one will continue to spread the word about this magnificent festival and I hope others who have not yet experienced it won't be turned off by what is really minor issues that have been raised - and issues that can be fixed or dealt with. I'm looking forward to all the wonderful surprises that I am sure will be in store at next years event!!   Kudos to everyone who put this together, and my sincre thanks for creating such a unique event - a festival that stands out among all the wonderful events that I attend.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

George, old friend, (who taught me Grig a lee gri ga loo) I'm sure you were dealing with problems that I am not aware of, and for that, I apologize. It was the combination of everything piled on top of everything else that got to me. All I am aware of is the pain of his loss and the rejection at his tribute. As I said, he was not just someone whom I admired, he was a dear friend, and all I asked was three minutes which didn't seem like I was asking too much.

Anyway, I do appreciate your reply, and you are still my friend.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 06:29 AM

Any festival is the product of a few peoples' hard work.

Festivals walk a tightrope between becoming too democratized and collapsing into chaos, and becoming so controlled by those few people that they crawl up their own butthole and die, culturally speaking.

I get the impression that the second may be happening to Old Songs. Or maybe both at once. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe the high price of fuel will cut the attendance back to a manageable size and it will be fun again.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: georgeward
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 02:36 AM

Kendall,

I'm the guy who - in tears - asked you to send "Phoebe Snow" to Utah when you and Jacqui did it at Indian Neck. I hope you did.

When Utah died, we at OS had a short time to decide what to do, and we had a one hour slot to put it in, without conflicting with everything else. Andy edited Utah's words into the shortest script possible, and I read it. We went with folks we had immediate contact with as singers, some stronger (and closer to Utah) than others. The point was him, not us, and we knew it wasn't perfect.

I had to turn down people who showed up at the last minute whom I'd known longer than you, and whom I regarded as mentors or a lot more. Me ? tell Caroline Paton it was scripted, not open. Jesus! Or you either, had I caught sight of you.

Utah (and Rosalie) were among the few westerners Vaughn knew and felt at home with when she married this damnyankee, and I didn't get to sing her favorite Phillips song either.

That's why I said what I did about all of us continuing to sing his songs and to tell our stories about him. I knew damn well (as did Andy) how inadequate we felt we had to be.

It isn't about us. It sure as hell isn't about one afternoon. We lost an irreplaceable friend when we lost Utah. Let's not, in our hurt and (yes) vanity, lose what he was and what he meant. Even if he was more than capable of vanity himself!

It isn't about us. it isn't even completely about him. I think he tried to tell us that, when his own mortality hit him.It's about passing it on. It's about giving thanks for what comes back to us when we do. It's about what we've lost and what we haven't. it's about laughing in and at our mortal frailty.

That "it" is not even political most of the time. It's about validation, belief in us,in community, in what we can do that we don't believe in most of the time, in what we can inspire in others. If there's one thing reading Utah's words in that script taught me, it is how hard that rascal. rake. vet, hobo, master bullshit artist and genius worked at making his truths powerful enough to outlive him. Try reading him aloud sometime. You'll see what I mean (and I know you've done it). It's a lesson to try to put the power into it that he did. Maybe I'll be up to it someday. Not yet.

I'm gonna tell you what I told myself, and hope you take it as one friend to another:

He was my friend too. Yeah, it hurts. Now get over it, dammit, and do something this hurting human race needs. We don't have much time.

- George


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:20 PM

I guess I'm lucky on the chair situation. I seem to have a form of ADD at such events. I have a heck of a time sitting down for any length of time. A one hour concert about does it for me, so I tend to wander, come back and stand where I can here, and then wander again. Could hear much of that Saturday concert pretty well from the door of the Dutch Barn. Not bad.

Those mosquitos though . . . They really made an impression (or maybe lots of little ones)


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: kendall
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:20 PM

Jeri, Andy Spence has known me for years. She has my recordings. My resume' includes; several appearances on the Today Show,On the road with Charles Kuralt, two recordings on Folk Legacy records, author of In The kitchen, a book of Maine humor, a nationally distributed TV program on Maine humor, performances all over the USA, including one with Utah himself, all over Scotland and the Cecil Sharp house in London.
I've never been able to figure out what they use for requirements to perform at Old Songs, but I always figured it was their show and I just didn't qualify. It never bothered me that much until they piled on that rejection at the Tribute to Utah. That tore the rag off the bush.

