This coming September 15-16th will be time for the annual PARKSLOPE BLUEGRASS & OLD TIME MUSIC JAMBOREE. I'll be hosting an introduction to songwriting and singing workshop during the day. Later that night there'll be concerts. Check the poster out for more details. Not to be missed! (if I do say so myself). Take note of the change in location to the Old Stone House (still in Parkslope).
Themed around generations with headliner Sarah Lee Guthrie. (Sarah Lee is the daughter of Arlo Guthrie and granddaughter of Woody Guthrie). It's a full day of music and you can check out the full listing here. I'll be doing an in the round set at 5:30pm under the banner Bluegrass & Roots with Greg Cornell & The Cornell Brothers, and He-Bird, She-Bird
When: Saturday, July 29
Time: 12 noon to 10:30 p.m
Where: Heckscher Park, located off Main Street (Route 25A) and Prime Avenue, in Huntington Village.
The Kindred Folk Monthly Music Series is a D.I.Y. music series for friends, family and fans of acoustic music in and around the Peekskill, NY. It is a very cool spot, a little river town with plenty of restaurants, bars and art galleries, which makes for a good hang after the show.
Here are the details and Facebook invite: (feel free to invite yourself, and your friends)
When: Sunday, April 9th
Where: Division Street Guitars, 36 N Division St, Peekskill, New York 10566
Time: 4pm-6.00 - 6.35pm
Cost: The suggested donation is $15.
Artist Time Slots:
4:30 - 5:05Mitch Katz
5:15 - 5:50Carolann Solebello
6:00 - 6:35Vincent Cross
I got to hang out with Kelly Walker at this year's North Eastern Folk Alliance and we managed to record some tunes & chatter in the hotel room there. Sit down and have a listen as we run through the crafting of songs from Old Songs for Modern Folk.
"We can talk about the process, but I've no idea how to write a song."
(Image by Kelly Walker)
I'll be doing a 30min set at Cafe Vivaldi in the Village next Saturday, January 21st. First gig of the year at one of NYC famous folk locations.
Bob Dylan's famous 'Freewheelin' album cover was shot at the end of the street. Come early for a photo shoot!
I've just heard that the year end results are in from the Folk DJ top artists, albums and songs, and Old Songs for Modern Folk, broke the 30 with #27 for Album of the Year. As Artist I came in at #69 with Dylan and Baez rocking the top spots. For top songs 'Michael Brown' & ' Freeport Town' received the most plays across the folk radio shows. This is a testament to the nature of folk radio that it listens and support artists without labels, managers or other such industry weaponry. All simply because they like the songs. This is hopeful indeed.
For more information on the charts check out this link.
I'm very pleased to be part of this year's People's Music Network Winter Gathering which is preceded by a Winter Concert on Friday January 27th.
The concert brings together some of the North East's (and further) finest songwriters and activists for a night of social change in song.
Also, I'd also urge songwriters to consider registering for the full PMN gathering for the many workshops that cover: creative process, group singing, music promotion, music skills, and roots writing traditions. I'll be doing a Sunday morning workshop on topical songwriting that covers some essentials on composing topical and historical songs in the Americana tradition using primary and secondary sources.
Check out the link to register or to read more:
I got the idea for 'The Ballad of Roosevelt Avenue' from a local newspaper story about a young man who came to NYC pursuing a dream. It uses an old traditional melody that I first heard Roscoe Holcomb sing, and even some of the lines, which still resonate today for those who leave the countries for better lives.
A brand spanking new video of "Ode to an Old Guitar" from the album Old Songs for Modern Folk (2016).
"I bought an old vintage Martin guitar. It was 000-18 parlor size thing from 1955. The more I played it, the more I began to think about the artistic life and how this instrument finds its place at the heart of it."
Read more about how the song was written on "Behind the Song"
It was with great joy that I finally get over to New Jersey for a show at The Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club. For over thirty years the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club been devoted to bringing the best in folk music to the Northeastern New Jersey area. I'll be opening for the wonderful Garnet Rodgers who cut his musical teeth on the country music broadcasts from the Grand O;' Opry with his older brother, Stan.
For further details head over to the Hurdy Gurdy Website.
The New York City Folk Music scene has been keeping me busy since returning from the road. On Sunday, October 2nd I took the stage for my first performance at the Good Coffee House in Brooklyn. This legendary house of folk has moved venue, and has a lengthy career hosting some extreme folk musicians: John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers), Reverend Gary Davis, Alice Gerrard, David Grier, Ernie Hawkins, Woody Mann, Bruce Molsky, etc.(The list is almost endless). I was also fortunate to have two York Old-time and Blue Grass legends join me for some fine harmony singing (Gene Yellin & Bill Christopherson).
Sunday October 9th brought me back to the Scratcher Sessions. This Irish pub in the East Village still holds onto many of the lost touches of what a pub is about. Firstly, there's not a noisy TV screen to seen anywhere, and conversation is heard in all its forms. That is accept during the live performances by the songwriters every Sunday. The list of artists to perform in this relatively obscure venue is just as impressive as the Good Coffee House. Recent Performers include this years Irish contingent from the Newport Folk Festival, Glen Hansard as well as Mark Dignam, Brendan O'Shea, Roesy, Jarrod Dickenson, Mundy and Damien Dempsey.
The Good Coffeehouse has been good enough to ask me to open their coming season of events this coming October 2nd. It is a great honor to do so, as some of my favorite artists have performed in this lovely intimate room (Woody Mann, James Reams etc). It's also one of the longest continuously running acoustic-music listening rooms in New York City, and has been holding concerts for over 40 years.
UPDATE: I'm thrilled and delighted to announce two fantastic guests that'll join me for The Good Coffee House show. Gene Yellin (guitar) and Bill Christophersen (fiddle). These guys are incredible talents and are two of the top old-time and blue grass musicians on the NYC scene. Their voices blend beautiful and I'm very excited that they'll be able to join me for a tune or two.
Full Details: https://t.e2ma.net/.../dea19973722b15d518b7fdf51dfca1c5
The summer months have certainly been a trip, as I finally slow down and take stock of the miles covered. I must have traveled 10,000 miles on the USA & Canadian tour alone, and that's without a thought to Australia in July. If I think about that too long it makes my head ring. At times I was wondering what in the world I thought I was doing driving across America. Then I thought that about those folks that flew into space, and began to think of my car as my little space ship. I think I was probably hallucinating some of the time as towns flashed past like distant stars.
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Thanks must go to the wonderful Toby Tobias, and the talented folks out in Huntington. I have to say they sang up a storm on "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad."
(Thanks also to Michael Kornfeld for snapping this pic.)
10,000 miles across the USA and back to ole NYC safe and sound... Well.. almost. This little freeloader came on board in Chicago.
Thanks to the many folks who turned out to support my first show in Asheville, North Carolina at the Isis Music Hall. Hosted by the wonderful Louise Baker It was a special night. To actually be playing in such a musically influential area in relation American roots music was humbling and exciting. Friction Farm opened up the night with a wonderful blend of stories, and instrumental harmony which clearly indicated why they have become so popular on the folk music scene. It's always great to make new friends when you're touring. A big thank you to the local press Mountain Express who wrote a lovely piece about the new album, Old Songs for Modern Folk.
I'm presently touring North Carolina tonight, but am happy to see they haven't forgotten me in Australia in the August addition of Trad & Now. Here's a little interview from the tour. Details www.vincentcross.com
Not sure how I feel about being called a "folk star," but with only two shows left of the Australian tour I sure wish I could stay a little longer. Check out the show section for tour details. (image by Mary Brettell)