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Tell us about your town...and the music.

Rick Fielding 14 Dec 00 - 06:44 PM
CarolC 14 Dec 00 - 07:22 PM
InOBU 14 Dec 00 - 07:23 PM
Ebbie 14 Dec 00 - 08:06 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Dec 00 - 08:45 PM
Ebbie 14 Dec 00 - 08:51 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Dec 00 - 09:12 PM
Ebbie 14 Dec 00 - 09:36 PM
Matt_R 14 Dec 00 - 09:49 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Dec 00 - 09:59 PM
MMario 14 Dec 00 - 10:11 PM
CarolC 15 Dec 00 - 02:10 AM
DonMeixner 15 Dec 00 - 02:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Dec 00 - 06:38 AM
mkebenn 15 Dec 00 - 06:59 AM
Gervase 15 Dec 00 - 07:44 AM
Naemanson 15 Dec 00 - 08:36 AM
Jimmy C 15 Dec 00 - 09:04 AM
Bagpuss 15 Dec 00 - 09:27 AM
Mooh 15 Dec 00 - 09:32 AM
Little Neophyte 15 Dec 00 - 09:34 AM
folk1234 15 Dec 00 - 09:36 AM
Lepus Rex 15 Dec 00 - 10:50 AM
Lepus Rex 15 Dec 00 - 10:52 AM
simon-pierre 15 Dec 00 - 12:03 PM
mousethief 15 Dec 00 - 12:10 PM
Mrrzy 15 Dec 00 - 12:15 PM
Rick Fielding 15 Dec 00 - 12:28 PM
SINSULL 15 Dec 00 - 12:34 PM
Allan C. 15 Dec 00 - 01:15 PM
Peg 15 Dec 00 - 02:29 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Dec 00 - 08:14 PM
Bill D 15 Dec 00 - 09:42 PM
CamiSu 16 Dec 00 - 10:38 AM
Rick Fielding 16 Dec 00 - 11:21 AM
John Hardly 16 Dec 00 - 04:09 PM
Doctor John 16 Dec 00 - 04:53 PM
John P 16 Dec 00 - 06:23 PM
catspaw49 16 Dec 00 - 07:32 PM
Caitrin 16 Dec 00 - 07:38 PM
Matt_R 16 Dec 00 - 08:06 PM
Caitrin 16 Dec 00 - 08:30 PM
Mary in Kentucky 16 Dec 00 - 08:57 PM
catspaw49 16 Dec 00 - 09:18 PM
R! 16 Dec 00 - 09:35 PM
Matt_R 16 Dec 00 - 09:38 PM
Caitrin 16 Dec 00 - 09:44 PM
Matt_R 16 Dec 00 - 09:49 PM
Hotspur 16 Dec 00 - 10:16 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Dec 00 - 10:34 PM
Rick Fielding 16 Dec 00 - 10:51 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Dec 00 - 11:00 PM
Naemanson 17 Dec 00 - 12:29 AM
Mary in Kentucky 17 Dec 00 - 11:04 AM
Mary in Kentucky 17 Dec 00 - 11:09 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Dec 00 - 11:20 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 17 Dec 00 - 11:34 AM
catspaw49 17 Dec 00 - 11:35 AM
Mary in Kentucky 17 Dec 00 - 12:28 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Dec 00 - 12:52 PM
catspaw49 17 Dec 00 - 12:59 PM
Mary in Kentucky 17 Dec 00 - 01:04 PM
sophocleese 17 Dec 00 - 02:38 PM
Bill D 17 Dec 00 - 03:03 PM
MARINER 17 Dec 00 - 03:35 PM
Amergin 17 Dec 00 - 05:16 PM
Naemanson 18 Dec 00 - 05:11 AM
Bill D 18 Dec 00 - 10:55 AM
Naemanson 18 Dec 00 - 11:05 AM
Sorcha 18 Dec 00 - 11:47 AM
Luke 19 Dec 00 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Aldus 19 Dec 00 - 09:35 AM
Peg 19 Dec 00 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Mary in Kentucky 19 Dec 00 - 02:17 PM
Peg 19 Dec 00 - 04:03 PM
Jim Krause 19 Dec 00 - 04:09 PM
Jim Krause 19 Dec 00 - 04:15 PM
Jim Krause 19 Dec 00 - 04:23 PM
NightWing 19 Dec 00 - 05:16 PM
Burke 19 Dec 00 - 05:29 PM
catspaw49 19 Dec 00 - 06:47 PM
Gypsy 19 Dec 00 - 10:06 PM
Les from Hull 20 Dec 00 - 10:20 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 15 Jul 01 - 12:24 AM
Chip2447 15 Jul 01 - 01:10 AM
Rick Fielding 15 Jul 01 - 01:24 AM
Celtic Soul 15 Jul 01 - 01:31 AM
Mr Red 15 Jul 01 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,MP3-Welcome to project"Zu-Malta"(cooperation 15 Jul 01 - 03:43 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jul 01 - 04:17 PM
Dorrie 15 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM
RangerSteve 15 Jul 01 - 06:55 PM
RWilhelm 15 Jul 01 - 07:44 PM
JohnInKansas 15 Jul 01 - 09:25 PM
Mark Clark 16 Jul 01 - 11:54 AM
Jim Cheydi 17 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM
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Subject: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 06:44 PM

Hi. I have no idea whether this will fly or not, but it's predicated on the "Seth, tell us about China" thread. It occurs to me that with all the travelling I've done, rarely have I got a chance to REALLY get to know a town or a city. I've lived in Montreal (18 years), New York (6 months), London ('bout a year), New Orleans (3 months), Amsterdam (4 months) and Toronto (the rest of the time). I think I have some kind of sense of these places, but my memories of the rest of my travels are usually the inside of a performance place.. and maybe a couple of restaurants and a music store. Rarely time for anything else. Thought it might be fun if some people wanted to share descriptions of their home towns (or cities).

Scarborough, Ontario.

It's a pretty big suburb of Toronto. Lotsa parks, clubs, stores theatres etc. We live next to Lake Ontario near an are called "the Beach". Scarborough was in the past called "the blue collar" suburb, but much of it seems pretty affluent to me (we ain't!). About five minutes away are "the Bluffs" which are quite impressive. Several miles of very high cliffs (with houses built right to the edge (scary!) There's a great deal of parkland and woods, which encourages ya to go right to the edge of the bluffs and look out over the lake. At least twice every summer the fire dept. has to rescue some kid who got stoned and fell down to the rocks below. Amazingly they rarely kill themselves (just break about 50 bones.) When the weather's calm we can just barely see Watertown New York on the the other side of the lake.

Our #1 concert venue is the Acoustic Harvest Folk Club, and I'm five minutes away from the 12th Fret Music store where I spend ALL my money! Quite a friendly place, and I'm pretty pleased I ended up here. Oh, and we truly lucked out with the houses on either side of us. Great neighbours. But ohhhh these winters....I've shoveled snow three times this week!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 07:22 PM

Shepherdstown, West Virginia, U.S.A.,

Beautiful, small college town. No traffic lights within town limits, just a few four-way stop signs. Beautiful farmland and Civil War historic sites all around. Two (very small) mountain ranges within sight of parts of town.

Two excellent hammered dulcimer festivals each year. Several different concert series that run throughout the year. Performances by world class local talent as well as musicians from around the world, almost every week throughout the year.

An orchestra, several chamber ensembles, The Contemporary American Theater Festival in the summer, and several art galleries.

Year round contra dances and various other kinds of dance including belly dancing and swing dance.

Temperate climate, but a bit hot and humid in the summer.

The only things missing that I would love are the ocean, and more accordions. (And better municipal water.)

Carol


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: InOBU
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 07:23 PM

New York City - it sucks, Larry


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 08:06 PM

WILD SPIRIT ("Ebbie"1991)

Traveled north from Seattle in the year of '88
In search of "Alaska" and praying I wasn't too late.
I stopped in Juneau on my way through the great Inside;
Fell in love with the city - it was the end of my ride.

Chorus:
Wild Spirit, Wild Spirit, O Juneau, I sing of thee!
Thy breath is the wind, thy home is the mountains and sea,
Thy soul is the people who choose to live here with love.
Wild Spirit, unfettered but by high sky above!

There is no railroad and we have just one double-lane.
(When you hear a semi, it's just a tiny floatplane)
With guitars and fiddles we sing away our cares,
Sweet music escaping into the tangy air.

We're bankers and hippies and government workers here.
We're fishers and teachers and pilots of water and air.
And great artists and writers- we all make this our home
In the whistlingest, huggingest, happiest town I've known!

Juneau, Alaska, 46 miles long, one mile wide. 7-day Folk Festival; opera, symphony, brass marching band, jazz and classics festival, lots of folk, country, blues, Irish/Gaelic bands; recording studios, LOTS of homemade music; 5 levels of live theatre.

I like it here. :)

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 08:45 PM

Llandudno is a seaside resort on the North West Coast of Wales. It's name means The church of St Tudno, a 6th century saint. Although Llandudno is known as a seaside town, settlements have existed on the Great Orme since the Bronze Age where what are claimed to be the worlds largest pre-historic mines can be visited.

Llandudno was a small fishing and mining community until 1854 when Edward Mostyn, a prominent landowner, was given control of developing the land. With the help of architect Owen Williams, this village was designed to become a seaside resort that appealed to the Victorians.

