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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What The Folk! Brings Gifts!...Sorta...

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! brings GIFTS!!!
folksongs . folktales . folkcraft . folklore

Friday, December 10th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

The theme is... GIFTS!

Christmas is fast approaching but not everyone is enthused with singing Christmas songs.
Too many. Too soon. Too often. But... in keeping with the Season...
Why not bring a song or tale that you consider a GIFT?
It could be something you wrote that seemed to come out of nowhere - a GIFT to you.
It could be something that you consider meaningful or special and want to share - a GIFT to us.
Or... a [GASP!] Christmas song...
Because... not everyone at WTF! is a Grinch.

This will be our final gathering for 2010 as the fourth Friday falls on December 24th.
May you all enjoy a lovely Holiday season and we'll meet again in the New Year.

Our first WTF! of 2011 will be on January 14th.

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.



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Sunday, November 7, 2010

What the Folk! Remembers

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk!
REMEMBERS!!!!

folksongs . folktales . folkcraft . folklore

Friday, November 12th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

The day after November 11th...Remembrance Day...
WAR & PEACE

"Will the Masters of War ever ride on the Peace Train?"
said Bob to the wise Cheshire Cat.
The Cat turned to Alice,and fading from view said "I'll have to think about that."

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation

If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What the Folk! Heralds Halloween!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! heralds HALLOWE'EN !!!
folksongs . folktales . folkcraft . folklore
Friday, October 22nd
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road


The theme is Hallowe'en. Come as you are. Come in costume. Bring something scary. I'm bringing Margo. Beware!!!


Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What The Folk! Colours Your World!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:
WTF: What The Folk!
folksongs . folktales . folkcraft . folklore

COLOURS your world!!!

Friday,October 8th
6:30pm:Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

*
The psych ward is ablaze with lights. The alarms are sounding.
The door to the room at the end of the hall is open. The bed is empty.
She's Baaaaaaccckkk!

After The Gold Rush, The Queen of the Silver Dollar put on her Long Black Veil to hide the hideous Platinum Blonde, Suicide Blonde locks that were now indeed a Whiter Shade of Pale.
Mellow Yellow she was not as she hastily exited the Orange Blossom Special
hot on the trail of the Lady In Red, that Brown Eyed Girl who had called herself a beautician.
She was Tickled Pink as she wrapped the Greensleeves of her Famous Blue Raincoat tighter and tighter around a face now gloriously Deep Purple.

If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What the Folk! Animals!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society presents:
What the Folk!
folksongs, folktales, folkcraft, folklore
Thursday, September 23rd
Just Us Cafe, Spring Garden Road, Halifax
6:30pm grabba cuppa
7pm performances start
8:30 wrap up
Open mic format
This weeks theme is animals
Hosted by Margo Carruthers and Cindy Campbell

What the Folk happens the second and fourth Thursday of every month

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What The Folk! Friday the 13th!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! flaunts & taunts FRIDAY THE 13TH!!
folksongs . folktales . folkcraft . folklore

Friday, August 13th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road


Friday the 13th has suffered from the longstanding reputation of being a day filled with bad luck. Those who suffer from triskaidekaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th, will likely be stuck inside all day in hopes that the devils of this sporadic holiday will leave them alone. The rest of us will PARTY!

As a tribute to Friday the 13th, our writer-in-residence has created another of her outrageous works of fiction using only 13 songs.
Actually... that's all she could manage before the night watch guards declared "Light's Out!"

Ferlin Huskey manoeuvered PHANTOM 309 into the deserted parking lot just as The Eagles that had been dogging his rig all day glided ominously onto the roof of the seedy little hotel. His friend Henderson had begged him to stay clear of those diobolical GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY, but Wayne had been BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN back when Albert was King and it had Lemmon'd him Blind and left him with a serious case of the BAD LUCK BLUES.

Ferlin knew that Wayne's SPOOKY stories were a Classic IV case of creepy but he still didn't give a Lynard Skynyrd about GOOD LUCK, BAD LUCK. He just wanted a place to lay his head for the night. Unfortunately... he should have heeded the signs... especially considering that BAD LUCK STREAK IN DANCING SCHOOL with that Zevon fellows Warren of WEREWOLVES OF LONDON . So Ferlin checked in.

Meanwhile... on the roof the squawking was deafening. In the seedy little bar & casino one floor below, it was almost as bad. A singer named Sinatra was Frankly murdering LUCK BE A LADY TONIGHT because he could hardly concentrate knowing that at that very moment, his floor show pals from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA were dishing up a platter of eagle's Wings to his rival Sir Paul McCartney. Frank had tried everything to get this guy to leave but... no dice. So now it was just a matter of time & digestion before Sir Paul would be joining Elvis in a duet of VIVA LAS VEGAS in that Big Casino in the sky.

Unfortunately... Frank had been there so long he had totally forgotten the policies regarding length of stay at the HOTEL CALIFORNIA so all those poisoned Wings were for naught. And... to make matters even worse for Frank's exclusivity, outside... a car full of Carpenters had just pulled into the lot. I FEEL LUCKY said Mary who was Chapin at the bit to get back into her musical harness.


Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What the Folk Tries Travelling

Hello busybloggies,

Is it just me or is this the hottest summer on record? My computer is melting just like a Salvador Dali painting and so is my mind. What? Still there is no lack of bodies embracing folk music and stories at Just Us! Last week we were jammed in like slippery little sardines. It could've been "odorous" but Cindy brought three, count 'em... three fans from home ( and three electric ones too :-) We call them her fan club! And Michael brought his sewing. It didn't help cool the room but it was amusing... and way cool! If you need anything mended, see Michael. And ladies... he's single!

Putting all thoughts of sewing aside except for maybe the sowing of wild oats, Margo & Cindy took us travellin' all over Canada from Bonavista to Vancouver Island and all parts in between in a rousing chorus of THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND. I'd have gladly immersed all MY parts in the waters of either coast!

Then Leo, the "lonely and lonesome traveller" kept the sing-a-long momentum going as we went "travelling in mountains and valleys, travelling with the rich and the poor, travelling cold and travelling hungry." Can't say I relish travelling hungry but travelling cold for a few hours sure would feel devine :-)

And Karen, likely unconsciously thinking ahead to cooler days, shared her own composition AUTUMN WIND wherein she "left her home in the Autumn wind and the Autumn wind brought her home." Thanks Karen... for reminding us that barring unforeseen weather phenomena like a six month heatwave, Summer merely cometh before the Fall!

No doubt sweltering under the influence of the endless heat and humidity, Don, our very own Mark Twain, echoed our thoughts in his wisecrack: "Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end". We had all been panting and fanning up to this time but felt somewhat cooler as Don reminded us that THE WATER IS WIDE. As usual Don's voice & chords were impeccable. And when Don left off after three verses, Leo supplied the fourth "I put my hand in one soft bush...." Oh Leo, 'tis a family show here. Perhaps that's why Don left it out :-)

Just back from three days at Stanfest where they uncharacteristically baked in the sun, John & Sydney told us that in desperation, the Fest organizers had to bring in a fog machine so people could get their familiar fix of the traditional ambience that usually accompanies the traditional music there. This is a sad night for us as it is the last night for these two lovely folks at WTF! Next week they will he returning home to Alberta. Lucky for us that John & Sydney pulled out all the stops & all their chops in a very imaginative medley of CHI MI NA MORBHEANNA in English with the choruses in Gaelic intertwined with Stan Roger's TURNAROUND. It was as breathtaking as the Alberta scenery! John & Sydney, can we stow away in your luggage?

Also travelling West, Jim told us that after graduating with his BA 33 years ago, he bought an old van and travelled all over the USA as far as Wyoming working at various jobs. He wrote a song based on observations of people he met along the way - "The turning of the wheel stills the emptiness I feel. For the time being this road will be my home."

Kelly, taking us both back East and back to a gentler time, launched into the old Stompin' Tom PEI tourism ad 800-565-7421. It was a blast!!! We remembered all the words too. Hey... has anyone thought to dial the number? Did Regis & Kelly answer??

