MEL LYMAN

(March 24, 1938 – March 1978)

Melvin James Lyman (March 24, 1938 – March 1978) was an American musician, writer, and founder of the Fort Hill Community, which has been variously described as a family, commune, or cult. Lyman grew up in California and Oregon. As a young man, he spent a number of years traveling the country and learning harmonica and banjo from such musicians as Brother Percy Randolph and Obray Ramsey.

During a period in the early 1960s, Lyman lived in New York City, where he associated with other artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers. An example of which was his friendship with underground filmmaker Jonas Mekas, which led to the studios of Andy Warhol and Bruce Conner. He learned the art of filmmaking from Conner and made some films with him.

In 1963 Lyman joined Jim Kweskin’s Boston-based jug band as a banjo and harmonica player. Lyman, once called "the Grand Old Man of the 'blues' harmonica in his mid-twenties", is remembered in folk music circles for playing a 20 minute improvisation on the traditional hymn "Rock of Ages" at the end of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival to the riled crowd streaming out after Bob Dylan’s famous appearance with an electric band. Some felt that Lyman, primarily an acoustic musician, was delivering a wordless counterargument to Dylan’s new-found rock direction. Irwin Silber, editor of Sing Out Magazine, wrote that Lyman’s "mournful and lonesome harmonica" provided "the most optimistic note of the evening."

p class="fwtitle">CHANGÜÍ

Traditional Cuban music

CHANGÜÍ is a style of Cuban music which originated in the early 19th century in the eastern region ofGuantánamo Province, specifically Baracoa. It arose in the sugar cane refineries and in the rural communities populated by slaves. Changüí combines the structure and elements of Spain's canción and the Spanish guitarwith African rhythms and percussion instruments of Bantu origin. Changüí is considered a predecessor of son montuno (the ancestor of modern salsa), which has enjoyed tremendous popularity in Cuba throughout the 20th century.

Many people confuse changüi with other styles, but academically you are playing changüí is once the ensemble consists of these 4 musical instruments: marímbula, bongo, tres, güiro (or guayo) and a singer(s). So it isn't really the patterns syncopation, but rather the ensemble style.

Changüí is related to the other regional genres of nengón and kiribá. It actually is a descendant of nengón. The changüi ensemble consists of: marímbula, bongos, tres ("Cubanized" guitar), güiro (or guayo) and one or more singers. Changüi does not use the Cuban key pattern (or guide pattern) known as clave. The tres typically plays offbeat guajeos (ostinatos), while the guayo plays on the beat.

BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD

(March 21, 1882 - September 4, 1973)

BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD (March 21, 1882 - September 4, 1973) was a lawyer, folklorist, and performer of traditional (folk and country) music from western North Carolina. He was often known by the nickname "Minstrel of the Appalachians."

Bascom Lamar Lunsford was born at Mars Hill, Madison County, North Carolina in 1882, into the world of traditional Appalachian folk music. At an early age, his father, a teacher, gave him a fiddle, and his mother sang religious songs and traditional ballads. Lunsford also learned banjo and began to perform at weddings and square dances.

After qualifying as a teacher at Rutherford College, Lunsford taught at schools in Madison County. In 1913, Lunsford qualified in law at Trinity College, later to become Duke University. He began to travel and collect material at the start of the 20th century, often meeting singers on isolated farms. Lunsford has been quoted as saying he spent "nights in more homes from Harpers Ferry to Iron Mountain than God."

Lunsford gave lectures and performances while dressed in a starched white shirt and black bow tie. This formal dress was part of his campaign against the stereotyping of “hillbillies.”

In 1922 Frank C. Brown, a song collector, recorded 32 items on wax cylinders from Bascom. In 1928, Lunsford recorded "Jesse James" and "I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground" for the Brunswick record label. Harry Smith included "Mole" on his Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952. Smith's anthology also includes Lunsford's performance of the gospel song "Dry Bones", recorded in 1928.