Llandudno boast the longest cable car in the United Kingdom as well as a tramway leading up to summit of the Great Orme which was completed in 1902. Perhaps one of the more curious features of Llandudno is the location of the lifeboat station which is, believe it or not, in the middle of the town as Llandudno has 2 shores and it was decided to locate it where it could reach both shores with equal speed. I suspect that many tourists are amused at the site of the lifeboat being towed through the town to be launched.

Like all the resorts on the North Wales coast, Llandudno is past its heyday as more and more people choose to take their holidays abroad but unlike some of the others, Llandudno has managed to retain its Victorian attraction.

Llandudno may still have one folk music venue left which sadly degenerated into a beginners (with no interest in improving) session but the town of Conwy which is about five miles away does have a thriving folk club and one regular session per week and hosts the annual North Wales Bluegrass festival.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 08:51 PM

Jon, that's a great story about Llandudno's lifeboat station. I very much enjoy non-harmful eccentricity. What is the current year 'round population of the town?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 09:12 PM

Ebbie, I have found these figures. Llandudno has a residential population of 20,000 and it can accommodate over 25,000 visitors.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 09:36 PM

Oooh, Jon. Juneau has 30,000 people and on some days has 10,000 day visitors (They most all leave around midnight on the cruise ships). Most of them roam the (narrow) sidewalks and shops in the downtown section which has a very small proportion of our population, which means it's very crowded indeed.

But perhaps you mean that your 'visitors' have summer homes there?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Matt_R
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 09:49 PM

Greenville, NC.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 09:59 PM

Ebbie, I can not vouch for the accuracy of the figures I quoted but the whole of the sea front consists of hotels and their are hotels and guest houses on many of the streets so I would guess that it is quite possible that Llandudno is capable of accomodating more visitors than its resident population. I doubt that there are many summer homes in the town itself.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: MMario
Date: 14 Dec 00 - 10:11 PM

ver succinct matt.

Sandwich Mass is still "home" - while I was growing up permanent population around 2500, summer population around 20,000 PLUS tourists. Much larger now, they actually have more then one stop light!

"Quaint" New England village, over 300 years old; settled by the "10 men from Saugus"; home in its heydey (late 1800's)to the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, famous for its pressed glass and golden ruby glass, "dolphin" candlesticks and cup plates.

Also home to the (now defunt) Yesteryears doll museam that had the largest collection of Japanese Imperial dolls outside of Japan, The Hoxie House (oldest existing house on cape cod) the Dexter Grist Mill (likewise restored - but only 2nd oldest) and Heritage Plantation, itself home of an antique car collection and the Dexter Rhodendrons hybrids,plus a restored windmill, a restored carousel, an art museum, and a craft museum.

Had the distinction while I was growing up of having one of the largest libraries in Massachusetts when figured books per capita; and (suppossedly) the second purest municipal water supply in the country. (I never did learn where it was that was suppossed to have had the purest)


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 02:10 AM

Hey, MMario...

When I was a kid, I used to spend parts of my summers in Wellfleet. I love cape cod. I understand it's gotten pretty overpopulated, now, though.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 02:53 AM

Jordan,NY is a canal town typical of many of the canal towns that grew up along the Erie canal in the 1800. Jordan's population numbers haven't changed to any great extent, barring war or disease, since 1845. And it is today about 1500 people.

The canal is a primary land mark in our area. Limestone walls creat the towpath side of the canal. The limestone forms a wall that runs the length of New York state from east to west. Sometimes, as in Jordan, the ancient canals locks and aquaducts are still visable. The aquaducts are elegant arches that allow the canal to pass over waterways and gullys and remain at a constant level. Top speed allowed on the canal was less that 5 miles an hour.

The music in town is usually a series of summer concerts held in the canal park where the accoustics are very special. Local artists, community bands, and out'o'towners are welcome to perform. Through the Fall winter and spring we have a monthly open mic at the Library. Usually an audience of musicians playing for musicians but lately more people are there just to listen.

My son Gregory has thrilled me by performing with a small trio at the last two open mics. Perhaps a major talent has just burst upon the scene.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 06:38 AM

Here's a song about Harlow, on the Essex Herts border - which is a place we may sometimes be rude about ourselves, but God help the poor bastard from outside who comes here and starts sneering. (A bit like most places in that, really.)

Here's the first verse anyway.

When I first came to Harlow,
it was muddy and grey, it was work brought me here,
I thought "I'll never stay", and at times, I could tell
you that God only knows how I stuck it in Harlow,
where the Stort River flows. We've been planted out here ,
and now, do what we may, there are plenty of people
who'd wish us away, why they'll sniff and they'll sneer,
and they'll look down their nose when the talk turns to Harlow,
where the Stort River flows. For the people in Harlow
live close to the ground and there aren't many palaces
here to be found, and the houses are small,
and the gardens are neat, and there's children in Harlow
still play in the street.

(cho)And here on our border
we're out on our own, and if you don't like us,
well, just leave us alone. In our wild woods and gardens
you'll find a red rose, in the green heart of Harlow,
where the Stort River flows.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: mkebenn
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 06:59 AM

East Aurora, New York. Village of about 10,000 in the Western part of the state. I live in the house built by my great grandfather in 1906. We made national news in '98 by refusing to let Wallmart build one of their "big boxes" in our midst. They tried again this year, whupped 'em again. Home to Fisher Price toys, Moog valve, and Elbert Hubbard's Roycroft artist's commune. Music at the coffee shop my wife works at. Hope to play myself after the holidays. Mike Bennett P.S. Don, looks like we're gonna excavate and rebuild the western commercial slip at this end of the canal{Buffalo} and make a park out of it..Great Idea!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 07:44 AM

London. 'Nuff said - but after years of moaning about the place being a musical desert I got off my arse and started looking, and found there was life in the old tart yet (even if most of the life is injected by a handful of tireless and unsung stalwarts like Martin Nail and Gerry Milne - Gawd bless 'em).
Most weeks I go along to Sharp's in the bowels of Cecil Sharp House, where there's a very friendly and eclectic club running. This week we had Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman, with Johnny Collins just happening to turn up to support the choruses, resulting in a magical evening marred only by the fact that one of London's leading showbiz PR companies had booked the adjoining room for a Christmas party (for a laugh, ha ha, as Peter Sarsted would have put it), which brought the bizarre sight of mega-promoter Harvey Goldsmith and his acolytes hogging the bar surrounded by PR bimbettes in party finery while the Sharp's regulars struggled to get through for a pint of IPA. As one said: "It's like a tarts and vicars party, only with no vicars!"
What made it the more galling is that, for all their fame in the folk world, Dave and Anni can't afford to be full-time musicians - relying on the goodwill of the London Borough of Ealing to release Dave for their tours and gigs - yet here were some of the biggest movers and shakers in the music business in an adjoining room and they apparently couldn't give a toss. Grr. End of rant - but that's London for you.
Then there's Islington, which I don't go to as often as I should, but which puts on some superb acts and, for all its wanderings, has always seemed to be what a folk club should be - and out in the suburbs are a fair number of good clubs that I just don't get the time to see.
It has to be said, though that London - particualy central London - isn't a folk-friendly area. There's any number of venues showing live music, some of them deservedly legendary: Ronnie Scotts, the 100 Club, the 606, the King's Head - but for those of us who like to make our own music pickings can be slender. At weekends I' in rural Hertfordshire, where there's a heck of a lot more happening (sadly most of it during the week when I'm stuck in town) - most of it detailed on Kevin McGrath's excellent website.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Naemanson
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 08:36 AM

Bath, Maine, USA

Bath is an industrial town. The major industry is shipbuilding and has been so for the last 300 years. Up until this century shipyards lined the river but now we are down to just one, Bath Iron Works. They build Navy ships exclusively.

Bath is a quaint little city (and it does have a city government with a mayor and council and all) with brick buildings full of antique shops, diners, banks, department stores, etc.

Musically we are very lucky. As most of you know from my previous posts there is the Chocolate Church Arts Center established in an old Episcopalian Church on the corner of Washington Street and Center Street. The church is painted dark chocolate brown. The venue runs the full range from folk, through rock, to classical music. On its stage I have seen magicians, Maori tribal dancers, and wonderful performances by such artists as Livingston Taylor, Christine Lavin, Connie Dover, Jez Lowe, The Battlefield Band, Schooner Fare, Artisan, Patrick Ball, Tanglefoot, etc. And these are only the ones I went to see. The church also hosts and produces concerts and plays by a full range of performers and troupes.

Within the local area are two coffeehouses, the Mocha Café, affiliated with the Chocolate Church, and the Side Door Coffeehouse, affiliated with the Unitarian Church in Brunswick (the neighboring town).

Near us, in Brunswick, is Thomas Point Beach. There are three festivals there every summer. The Maine Arts Festival features Maine performers and artists with every form of music imaginable. The bluegrass festival is specialized and very well attended. And then there are the annual Scottish games.

Additionally there are local performers who schedule themselves into concerts at various churches and other venues. We have a very active music scene here.