Well... after travellin' West and East, it was about time that we went South. Ever the virtuoso, James totally channelled James Taylor in MEXICO. "Oh Mexico, never really been but I'd sure like to go." Me too. But not 'til winter. Mexico at this very moment would melt what's left of my mind.

With a completely different take on the theme of travellin', Adele McGann, joining us for the first time, shared WAYFARIN' STRANGER. We can only hope that it was way cooler over Jordan and that "mother, father, sister, brother " didn't go to that other place with the oppressive heat - Hellifax.

Again... another unusual take on travellin' as "... Uncle Walter goes WALTZING WITH BEARS." This has become Michael's theme song of sorts and he was aked to sing it as a special request from John & Sydney. Who could deny John & Sydney? And there was much hillarity when the phrase "lately I've noticed several new tears", prompted Michael to yell "quick someone... bring me my sewing kit". And Vince was singing his harmony line so loudly along with the choruses that Margo was prompted to say "It's obvious that you'd like a turn now."

But... as Vince was getting his guitar, Jean popped up, resplendent in 1940s garb to share a medley of songs to match her period clothes and hairdo. Jean started her SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY on a SLOW BOAT TO CHINA disembarking under the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER to finish the trip on a BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO. It was a looonnnng trip but a neat one!

In his composition COLD DAY IN JULY, Vince with the brilliant James on slide guitar sang "I think that I'll be leaving 'cause I've heard that winter's cry. The wind is just too cold here for the middle of July". Oh poor soul. The heat has claimed it's first victim of the night. Vince sweetie, you're delusional. It's got to be at least 110 degrees here at Just Us! But thank you for trying to keep our spirits up, reminding us that "cold" is not a figment of our imagination. Others have heard the illusive term too :-)

Ann and Karen, just back from songwriting camp in Sherbrooke Village where they wowed everyone as The Sherbrookettes, shared their new composition WHEN I HEAR THAT WHISTLE BLOW. I have it on good authority that one of the instructors... a certain J.P. Cormier... was moved to tears by one of Ann's songs and declared "That woman should be a star." Duh! Like yeah!!

Cindy told a very moving story that led into the song MARY OF THE WILD MOOR and spooked us with "some say if you go to the spot where the house stood, under the willow tree you will hear the cries". Cindy is so thoughtful. The resultant shivering really helped to cool us down.

Well it WAS... until Don decided to involve cooking... which means stoves... which means burners and ovens. Apparently... a husband asked his wife what she wanted for Xmas. Cooking lessons was her reply and so she got them. Then one night after many lessons, she comes home prepared to make supper. She made a great Hollandaise sauce and the husband really loved it. Six months later, his teeth were really bad. His dentist suggested a plate and gave him the choice of either a plate of plastic or a plate of chrome. To which the husband replied: "There's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise." Don's killing me with these groaners. Then he changed tactics and went for KILLING ME SOFTLY with his song. How could I be mad?

Jim told us an old Zen story about monks complaining about the cold and then complaining about the heat with the message that one must find a place that is neither cold NOR hot. Jim's song ROLL DOWN THE HIGHWAY was about finding that balance. As he started to play, Jim found the chair he was sitting on a bit unbalanced so he moved to another one thus illustrating his point. Jon, master of the quick quip, (say THAT ten times in a row :-) said he only needed some "chair conditioning".

Then Karen sang a short, funny little shuffle tune called THE RUBBA SONG with everyone clapping along to its tight, infectious groove. Then... in their absolutely last appearance at What The Folk!, John & Sydney led us in the Stan Roger's classic NORTHWEST PASSAGE. The room fairly rang with harmonies. And a few tears too!

Leo bounced in with a short snippet from Gilbert & Sullivan - "O Wandering Minstrel...." before Vince and James sang us home with another of Vinces' compositions that offers great advice for the traveller..."There's an old dusty road and I don't know where its going... but I'm walking anyway... you talk about spinning your tires and being stuck in a rut... breathe a little... life's a mystery... you gotta try your best."

And we certainly did that all night long in spite of the heat. At the last minute, as a special tribute to John & Sydney, Jean led us in the old Roy Roger's/Dale Evan's theme song HAPPY TRAILS. How appropriate. What a pleasure to have had John & Sydney with us. Safe home.

And with that our night of travellin' was over. Next week the theme is FLOWERS. We stop to smell the roses and other scented beauties of the garden. Mind the thorns and watch out for bees. And the occasional flasher hidin' in the trees :-)

~The Artful Blodger

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What the Folk: Flower Power

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk!
folksongs . folktales . folkmusic . folkcraft . folklore

WTFstops to smell the
F
L
O
W
E
R
S
!
!

Friday,July 23rd

6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances

Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

The
Mystery
of the Disappearing ...

R
o
s
e
s

*another in the endless series of lunacy from our writer-in-residence before her absence from the locked ward is noticed, authorities are dispatched, and proper meds are FINALLY administered

It happened on THE BANKS OF THE SWEET PRIMROSES.

Scott McKenzie and his pal Rosemary Clooney had been on their way to
SAN FRANCISCO,being sure to wear some flowers in their hair. They'd even been Darin enough to add FIFTEEN YELLOW ROSES each,in addition to a couple of dozen BLOOD RED ROSES. Unfortunately... they decided to stop off along the way at Ricky Nelson's GARDEN PARTY.

After passing a very Demented evening with Iris, Lily, Marlene and Flora MacDonald, carelessly guzzling Neil Diamond's stash of CRACKLIN' ROSIE
, they passed out completely on Jon Bon Jovi's BED OF ROSES. Upon waking, Rosemary screamed, "For Pete's sake...WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE
?". Sure enough... as far as the eye could See, ger were no FLOWERS OF THE FOREST left. Old King Cole, ever the Natty philosopher, shrugged, "They must be gone RAMBLIN',ROSE".
Distraught... Rosemary beseeched everyone to search high and low
FOR THE ROSES.The Statler Brothers said they saw some FLOWERS ON THE WALL
but Marie Osmond knew they were only PAPER ROSES. A sobbing Henry Mancini Bette that THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES were long gone now without
THE ROSE. A traumatized Neil Diamond had hoped to brunch on
BREAD & ROSES with his last night's conquest, Judy Collins, and wailed to no one in particular, "YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS anymore". To which a very Riley'd Jeannie C. screeched, "I beg your pardon... I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN".
Blissfully unaware of all the acrimony back at the Nelsons, Joni Mitchell had just finished up at WOODSTOCK and was leaving Yasger's Farm in the dust 'cause she just had to get herself back to the garden. Little did she suspect that there would be no RED ROSES FOR A BLUE LADY there today. But... Tiny Tim could scarcely hide his glee now that there were no more stupid roses to interrupt his titillating TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS.

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Folk n'Summer

Bloggone it! We did it again! Another fabulous night of folky fun at Just Us! And this time... there's incriminating evidence :-) Margo warned everyone that her daughter Kiera, visiting from Toronto, would be taking candid shots for the web site and anyone not wishing to be caught on film should speak up. Those who did were concerned only that the camera would be unable to record decent pix due to our lack of photogenics - too old or too ugly! To which Paul Hanlon yelled "Photoshop!" And with that... our egos soared... and we were off.

Speaking of "off"... Cindy & Margo got everyone singing "Sum sum sum sum sum sum summertime...." Twice no less!!!! Sounded like a stutterer's convention except there was absolutely NO convention to it at all. It was a frenzied free-for-all. And... just the way we like it :-)

Don was put in the unenviable position of following this lunacy. He wisely chose to avoid uttering the word 'summer' altogether, opting to imply it instead - "the sweetest flower that bloomed o'er the range" which "was buried as the snows begin to fall". There was some discussion regarding the author of Darcy Farrell/Darcy Farrow but we didn't come to blows... yet! In the interests of promoting both peace & education, I can safely say that it was NOT written by either Ian Tyson OR Steve Goodman. The authors are Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell - no relation to Cindy. Whew! A close shave there :-)

QUESTION: "How many singers does it take to sing Summertime?" ANSWER: "All of them apparently."