Ron, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. Utah loved my version of Phoebe Snow and Ashes on the sea.

I'll get over this, never been one to hold a grudge more than 18 years.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 10:19 PM

From what I am hearing this was the year to miss. I don't recall an issue with skeeters in the past however. Must have been a wet spring over that way.

Kendall, I did a search through Youtube for Bedlam Boys. I didn't find any that were very good but I did find a lot that were dreadful. Usually by Rennfairies.

Jeri's effort looks more better than any I found.

Don


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Ref
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:46 PM

I thought that the line-up was a little weak this year. I won't be specific, since I think they're all nice people and knowledgeable musicians, but some of the featured performers just weren't up to it as stage presences. The booking committee has a tough job, especially as prices to get performers there are doubtless rising. Perhaps some more use could be made of non-professionals. The contributors to the shanty-sing Saturday afternoon on the street corner were great! A shanty workshop, hosted by John Roberts with support from some of those others would be a fun event.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:33 PM

Kendall, I found this on the web and screwed with it:

       Dm             C
For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam
    Dm       C          Dm
Ten thousand miles I've traveled
    Dm             C
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes
       Dm       C          Dm
For to save her shoes from gravel.

    Chorus:

Dm                F               C
Still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys
Dm    C       Dm
Bedlam boys are bonny
         Dm                   C
For they all go bare and they live by the air
         Dm      C         Dm
And they want no drink nor money.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:22 PM

Many bluegrass festivals have an open area in front of the stage and then 1 or 2 very large tents at in good view of the stage for seating with protection from the sun or rain. I was not at Old Songs this year, but the festival I went to (same weekend) was Jenny Brook bluegrass festival in Vermont. We had the same downpours most of the weekend, but the shows went on with very little disruption because the hundreds of people under the tents were dry, as were the performers on the covered stage. Some people always place a chair in the open sunny area and another under the tent, knowing that all seats are fair game to be used by others if you're not in them, and immediately given up when you return.

Speaking of chairs, one thing that particularly annoyed me was one year at Old Songs when I purposely placed our two chairs on the aisle so we could come and go easily. Someone moved us in and put themselves on the aisle rather than filling in the open middle spaces. Fixed her, though. Climbed over her and her companions often and well.

And in regard to Jeri's comment about getting funny looks about joining a jam, that's absolutely NOT the case with us at least. We consider the jams one of the most important parts of any festival, and hope people will join us.

My strategies for mosquitos - cover every square inch of skin you possibly can (sox, long pants, long sleeves, turtleneck, hat), use bug spray, burn citronella. Beyond that, nothing you can do but deal with it...


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:04 PM

I have a wonderfully wierd recording by Jolie Holland of Bedlam Boys; it's my FAVORITE, and pretty much how I'll sing it. I'll send it to you as soon as I get it back from Janie ; )

Dani


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Zhenya
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 08:39 PM

My friend and I had much better seats in the outside area before we moved inside. Frustrating, but I'm not sure how that could have been avoided without a long delay. If they had enough lead time, I guess they could announce the change as many places as possible, and say that people could start moving in at a certain time. At that point, maybe they could do the airplane thing and have people move their seats by rows. But it would take much longer, I think, and some people still wouldn't get the message in time. I don't know if there are a lot of people buying gate tickets for just the concerts, as opposed to people there all-festival or all day, but maybe if the weather forecast is bad, they could limit the amount of those extra tickets being sold to avoid going over capacity. But that's probably a fine line to gauge.

In terms of setting up the seats and not sitting in them all day – well, I tend to use the seats as "base camp." A place to keep things I may need part of the day but don't need to carry around with me all day. Sometimes I end up sitting there during the day for a main stage performance, sometimes not. I've usually stayed in a motel, and not been the earliest riser, so if I don't get the greatest seat – well, that's luck. Although I enjoy the big concerts, I actually like the smaller daytime workshops more, partly because they're usually less crowded and you can sit up close.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Ref
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM

Thank you. Sharing that kind of information is what we need. The website should have a concert etiquette section!


