A great way to beat the Februaries is to have a little fun with music. Last Friday I invited some teachers at school to join my Junk Band for an impromptu performance for students. Happily my colleague Carole Carter caught it all on video. Join me in the kitchen for some music played by folks who learned their “instruments” on the spot.
Playing base with Tag Vennard and Pat Kenneally at Main Street Cafe in Groton, MA.
October 31st was pajama night but looks like Pat didn’t get the memo.
Photo by Gail Finnie.
Big show this month! Join Chris Pahud, Seth Connelly, Bob Metzger and me at the Homegrown Coffeehouse in Needham, MA on Saturday, February 21st.
This Month’s Music
The Junk Band plays Momma Don’t Allow
Momma Don’t Allow – Trad., by The Junk band (13 minutes)
Video by Carole Carter.
I love working in a school. I spend every day with enthusiastic young learners and talented colleagues who delight in the pleasures and challenges of teaching. After decades of working at a school, I think my mind and body are synchronized with the natural rhythm of the academic year. February always seems to bring with it an emotional lull, as if I am half way through a tunnel – unable to see the light at either end. The short days and long nights, cold weather, flu and other winter bugs all conspire to nibble away the usual lift I get from everyday work. Last week I decided to do something about it.
At my school we often start our day with Morning Meeting – a time when students and teachers make announcements, celebrate successes, share passions, comment on current events and make music. I asked several teachers and administrators to join me as members of a Junk Band to do an impromptu performance. With little to no additional information, everyone said “yes!” Click on the video above to view the fun. In the first half, you will see bandmates introduced to instruments they have never played before. If you want to skip to the actual performance, jump to the 5 minute 30 second mark of this 13 minute video.
As a little bonus song this month, here is the result of a fun afternoon of recording in our New Hampshire cabin. I learned this song from R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders. On this recording, I sing and play all of the instruments, including guitar, mandolin, wash tub base, jaw harp, slide whistle, and krummy horn.
Yearning and Blue
A Krummy Horn? – Yes, an instrument hand crafted before your eyes from a soda straw.
Tom’s Krummy Horn – Amazing Things Arts Center
I believe in the positive power of music. More please!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Saturday, February 21, 2015, Needham, MA
SAVE THE DATE. I am thrilled to co-headline with Chris Pahud at the Homegrown Coffeehouse, proudly celebrating their 30th anniversary of bringing the very best of local and touring folk artists. The carrot cake alone is worth the price of admission! Special guests: Seth Connelly and Bob Metzger.
Thursday, February 26, 2015, WICN-FM Worcester, MA
I will be joining a host of great folk and Americana musicians live in the studio at WICN-FM on Nick Noble’s show, “The Folk Revival”. Listen live in the Worcester, MA area on 90.5 FM, or streamed lived around the planet at WICN. Looks like I will be in the final hour of the show. Tentative order of performance: Neptune’s Car, Kim Jennings, Eric Luskin/Side Street, Peg Espinola, Ryan Foss, The Lied To’s, Gail Finnie, Jason Eslick, Ari Charbonneau, Tom Smith, Sandy Haddon/Kathryn Kauffman.
Friday, March 13, 2015, Bridgewater, MA
I am proud to launch the 2015 series for Cherry Bridge House Concerts. Looking forward to doing two full sets, hosted by Andy and Judy Daigle.
Saturday & Sunday, April 25-26, 2015, Mansfield, MA
I return to the New England Folk Festival with two shows.
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-profit: Ukes for Schools
“We are an arm of River City Ukulele Orchestra , dedicated to bringing the joy of music to elementary and junior age school children at NO COST to the kids involved.
Thru a special partnership with The Strum Shop and Kala Brand Musical Instruments, we are able to provide very nice quality, beginner grade ukuleles to kids in various schools around the Sacramento Valley. As of this writing, Nov 2014, we have almost 700 ukuleles distributed throughout the Greater Sacramento Area and beyond! And we’ve only just begun… We are a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation, so any and all donations are tax deductible.
We […] believe that music can and does help a child grow up to be a much happier and more productive person in life.”
Please join me in supporting the work of Ukes for Schools.