Lunsford played in a style from Western North Carolina, which had a rhythmic up-stroke brushing the strings. It sounds similar to clawhammer banjo playing, which emphasises the downstroke. He also played a "mandoline", an instrument with mandolin body and a five-string banjo neck. He occasionally played fiddle for dance tunes such as "Rye Straw". He censored himself, avoiding obscene songs or omitting verses. His repertoire included Child Ballads, negro spirituals and parlor songs. A CD collection of Lunsford's recordings, from the Brunswick recordings of the 1920s to the recordings for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress in 1949, Ballads, Banjo Tunes and Sacred Songs of Western North Carolina, was released by Smithsonian Folkways Records in 1996.

HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY WEEK

TOMMY PEOPLES

DE DANNAN (originally Dé Danann) is an Irish folk music group. They were formed by Frankie Gavin (fiddle), Alec Finn (guitar, bouzouki), Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh (bodhrán) and Charlie Piggott (banjo) as a result of sessions in Hughes's Pub in An Spidéal, County Galway, subsequently inviting Dolores Keane (vocals) to join the band. The late fiddler Mickey Finn is also acknowledged to have been a founder member.

They named themselves Dé Danann after the legendary Irish tribe Tuatha Dé Danann. In 1985, they changed the spelling of the group from "Dé Danann" to "De Dannan" for reasons that have never been made clear. However, since 2010, Finn & McDonagh have recorded and performed with a line-up named "De Danann", and, since 2012, Gavin has recorded and performed with another line-up named "De Dannan".

HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY WEEK

TOMMY PEOPLES

TOMMY PEOPLES (born 1948) is an Irish fiddler who plays in the Donegal fiddle tradition. He was born near St. Johnston, County Donegal, in Ireland. He has been a member of well-known traditional Irish music groups, including 1691 and The Bothy Band as well as performing solo since the late 1960s. He plays in the unique fiddle style of East Donegal.

After moving to Dublin in the 1960s, where he was employed as a Garda (member of the Irish police force), he subsequently moved to County Clare and married Mary Linnane, daughter of Kitty Linnane, long-time leader of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. He now resides in his home village of St Johnston. His daughter Siobhán Peoples is a noted fiddler in her own right.

Tommy Peoples is currently the Traditional Musician In Residence at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, County Donegal.[citation needed]

In July 2015 he launched his self-published book "Ó Am go hAm - From Time to Time". The book combines a fiddle tutor by Tommy, along with illustrations by himself and a complete notation of 130 original tunes by Tommy, again notated by himself. The book also includes many stories and incidents from his life, and musical career. The book is currently available direct from Tommy from his own website

HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY WEEK

TÉADA

THE CHIEFTAINS are a traditional Irish band formed in Dublin in November 1962, by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy. The band had their first rehearsals at Moloney's house, with Tubridy, Martin Fay and David Fallon. Their sound, which is almost entirely instrumental and largely built around uilleann pipes, has become synonymous with traditional Irish music and they are regarded as having helped popularise Irish music across the world.

Paddy Moloney came out of Ceoltóirí Chualann, a group of musicians who specialised in instrumentals, and sought to form a new band. The group remained only semi-professional up until the 1970s and by then had achieved great success in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 1973, their popularity began to spread to the United States when their previous albums were released there by Island Records. They received further acclaim when they worked on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon, which triggered their transition to the mainstream in the US.

The group continued to release successful records throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and their work with Van Morrison in 1988 resulted in the critically acclaimed album Irish Heartbeat. They went on to collaborate with many other well-known musicians and singers; among them Luciano Pavarotti, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinéad O'Connor and Roger Daltrey. The band have won six Grammys during their career and they were given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002. Some music experts have credited The Chieftains with bringing traditional Irish music to a worldwide audience, so much so that the Irish government awarded them the honorary title of 'Ireland's Musical Ambassadors' in 1989. In 2012, they celebrated their 50th anniversary with the release of their most recent record Voice of Ages.

HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY WEEK

TÉADA

TÉADA, an Irish band, plays traditional music. Téada is Gaelic for "strings". The five members of the band are fiddle player Oisín Mac Diarmada, button accordion player Paul Finn, Damien Stenson performs on flutes and various whistles, Seán Mc Elwain switches between the bouzouki and guitar and bodhrán player Tristan Rosenstock.

In 2001, through an appearance on the Irish television series, Flosc, Téada first came to national attention. When their eponymous debut album Téada was released the The Irish Times lauded the band for "keeping the traditional flag flying at full mast," and Scotland's Edinburgh Evening News wrote, "If there is a better new band on the Emerald Isle, they must be very, very good."