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:49 PM

The high/low seating doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. When the decision to move indoors was made, it was announced at venues. This would have been OK if people had been at the venues and been willing to leave to go grab a spot indoors.

Somebody once explained the etiquette of the huge tarps to me. They had a huge tarp and the ground was dirt. They spread it out and had a spot to sit, plus room for others. If there's room on a tarp, it's fair game. The people who told me this had one of those tarps, and I sat with them for that concert.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Ref
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM

Ron:

A few more thoughts on moving the concert inside. Now that it's been done, how about developing, and announcing beforehand, a method for letting fest-goers know that the decision has been made? Maybe some of those nice, eye-catching yellow signs could go up at various places to let people know? Second is the issue of seating. There's no other way than first come, first served that I can imagine working (maybe "No reserving seats beyond the one you are sitting in"), but the Festival, with our help, could be a little more up front about courtesy and community. I like to get there early and get a nice spot for my tarp, but I'm pretty careful about folding it so that it covers our three chairs and some appropriate legroom. It's pretty discourteous to spread out your huge tarp that will provide space for you and twenty friends who may or may not actually come to the concert. The same goes for respecting the high and low seating delineations. In years past, the concerts have usually started with a gentle but pointed reminder. That needs to continue. Maybe I should expand my earlier comments on the showers to add that everyone needs to consider where they are and act appropriately for that place, not just for their own desires. I should give credit here to the fellow who, on Sunday morning, took a few minutes with the approval of those present to take an abandoned towel and clean the mud out of the shower stall. Nice man. Thoughtful deed.

It's on us to make our own little Brigadoon out of the Altamont fairgrounds. Let's give the organizers support.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:25 PM

Mark, that is FUNNY!


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:03 PM

At the Vancouver Folk Festival when they open the gates in the morning there is a mad dash to stake out places in front of the main stage for the shows that evening. It's called the Birkenstock 500.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:25 PM

I think maybe they wanted 'local' acts and people weren't that familiar with Kendall. We sang a bunch of Utah's songs in Kendal & Jacqui's mosquito trap the night before. We did Phoebe Snow and Miner's Lullaby and some others I don't recall because Kendall was attempting to get me drunk.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:20 PM

oh.. and I do agree that it was crime that Kendall wasn't allowed to sing a song for Utah.    When Utah passed I played Kendall's recordign of "Ashes on the Sea" on my radio tribute program. I can't think of a finer recording of a Utah Phillips song, and I can't think of any reason why he could not have been part of the Old Songs tribute.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:10 PM

I used to ENJOY camping. We'd have a communal kitchen area and cook meals. We'd have communal booze and other stuff and folks would rove around the campground at night joining in with whatever music sounded good. These days (and this is just the way it is, not just Old Songs), people seem to look at you funny if you appear to want to join them. I'm guessing that's more my interpretation of things though. I miss the Woodchucks' compound.

Yup.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:07 PM

Thank you for your usual empathy, Ron.


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:03 PM

Jeri - I do hear you, but what option would you suggest? I thought this was way better than the cattle barn that they used a few years ago when it rained. I guess they can't please everyone, and is a way to make the most people happy that they can. I do wish they had the radio working though - that would have given more people an opportunity to at least hear the concert, and they could have put it on speakers outside of the room.

As for people acting "predatory", it sounds like you saw some bad behavior. Everyone was organized and well behaved from my vantage point - and very respectful. I'm guessing that some inconsiderate people spoiled the evening for others, and that is a shame. Overall, I thought the move went well - as it did last year.

I do think it is wrong that they allow people to put their chairs and tarps down so early - but I guess it is hard to police it any other way. (I love the "sweep" that takes place at Philly and the mad dash to find a spot when the gates open - still, everyone behaves and gets comfortable.)


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Subject: RE: Old Songs 2008 Who's Going?
From: Peg
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:41 PM

Sounds good, Barry! I have never been to that Green Briar session; Connie used to say it was rare for singers to be asked to do songs alone, good to hear it has gotten more friendly.

I may stop by tonight! The place I stay is nearby.


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