FOREVER YOUNG LOOKING FORWARD, LOOKING BACK..
CAMBRIDGE FORUM CELEBRATES THE LEGACY AND FUTURE OF FOLK MUSIC AT 50.
Join us on NOVEMBER 16 at 7 PM in the Barn Room, First Parish at 3 Church Street in Cambridge. To help jog our memories Betsy Siggins, raconteur extraordinaire, will refresh our knowledge of the early days she spent in Cambridge with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in the 60’s. Folklorist Millie Rahn will moderate the conversation, which will be interspersed with live music from musician and songwriter, Jake Armerding.
In the early days, Club 47 was the place to play for folk musicians in the Boston area and all the greats performed there including
Baez, Dylan and Muddy Waters. The Harvard Square space eventually morphed into today’s Club Passim, which has given rise to some of the top musicians in the folk world, like Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega. The music scene has changed greatly over the past 50 years. But Cambridge and Club Passim continue to turn out fresh and exciting talent that reflect many of the influentials trends in today’s evolving music world.
In the tradition of the Club ’47 legends, musician Jake Armerding embodies the consummate hard-working troubadour. He hails from a Massachusetts family of musicians where he honed his songwriting skills, while also becoming an accomplished violin, mandolin and guitar player. Jake will perform some of his own songs throughout the evening in addition to some classic gems from the Dylan days. Come and enjoy!
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, sixteen musicians came together in the Chapel at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts to make a recording. It was familiar territory for some, as the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra first recorded there in 1972. The only one of the group who was part of that first recording was Dudley Laufman, now 85 years old. But this wasn’t about how many old fart musicians you could get together. This was about taking a step toward continuing a rich musical tradition. It was also the first time the Canterbury had come together to make a recording in over thirty years.
Within half an hour of the first instrument coming through the door the chapel was filled with music. After a couple warm up tunes, everybody sat down for coffee, pastries, and fruit. Sitting around in a circle people reflected on how many years they had been playing the music. Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki since 1998, Taylor Whiteside since 1973, Vince O’Donnell since 1965, Sylvia Miskoe since 1956. All told, it added up to 677 years of musical experience.
By 10am it was time to get to work. There were last minute adjustments as to seating, making sure everyone could be heard by the five mics that were being used.
Then the empty pews of that chapel filled in a most glorious way.
That is the story of this documentary. You’ll learn a little about the music, the people, the traditions. But most of you will hear a lot of wonderful music played by some equally wonderful musicians.
APRIL 29 – WGC THEATER PROGRAMS
10:30 AM – David Amram and Joy Harjo – “Kerouac, Woody and Their Embrace of America” Oklahoma Indigenous Studies Alliance
11:45 AM – Conversation with Nora Guthrie
1:00 PM – Eric Andersen performance
2:15 PM – Betsy Siggins discusses Joan Baez
3:30 PM – Bob Merlis program
Betsy Siggins Schmidt – BETSY SIGGINS has been a central figure in the Cambridge folk music community since she happened upon the local coffeehouse scene as a college freshman in 1958. Betsy was a founding member of Club 47, the legendary venue where musicians such as Joan Baez, Jim Kweskin, and Eric von Schmidt helped to launch the folk revival. Club 47 remained the center of activity in folk music for nearly a decade. Betsy witnessed firsthand the infamous evening concert at Newport 1965, where her friend Bob Dylan went electric. She was there when photographer Dick Waterman rediscovered and brought to the North blues performers Son House and Mississippi John Hurt. Music journalist Robert Shelton corresponded frequently with Betsy in order to write New York updates on the Cambridge scene.
Bob Dylan and His Music: Featuring A fireside chat with Betsy Siggins, Founder of Folk New England
Friday, May 26
Registration and Reception 6:00 to 7:00 PM
Panel: 7:00 PM
“His powerful, beautiful, transformative and unforgettable songs helped to spur righteousness through the heart of the civil rights movement.” (Kennedy, Time, Dec. 2016).
Superlatives abound for Bob Dylan as a poet, song writer and performer and highlight his influence on literature, music and social activism. In commemoration of Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, this event features commentaries on selected pieces and a conversation about the effect of his work in the realm of social justice.