Unfortunately Bath-Brunswick is not really very well stocked in music stores. However, just up the coast are some very well known luthiers including Nick Appolonio who built Gordon Bok's guitars. I am proud to number a few very talented luthiers among my friends.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jimmy C
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 09:04 AM

Whitby, Ontario. A nice quiet litlw place if about 72,000 inhabitants on the edge of Lake Ontario, about a 20 minute drive east of Scarborough where Rick is living. Toronto to the west of here with Montreall about 4 hours to the east. Not much folk music around. Lots of car dealerships on the main street. We have a Wal-Mart store of course along with Home Depot, Canadian tire and The like etc. General Motors factories all around in the adjoining town (Oshawa). Good fishing and hunting within 30 minutes in any direction.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 09:27 AM

Starting with my home town - Gateshead. Home of The Angel of the North, the Metrocentre and not much else. However it is just across the river from the wonderful city of Newcastle. Excellent shopping, pubs and wildlife (see the Bigg Market on a friday might). The most loyal football fans in the world and the best atmosphere a city can have. And great folk music too. Home of Folkworks - my school ceilidh band was one of the very first projects it undertook - and I wouldn't be here without it. At the time I didn't realise how priviliged we were to have the likes of Alistair Anderson, Chuck Fleming et al coming to our school every week to teach us.

I love the traditional music from the North eastern parts too. Full of octave leaps - so the songs are very hard to sing sometimes!

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 09:32 AM

Goderich Ontario Canada, about 2 1/2 hours from Rick. I envy Rick his access to the 12th Fret music store, for out here on the shore of Lake Huron we've only one pathetic excuse for a music store. (It's a small market, granted, but the store itself is unkempt, unimaginitively stocked, irregularly open, oh-oh, I'd better watch my blood pressure...) This is also radio wasteland, the CBC being the only station of quality available. Those complaints aside, it is a lovely place to live with lots of other distractions. Of the 7500 or so souls here, there are few who would qualify as undesirables, and many who give their heart and soul to the good-naturedness of the place. Musically, there are few live venues except a very good monthly coffee house, and the annual Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, and Celtic College. A couple of bars have some live entertainment sometimes, but it's usually too pop for my tastes. Music is promoted with several good choirs, including a children's choir, a town band, a pipe band, and recently the Legion has been sponsoring a semi-regular jam night (though it seems to be loosing the attention of young folks). Lots of nice parks and a great waterfront, super architecture, town square, decent shopping for anything except music, river and lake fishing, cottaging, boating, camping etc...

Lots of music instruction here too, including myself.

Closer to the time I'll post details of the Celtic Festival and College.

Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 09:34 AM

Great thread Rick
Its interesting, Rick and I live in the same city yet at times it feels like two different worlds.
I live central in town in an area called Forest Hill where you have to put a down deposit on the fruits at the fruit & vegetable market. Lots of stores but I feel like I'm shopping on Sax Fifth Avenue when I window shop. I'd say its the "mink collar" part of town. About five minutes away you will find a Starbucks or Second cup on every other block. If you meet someone for coffee you better give them a street address. There are several miles of very affluent homes, houses built right on the edge of outrageous costs. There's a great deal of parkland and woods where nannies walk the pedigree dogs.

Me, I live in an apartment building. Kind of fun living around the Rich & Famous. But personally I head over to Rick's end of town for the music and good times.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: folk1234
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 09:36 AM

Well, Ada, OK is where we live now.

Music in Ada consists of Christian Pop, Christian Country, Christian Rock, and Pop Country. Anything Garth and his many clones does is "'bout a good as it done can get". For the bar-room crowd there's tough Country Rock, and for the old-timers there's Country Swing and Country Bar-room swing - they call it folk music. No NPR, unless you have a good antenna. There are also 96 churches, all Christian, for a population of 16,000. Did I tell you yet that there is alot of Christian Music here?

Fortunately for us OK City, 85 miles to the Northwest, is more diverse. There we have a wonderful variety of folk music at the Oklahoma City Traditional Music Association. Click here for octma.org

Please don't misunderstand me. There's much to like about Ada, but their lack of diversity and music tastes are not among our favorite things.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 10:50 AM

Hmm, is there even music in North Branch, MN? I wouldn't know. I don't really mix with the local Republican-types. I've got to drive all the way down to Minneapolis to hear any live music (or St.Paul, or up to Duluth).

For radio, it's not bad. I can get both RadioK from the U of M, and KVSC from St.Cloud State, and some jazz station I can stand about 50% of the time. But I mostly listen to Mn Public Radio. My favourite radio station, KFAI, never comes in up here, so I only listen to it when I'm driving around... So I guess that one doesn't count. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 10:52 AM

Oops, didn't link MPR... :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: simon-pierre
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 12:03 PM

Québec City, QC

A French-speaking city, and so I do.

Gets overwhelmed by tourists six months a year, from April to October, and by snow the other six months. A nice place, though, something european in the architecture and nice places to visit, especially the bars. Don't get fooled by the postal card, there's a city behind that darn Chateau Frontenac.

The music scene is very dynamic, especially for youngs singer/songwriter and somewhat jazz musicians, even if they have to move to Montréal if they want a serious career. I mean, they don't earn a penny, but they're really good. Lots of blues shows too. However, for american folk music, there's absolutely nothing. My favorite record store (dedicated to blues) had closed this summer. The biggest ones are Archambault recordstores, owned by Péladeau Jr, who also owns the half of the province. Recently, they opened a small folk section, so I can buy Folkways records at twice the price, but they still don't know Folk-Legacy.

I ran last year the only radio show dedicated to folk music, on CKIA, but I got tired of that metal music before and after my show.

Next april, we will welcome the Sommet des Amériques, a round of negociation of ZLEA (sorry for the french; go to www.cmaq.net).We will be very pleased to meet you if you want to join to protest.

Simon-Pierre


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 12:10 PM

Sumner, Washington. Population 4,000. Sits in a low valley between two high ridges. Sleepy little bedroom community for the most part; some warehouses just north of downtown, and then miles of sod farms north of that.

First platted in the late 1800's. Original home of Whitman College, which later moved to Walla Walla.

A very community-oriented town. Funky little parades and street fairs draw out virtually the whole population, as well as out-of-town visitors.

Outdoor music at the gazebo friday nights during the summer.

Always a music stage at the street fairs.

Open mic every Wednesday through Saturday night at the Acoustic Cafe. Acoustic here is something of a misnomer; although I've yet to hear an electric guitar there, electric basses are in use as well as amplified voices and those acoustic guitars with the built-in pre-amps.

Occasionally singing at A Good Book Cafe and Bookstore, just about half a block away from the Acoustic Cafe on Main Street.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 12:15 PM

NOW: Charlottesville, VA. Very college town, birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band (OK, not folk, but it is still music), not enough folk around for my taste but lots of folksy people. Fridays throughout the summer months we have a live outdoor concert at an amphitheater at one end of a large pedestrian mall - lots of alternative lifestyles in evidence, tie-dye and beards there, even though the music ranges from swing to pop through Baaba Seth. Lots of places to go hear music if you don't want to hear anything else for a while... not so many of the coffee-house style I got used to in college, when I was in the Boston area. There are three of us 'catters here, since I still count Alan C even though he's in WVa most of the time...

HOME-town = Abidjan, Ivory Coast, (ex-)French West Africa. I like a lot of African music now, I wish I had when I still lived there. One of my favorites is Daouda Kone, from upcountry somewhere, because he sings songs that remind me of Irish music, not the music of course, but he mentions neighborhoods and areas a lot, and sings about kind of normal "situations" like the boss' wife wanting to sleep with him and so on. Irish songs almost inevitably have some geographical reference, so that people listening can have a good "visual" - and Daouda Kone does that a lot. Plus he sings in regular French, African French, and in various African languages.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 12:28 PM

Thanks so much to the folks who are taking the time to let us know about their turf. I'm really enjoying this, and making some mental notes about some of my future travels. Great little portraits.

If I can add a bit to Scarborough Ontario. Truth is, that like a lot of others I used to call it "Scarberia", and relished the fact that I always lived "Downtown", where it was "happening". Well, "happening" never lasts, it's just the beginning of complete commercialization. I used to live in the heart of a district called "Yorkville" which was chock full of folk music, hippies, coffee houses and quaint dwellings. Today it is so chic and so expensive that only the young, very wealthy, and designer-drugged inhabit it. I never figured that with my political views, and "downtown prejudices" I could ever feel at home in Blue collar arch-conservative Scarborough. Boy was I wrong. People talk to each other on the streets here, and there are attitudes of every stripe. Works fine for me, at this stage of my life.

I have to mention one of the best things about living here. Our neighbour "Z". She's an amazing lady. Artsy, beautiful, tough as nails, caring,...and constantly compliments Heather on her gardening efforts! Man, when you've got good neighbours, you've got it made.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 12:34 PM

Jackson Heights, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country. We all share the joy of huge speakers installed in trunks of cars enabling the owner to blast his choice of music (and I use the term loosely) throughout several city blocks of neighbors.
Of course we also have several symphonies, more than a few radio stations, one or two clubs, coffee houses, Irish bars,...


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Subject: Old Fields, West Virginia
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 01:15 PM

Old Fields, West Virginia , (aka Oldfields,) situated in Hardy County, is little more than a small intersection of roads. Its location was originally marked by only a small store and tiny church. To find Old Fields on a map, the easiest thing to do is to locate Washington, D.C. and then look just a bit more than 100 miles to the west. In recent years the number of non-residential structures have expanded to include a new church, an elementary school and a post office. Until two years ago the post office was contained within the store. I am not sure of the official population of Old Fields. I would guess it to be less than 25. However, the post office serves those folks who live within about a ten mile radius.

A few centuries ago, Lord Fairfax gifted his daughter's new husband, Issac Van Meter, with land that now comprises Hardy County as well as two adjacent counties. Van Meter's grave can be found at the churchyard of the tiny wooden church at Old Fields. The South Fork of the Potomac River is a short walk southward from the churchyard. A favorite canoeing run, known as The Trough, begins there.

