Seeger Live! Ochs Lives!

It would be remiss of me to post such a long essay yesterday about Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and the latest in a series of American folk revivals without noting that Mr. Seeger is performing in our local city of Kingston this Sunday night, May 21, alongside Natalie Merchant and others, in (but of course) a fund-raiser.

The beneficiary is Bill Vanaver, founder of the Vanaver Caravan, a 30-year old traveling institution committed to “increasing awareness and appreciation of cultures around the world through dance and music.” As you might expect given his 86 years of age, Seeger’s voice is no longer what it once was, and he freely admits that he prefers to lead the audience into chorus than carry it himself. Tickets are a rather prohibitive $50, though the venue, the UPAC Broadway Theater, is reputedly quite beautiful.

And if you happen to live locally and are really into your folk revival (in which case, you must probably have stumbled on iJamming! via a Google search, as we don’t normally cover this sort of stuff), then Saturday night in Albany, you might like to attend the event our local National Public Radio affiliate WAMC is hosting: Phil Ochs Song Night at the Linda Morrison Auditorium. According to the station’s web site, “Among the great performers paying tribute to a folk icon that night will be: Betty and the Baby Boomers, John Flynn, Kim and Reggie Harris, Magpie, Greg Greenway, David Roth, Penny Lang, special guest Dick Kniss, plus other surprise guests.” I haven’t heard of them either, I’m afraid. Tickets are $15.

And then, if you live locally and prefer not to pay for your music, you may like to skip these events and start off your weekend on the Woodstock Village Green for Levon Helm Day. At 11.00am, the former Band drummer and ongoing barndance host will be given the key to the Village (you mean people lock their doors round here?); from noon until 5.00pm, there will be “bands playing tribute to Levon and his music.” Whether this means Helm himself will be performing I’m not sure, but if you’d like to meet the man and have a hamburger with him, you can do so immediately after the free event, when he will be hosting “a Meet & Greet at his studios with outdoor BBQ and music by The Onteora Jazz Ensemble.” Tickets for that are, um, $50.

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October 2021