Recently I was in a conversation online about folk music and remembered that I had done some public writing about folk music when I first set up my website. Over the years the website evolved and I abandoned the blogging aspect altogether. But in reviewing these early posts I realized there were a few good…Continue reading Resurrecting the blog
Edited slightly, April 2021. I am writing this piece to clarify what I am trying to do as a singer of folk songs. Folk songs tell stories or make comments about real life situations in language that is clear and easy to understand. The audience listens to the words and takes its satisfaction from the…Continue reading It is all about the song, not about the singer
I wrote most of this piece several years ago when I was all fired up about creating a network of folks interested in folk music. A few of us met a few times but I eventually abandoned the project and moved on to other ways of promoting the music I love. There are some ideas…Continue reading Some thoughts about folk songs and the folk process
I like to open up my mouth and sing whatever emerges, without thinking in advance about what it will be. I call this Music of the Moment. It is how I warm up my voice before practising songs, and often how I keep myself warm and entertained as I walk about in the cold winter…Continue reading Music of the Moment
Many years have passed since this post, and both of those old folks have passed as well. I learned a lot from them, and I am grateful to have known them. I have undertaken several projects integrating folks of different generations, but was mostly overcome by the logistics of it. Reading this post now gives…Continue reading Music Flows From One Generation to Another
Human voices can be quite loud without the addition of any electronic amplification. Just think of the last time you heard a baby crying in a crowded, noisy store. Did it not penetrate your awareness and make you hope the parents would remove the baby as soon as possible? Babies are not self-conscious and when…Continue reading Sing loud
Edited slightly, April 2021 This post is directed towards parents, but anyone can read it. You can use it as a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, a teacher or simply an adult in the world interacting with children. The most important factor in your children’s musical development is you. As in many other aspects of…Continue reading Sing With Your Children
Slightly edited, April 2021. I have been singing Canadian folk songs for many years. My partner, Ranald Thurgood, and I have prepared and delivered several workshops and performances on the topic in which we not only taught songs for participatory singing but also explained some of the historical context implied in the lyrics. I have…Continue reading Let’s Sing Canadian, Eh?