The Trough

A large, brick house was built in 1793 within view of the Old Fields store. It is called Willow Wall, the original owner of which owned thousands of acres of surrounding "bottom land". One of my favorite stories about that property involves a structure that was built there. The owner offered to build a small chapel for his slaves. The slaves, having learned that the devil lurked in dark corners, asked that the building be without corners. The round structure was used as a chapel and later as a barn until just a few years ago when it finally caved in.

The nearest "large" town is Moorefield, which has a population of approximately 2,148. While West Virginia was considered to be a part of the Union during the Civil War, Moorefield, and the surrounding areas remained loyal to the Confederacy. A significant battle was lost here by the Union that resulted in disabling what became known as The Valley Campaign. During that time, area people hid their valuables within the hollow columns of the Mullan Hotel.

Old Fields is surrounded on all sides by farmland.

A nearby farm

I am not certain of the statistics, but I am fairly certain that the area produces more poultry, (both chickens and turkeys,) than any other area in the state. There is a processing plant in Moorefield that supplies frozen, pre-cooked chicken to such companies as Golden Skillet, Dairy Queen (go figure!) and even KFC as well as some of the TV dinner companies. Most of the people who live in this area are involved in this industry by one means or another. Many of the farms around Old Fields grow grain crops to feed the poultry population.

Mom's 200 acre farm has been among the exceptions. For the past thirty years it has been used for the raising of cattle. While there is plenty of land devoted to pasture and hayfields, the land is only about 25 percent cleared. The rest remains wonderfully wooded and supplies me with plenty of places to wander. From the house we can see Trough Mountain to the east, Chert Mountain to the north (upon which there is an apple orchard where I once worked,) and Coal Mountain to the southwest. Coal Mountain is the home of a mysterious light which has appeared from time to time for nearly a hundred years. The farm is in what is known by the locals as White Oak Flats, or more simply, The Flats. A short walk to the barn and back will quickly remind you of what a misnomer that is.

The local radio station plays country music for the most part with the occasional mix of new popular stuff and a wee bit of bluegrass. The PBS radio station originating in Harrisonburg, Virginia (75 miles away) devotes about three hours per week to either Celtic or bluegrass music.

Harrisonburg has the nearest venue for the possibility of hearing some traditional music. Since my move to Old Fields, I have made the trip to H'burg to see The Seldom Scene and Michael Martin Murphey at a small theater there.

With the help of my friend, David C., I have been able to locate a couple of local people with whom David and I jam from time to time. I am trying to persuade them to become members or to at least come to the Getaway next year.

So far, three 'Catters have visited here: David C., Bill Sables, and Moonjen. One other is planning to visit in the near future. I hope that if any of you find yourselves in the area, you will consider a stop in beautiful Old Fields, West Virginia.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Peg
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 02:29 PM

Naemanson, my boss lives in Bath, Maine!

Nice to hear from all you western NYers (residents of the Southern Tier, soem of you). I am from Elmira.

I now reside in Boston, where there are more Irish sessiuns than you can shake a stick at. Still I can't manage to put a band together that stays together...most of the Celtic groups wanna play mostly instrumentals or want an Irish vocalist...or maybe I need better luck.

I can vouch for Jon Freeman's descriptions of Llandudno; absolutely charming place.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 08:14 PM

Peg, maybe one day I will meet you.

Is it just me or am I right in thinking that this little corner of Wales has so much beauty: the seaside at Llanduno, 5 minutes drive then (IMO) best castle in Wales and the quayside in Conwy and in another 15 minutes, you are into a land of mountains and lakes (OK not as big as othe countries but nice)?

BTW, if anyone is daft enough to come to this part of the world and is even more daft and would like to join me for a drink, my phone number is (from the UK) 01492 877299 and my email address is jonbanjo@freeuk.com. I thinkI have said this before but a floor to crash on if needed is part of the deal.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Dec 00 - 09:42 PM

Washington DC, USA...(well, I live in suburb just north...but...)..Metro DC area is huge, and has almost ANY kind of music that you'd want. Amazing ethnic diversity, and lots of support by various embassies for some of it. We can hear Bluegrass, Folk, Irish, Chinese, Indonesian Galmalan, classical, Ugandan(just had a program last week!)...etc...why, we even had some damn Canadian named "Fielding" once..*grin*

and if music is not all you want, you can run down to hear arguments at the Supreme Court or watch presidental motorcades

all this is available IF you can cope with the traffic and stresses of getting to it...


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: CamiSu
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 10:38 AM

Fairlee, Vt. Population, 900 and some in the winter, maybe twice or three times that many in the summer. (We have a nice lake and part of another. LOTS of summer camps!) I have a hard time getting out so I never got to the open mikes at the Third Rail. Contra dances about 20 miles down the road. Guitar playing and singing in the living room.

Joseph Stallsmith has been our tireless impresario for the folk world south of our house and Chris Jones did it, north. Both of them are inactive for various reasons, right now. I have not been much help.

But I do love living here. I can find dark.

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 11:21 AM

Other than being seriously miserable from the flu on my last visit to Washington (as Bill would remember) I LOVE the town. Joe Hickerson was our unofficial tour guide and even bought us a drink in the establishment frequented by Monica Lewinsky! Now THAT'S Folk music!

Jon you MAY get some visitors. Heather visited your town many years ago and was raving about it when she read your first post. I'm curious now.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 04:09 PM

I'm in diminutive Warsaw, IN, Cultural capitol of Indiana. When you think small mid-western town, a picture of Warsaw is what you're looking at in that bubble that appears over your head. Cornfields to the south, Glacier lakes to the north--water skiing and ice fishing (not simultaneously). Basketball games in the town parks with former big-ten players, small college players and high-school stars. Weekend concerts in the park all summer, one weekend a blues fest the next bluegrass, rock, om pah, almost anything.

It is the home of (no kidding) one of the finest plectrum and tenor banjo players in the country (He was even an Elderly Instruments "Hot Pick") Ric Lovelady--incredible musician--has taught classical guitar at the local college for 25 years (took lessons from Parkening), and plays the most beautiful chromatic harmonica.

Close enough to attend concerts at two of the finest folk/acoustic music venues in the mid-west--LVD's and Front Porch Music. Between the two of those I've seen the likes of Pat Donohue, John Hartford, Martin Simpson, Catfish Keith, Cheryl Wheeler,and on, and on... Small enough venues that I'm acquainted with the owners and there's never more than 50 others at the concerts.

John


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Doctor John
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 04:53 PM

Exbourne, Devon. One pub (few customers); two churches, one school, one post office (sometimes). One village hall: Old Rope String Band played there once. Good people Er...that's it. Dr John
PS Jez Lowe & Jake Walton played for our wedding last year but that was in the next village (no pub, one church, no village hall, no post office, great farm house food but Noel Edmunds)
..and lots of Devon Banks. Like driving in a permanent tunnel with the lid off.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: John P
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 06:23 PM

Seattle, WA -- It's a big city, so we get all the expected cultural/ethnic diversity. Lots of folk music of all types: Irish, blues, Balkan, bluegrass, old-time, French, Cajun, Indian, Native American, you name it. One of the jokes is that you can't throw a microbrew across the room without hitting a singer-songwriter. Several pubs have folk music on the weekends. There are lots of bookstores and cafes that have music on a regular basis. The Folklore Society puts on concerts once or twice a week. It is possible to go to some kind of folk dance several nights a week -- contras, squares, French, English Country, Balkan, etc. There is a real folk community here, or perhaps I should say several communities that intersect in various and interesting ways.

I'm fortunate enough to work at Dusty Strings, a company that builds folk harps and hammered dulcimers and operates the region's largest acoustic music store, so I am immersed in musical things most of the time. Most of the musicians in the city wander in from time to time, and many of those who are in town for a concert drop by. I'd love to meet any Mudcatters who visit Seattle (or live here!). Drop by the store and ask for me and tell whoever you talk to that you are from Mudcat.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 07:32 PM

Well...............

Columbus, Ohio, about 45 miles away is the state capitol and the biggest college town in the United States. Known as Cowtown and Whitebread City its cultural roots were mixed early on and although it is ethnically diverse, its not nearly as much so as its sisters, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Columbus grew on government and "clean" industry and at the center of a large flatland farming region......hence the Cowtown and Whitebread City monikers. And it is the biggest college town you'll find, surrounding the largest main campus that houses the most students of any university in the states, that being Ohio State. In the 60's and 70's there was a small but decent folk scene here, but now it is mainly gone. A few smallish societies and dulcimer clubs being about all that's left of the traddie type thing. There are a couple of excellent Irish venues as well as a huge Filk festival, but that not being my interest, well............Most others are now singer/songwriter/navel contemplator/folkrock places. Last year a pickup group of old farts began to play on the streets and a few smaller bars and the like and next summer I plan on taking up an invite from one of them, an old friend, to join in now and again.