Karen REALLY wanted to sing the iconic Summertime and was afraid that others would have come prepared to sing it too so she asked if she could be one of the first singers tonight thus ensuring that she'd get the chance. How fortunate for us 'cause Karen's rendition of this George Gershwin classic from Porgy & Bess was lovely. I don't know whether it was the song or our singing along that made Cindy cry but sniffle she did. And James brought out his hanky. In fact... Jame's weeping so upstaged Cindy's that she was prompted to snarkly ask if he'd like a bigger hanky. With all that blubbering, he'd have needed a tablecloth!

What with the tragedy of Darcy Farrell and the pathos of Summertime, thank goodness for Leo. Leading us out of our malaise, Leo took us to Harlem,1943 and had us in stitches with a story called Summer Ain't Simple from Langston Hughe's book Simple Speaks His Mind. I have it on good authority that there was more than one simple mind in the room :-)

Keeping with simpler times, Ann took us down The Bumpity Road somewhere in the backwoods of New Brunswick where eleven kids were stuffed into the back of a volkswagon for a mile and a half trip to "... take us swimming & we all go grinning". If she tried that today, there'd be a fight between Child Protection Services and the RCMP Highway Patrol to see who could write the bigger ticket. Too bad there's laws against kids having fun these days! Who amongst us wouldn't have delighted in being "all shook up in a pickup truck 'cause it hops like a jumpity toad"?

And they were just as lawless in PEI too! Cindy told her own bumpity road story stemming from her summers at Thunder Cove near Darnley Point where the kids would pile into two cars and race to the beach - one car down the dirt road and the other taking the short cut through the tractor field. Hey Cindy... is it true that you taught Bud The Spud from the bright red mud how to drive? The Ontario Provincial Police don't think much of Bud thanks to you :-)

Bob told us that he grew up listening to opera while passing through the kitchen and that the music for Allan Sherman's Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah was from Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda. Bob didn't go to Camp Grenada with Allan. Bob went to Camp Kookamunga where the Boy Scouts were way too busy perfecting their clandestine spying on the girls to waste precious time on a letter back home. They may have "learned to light fires by rubbing sticks together" but they never caught the girls so the woods were safe. Smokey the Bear says "Thank you for your superior lack of seduction skills."

Then that Don Juan, James, seduced us with the Seals and Croft's classic Summer Breeze. We know that James plays guitar like he has four hands ablazin' but we were gobsmacked to find that he seems to have taken up throat singing as well. How else could he have done such a masterful job of singing two parts at once? Well OK... we DID help out. Most of us sounded like seals though but there WAS one Croft in the room.

And it was his turn next. Clary's intros are often extraordinary stories in themselves. He told us that it was a hot August in Sherbrooke Village when a raggetty, maggotty old circus came to town and set up in the ballfield across from Rhoda Brigley's home. Rhoda had long kept scrapbooks of photos of people, places and things she'd like to see and she could scarcely believe her eyes when one of her desires came to be tethered right across from her front porch. She decided to stay up all night, rocking on the porch in close proximity with him cause she'd "never known his kind before" and likely never would again. Clary was there at the time and the song Rhody's Elephant was born. He may have been "an ancient wizzened elephant" but he inspired a most moving song with glorious chords!

Then Cindy told us a story called It Was So Hot. "How hot WAS it?" everybody roared. Cindy said it was SO hot that the corn in the field opened up and popped itself. "How hot WAS it?" we roared again. It was SO hot that the nuts hanging from the trees cracked open and roasted themselves. "How hot WAS it?" (We were on a roll now.) It was SO hot that the sap in the trees poured out and got mixed up with the corn and the nuts to become the world's biggest popcorn ball. Jean Hanlon said it sounded like poppycock to her! Jon thought it was a crackerjack story!

Then Don told us that "In the summer of 1898, when I worked on the railroad...." We should have shrieked "How old ARE you Don?" but we completely missed the boat. So did Don but his lapse was on purpose. He took the train instead and went 900 Miles. You'll have to go farther than that to get rid of US Don :-)

Menopausal Cindy, fanning herself with Don's new CD, Swan Song, announced that she was Don's biggest fan. Hey Don... that has the makings of a very lucrative marketing strategy :-)

For George growing up, two songs signalled summer... Nat King Cole's Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer and Roger Miller's In The Summertime. George shared the latter with some electronic help from his prompter and Jean's very enthusiastic choruses.

And poor Karen lamented "I'd like to lie down but there just isn't room" cause Someone's Been Sending Me Flowers. She was up to the wazoo in nasty perfumed "bluebells that were grey" coupled with meat eating "plants that panted" although she did say that "the cactus corsage touched her deeply". We should have been more sensitive to her pain but I'm afraid we were l.o.a.o.

In honour of Lammas Night, Leo led us all in Robert Burn's Corn Rigs Are Bonnie, a charming song of seduction recollected in tranquility, which Burns set to a tune from Playford's Choice Ayres (1681). We sang lustily along on the choruses 'cause there's nothing we like better than a little summer lovin'.

Unless... it's summer partyin' at Anns. "It's a summer night on McGlinchey Hill; there's a party goin' on" so "bring your newborn babies, bring your cranky old ladies" cause Ann will "teach them how to smile...." Then later we'll all pile ass over kettle into the backs of assorted pickup trucks for the trip back home down the bump, bump, bumpity road. Have you seen that TV ad from Tourism NB with music by a practically comotose David Miles? Well... it wouldn't motivate ME to vacation there! However... if TNB made a promotional video using scenes from Ann's McGlinchey Hill and/or The Bumpity Road, it would be Party Central in New Brunswick from May to September! Vote Ann for Premier!

Bob told an hilarious tale by the legendary Bruce (Utah) Phillips. Apparently one of the laws of the lumber camps involves the cook. If you complain about the food, the job of cook falls to you. But what if you ARE the cook and want out? Well... you try to come up with some concoction truly foul that will guarantee complaints. Bob's cook in the lumber camp in moose country went out and collected the biggest "pasture patty" he could find, added a generous sprinkling of wild oregano, popped the mixture into a pie shell, heated and served. The cook could detect a little bit of unhappiness but not a soul spoke until the last guy straggled in, took his first gagging bite and uttered the immortal lines that would deny the cook his prize... "My God! It's moose turd pie... but good though!"

James decided to spend his Sunny Days in the 70s "sittin' stoned alone in my backyard ... half undressed just soakin' up the sun". I'll bet that James didn't suspect for one minute that the girls next door were selling tickets for an unobstructed view from their upstairs bedroom windows. James paid their way through college :-)

Cindy told the story of the lost Fu*kawe tribe in which a city slicker went out to hunt game. A bunch of old fellers took pity on him and not wanting him to come to harm or get lost, they took him out themselves. They told him about a group of people who had been lost in the woods for a very long time, never to be seen again. Somehow the city slicker got separated from the old fellers and stumbled through the woods into a clearing filled with people. "Who ARE you?" said the city slicker. "We're the fu*kawe". Hoots, guffaws & much sidesplitting laughter erupted. Margo looked around in total confusion and proclaimed that she didn't get it which caused the room to erupt even more volcanically. Cindy, ever patient with children & the less fortunate, carefully explained the punch line to her - "Where the Fu*k are we?" "Ahhhhhhhh!" said Margo. Clary said "Good thing you got the looks girl".

We think he may need his glasses altered! But not his songwriting. Clary ended the evening with what he described as perhaps the oddest song he's ever written -Schade. It concerned his German 1752 heritage when Jacob Kraft (changed to Croft around 1830) came over on the Ann and was one of the original settlers to open up the town of Lunenburg. Schade means Sorry. Clary's not sure why Jacob's sorry but the line "Had I known then what I know now..." implies that maybe he's sorry for bringing them here, for putting them through the hardships of emigration. The words & melody were mesmerizing and Clary's guitar work was stellar. With Clary's glorious voice echoing through the cafe, we departed... happy in the knowledge that summer was here and that we had truly welcomed her in style.