RICHARD FARIÑA

(March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966)

RICHARD FARIÑA (March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966) was an American folksinger, song writer, poet and novelist. Born in Brooklyn, New York, of Cuban and Irish descent, he grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn Technical High School. He earned an academic scholarship to Cornell University, starting as an engineering major, but later switching to English. While at Cornell he published short stories for local literary magazines and for national periodicals, including Transatlantic Review and Mademoiselle. Fariña became good friends with Thomas Pynchon,David Shetzline, and Peter Yarrow while at Cornell. He was suspended for alleged participation in a student demonstration against campus regulations and although he later resumed his status as a student, he ultimately dropped out in 1959, just before graduation. Ascent on Greenwich Village folk scene.

Back in Manhattan, Fariña became a regular patron of the White Horse Tavern, the well-known Greenwich Village tavern frequented by poets, artists, and folksingers, where he befriended Tommy Makem. It was there that he met Carolyn Hester, a successful folk singer. They married eighteen days later. Fariña appointed himself Hester's agent; they toured worldwide while Fariña worked on his novel and Carolyn performed gigs. Fariña was present when Hester recorded her third album at Columbia studios during September 1961, where a then-little-known Bob Dylan played harmonica on several tracks. Fariña became a good friend of Dylan's; their friendship is a major topic of David Hajdu's book, Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña.

Fariña then traveled to Europe, where he met Mimi Baez, the teenage sister of Joan Baez, in the spring of 1962. Hester divorced Fariña soon thereafter, and Fariña married 17-year-old Mimi in April 1963. Thomas Pynchon was the best man. They moved to a small cabin in Carmel, California, where they composed songs with a guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. They debuted their act as "Richard & Mimi Fariña" at the Big Sur Folk Festival in 1964 and signed a contract with Vanguard Records. They recorded their first album, Celebrations for a Grey Day, in 1965, with the help of Bruce Langhorne, who had previously played for Dylan. During the brief life of Richard Fariña, the couple released only one other album, Reflections in a Crystal Wind, also in 1965. A third album, Memories, was issued in 1968, after his death.

Fariña, like Dylan and others of this time, was considered a protest singer, and several of his songs are overtly political. Several critics have considered Fariña to be a major folk music talent of the 1960s. ("If Richard had survived that motorcycle accident, he would have easily given Dylan a run for his money." – Ed Ward).

His best-known songs are, "Pack Up Your Sorrows" and "Birmingham Sunday", the latter of which was recorded by Joan Baez and became better known after it became the theme song for Spike Lee's film, 4 Little Girls, a documentary about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. At the time of his death, Fariña also was producing an album for his sister-in-law, Joan Baez. She ultimately decided not to release the album, however, though two of the songs were included on Fariña's posthumous album, and another, a cover version of Fariña's "Pack Up Your Sorrows", co-written by Fariña with the third Baez sister, Pauline Marden, was released as a single in 1966; it has since been included in a number of Baez' compilation albums.

On April 27, 1968, Fairport Convention recorded a live version of "Reno Nevada" for French TV programme Bouton Rouge, featuring vocals by Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews. They then recorded the song for a BBC session later in the same year, this time with Dyble's replacement in the band Sandy Denny, subsequently included on the album Heyday. Denny also recorded "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" for her album Sandy. Matthews later recorded "Reno Nevada" and "Morgan the Pirate" for his album, "If You Saw Thro' My Eyes"; other Farina compositions appeared on subsequent solo albums and on recordings by Matthews' band, Plainsong. [Read more on Wikipedia]

Celebrating St. Paddy's Month...

PADDY CLANCY

(March 7, 1922 –November, 11 1998)

PADDY CLANCY (March 7, 1922 – November, 11 1998) was an Irish folk singer best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. In addition to singing and storytelling, Clancy played the harmonica with the group, which is widely credited with popularizing Irish traditional music in the United States and revitalizing it in Ireland. He also started and ran the folk music label Tradition Records, which recorded many of the key figures of the American folk music revival. [Read more on Wikipedia]

RIP: TREVOR G. STUART

(August 3, 1968 - March 2, 2016)