NOW.....Where we live in Bremen..........Bremen is a tiny village about 4 blocks long by 3 blocks wide, in the foothills about 45 miles southeast of Columbus. We have 12 tree lined streets (still mainly brick), a few stop signs, no traffic lights, and we roll up the sidewalks each evening at 9 PM. The "Hot Stove Boys" gather at a Shoot and Scoot gas station (The Bremen Quik Stop) and convenience store every morning and solve the worlds problems. People walk and ride bikes and sit on the front porches on summer evenings. I'm kind of viewed as a bit weird obviously, but the old conservative town enjoys the difference even so. I walk into the post office and Harold, the postmaster asks, "Hey Pat, what was in the package from Australia?" In the bank everyone knows all the details of my our life and the girls always ask about the kids by name. WE have a piddlin' little Oktoberfest where they know I can be called on to entertain with a few tunes while the judges vote on "Little Miss Bremen." Holiday decorations are big deals here and at Halloween, we get 350 or more kids trick or treating.

I grew up in a suburb of Columbus from age 10, but was born in a little town in east Ohio much like this one. In many ways Bremen is a throwback to the 40's and 50's and a very safe and comfortable place to live. Karen grew up in Atlanta and I have lived in Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Chattanooga, Charlotte, and Cincinnati. When we decided to move here, we took all the pain in the ass stuff in stride.....lousy phone service, 50 miles from anywhere, etc. because its worth it in many ways. I have no idea where my house keys are for instance, haven't used one in ten years. When a new couple from the "big city" was looking at a home across the street, they asked a neighbor about what security system they used and what others had. Old Joe explained that its the Bremen system where we all watch out some for each other. It won't last I know, but for now, the Bremen System is still working.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Caitrin
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 07:38 PM

I'm in Asheville, NC, USA. It's a small city of about 50,000 people, a rather liberal town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There's music all over the place, lots of it traditional. At my university, we've gotten everything from bagpipers to bluegrass ensembles appearing randomly on the quad. Several coffeehouses and bars in town are welcoming of bluegrass and blues, and there are frequent free shows of beginning bands (some of which are better than others.) Boone (a smaller town not far from A'ville) has a lot of neat music, as well. For instance, I just went to the Doc Watson festival there this summer, which was muchly cool. Asheville's a really fun town to be in, musically. I love the place!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 08:06 PM

Long time no see, Caitrin. Good to hear from you again.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Caitrin
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 08:30 PM

Thanks, Matt...having survived a summer of theater work at summer stock and a semester of college, it's good to be back!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 08:57 PM

Hi Caitrin, I did a double-take when I saw your name. Welcome back.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 09:18 PM

Hi Caits and a welcome back from me too. We were in Boon last summer again and I thought of you and was hoping we'd hear how school was going. Asheville is a nice place and very beautiful and Boon is "eat up" with good music. Hope you're enjoying it all and your holidays too.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: R!
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 09:35 PM

Jon Freeman, I was in Llandudno in 1993. I was on a big coach tour (eek!) and so was there only long enough for a meal and a quick walk around. Wished I could have stayed longer. Expect to be back in UK for a few weeks in 2001. Will keep your number handy.

Rowana


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 09:38 PM

BTW Cait...you know a guy from Conley named Chris--long hair--earrings--theater student?


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Caitrin
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 09:44 PM

I missed y'all being in Boone? Argh! Thanks for all the welcomes back. And yes, Matt, I know Chrisschnur! Tell him Katie says Hi.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 09:49 PM

Cool, that's him alright. He lives at the Catholic Newman Center, where I hang out more and more these days. He's now subjected to me and buddy Ryan singing in the house---loudly.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Hotspur
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 10:16 PM

Albany, NY. The capital of New York State, Halfway between Montreal and New York City. It's on the Hudson River, and was founded by the Dutch East India Company. It is the oldest chartered city in the U.S. Population is about 100,000. It's a fairly green and friendly city, I think. It is home to four colleges, State University at Albany being the largest.

The music scene is variable. There are a couple of "traditional pubs." The biggest folk event actually happens in a little town called Altamont, a few miles west of the city. This would be the Old Songs Festival of which many of you are already aware. Altamont is also home to Andy's Front Hall, which is a fabulously fabulous traditional music, recording and instrument store. There is also an organization called the Eighth Step, which brings in good concerts. They recently moved out of the city into a suburb though.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 10:34 PM

Well Rick, it could work out the other way round and I end up in Toronto! My parents have promised to help me fund a short holiday in North America which I am hoping to take September or October next year.

My first and most important aim is to finaly get to meet a very good friend from New Hampshire but I am not sure what I do from there. Heading North and meeting some of the Toronto people is certainly one of my desires but maybe I go to the Getaway or something and hope to meet more Mudcatters in one event.

Anyway, at the moment, this is mostly a dream but I will have so little time and so many people I would love to have the chance to meet...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 10:51 PM

Jon, yer welcome anytime.

Thanks Paw, I was hoping you'd give a description of your turf.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 11:00 PM

Thanks Rick - I just hope Bonnie is playing her clear headed banjo if I get to Toronto!!!

Rowana, I hope I do meet you here some day.

Caitrin, good to see you back.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 12:29 AM

October 2001 I guess we have to have a rematch at Barry's house. Or Bat Goddess' House. Or Jeri's house. Or...

Someone will be hosting Jon and we will have to be there.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 11:04 AM

I live in Bardstown, Kentucky, population ~7,0000, pretty much in the center of Kentucky. The town is most famous for "My Old Kentucky Home" or Federal Hill, the home which is one of the primary symbols of Kentucky, along with race horses and bourbon whiskey. We're also known as the "Bourbon Capitol of the World" and have a long history of making the finest whiskey in the world. This small town lost more men (per capita) in the Vietnam War than any other town in the US. We still get a lot of national attention on every anniversary. Bardstown was recently listed in Norman Crampton's book as one of the 100 Best Small Towns in America.

We're considered part of the Bluegrass Region, with gently rolling hills and yes, blue grass. The Knobs Area (funny-shaped tall hills) starts just to the west of us. For those that don't know Kentucky geography, Eastern Kentucky has the Appalachian Mountains, and Western Kentucky has flat farming land with deep coal fields.

Because of our central location and proximity to Louisville, the largest city in the state (we're actually a commonwealth), we have about any kind of music you'd like to hear. JamesJim is involved in some plans for performances and radio programs in Louisville, so I'll try to get him to tell us all about it. Bardstown is the home of Kentucky Music Week. You can read all about it and Kentucky Music Weekend here. (I heard Bill Staines and Jean Ritchie at the Weekend last August.) I go to Louisville to attend performances by Kentucky Opera, one of the finest companies in the US. I also travel to Lexington to visit my sons and go to events at the University of Kentucky, and listen to a full day of Bluegrass music on the radio. There's also a big country music scene in Lexington. Of course, you can hear Stephen Foster songs at The Stephen Foster Story here in Bardstown, an outdoor musical designed to get tourist's to spend their time and money here!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 11:09 AM

...oops, I left out the most important link. Bardstown


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 11:20 AM

Mary I'd be very careful with the claim to making the finest whiskey in the world! IMO, the finest whiskys are single malts from Scotland (I like the peaty Islay malts best of all) then the Irish come in second place... Personal taste of course.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 11:34 AM

I live in Bedford Nova Scotia. Three principal towns make up our community. Dartmouth, Halifax and Bedford. For those of you who may wish to see click here


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 11:35 AM

As you say Jon, a matter of taste.........But the finest BOURBONS come from Mary's stomping grounds. No doubt about it!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 12:28 PM

I thought there was just ONE whiskey, BOURBON!

Spaw, various airlines have learned that when they have flights in or through Kentucky, all they need to stock is beer and bourbon!

Jon, I think the official claim is that of making the finest bourbon in the world...but like I said above, I thought there was just ONE whiskey!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 12:52 PM

Mary, I can think of 4 countries that are well known for producing whiskey (or whisky - there is no "e" in the scotch spelling).

I am not well up on definitions but a Scottish malt is made from barley as it the Irish (who I believe distil twice). I have just read that Bourbon must contain 51% corn,the rest of the grain being made up of wheat, barley and rye. This probably explains the different flavour and why someone could have strong preferences towards Bourbons or Scotch/ Irish. The 4th country I can think of is Canada. I don't know what grain they use but I was very dissapointed with the only Canadian Whiskey (Canadian Club) that Ihave tried.

I have heard it said that there is a Welsh Wiskey but I have yet to come accross it.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 12:59 PM

At the risk of insulting my Canajun brethren, I gotta' agree with you Jon!

I have always had a strong preference for bourbon and corn whiskey.....which probably explains why I also have generally found most 'Shine pretty drinkable.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 01:04 PM

On summer nights here in Bardstown you can actually smell the mash from the local distilleries making bourbon. We call it the "Bardstown Smell." If anyone is interested in a special label on their bottle of Maker's Mark, it can be obtained here. (This bottle made especially for...) I have tons of stories about the local whiskey-making, etc., but we really should keep this thread about music!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: sophocleese
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 02:38 PM

Hey catspaw and Jon I ain't offended. When I drink whisky I usually have single malt. I don't like any Canadian whisky that I've tried and the day after I had my first taste, a little out of my father's glass, of Jack Daniels I ended up in hospital having my appendix removed. Scotch seems safer to me.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 03:03 PM

Like chocolate, beer, oatmeal, wine, coffee or rice, there are local favorites, fancier products and more expensive production methods for whiskey......I never liked ANY whiskey till I discovered the better Irish & Scotch, but since then I have learned that super quality Bourbons do exist...like wise with Rums, Gins...etc...my problem is that I almost always prefer the best!...So I never even tried learning much about wine, as I could NEVER afford to do it right!