Next week... we're going Travellin'. "Get your motor runnin', head out on the highway lookin' for adventure or whatever comes your way...." Hopefully those two yellow specks of lights dead ahead do NOT belong to a moose!

~The Artful Blodger

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What the Folk Goes Travellin' - kinda

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! goes TRAVELLIN'
folksongs . folktales . folk music - folkcraft . folklore
Friday, July 9th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

* Another work of fiction from our writer-in-residence
before it's discovered that she has escaped from the locked ward... AGAIN!


After 6 DAYS ON THE ROAD, Dave Dudley hoped that some EARLY MORNING RAIN would wash away the Woody scent of his HARD TRAVELIN'. With a heavy heart and a Light foot, he'd been GOING UP THE COUNTRY with The Band... cookin' over ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD and Canned Heat every summer since that RAMBLIN' BOY Tom had lured his PROUD MARY away to GRACELAND for some S&G at the Creedence Clearwater Revival. A Pax ton them all!

And as if things weren't bad enough on this SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY... all Ella broke loose. After Dave made some unfortunate CHANGES IN LATITUDE, CHANGES IN ATTITUDE were in order because Dave had unceremoniously stepped on a wolf and was now being Buffetted by more than FOUR STRONG WINDS. Dave wished he could Ty that son of a b**** to a tree but he was Chapped man. What he needed was a FAST CAR and PDQ 'cause that KATMANDU was BORN TO BE WILD and Segerly Nashing his teeth.

It was just a matter of time before that Stepped on wolf bit Dave in his MARRAKESH EXPRESS and Dave would be GOIN' DOWN THE ROAD FEELIN' BAD yet again. Oh... to be BACK IN THE USSR where the only wildlife to worry about were Beatles!

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer! at What the Folk!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk!
folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore

WTF embraces SUMMER!!!
Friday,June 25th

6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances

Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

Warning! This is a work of fiction.
The cultural icons noted below are totally at the mercy of a deranged mind
In no way are they to be blamed for their part in this farce.

'Twas the SUMMER of '69. Bryan Adams went on V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N with Connie Francis. Unfortunately... their Surfaris were a WIPEOUT! Connie's ITSY BITSY TEENIE WEENIE YELLOW POLKA DOT BIKINI drifted UNDER THE BOARDWALK in MARGARITAVILLE where Frank Sinatra had just retired atter a stifling SUMMER IN THE CITY. Wasting away he wasn't!

After having noshed more than one Lovin' Spoonful of Jimmy's Buffet,Frank passed out... but not before passing on a fairly pungent SUMMER WIND which also drifted UNDER THE BOARDWALK where Bryan and Connie had taken refuge to avoid incarceration, probably in Denver, for having too much SUNSHINE ON HER SHOULDERS and other soft places.
Connie had been Slyly hoping for some HOT FUN IN THE CITY with Bryan's Family Stones but she was Percy losing Faith in A SUMMER PLACE that smelled like a Three Dog Night. Alas... there was to be no JOY TO THE WORLD
on this Kinky SUMMER AFTERNOON.

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What the Folk - Just Us Having Hard Times and Singing the Blues

Bloggerbodies!

Sounds like an expletive but really... it's an expressive term of endearment for all of you who have encouraged this humble writer's musings.Thank you for noticing. Charles Dickens said: Pray, do not therefore, be inducted to suppose that I ever write merely to amuse, or without an object. Must be a guy thing!

The theme last Friday was Hard Times & Blues. The time before it was Shoes. Puts me in mind of Max MacDonald's song... "Last week I was in hardware; this week I'm in shoes. I've got the Workin' at the Woolco Manager Trainee Blues". My version goes... "This week I'm in Hardtimes; last week it was Shoes. I've got the Jugglin' Themes at Just Us Manic In Training Blues".

Margo and Cindy started the night off with a snippet from Stephen Foster's Hard Times. "Hard times, hard times, come again no more..." which really didn't make any sense at all since hard times was our reason for being there and the night was young. We needed all the hard times we could get or the evening would be a dismal failure.

Fortunately Don had brought his banjo and in true hard times fashion too... without a case. Or was that... just in case? Or was it the tea towel stuffed in the back just in case? Either way, Don astonished us with a most expressive & impressive use of banjo chords as he shared the Poor Man's Lament "en francais" no less. Magnifique!

Pixie said that she didn't know any hard times songs. Margo said that living with Vince more than qualified her so Pixie borrowed James's guitar and played Gillian Welch's One More Dollar - "One more dime to show for my days, one more dollar and I'm going home". Really Vince, she deserves a better household allowance than that!

Next we welcomed newcomer Bill Quimby. Bill's guitar was hardtimes in itself - a really neat old Gibson with 15 year old strings and a 2" wide neck. There was authenticity in those bar chords as Bill sang Randy Newman's Louisiana 1927. "There's 6 feet of water in the streets of the lower 9; Louisiana they're trying to wash us away". Well at least we were in no danger of being washed away up on the second floor but we were sure BLOWN away!

And we continued to be blown away as Kate, still playing fiddle as brilliantly as ever and accompanied by the baroque wizard David, sang... yes you heard it first here ladies & gentlemen... Kate sang. 30 years ago Kate sang a solo and last Friday she did it again. "In the pines, in the pines where the sun never shines and they shiver when the cold wind blows". Well WE certainly got the shivers from Kate & David's fabulous arrangement of the haunting modal melody In The Pines. Maybe... if we promise to sing along lustily on the choruses again, she won't wait another 30 years to solo?

And we got to sing along some more with Leo Feinstein, newly arrived from the Boston States. Leo regaled us with story & song snippets from slavery days. Songs like No More Auction Block For Me and Follow The Drinking Gourd. We may have had only one word to sing in Take This Hammer but we made every "Humph" and "Whumph" count. We couldn't agree on the pronunciation so we humphed and we whumphed and we almost blew the house down!

By now, as a chorus, we were approaching liftoff! Fortunately the ever tasteful Ann Fearon managed to temper our raucousness but not our enthusiasm as we contributed stellar harmonies to Ann's moving rendition of Stephen Foster's Hard Times. The lyrics may have been sad but the sound sure wasn't!

It should be noted that Ann had a lot of fans in the room but Cindy was only looking for the one that counted... the electric one. She turned it on, pointed it in the direction of her seat and invited all menopausal women over to that side of the room. Jon said "you have to suffer to sing the blues". I bet HE suffered plenty later on back home :-)

David Stone brought another of his own compositions and since we were on a roll, invited us to sing along. This time it was a powerful Civil War song called Lord Forgive Me. We decided afterwards that David needed to be forgiven too for leading us on. He expected us to grasp what must have been the most wordy chorus ever written and we were not up to the task.
A seasoned auctioneer would have failed! But to be fair... he DID warn us and we should have known 'cause David is a master of wordy.His intros are often longer than his songs :-)

Sydney's a cappella rendering of She Moved Through The Fair was so mesmerizing that you could have heard a pin drop. Not an easy feat in this crowd!

Bob Hartman-Berrier with "bed bugs holding him down" mischievously changed the mood with a late 1920s cock-eyed view of life called Hungry Hash House. I noticed that Jim Smith, of Cockroach Blues fame, seemed to know it and was singing along. What's with those American guys and bugs?

John Waldron, with Leon Rosselson's We Sell Everything, gave David Stone a real run for his money word-wise. I don't think I have ever heard so many words going by so fast in one song except for maybe anything Gilbert & Sullivan :-) John made Hank Snow's I've Been Everywhere Man seem positively comatose in comparison.

According to Karen's 12 bar blues, when she "woke up this morning she had just a body and a tail..." but as The Tadpole Blues progressed, she evolved quite miserably, verse by verse until ... "I'm a frog & I cry & wail ". Jon Stone said that he loves a song with a hoppy ending! Jim said he found the song quite ribbetting!

Jim then quipped: "I thought puberty was hard but at least I didn't lose my tail." Probably 'cause he didn't have any to lose. It's hardly likely that the boys in The Schoolhouse Blues who "smeared glue on their fingers and pretended to peel off their skin" had to beat the chicks off with a stick.