“The Truth Just Twists”: Psychedelic Social Critique in Bob Dylan’s “Gates of Eden”
Using the techniques of literary analysis, this paper explores the mode in which Bob Dylan’s early songs often engage in social critique: a peculiar blend of irony and psychedelia. Taking “The Gates of Eden” (from the 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home) as the central example, this is a close read of the way the song presents a world whose stark bleakness is only matched by the unspooling richness of the imagery in which it is evoked. Sarah Gates, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Chair, Department of English, St. Lawrence University, author of “Songs Are Like Tattoos”: Literary Artistry and Social Critique in Joni Mitchell’s Blue.
Discussant: Mara Sanadi Wagner, Psy.D. Cert. Psya., Core Faculty, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Founding Member, Consortium for Psychoanalysis in Higher Education, Visiting Professor, Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Just Like a Man? Bob Dylan and the Charge of Misogyny
Eminent literary critic and scholar Christopher Ricks, Fellow of the British Academy, author of Dylan’s Visions of Sin, considers misogyny in human and social contexts and whether Dylan’s song “Just Like a Woman” deserves the accusation.
Dylan, Cambridge, and Political Action: A Fireside Chat with Betsy Siggins
A fireside chat with Betsy Siggins — a founding member of Club 47, where Joan Baez, Eric von Schmidt, Jim Kweskin and others helped to launch the folk revival and where her friend Bob Dylan appeared in un-billed guest spots, at times debuting new songs, in the 1960s. She witnessed firsthand Dylan’s infamous evening concert at Newport 1965 and she witnessed the evolution of the ways Dylan’s songs, lyrics and performances have represented, influenced and intersected with social -justice issues and ideas over time. James O’Brien is a scholar of Dylan’s work, graduating Boston University with a Ph.D. that focuses on the artist’s poems, play scripts and other-than-song writings. He has published on the subject in numerous journals. His dissertation and a documentary film on Dylan’s writings have been included in the official Dylan archives.
An Intimate Evening With Geoff Muldaur To Benefit Folk New England
(Address will be available at check out)
Geoff Muldaur is one of the great voices and musical forces to emerge from the folk, blues and folk-rock scenes centered in Cambridge, MA and Woodstock, NY. During the 1960’s and ’70’s, Geoff made a series of highly influential recordings as a founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and the Paul Butterfield’s Better Days group, as well as collaborations with then-wife Maria and other notables (Bonnie Raitt, Eric Von Schmidt, Jerry Garcia, etc.)
With his magical voice and singular approach to American music in tact, Geoff is once again touring the world. He performs in concert halls, performance spaces, clubs and festivals througout the US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Geoff may be heard from time to time as a guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and has been featured on a variety of National Public Radio shows, including Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and The World with Lisa Mullins.
Before Woodstock and Monterey Pop, there was FESTIVAL. From 1963 to 1966, Murray Lerner (American documentary and experimental film director and producer) visited the annual Newport Folk Festival to document a thriving, idealistic musical movement as it reached its peak as a popular phenomenon. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, The Staples Singers, Pete Seeger, Son House, & Peter, Paul and Mary were just a few of the legends who shared the stage at Newport, treating audiences to a range of folk music that encompassed the genre’s roots in blues, country, and gospel as well as its newer flirtations with rock ’n’ roll.
Shooting in gorgeous black and white, Lerner juxtaposes performances with snapshot interviews with artists and their fans, weaving footage from four years of the festival into an intimate record of a pivotal time in music—and in American culture at large.
– New, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Murray Lerner
– New reconstruction and remastering of the monaural soundtrack using the original concert and field recordings, approved by Lerner and presented uncompressed
– Selection of complete outtake performances, including Clarence Ashley, Horton Barker, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, and Odetta
The latest in Freepoint Hotel’s pop-up art exhibit series
features images from Folk New England.
The hotel is located at 220 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge, MA 02138
This exhibit showcases a collection of historic photographs and memorabilia chronicling the birth of folk music in Cambridge. Harvard Square has long been an epicenter of critical thinking and social and political reform, and nowhere was it more rampant than in the folk scene that had its inception in the late 1950’s through 1960’s at Club 47 at 47 Mount Auburn Street.
On View: Now – November 18th, 2018
Join us for a very special Gallery Reception:
November 1st, 2018, 7-9 PM
with singer-songwriter Kim Moberg
RSVP at email@example.com