I can barely stand cheap canned grocery store coffee, will NOT drink Budweiser beer (or almost any beer of that type) can't stomach 98% of blended Scotch, and will ignore cheap chocolate if I something good is available. I think that in my case, being a gourmet snob actually saves me money, as I sip, nibble and hoard rather than guzzle and gobble.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: MARINER
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 03:35 PM

Wexford in the south east of Ireland. We've been inhabited by the Vikings, the Normans,the English and just about anybody else who fancied their chances. As a result we're a fair mix of races here. The fact that we were also a seaport helped in the mix.Little of ancient Wexford is left , thanks to unbridled "development" over the years, but it's still a nice place to live. There is music in all of the 60+ pubs in town, organised and impromptu . The Wexford Arts Centre is the H.Q.of music in town, mainly trad and folk. Every musician prominent in that field has played Wexford some time in their career.One of the main music pubs is called "The Sky and the Ground" after a song title by local man Pierce Turner. Just last night another local man Larry Kirwan, of New York based Celtic Rockers "Black 47" gave his first solo concert in the Arts Centre, a mighty night was had by all. For further info on Wexford visit southeastradio.ie and browse through the links.(sorry I can't do blue clickys)


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Dec 00 - 05:16 PM

BillD, there are some good wines out there that are rather affordable. My girlfriend usually buys (except for special occasions) these tasty Californian wines for about 7 or eight dollars American....On the special occasions she buys these more expensive brands....She also is in a wine of the month club, where she gets two bottles of wine (worth altogether about 65 or more bucks) for about 40 bucks a month. For more information for anyone interested click here I learned what little I know about wine from her....

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Naemanson
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 05:11 AM

BillD, Consumer Reports recently did an article on wines and had a list of the best. The best that they tested all went for under $10 a bottle! Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 10:55 AM

...I am totally aware that decent wines can be had 'relatively' cheaply, but there are so many! And my proclivity is to try the variations, like I do beer. And once you are hooked on the process, it is no longer cheap! "Oh, here's an interesting little Australian wine..only $8, lets try it"..and if $8 is GOOD, what could I get for $17?? Like I said, I am fascinated by the 'best'. I tend to learn about wine at parties where I can taste the choices of others....and if I find one which is just WRONG for me, it is only an ounce or two wasted.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Naemanson
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 11:05 AM

Trying out wines reminds me of a story from my youth if you don't mind a little thread creep here.

The ship stopped in Rhodes, Greece and our dive buddy was all excited. It seems there was a beautiful cove near a set of ancient hot springs where he wnated to dive. He organized the trip and next day we were all up and out after a hasty breakfast. We had a great time (a story all by itself) and returned to the ship too late to get any supper. We'd had no lunch. After cleaning up we were back in the liberty boat and headed ashore. We found a Greek wine garden where we bought a glass and wandered from place to place sampling the wines. Bear in mind this is on an empty stomach. But it was such a little glass.

I don't remember anything about the rest of that evening. I know I ate something that night because I had to clean it up from the floor next morning. I was barely able to stand for morning muster and spent the rest of the day on the lower level of the engine room with the dry heaves. That was when the package from home arrived with the moldy banana bread. It was a memorable experience.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 11:47 AM

THEN: Grew up in Winfield, KS, USA. Home of the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival. Small town of about 10,000 set in the rolling wheat country of eastern Kansas. Hot, humid and Bible Belt. Has school orchestra, Civic orchestra, Civic band, Community Theatre, Sothwestern College (Methodist Synod), Community Choir which perfoms both Elijah and Messiah every year. Was home to Mossman Guitars until Stu sold it. Sometime in (1954?) Reader's Digest did a feature on Winfield, calling it "Music Town USA"

NOW: Torrington, Wyoming. Town of 5,000 on the eastern High Plains of Wyoming, just under the foothills of the Rockies. Warm to hot in summer, COLD in winter. Low humidity. Lots of Kuntry, and lots of "kid" bands--wannabe Rockers. For Trad, there is my bunch.......and that is about it. There is a Christmas Community Choir, and a Barbershop group about 30 miles away. Town next door also used to have Civic Orchestra, but I think it went under. We have a 2 year junior college--rodeo and vet tech are the biggies.........


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Luke
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 09:17 AM

Hey Spaw,

If you look at the map,state road 274 runs right from your town to mine. Just look to the east and you might find Rushsylvania. Thats my town. Logan Co. just past Indian lake.

Luke


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: GUEST,Aldus
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 09:35 AM

Cornwall..a celtic place just south of England..great scenery, grand music but hell in summer due to overcrowding....


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Peg
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 11:30 AM

Mary:

I spent a bit of time in Bardstown and saw the Stephen Foster Story which several of my college friends appeared in...my dear college friend Ronnie "Swat" Higdon is from there; do you know him?

Jon:

Conwy is indeed lovely too, I spent two whole days there walking around, hiked out to the ruins at Deganwy, and took MANY photos of the area! I loved that castle...

Boston is not so very far from New Hampshire and you'd be most welcome for a visit! I come back to the UK in June and maybe we will meet then...

peg


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: GUEST,Mary in Kentucky
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 02:17 PM

Hi Peg,

How do I ask this tactfully...hmmmm....oh well...HOW OLD ARE YOU?

I taught HS for five years and there were three girls by that last name. (youngest, 18 years old in 1989) Would you be referring to their father? Don't know of any brothers.

I didn't live here until I was grown (or at least older), but one of my friends now was "Jeannie" in the 60's.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Peg
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 04:03 PM

Mary: what a lovely way to put it! LOL!

I am 37; so, let's see, in 1989, he would only have been in his mid-twenties I believe...

He did have a brother but I don't recall his name. His younger sister was Misty Jo, and she was around 12 in 1986...

Maybe they are all related?


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jim Krause
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 04:09 PM

I've lived in Lawrence, Kansas for oh, I guess about sixteen years. It is the home of the University of Kansas, and so as you might guess there is quite a bit of culture connected with the University; chamber music, art galeries and museums, theater both community and University, etc. Permanent population is about 50.000 nearabouts, and student population adds maybe another 20,000. Lawrence is located right on Interstate Highway 70 between Kansas City, Missouri, and Topeka, Kansas, the state capital.

One of the attractions for me about Lawrence is that we have managed to retain a vital down town area, that is we really don't have a Mall. So, along with all the restaurants, and stores, downtown serves as the main entertainment center. On the edges of town we have the usual Wal-Mart, K-Mart sorts of stores, but downtown seems to keep going right along, anyway.

As far as music goes, you can just about find anything you want. There are college hangouts that cater to the head-banger crowd, and then there is also a well established contra dance venue, the Lawrence Barn Dance Association. The LBDA keeps Old-time music in the Kansas City-Topeka metro area alive, and helps nurture local musicianship. There is also a Sacred Harp Society chapter, the Kaw Valley Shape Note Singing Association. We are also fortunate in that the local NPR affiliate, KANU has a weekly folk/celtic/old-time/bluegrass show on Sunday afternoons, from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM hosted by Bob McWilliams. Bob also is the guiding light behind Westside Folk a venue which attracting national touring folk musicians and singer/songwriters.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good place to live.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jim Krause
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 04:15 PM

Aw nuts! A couple of the blue clicky things didn't work. Lawrence Barn Dance Association

Westside Folk

Now I think they should work.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jim Krause
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 04:23 PM

Still didn't get one of 'em right

Lawrence Barn Dance Association

There!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: NightWing
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 05:16 PM

Denver, the Queen City of the Plains, sits (like Sorcha's town of Torrington, Wyoming) at the foot of the Rockies. Centered at the junction of several important rivers (okay, streams for those of you from places where you have "real" rivers *G*), the site was a main wintering camp for the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians before the coming of the Europeans. Gold was found in Clear Creek in 1859 and that was the beginning of Denver's roller-coaster ride through history since then. As a center for mining through much of the US Rockies, it has had a serious problem with boom-and-bust economics.

The "Denver Metro Area" consists of (parts of) six counties and two dozen cities of one size or another, ranging from the City of Denver (population approximately 3/4 million) to Lakeside (population 8, at last count). The whole area has a population of around 2 million and stretches 50 miles north-to-south and, with the construction of Denver International Airport (of late infamy due to an automated baggage system that had a tendency to shred the baggages it was supposed to be carrying), about 75 miles east-to-west. The city is mostly on the rolling hills of the high plains but reaches tendrils into each of the canyons where streams run down from the mountains.

The music scene has never been what a body could call "great" though it is improving.

Swallow Hill Music Association: Denver's home for Folk and Acoustic Music. In south Denver, Swallow Hill has a great music school and sponsors lots of concerts, both at their venue and elsewhere around the city.

Brendan's: live blues every night of the week. Monday is Open Mike night.

El Chapultapec: With a name like that in this city with more Hispanics than Anglos, you'd expect Mexican music, wouldn't you? Nope, fine jazz (mostly Dixieland stuff) at least three nights a week.

Denver Symphony Orchestra: Recently did an excellent version of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, heard on our local public radio station: KCFR, 90.1

Boulder (30 minutes to the northwest) is a long-time home for several bands beginning to be known on a wider scale than locally: Big Head Todd, Leftover Salmon, and the String Cheese Incident.

In addition, Colorado Springs (an hour south) has a growing music scene and further from the city in the mountains are several big annual jazz and bluegrass festivals.

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Burke
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 05:29 PM

Clinton, NY. Named for a govenor, then president, now our senator.