Keeping with the theme of little devils, Cindy told The Black Devil, a hard times story from P.E.I where she grew up. It involved 5 brothers, one of whom was a slacker. But this was good 'cause it saved him from going blind when the 4 others were out in the field hoeing turnips for the Devil. But the slacker's mother was not amused and after chastizing him, they all went to church where a priest sprinkled some holy water and the 4 regained their sight just in time to see a large black dog who was following them home behind the wagon disappear mysteriously. I grew up on P.E.I too but I'm glad I left before the weirdness started :-)


Vince and James took the stage and James with a devillish look, stated that folks singing the blues tended to start with "when I woke up this morning...." James thought that it made a good case for sleeping in 'til the afternoon.

Vince is a very funny guy but tonight he shared his other side in two of his own compositions - The Book and I Am My Father's Compass. Vince told us of having found a book in Frenchys that contained such personal inscriptions that he felt like a Peeping Tom into these folks' lives. He left without the book but it still haunts him: "... If peace & love are what you want, then be that for someone else".

And "I am my father's compass and I will steer the boat. I will write the song and hang on every note. And we will sing together; we'll find that perfect tone. I am my father's compass and I will lead you home." Vince's dad probably had no idea that this handed down heirloom would so inspire this fisherman's son from Peggy's Cove. And what a fitting gift of song it is for Father's Day this coming Sunday!

And James was brilliant on guitar and harmonies as always. A good mornings sleep will do wonders!

Then Bill Quimby returned to lead us in Al Macdonald's Heading To Halifax. Bet you didn't know that Bill headed to Halifax all the way from Baddeck. I don't think those Capers can stand to see an empty highway :-)

And speaking of Capers...we ended the evening with St. Peter's favourite son David Stone explaining how TV images of musician's instruments floating away in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina inspired the song God's Not Into Music. Lines like " He's left New Orleans singing the blues" and "I'm tempted to toss this guitar in the sea before He comes back to finish off me" were the perfect finale to this evening of Hard Times and Blues.

The Summer Solstice is almost upon us so on June 25th... WTF! embraces summer. " Hot time summer in the city. Back of my neck's gettin' dirty and sweaty. Cool cat lookin' for a kitty. Gonna look in ev'ry corner of the city. All around people lookin' half dead...." Yeah... that pretty much sums us up. A bunch of aging Vampires sinkin' what's left of our teeth into some Summer Lovin' & Grease. How can you possibly resist?

~ The Artful Blodger

Saturday, June 5, 2010

WTF: What The Folk! foresees Hard Times & Blues!!!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! foresees Hard Times & Blues!!!
folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore
Friday, June 11th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

Stephen Foster said: Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears...

Eleanor Rigby put on her Long Black Veil and took the Midnight Special to Nowhere Man because she had promised to Send In The Clowns to cheer up Tom Dooley who was suffering in St. James Infirmary with the Worried Man Blues.

Frankie & Johnnie had Trouble In Mind when they passed this Wayfaring Stranger going Down To The River To Pray and not even Angels From Montgomery could have saved her from what waited on the Banks Of The Ohio.

...What awaits YOU at What the Folk? Check out our Blog.
Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

What the Folk! - Folk n' Footwear!

Hey there Blogguys & Bloggals,

Remember camp? Sitting around a roaring campfire with your new best friends singing favourites like The Quartermaster's Store? "There were gnus, gnus pawing through the shoes at the store, at the store.There were gnus, gnus pawing through the shoes at the Quartermaster's store". A veritable Frenchy's for the fuzzy & furry, the wild & the wooly!

Well last week at What the Folk! was kinda like that. We didn't have a campfire but there was lots of roaring (laughter that is). And the fuzzy & furry herd was definitely heard in wild & wooly shoe songs and tales of every style and size.

Clary started off the evening with the traditional Come All Ye Old Comrades and when gently chastized for ignoring the night's theme, launched into an impromptu and hilarious version containing the memorable phrase "boot them in the arse". Cecil Sharpe no doubt was turning in his grave.

After the giggles subsided... Bob, no doubt trying to appease the learned and long-dead folklorist, showed us some true mountain flair with Black Jack Davey on the banjo. John W took us to Amsterdam for a deeply moving stroll along the Zuider Zee in wooden shoes with The Dutchman. In the chantey Blow The Man Down, Jon "robbed the poor Dutchman of his boots, clothes and all". John W, perhaps in an attempt at redress, took great interest in Jon's tartan shirt. "What tartan is that?", said John. " Clan Destine", was Jon's deadpan reply. Groan!!!! Jon managed to duck our flying shoes and keep his wardrobe intact too. Better a redress than an undress!

Seguing into Mr. Bojangles, Karen (Robinson) told us of her great grandfather's career in the minstrel tradition up and down the east coast. Somehow Margo got completely confused and thought that Bill Robinson of Mr. Bojangle's fame was Karen's great grandfather Robinson. "But he's black", declared the porcelain skinned Karen. Margo had to concede that there was little family resemblance.

In The Red Shoes, Kate took us off to Cape Breton for this fiddle tune composed by Dan R. MacDonald and a trip down memory lane. Back in the 1980s, young Kate, new to Cape Breton culture, thought to wow the locals at her first dance with her old-fashioned, and very clunky granny shoes only to find that the locals, the women at least, preferred dancing in gravity defying high heels. Maybe the shoes were red from the seeping blood of broken blisters?

We welcomed Ann Fearon for the first, and hopefully not the last, time. Ann, with James on guitar, shared her own brilliant composition High Heeled Shoes Blues. Like Kate, Ann doesn't think much of footwear designed to maim.

Jay launched into The Dead Horse Shanty, because after all, horses have shoes, don't they? Paul Hanlon said he "nailed it". Double groan! Then Cindy told us a story that she slightly adapted from Helen Creighton's Bluenose Ghosts. We were totally entranced as The Dancing Lass With Shoes So Pretty lost her sole to the Devil. Yes... I spelled it right...her sole. I said that Cindy "slightly" adapted it. It was shoe-pendous :-)

Jim, a la James Dean, arrived on his motorcycle. A rebel without applause he wasn't after These Old Shoes - Jim's touching tribute to his father-in-law in this brand new song that was expressly composed for the night's theme.

June, with James channeling Paul Simon on guitar, floored us with Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes. For a few glorious minutes the room came alive with Ladysmith Black Mbaso harmonies. WoW!

A not so Funny Thing Happened to Clary's feet On The Way To The Forum while he was playing Hysterium in high heels at Neptune. But would his feet have been any happier clad in the new rubber boots that stomped the cabbage into pickle in The Sauerkraut Song? Some people are meant to go barefoot, me thinks :-)

Bob told us of a trek undertaken back in the late 1800s by members of the NYC Explorer's Club into the Amazon Rainforest. With no geographical knowledge of the area and only medieval maps as a guide, expedition after expedition went missing. Bob was so convincing that I believed that the story was true almost to the end. If The Foo Shits, Wear It!

When we regained our composure, John sang a Child Ballad which tells of a lady who gave up her pampered life to follow the Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies. Sounds a bit like Bob's story. No mention of their meeting up with a large flying incontinent bird though!

At Pixie's suggestion, June wrote Take These Shoes specifically for the shoe theme. In fact she was still composing as she and James took the stage to share immortal lines like "when the rubber hits the road, it'll be your sole".

Ann, accompanying herself on guitar, sang another of her own memorable compositions - The Queen of My Back Garden. Karen brought us back to shoes (sorta)... well she did mention "foot" in her hysterical metric version of Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue - "She's a centimetre shorter than a metre and a quarter...."

And then 3/4 of The Dory Bungholes (Jon, Jay & Margo) went Marching Inland... literally... much to everyone's delight. The people downstairs at Just Us must have thought the ceiling was falling in :-) Those Bungs can sure clear a room right some good.

Join us next on June 11th when the theme will be Hard Times & Blues. Surely we'll show more decorum then but I can't promise.

~The Artful Blodger~

Friday, May 21, 2010

What The Folk Has Sole!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! has SOLE!!!
folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore
Friday, May 28th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

The Theme is SHOES!
Tonight - we cobble together sole music and tales with sole.

Mr. Bojangles danced the old soft shoe with an old sole on his worn out shoes.
O My Darlin' Clementine's sole was a fairy-light size nine!
But were they Golden Slippers?
Paul Simon swore she had Diamond's On The Soles of her Shoes.
Elvis swore they were Blue Suede Shoes.
Dylan swore off shoes altogether in favour of Boots of Spanish Leather.
Stompin' Tom's went to the The Gum Boot Cloggeroo
Where I'm sure Rindercella slopped her dripper
And put on her High-Heeled Sneakers.

Shoes, Glorious Shoes...
Bring yours, sing yours. A shoe by any other name would smell....

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!
And... Be Kind To Your Web-Footed Friends for a duck may be...
...somebody's sole mate.

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Mother Would Have Been Proud?

Hey there Bloggeroos.

Did you celebrate Mother's Day on the 9th? Well we sure did and on the 14th too when we "toasted, boasted and roasted" mothers in all their delightful incarnations. But... first things first.

In a surprise move fit for Survivor, Margo handed out coloured squares of paper and asked everyone to write down their choice(s) for a future theme. Panic ensued, followed by copious pen swapping and furious writing as the room breathed red, green, yellow, orange and blue fire. Thankfully it didn't come to blows and by the end of the night, a pile of colorful squares had been collected. Jon was elected to draw the coveted square. Did he succeed? More importantly... did he survive? All will be revealed in good time.

By then we were all really worked up and Cindy, sensing the prevailing mood, let loose with a rousing version of Mama Don't Allow. That mama wouldn't allow any folk singin' or hootin & hollerin'. Good thing she wasn't invited cause that's all we did until Don showed us some decorum with a beautiful rendition of Carole King's You've Got A Friend chosen because his family was too poor to have a mum but they were and still are a friendly bunch. And funny too if they're anything like Don.

Pixie, after what must have been a very hard day at work, tore at our heart strings with I Am Weary, Let Me Rest from O Brother, Where Art Thou? I was sure she must have said O Bother, Where Art Thou? 'cause the next thing we knew there was Vince Looking Out For Linda. Pixie didn't seem too perturbed by Vince's having known the colourful Linda but Vince said that his mum sure was. No wonder!

Karen delved into her family's store of late 1800s parlour songs and brought out So, You're Going To Leave The Old Folks, Jim. And our own Jim Smith didn't seem to think that now would be a good time to leave what with all the yard work that needed to be done "inch, by inch, row on row" as he took us through The Garden Song.

David told us that his mum was a Yiddish folk singer and together with Kate, they unleashed their dual fiddles on Dona, Dona with everyone singing along. We were musically OK but Yiddish we were not! Bob, never ceasing to surprise us with his versatility, recited The Story of Nell. Leona had her own story to tell in What's Your Story Now a composition inspired by her conversation with a group of mothers.

We all held our breath hoping she wouldn't change her mind as Kelly left the safety of her seat to sing for the first time. Then with Don on guitar, Kelly, from the perspective of a mother with three children now grown, ably sang the poignant Turn Around. Since he was already on stage with his guitar, Don didn't have to turn around at all. Besides... that was The Last Thing On His Mind.

Margo, enlisting the aid of Vince; some might have said "risking ruin", went theatrical with The Old Man Who Came Over The Lea.Too bad vaudeville died. Those two really belong on the stage... or UNDER it. Ha! Ha! And Margo was right... there was definitely something wrong with the mother.

Now Vince's mother is another story. As the sole proprietor of Betty's Diner in Peggy's Cove, she was often a one woman show. It wasn't HER fault that it sometimes included unscheduled nude entertainment. How on Earth could she be expected to cook, clean, wait tables AND babysit the kids without at least one of them deciding that clothes were just too much of an encumberance on a hot day in this touristy paradise? Wish we could have been there as Betty... apron flying in the balmy sea breeze/Nor'easter ... chased Vince's little cousin 'round & around the diner over the scenic rocks of Peggy's Cove much to the amusement of the resident diners. Perhaps Tourism Nova Scotia could video a re-enactment for TV promo slots ? At the very least, it would make a delightful postcard full of local colour.

Karen cured us of our giggling with another dose of 1800s tearjerking melodrama in The Baggage Coach Ahead. We'll never look at the parent of a crying child the same way again. Kate & David, with David playing the octave fiddle this time, dried our tears with the high-spirited Mom's Jig by Jerry Holland and Bob kept the tunes coming on fiddle with Lost Waterfall, Arkensas Traveller and Last Indian.

Jim told us a hilarious story from his childhood involving a trip to the woods, a cut lip, drops of blood and a pure white t-shirt. When Jim arrived home from his fun outing, his mother saw only the hunting knife at his side and the humungous red stain in the centre of this t-shirt. Boys will be boys... and a special few grow into men who can write the most unbelievably moving account of a mother's later years with circulatory dementia in song - Bernita, Bernita.

Throughout the evening Cindy told many humorous anecdotes. We especially liked the one where, after her dad had brought fresh fish home to be cleaned, her mum would make the fish faces talk. Figures that Cindy would now be a puppeteer! And with Jon going fishing tomorrow, does that mean there will be a puppet show before dinner? Forget Punch & Judy. At Jon & Cindy's it's Shad & Gaspereau!

And Cindy really knows how to cause a scene in a library too. Riddle this: If a person who plays a violin is a violinist what is a person who plays a piano? A pianist of course. But after partaking in Cindy's library storytelling session involving musical instruments, that's not what the little boy loudly yelled in the lobby. He blared: "Hey mum, we learned aaaaalllllllllllll about penises today!" Cindy nearly died of embarrassment. No word on the boy's mother! Or the pending legal action :-)

And now for the big announcement. Drum roll please. Risking life & limb, Jon drew a yellow square. Our next theme will be... wait for it... SHOES. Use your imaginations. Put your own spin on it... Blue Suede Shoes, Gumboot Cloggeroos, Golden Slippers, Slop Your Drippers. Put on your High-Heeled Sneakers or come Barefoot to Boogie. Just remember that May 28th will be Sole Night.

Oh yes... we decided to let Jon live if he'd sing Shoo Fly!

~The Artful Blogger~

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What The Folk! Celebrates Mothers!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! celebrates MOTHERS!!!
folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore
Friday, May 14th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

M is for the madcap way she raised us,
O is the opinions that she gave
T is the traditions that embraced us
H is the hair- raising tricks we played
E is many long- extended curfews
R is for the rants when we got home

We all either HAVE mothers or KNOW mothers so...
tonight we mingle [ and slightly mangle ] Mothers
Be it... motherhood, motherlode, mothers of invention... we perform
FOR mothers, ABOUT mothers, IN SPITE OF Mothers

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family.
The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!
And bring your mothers... if you dare :-0

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.




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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Posting about Protesting

Hey there Bloggers,

Last night I had the strangest dream. Ed McCurdy was in it. And Bob Dylan. And Billy Edd Wheeler. And Utah Phillips. And The Weavers. Oh wait... it wasn't a dream. It was WTF! and everyone there was singing songs of protest with so much heart & soul as to match or even exceed their writer's versions. If you were there you weren't square. If you missed it... Bummer for you. It was "a happening, man"!

Margo set the tone with a fragment of Odetta's O Freedom. Freedom songs like this one sprung to life during the American Civil Rights Movement. They were well-loved old spirituals given new words to inspire a new generation.

Cindy, taking off her usual storytelling hat and picking up her guitar, was inspired to sing a song by her friend, Norm Walker, a folksinger in Regina. The song, Diamonds and Gold, was about the horrors of diamond mining in South Africa. It had a killer chorus that soon had everyone singing along.

Then Don, apologizing for not having a protest song, shared Brother Can You Spare A Dime which he learned from the singing of Fred Hellerman of The Weavers. We all agreed that if that's not an anti-establishment song, what is?