Village population 2300, town: 10,000. Ten miles from Utica, NY. Oneida county population 250,000. Just a couple of miles from the river/Indian trail/canal/railroad/thruway that cuts right across the middle of the state. The foothills of the Adirondacks are just to the north. Serious Oneida Indian land claims area just to the west.

Clinton is a small college town. It still has it's town center with green, shops, churches, and firehouse. The college has a performing arts series that provides a concert @once a month. Utica has renovated old theater with a series as well and Broadway Theater League bringing in touring shows. The college has an oratorio society open to all that performs twice a year. The Young Mozart this spring.

The Methodists outgrew their church & moved to the edge of town in the 60's. Their former church on the green is an arts center providing classes, displays and a really good folk/bluegrass series. Sept.-May there are usually 2 concerts per month. For other concerts it's a trip to Syracuse & occasionally Albany or even Saratoga.

There's not a lot from the participatory point of view. We have a really small Sacred Harp group. I'd love to have the dozen from the Lawrence picture. 4-5 statewide Sacred Harp gatherings each year. I understand there are some Irish sessions in Syracuse (50 miles). The contra dance seems to have folded, but I rarely went so I can't complain.

During the summer there are lots of opportunities within a couple hours drive. Old Songs (Altamont), Falcon Ridge, Whiterhawk, Gray Fox, Pickin' in the Pasture (Lodi), Fox Family Bluegrass (Old Forge).

Bluegrass Ramble Sunday nights on the otherwise all classical all the time public radio is it.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 06:47 PM

LUKE: Sorry my Buckeye bud, but that's NEW Bremen as opposed to Bremen. I'm over in the southeast about 45 miles SE of Columbus....but I do get your way occasionally and I used to go to Indian Lake a good bit as a kid. Also used to go up to Mad Mountain before I began to value my bones.(:<))

NIGHTWING: There are quite a few 'Catters in your area including Rex Rideout, the racy kacy wild woman named WyoWoman, and the very popular and somewhat insane Lonesome EJ (Leej), who lives out in Evergreen and runs the Radio Shack store there. You're in great company, believe me.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Gypsy
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 10:06 PM

Ah, being in paradise. Lark in the morning just down from work, luthiers in abundance, and Luthiers Mercantile just over an hour away. Life is good in the northwest no where!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Dec 00 - 10:20 AM

Hull, Yorkshire, England

Hull is properly Kingston upon Hull since the King at the time (Edward the First, in the year 1299) bought the land for a useful seaport to help in his wars against the Scots. It's still a seaport with daily ferry connections to Europort and Zeebrugge, and quite a lot of container and bulk cargo. We used to be the biggest whaling port in the world in the first part of the 19th century, but we've grown up now. We also used to be the biggest fishing port in the world, but disagreement with Iceland and agreements with the European Community put a stop to all that. We have about a quarter million people in Hull and quite a few more in the suburbs.

We used to have a very famous folk club (Folk Union One at the Blubell), started originally by the Watersons and no doubt known to many 'catters. But that closed through lack of interest. Still, there are a couple of good clubs nearby, Nellie's in Beverley and Cottingham Folk Club. There are a few reasonable sessions and open mikes. Friday night in Hull to many of us means the Kingston, in Cumberland Street for a good general session of songs, tunes, poems and jokes.

Every year we have the Hull Shanty Festival - the UK's premier shanty festival.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:24 AM

refesh


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Chip2447
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:10 AM

Columbia, Missouri.
The Twilight festivals every thursday night in June and September showcase a wide variety of local talent performing on streetcorners. The University concert series brings in to town everything from Itzahk Perliman to B.B. King.
We are home to the Number one University sponsered NPR station, which happens to be the 2nd most popular station in the country. We have another community radio station here also, which plays an eclectic mixture of non standard musical formats. Blue grass, Celtic, World Woman, Jazz and blues and gospel. Both stations sponser concerts that bring in a WIDE variety of music.
There are several Renaissance Faires within easy reach, close enough to be nice day trips. Just a few miles west The Big Muddy Folk Festival is scheduled every year. There are several house concerts yearly. If you Throw in the First Night celebration and Earth day you will find nearly anything to fill your heart with tunes. OH, there's the Chez coffee house and the Music Cafe open mic nights.
Find a list of the top ten towns to live in for the past ten years or so and you'll find Columbia Mo.

Chip2447.... P.S. Rick, this was a really cool idea for a Tread. Makes vacation dreams even easier to visualize...


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:24 AM

Thanks Chip. So long ago I'd forgotten it. Feel free to start a part two if this gets clogged up.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:31 AM

Well, being near such a major metropolitan town such as the USA nations Capital, there is a *hell* of a lot of everything within a stones throw. And I mean anything and everything, socially, musically, and geographically.

What I like best is that it is so central to so many other places. The drive to Frederick (for festivals, shops, antiques, and music), to Baltimore (ditto), Annapolis (same), is very do-able, as is the drive to the Mountains, the ocean, historic towns and a host of other things and places.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:20 PM

Stroud Gloucestershire UK
Sleepy little town on the Western foothills of the Cotswolds. Centre of the "Five Vallies" leading to the Wolds.
We have a singers session once a month, a trad English music session every Monday and a Village Hall do which covers allsorts - Jazz, poetry, music and song with a dance or two thrown in. No beer but take yer own. AND a once a month ceilidh with big names in the Sunscription Rooms
cresby.com lists local things.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: GUEST,MP3-Welcome to project"Zu-Malta"(cooperation
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 03:43 PM

Hello! We - the project "Zu-Malta" (Vocal and Composer)-----Helen Malta and George Zubov. We have the big desire to cooperate with other musicants. We offer you for listening small Demo-material:

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/272/projectzu-malta.html

If you will have desire to make "Remixes", we can send you vocals (voice) tracks or cooperate in some other image, offer the variants. With impatience we shall wait from you for the answer, Excuse for anxiety, Yours faithfully the Project "Zu-Malta" (Helen and George) we from RUSSIA E-mail : zu2ma@rambler.ru zu2ma@yandex.ru http://zu_malta.tripod.com/zu-malta/


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 04:17 PM

Oh well I've moved since I last saw this thread. I am now in Roughton, a small village about 2 miles from the seaside town of Cromer on the North Norfolk (UK) coast.

I have to travel a little to get to music events, my favourite being an Irish instrumental (no singing) session in Norwich - about 30-40 minutes from here. Norwich also has a regular folk club which I attend sometimes and I go to a few other events within a similar distance as and when they crop up and I am able to get there - I quite enjoy the monthly Sheringham singaround to name one.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Dorrie
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM

hull rules and the musics ok


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: RangerSteve
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 06:55 PM

Readington Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. People who pass through NJ on the turnpike only see a small and mostly unpleasane state. Most of NJ is really nice, including where I am. Farms and rolling hills and woods. My property is bordered by farms, one of which has a sizeable buffalo herd. They're really beautiful to look at from a distance. Up close, they have the stupidest expression of any animal. Music-wise, there isn't much. A local listener-supported radio station started a Saturday night live country show, all local performers mostly playing early C&W and bluegrass. I may be the only Old-time country musician to have played there. Definately the only clawhammer banjoist. Most of the old-time musicians in the area live across the Delaware River in Bucks County, PA, and there are plenty of musical gatherings going on.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: RWilhelm
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 07:44 PM

I'm from Essex, Massachusetts where good number of American schooners were built in the 19th Century. A handfuls are still afloat. We have a very healthy folk/tradional community on Cape Ann and the North Shore of MA. Anyone in the area on August 25 will want to check out the 8th Annual Essex Music Festival. We've got folk, maritime, bluegrass, blues, old-timey, jug band, celtic, and originals. It's all local, all volunteer, and the musicians donate their time. The money goes to help restore the park that hosts the festival. It's our eighth year and we are starting to get a little proud.


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 09:25 PM

Not a newcomer, exactly, but I just got my own name!
I've previously posted a few comments as John In Remote Kansas (JIRK) using my SO's cookie; but now I get to drop the "remote." An aside: I have shared the cookie pending our getting another email address. I went with hotmail – and it was traumatic. Approximately 60 SPAMs, mostly offering porn – we were almost ready to drop the account, but they have (apparently) exhausted themselves, and it appears safe to use the site. Patience (or inertia) is rewarded!

Okay. – this will be too long to inflict on my friends, but maybe some of the rest of you....