We welcomed James & June for the first time. And about time too! June, with James on guitar and harmony, sang her own excellent composition Keep It In The Ground, an 'energy'etic piece. We could barely keep ourselves contained as the song was a hoot. And what was that about grandma's ass bumping, bumping, bumping?

Jim had a hard act to follow... but he laid his own deft humour aside and went with the master '60s protestor Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind. He noticed that everyone had no trouble singing along once he had established the first few words of each verse. Old hippies never die but the batteries for their memories seem to be running low.

Fiddling Kate played a lovely tune called The Rights of Man inspired by Thomas Paine's 1791 bill. A protest song on the fiddle? Who but the amazing Kate could pull this off.

Michael led us in Ian Robb's They're Taking It Away and after at least six verses we were in fine voice and no one, not even "the man", could take THAT away.

Bob reincarnated Utah Phillips and surprised us even more by leaving his banjo home in favour of an outing with his guitar.

Jay, in fine voice, sang Donovan's Gold Watch Blues for anyone who's ever had to jump through the hoops of the job interview process.

Then back to Apartheid with Jon on guitar Singing The Spirit Home. He had lots of help on this Eric Bogle gem.

Vince told us about his time spent working in a copper mine in B.C. not so long ago. He said that due to price fluctuations, if you visit the site on Google Earth today, you will see two blue ponds. A perfect segue into Billy Edd Wheeler's The Coming of the Roads.

James took us back to the days where he "tucked his hair up under his hat" ( Giggle! Snort!) and there were "signs, signs, everywhere a sign blockin' the scenery and breakin' his mind." He said "Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?" We weren't sure what we were supposed to do or not to do since no-one told us we were playing Simon Says but we sang along 'cause "for sure, man... we could read the signs".

Pixie sang "It's a hard life, it's a hard life, it's a very hard life" and all eyes were on her accompanist, Vince, 'cause we knew where she was coming from. Just kidding Vince :-) Nancy Griffith herself couldn't have done better.

Don attempted a fragment of a Weaver's song in the hopes that someone would know the other verses. The song was brilliant but, sadly... we weren't. So Don sang one of his own compositions - Funny What People Call Home. We were blown away by its poignant message, exquisite melody and chords to die for.

Again Jim had another hard act to follow but he wowed us with Garbage... not his singing style, duh! ... but the content of this Bill Steele composition that "tells it like it is, man".

Vince asked James to play along on his Til The Job Gets Done and he did and it did with everyone singing lustily along. Then, Margo, reminding us that Ed McCurdy used to live just down the street, launched into The Strangest Dream. It was "groovy, man" 'cause everybody knew the words and the words mean as much today as they did back in the '60s when they were first written. But aren't we missing something here? Like... "the point, man"? Shouldn't we have gotten that monkey off our collective world backs by now? What was all that protesting for? Surely not just to add some pretty songs to our musical culture? "Heavy, man". And too heavy to ponder by the likes of us in one night. So we Roll(ed)The Golden Chariots Along with Vince. I, for one, plan to roll them back in for another night of protest songs in the near future. We barely scratched the surface and I'm still itchy. And hopefully... contagious.


~ The Artful Blogger ~

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Protest: WTF

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:
WTF: What The Folk!

PROTEST
folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore


Friday,April 23rd
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road


Taxes got you down? Fed up with the state of the environment?
War? Overwhelmed by man's inhumanity to man?
Then...Raise your voices, raise a ruckus and raise our collective spirits
With protest songs & stories [ old and new ]

Format: Open mike unplugged. Cost: free will donation
If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family. The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!
Protesting is optional.

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF:
What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sing a Song of Scotland (Celebrating Tartan Day)

April 9th in Halifax was a very foggy night - putting one in mind of mists on the moors. A lot of tartan abounded - Paul & Jean came fully decked out in kilts. Bob wore a tartan shirt and Margo - a tartan cloak. 'Someone' wore tartan underwear but most of us wouldn't look.
Some performers were thematic, some strayed, some strayed widely, but lots of fun was had by all which was ‘verra nice.’

Here is an example of the line up at that foggy event at Just Us Cafe on Spring Garden Road:

Intro: Margo & Cindy - Loch Lomond fragment
1. Don Burke sang Gaia - a James Taylor composition (guitar accompaniment)
2. Michael Thompson sang A Bottle of the Best ( a capella)
3. David Stone sang Headlights - his own composition about Cape Bretoner's traveling West and back ( guitar acc) Cindy thought he said "head lice" and could barely contain herself
4. Bob Hartman-Berrier sang the trad. murder ballad Willie Moore (banjo acc)
5. Cindy told a story called The Finger Lock. Clan McCrimmon prominent.
6. Jim Smith played an instrumental Appalachian tune on banjo
7. Clary Croft sang The Braes of Belquether (a capella). It was written by the Paisley poet Robert Tannahill who gave us the origins of Nova Scotia's unofficial folk song "The Nova Scotia Song" before he went mad and threw himself into the canal.
8. Kate Dunlay played a fiddle medley of puirt-a-beul (Gaelic mouth music - "Calum Crubach", "Seallaibh Curaidh Eoghainn", and "Chuirinn Air a' Phiob E". Margo, Jay, George & Michael sang along in Scottish Gaelic.
9. Margo sang Griogal Chridhe (Beloved Gregor) in Scottish Gaelic (a capella)
10.Vince Morash sang On Ilklay Moor Bar Tat (a capella) with lots of audience participation
11.Dave Stone sang two more of his compositions - Never See Another Train and Song For John Allen (with guitar) These might not be the true titles but they are the subject matter.
12.Don Burke sang Northern Lights - a Lenny Gallant composition (with guitar)
13.Jim Smith sang Made My Home on the Mississippi (with banjo)
14.Vince Morash sang Cosmic and Freaky - a Grit Laskin composition (a capella) complete with miming toking and had us all in stitches. We ended on that note because no one could possibly have topped that for fun and vocal choral intensity.
So there you have it as we remember it. Thanks to everyone who came out!
Margo and Cindy
The theme for April 23rd is Protest Songs and Stories, or if you protest the theme that’s okay too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What The Folk! Tartan Day!

WTF: What The Folk! acknowledges TARTAN DAY!

folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore

Friday, April 9th

6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa

7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances

Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road



Open-mic format, unplugged.

Cost: Free Will Donation



April 6th is International Tartan Day so in honour of all things Scottish...

Sing a song of Scotland, wear a tartan or a tie,

Four and twenty kilters coming thru' the rye.

When the rye was opened, the Scots began to sing.

Now wasn't that a_______________. [pick one]

(a.) Party (b.) Time (c.) Force to be reckoned with



If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family. The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious! Scots singing and tartan wearing is optional.



Yours in folk,

Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157



WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

We Stumped and We Hand Planed!

Hey there Bloggers. Been a while. Unforeseen events... like family and surgery, but not at the same time although... some families may wish to cut out members from time to time. But not us folkies.

On march 26th, we welcomed our SING OUT! family. Almost everyone brought songs with choruses and you could hear us all the way out to the Frog Pond in Jollimore. Scared the frogs silent! The neighbours are still calling to thank us.

Some highlights: Jay & Margo started the evening with the chantey Starbuck's Complaint - very funny since we were in a competitor's cafe. Of course those two hammed it up and we all hooted on the last line of the chorus where it goes "now Sailor's stop, your order's here...." since there's no table service at Just Us cafe.

Bob sang and played Peg 'n Awl on the banjo in true Southern style and later on Don borrowed it for 3 Chords, 's Excuse Me 4. Finally... the banjo got some respect! And so did poor old much maligned Danny Boy when Kate and David, on fiddle and violin respectively, shared a gorgeous traditional Southern instrumental version. It was breathtakingly beautiful but way too short. Kate promises a reprise.