I'm in Wichita, Kansas – not too far from the geographic center of the YEWNYNTED STAYTES.
I growed up here.
When I was a small pup, I spent quite a lot of time on my grandfathers farm, where the front pasture had never been plowed, and still had the native grass and the wagonwheel ruts from the old trail from Wichita to Hutchinson. I had a grandmother who "made her claim" by teaming rented mules along that trail to haul lumber for other people to build their homesteads. I spent some time, a couple of summmers, trying to kill the Russian Thistle that had invaded the four "buffalo wallers" in the pasture, cause grandpa said "they's furrin' weeds thet don't b'long there." They sold the farm when grandpa died, and when I saw that the new owners plowed the field, I cried for a while (I was about 30 then). Grandpa would'a made some noises that wouldn'a sounded like cryin'. (%^&@#!!)
My first recollection of any local music would have to be a group called "The Ark Valley Boys," who played in the area for forty years or more. I've recently seen a brand new bus with the name on it – but haven't heard of them having a job in the last twenty years. These guys played a "grand-ol' opry" style of music before any of us had a radio – complete with the comic, Cuzin Clarence, who greatly impressed an impressionable 5 year old at the Beech Aircraft Company Christmas Party in 1944 by taking his teeth out and wrapping his nose in his lower lip. His best song was "Barnacle Bill the Sailor." I got TWO candy canes from Santa Claus at the party. (My daddy bought a copy of the "Ark Valley Boys Songbook" – but I think mama burned it.)
For about the next 10 years, I thought that music was what you heard on our local AM radio – KFBI. Purely country. When the KFBI station was bought by "outa-towners," and the call letters were changed to KFDI, a lotta folks just quit listenin' for a year or two. That gives you an idea of the local "loyalties."
About 1954, my daddy paid $40 for an old tenor saxophone and said "Here – you're in the Junior High School Band." That was my formal music education.
In High School I hooked up with some "older guys" who were trying to put together a "Swing Band." Our drummer worked at a local mortuary, so he got to borrow the hearse to haul us to "gigs" at outlying small town Elks, Lions, VFW, dances. We sorta thought we were playing "Swing" type stuff – "Muskrat Ramble," "String of Pearls," etc. Never could teach the lead trumpet to play "In the Mood," though – he just couldn't get the rhythm. We finally got run out of business because the hearse driver was the only one old enough to join the Musicians' Union – if they hired us, nobody else could play for them.
About 1953 my mother said "Well, we've tried Methodist and Quaker, I think now we're gonna be Baptists." The church she took us to had a CHOIR. When the choir director noticed that I had no voice, he allowed as how "it ain't likely to change," and they let me into the "adult" choir.
Being too young to flirt with the altos, I immediately teamed up with a Friends University sophomore who was too short (4'6"?) to flirt with the altos, and the two of us sat around and talked about music theory, relativity, transcendental meditation, and such – while the baritones hit on the altos (and occasionally a soprano). I learned a lot of music theory from Jim. He later married a 6'2" blond Valkyrie, played "Snorky the Elephant" for a few years, and he and his wife were touring in "Christian Music" circles last I heard.
Which (FINALLY) brings me back to music in Wichita.
Our choir director had a voice that would break glass at forty paces, BUT he knew and loved classical choral music. He had managed to get the church to pay a postgraduate organist – and talked the church into buying her a "world class" organ. Two thirds of our choir members were also members of the Friends University "Singing Quakers," which is still – if you're into that sort of stuff – an internationally known and respected performing group. I was singing (croaking) with real pros. And since Jim couldn't get a girl either, I got private tutoring!
Formerly called the "University of Friends Church," but now known as just Friends University, the school offers "world class" education in classical (with emphasis, to a degree, on religious) music, and theology (of course), with a good liberal arts school. I understand that this is one of the oldest universities "west of the big muddy," and appears, still, to be going strong.
Our largest university, founded as "Fairmount College" back when rawhide britches were stylish, is now called "Wichita State University" (or "Hillside-High" by graduates of more prestigious technical schools). Although I don't know if it is still true, Wichita State University and Oklahoma State, for many years, claimed to graduate well over half of the engineers employed in "small aircraft" companies. Noted locally for their music and drama schools, Wichita State offers a comprehensive selection of courses – and highly successful athletic programs vastly overfunded by loyal alumni.
Our third major university is Kansas Newman, which is a much "younger" school, but appears to be thriving. A notable accomplishment is their annual sponsorship of the local "Renaissance Fair," which has its own peculiar flavor, and appears to be only loosely associated with the SCA.
Almost every "major" town (around here that's anything over about 8,000 pop.) has its own one (or two) Junior College(s). Some of them are really pretty good.
We do have a local symphony orchestra, an active civic choral group (with male and female divisions), and a number of people active in "barbershop" close harmony. There is a local "Theater Arts" group that has been excellent, although a recent change in directors has us waiting to see whether former standards will be maintained.
Perhaps presumptuously, some in Wichita consider us to be a "blues center," and there are a surprising number of local blues venues. A notable one, "The Artichoke," (seating for 7, average crowd 50, good food and relatively cheap booze) regularly schedules well known performers, along with a regular succession of locally known "names." Wichita State U has been sponsoring an annual Blues/Jazz "festival" that has begun to attract some attention.
There are a few local places that bill themselves a "jazz" venues," and I have heard that some of them have some pretty good performances, but we usually opt for places that don't charge admission.
We have 3 or 4 "large halls" that book "names" regularly. Willie Nelson and Ray Price are in town this week.
The local "Borders Books" schedules weekly performances of small groups – mostly local but occasionally reaching out to regionally notable bands.
The local "country" radio, KFDI cited above, has an FM station now that is VERY commercial, playing all of the latest loud commercial stuff. Fortunately their older AM station survives – and plays some really good oldies. We also have three area "public broadcast" FM stations that can be very good, or ...: - depending on whether the students or the faculty are rebelling at any given time.
For those who actually want to "make music," as opposed to just buying a ticket, one of our local coffee shops, the "Java Villa" sponsors a weekly "Irish jam," which is well attended.
We have a small active "Kansas Bluegrass Association," which has (approximately) monthly outings. There is a "Wichita Dulcimer Alliance," and a "Kansas Acoustic Arts Association," both of which offer a chance for people to play on a fairly regular basis. The Dulcimer Alliance emphasizes teaching and training in many of their sessions.
My SO (LiK) and I get together with a half-dozen friends weekly, to play (mostly) old-time country stuff. We know of several other similar groups, but although movement between these groups happens, it is rather sporadic.
The local kids still do the "our band" thing, like I did in High School, but now they need trucks to carry the amps. We don't listen to many of them – but they are pretty active on the local scene.
Almost all of our friends visit Mudcat and/or Cowpie on a regular basis, although I don't think many of them are heavy contributors.
Our BIG music scene here is the annual Winfield Acoustic Music Festival. We are trying to keep this a secret from the rest of the locals – but I'm afraid, after a quarter century, the news is leaking out. ("Outsiders," who might teach us something new are always welcome though.) Theoretically, it's a three day festival; but if you want a good camping spot, you need to set up a week in advance. If you REALLY want a good spot, you start camping a week before that – to get in line to get a good spot the week before the festival. If you're coming from far away, look up (or make when you get there) a buddy – we'll move somethin'. At my first festival, 8 of us went through 36 cases of beer (with a little help). It wasn't until my third year there that I found out that THEY HAVE PAID PERFORMERS in the grandstand. Then, once I started pretending I could play music, (and got too old to drink all that beer) I found out that the campground is so much MUSICAL fun, you don't really care what's going on in the grandstand. (LiK married me only after I had driven her there from Seattle three years in a row – she was afraid I'd quit bringing her. We finally decided it would be cheaper to move back here.) It still takes us 6 months to get well, and 8 months to get ready – go figure!


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 11:54 AM

Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Don't know how I missed this thread the first time around.)

Cedar Rapids is part of a cultural area that includes Iowa City (University of Iowa) and some of the surrounding communities. The area turns out to be a great music area. The area is home to many fine musicians including Catfish Keith, Greg Brown, Bob Black, Al Murphy, Craig Erickson, Big Wooden Radio, Several fine jazz musicians and ensembles, several working blues bands and a number of good venues that book nationally known performers.

The Mill in Iowa City hosts a permenent Celtic and bluegrass jam every Tuesday night. The Mill also books national acts ranging from country rock and blues to bluegrass, folk and even singer-songwriters. Iowa City is also home to other good music venues including The Sanctuary and Gabe's Oasis. Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City is where Broadway shows and acts like Stomp and River Dance perform but it has also hosted both Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.

The whole area is dotted with quaint out-of-the-way places that feature music from time to time. Doc Watson has played at The General Store in Stone City—the subject of Grant Wood's famous painting of the same name—and many other well known folk acts have performed there as well.

I first saw Duke Robillard at an old stone pub in the tiny village of Waubeek called F & B Company. Waubeek is on the Wapsipinicon River near Stone City and was home to the Waubeek Trackers who I believe used to appear on A Prarie Home Companion. Duke now plays at 3rd Street Live, a larger venue, when he comes to to Cedar Raids—about once a year. Buddy Guy also plays at 3rd Street Live when he comes to town.

Another good Cedar Rapids venue is C.S.P.S, a combination art gallery and performance stage. Performers who have played there recently include Tom Paxton, Peggy Seeger and Mike Seeger. I'm guessing that C.S.P.S seats fewer than one hundred people but the audience is loyal and attentive.

Starlighters Theater in Anamosa, also near Stone City, has been presenting a series of concerts by well known singer-songwriters including David Olney and Steve Young.

My point is that real venues in the Cedar Rapids area actually pay well known performers to play. It's my hope that this news will provide encouragement to those of you who tour professionally (Rick, Frank, Jean (others?) are you paying attention?) to include the Cedar Rapids area on your next tour so I can come and hear you perform. If you would like to come but need some help making contact with local venues, feel free to PM me or use my email address in the Member Photos & Info section. I'll be happy to do some legwork to help get you here.

Cedar Rapids isn't really the end of the world. You can't even see it from here.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tell us about your town...and the music.
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:10 PM

Luton, Bedfordshire.

Name comes from the Saxon for Lea Town (the river Lea runs through it). Population is a bit of a mix as immigrants have been arriving for hundreds of years. Scots and Irish initially as the town became the centre of the world's hat industry and then Vauxhall Motors too. After WWII more people arrived from Asia and the Carribean as well as large numbers from London as the town thrived.

We don't make hats anymore. We don't make cars anymore (thanks GM, you bastards).


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