John and Sydney sang Both Sides The Tweed while David's Celtic violin sensibilities made us feel like we were there "where friendship and honour unite and flourish...." Karen arrived a bit late with The Jolly Ploughboy. Clary took one look and sang False Knight Upon The Road. Hmmmm! And just when we were getting cocky with our chorus singing too!!! Who wouldda thunk that a bunch of "diddle dydle dees" couldda undone us? After that... Jay got mixed up with his Woodworker's Alphabet. John's The Close Shave pretty much sums it up. But Jay really knows his trees so "we stumped and we hand-planed" but we didn't get board :-)

by Margo Carruthers

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Stories About Trees

To all storytelling fans, tellers and listeners:

Another great night of stories coming up next week.
Last month's gathering led to the idea of stories about
TREES, but who knows what will grow that night?

Come join us in the forest (where the wild things are).

Thursday April 8, 7-8:30 - but come early!

Upstairs at Just Us! Coffee Shop,

Spring Garden Road at Carleton

All welcome, bring a friend!

Contact: Cindy Campbell
storysong@ns.sympatico.ca

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Storytelling Workshops Offered!

Storytelling Workshops: Spring 2010
Cindy Campbell’s Place (Dartmouth) or TBA

I am excited to be able to offer storytelling workshops this Spring. I have been telling stories professionally for 10 years and this fall I will be attending a storytelling festival and offering workshops. To help me prepare, I am offering a variety of workshops at a special price.
Whether you choose one or two workshops, you’ll get your creative spirit soaring to new levels...just bring your enthusiasm!
To register, contact Cindy at 902-466-0157 or at storysong@ns.sympatico.ca. I can also take requests for workshops at another time and place.
My web page can be found on www.professionalstoryteller.ning.com. For updates on storytelling and workshops, check out my storytelling blog at www.storytellingnovascotia.blogspot.com.

Costs for Each Workshop:
$30 per person
$25 per person for members of Storytellers Circle of Halifax

Beginner Storytelling Workshop:

Tell It! An Introduction to Storytelling
Saturday, April 24 1:00 - 4:30 pm

Wanna find out more about oral storytelling? Or perhaps you are interested in being a storyteller but don’t know if you have what it takes. Want to learn a few basic skills and connect with your storytelling style? This workshop is for you and will help you find, choose, learn, develop, and tell, your story.


Beginner/ Intermediate Workshop:

At the Root , It’s All about Connections
Saturday, May 15 1:00 - 4:30 pm

Storytelling at its roots has been connecting people and helping to define their culture and beliefs for several thousand years. Storytelling develops connections unlike any other art form.
Find your connection whether it be world or cultural tales, personal or family stories, community or historical, fairy or folk tales. Learn a few basic skills that will connect with your storytelling style and help you find, choose, learn, develop, and tell, your story. Discover a few techniques that can help you connect with your listeners of any age and audience size.
This participatory workshop is for novice or intermediate tellers who wish to explore storytelling for use in literary, educational, or historical environments, or for community, casual or performance type events.

Journeyman/Masters Workshop:

Delving for Buried Treasure: Dig Deeper, Connect, and Open Up
Saturday, June 19 1:00 - 4:30 pm

Think you’ve found a treasure of a story but can’t quite see the map? Been telling a story for so long, you’ve lost the magic? This workshop will help you navigate and find the hidden treasures in a new story or an old one. Learn constructive dissection of story parts or characters, then rebuild the story with satisfying improvements. Explore ways to combine several versions of a story or to weave fragments of one story into another one. Find out how to take small stories, anecdotes, folk lore and make a longer cohesive story. Discover the many ways to develop story combos, such as storysongs or how to enhance a story through trickery of voice.
This particpatory and peer supportive workshop is for journeymen or master tellers who wish to delve deep, explore, experiment, share ideas and experiences and feel empowered by change.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SING OUT!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk! celebrates SING OUT!
folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore
Friday, March 26th
6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances
Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

Open-mic format, unplugged.
Cost: Free Will Donation

Yes, there's something to sing about... tune up a string about... call out in chorus or quietly hum... it's Spring! Don't let the peepers get a jump on us. Bring your Songs with Choruses and help make a splash heard all the way out to the Frog Pond...

If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family. The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,
Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Folk n' Green!

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society Presents:

WTF: What The Folk!

folksongs . folktales . folkart . folklore

Friday, March 12th

6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa

7:00 - 8:30pm - Performances

Just Us Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road

Open-mic format, unplugged.

Cost: Free Will Donation

Since St. Paddy's day is just around the corner, why not celebrate your inner, outer, inate, inordinate Irish and bring something Irish to share. It doesn't have to be a song or story, you can maybe dye your hair green, wear a Fair Isle sweater, smuggle in a Leprechaun....

If you are free on Friday, please join us. Tell your friends and family. The space is cozy, the coffee is great and the fun is contagious!

Yours in folk,

Host/co-ordinators: Margo Carruthers 425-3828, Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What the Folk! meets, same time and place , every second and fourth Friday of the month.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wind and Rain Can't Keep Some Folk Away!

It was a blustery, rainy evening at What The Folk on Friday night. There were some very brave folks who managed to plow against the wind, brave the rolling Macdonald Bridge, and drive around fallen branches to sing, tell and play over the rain and wind pounding on the windows.
Between the singin' and the tellin', there was interesting discussion about folk songs, stories and lore.
Here are a few highlights:

Margo sang a beautiful Gaelic song about highlanders coming to Nova Scotia and lamenting about the mountains back home in Scotland. This led to a discussion about making houses and creating homes on barren land vs thickly wooded land, and about new ways vs old.
Jon led a shanty or two with everyone joining in. This led to discussions about the use of shanty singing as work songs.
George sang The Song of New Scotland from the 1750's, the oldest English speaking song written about Nova Scotia. This led to a discussion about ballads.
Jay sang a ballad of the sea, and Margo sang harmony.
Cindy told a story about Uncle Russ and His Prize Pig, then sang a folksong her Uncle Carl used to sing called Mary of the Wild Moor.
Kate played a couple of Cape Breton tunes on the fiddle in Em, as she was feeling very E-minorish because of the weather.
All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend an evening with a cuppa hot brew amoung great company. Although, there was more discussin' than usual, it was very interesting, I learned a few things, had a grand time.
Alas, the evening ended too soon and we had to brave our way out into the storm. We drove back over the Macdonald Bridge, and  I couldn't help but compare the motion of the bridge in high wind to the rocking of a ship in stormy seas. As I gripped the steering wheel, I 'imagined ' my grip on the wheel of a ship and heard the rhythm of a sea shanty echo in my mind.

Looking forward to the next WTF on Friday, March 12.
Yours in folk,
Cindy

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WTF: What The Folk

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society presents:

WTF: What The Folk
folksongs, folktales, folkart, folklore

Friday, February 26th
6:30pm - gathering and grabba cuppa
7-8:30pm - performances
Just Us Coffee Shop
Spring Garden Road
Halifax,NS

Open Mic - unplugged
Cost: free will donation

All are welcome - Folk performers and listeners
Tell friends.
The coffee and tea are delicious.
The fun is contagious!

WTF meets on the second and fourth Friday of every month.
Helen Creighton Folklore Society: www.helencreighton.org

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love, Loss, Longing

WTF: What The Folk
Folklore, Folksongs, Folkart, Folktales

What The Folk is having it's first theme night
Love, Loss, Longing: Something for Every Valentine Mood

Friday, February 12, 2010
Just Us Cafe
Spring Garden Road

6:30pm Gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00 pm WTF starts
8:30 pm Wrap Up

Open Mic, Unplugged Format
Cost: Free Will Donation

Hosts:
Margo Carruthers 425-3828
Cindy Campbell 466-0157

WTF: What The Folk

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society presents:

WTF: What The Folk
Folklore, Folksongs, Folkart, Folktales

Every Second and Fourth Friday of the Month
Just Us Cafe
Spring Garden Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia

6:30 gathering and grabba cuppa
7:00pm  WTF begins
8:30pm Wrap Up

Open Mic, Unplugged Format
Cost: Free Will Donation


Hosts:
Margo Carruthers 425-3828
Cindy Campbell 466-0157