Folkus Project of CNY
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Slaid CleavesA very special season-opening concert . . .

An Evening With . . .
Slaid Cleaves
This keenly observant songwriter, spinning working class stories from the heart, makes a rare CNY appearance to open our fall 2014 season.

Friday, September 12, 2014
8 p.m. / $20
Member price: $17 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website

YouTube clip
Rust Belt Fields


One Good Year

Still Fighting the War
YouTube clip
Black T-shirt
YouTube clipCry


Texas Love Song

“I bet Dylan, Young, and Springsteen wish that they could still write songs like these.” — Alan Harrison, No Depression

Slaid Cleave’s is one of America’s most accomplished and cherished singer/songwriters — a songwriter that Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King) — describes like this: “I’m glad I found Slaid Cleaves, because my life would have been poorer without him. . . . Go to one of Slaid’s shows, take a friend, and pass on the news: Not all the good guy’s wear hats.”

Cleaves is also one of the most important songwriters never to have played in Syracuse as part of the Folkus Project — until now.

Cleaves’ music is rooted in country and traditional folk songs, but is unique enough to have held interest in a vast sea of singer/songwriters since the 1990’s. Cleaves spins stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart, primarily about working-class people and romantics both hopeful and hopeless.

Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter’s latest CD, Still Fighting the War, spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves’ seamless new collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiseled.  Dress William Faulkner with faded jeans and a worn six-string for a good idea. Other albums over Cleaves’ career include Broke Down (2000), Wishbone (2004), Unsung (2006) and Everything You Love Will Be Taken (2009) — all that established him as a singular storyteller.

“A sharply observant song writer with a deep appreciation for the ageless fundamentals of folk, country, and rock.” — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Raised in South Berwick, Maine, and residing in Austin, Texas, Cleaves was an English and philosophy major at Tufts and his lyrics are underpinned by both a fine sense of meter and moral clarity of vision. You can hear the former — the clever rhymes and forward narrative momentum — in a jaunty song such as Texas Love Song. “Slaid’s a craftsman,” says Terri Hendrix, who sings harmony on that song.  “He goes about his songs like a woodworker. You get a lot of the man behind the lyrics. What you see with Slaid is what you get. He doesn’t have the eyes of a cynic.  He has optimism about him through a realistic gaze and writes with a wise voice.”

“He phrases like a grifter trying to croon his low-down past away…and writes like he knows he never will.” — Roy Kasten, River Front Times, St. Louis

Slaid Cleaves: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)


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Thanks to everyone who came out for the 2013-14 season . . . another great year of folk and acoustic music.

Here are a few highlights of the end of the season . . . courtesy of Larry Hoyt.


Tony Trischka  

• Photos of Tony Trischka concert

• YouTube of Rani Arbo concert

Rani Arbo on YouTube
YouTube: See recent Rani Arbo appearance at Folkus
  Alison & Zoe


Ways to Help

Volunteer for Folkus. Help staff a show. Help manage Folkus. For info, e-mail volunteer@folkus.org

  Bring Baked Goods to a Show!
The snack counter at Folkus shows features a mixture of store-bought and homemade goodies, but of course everyone prefers the homemade stuff! If you're a baker, next time you come to a show, bring a plate of cookies, brownies or such. Thanks.
  Help Get Our Posters Out There!
Join the Poster Club.. Give us your e-mail address and we'll send you Folkus show posters (as a PDF attachment). Print and post it wherever you like. To join, send an e-mail to posters@folkus.org.



Songwriter WoodshedA meeting of and for local songwriters . . . more info / Facebook page. Next Meeting: Sept. 3


Later This Season

The Acoustic Guitar Project Concert
Acoustic Guitar Project artistsA unique celebration of original music in Central New York — and around the globe.

Friday, September 26, 2014
8 p.m. / $10

Member price: $8 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

project website

“One guitar. One week. One song.” That’s the tagline of the Acoustic Guitar Project, an international songwriting project that originated in New York City and has spread around the world. In each city, a guitar circulates from songwriter to songwriter, and each person has one week to write a song on that guitar and capture it on a handheld recorder.

Projects launched this year in 35 cities, from Buenos Aires to Boston, Minneapolis to Moscow — and, this summer, Syracuse. Syracuse-area songwriters who are taking part include Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, Colin Aberdeen, Tim Burns, John Cadley, Dana “Short Order” Cooke, Ashley Cox, Gary Frenay, Colleen Kattau, Arty Lenin, and Wendy Ramsay. On September 26, all ten will gather for a special Folkus Project concert in which they will play their Acoustic Guitar Project songs on the project guitar, handmade in Maryland by Minor Bird Instruments and signed by all the artists.

Acoustic Guitar Project: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Bob FrankeBob Franke
A songwriter's songwriter. One of the very best craftsmen of original song, and one with very deep Folkus roots.

Friday, October 10, 2014
(note special second Friday date)
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Workshop: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 11-12

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

Bob Franke's songs are considered classics, fueled by his deep faith and the real-life lessons taught him by his 30-odd years of playing everywhere from concert halls to street corners. Bob has appeared in concert at coffeehouses, colleges, festivals, bars, streets, homes and churches in 33 states, four Canadian provinces and England — including many times with the Folkus Project. We're happy to have him back.

Listen closely. His sometimes gentle-seeming compositions burst with poetry and deep, worldly, sometimes spiritual insight. They've earned him more than a few fans. Tom Paxton, for example, who said, "I always think of Bob Franke as if Emerson and Thoreau had picked up acoustic guitars and gotten into songwriting." Or Christine Lavin: "Bob Franke writes the kind of songs that will still be sung a hundred years from now."

Songwriting Workshop. While he's in town, Franke will also present his famous two-day songwriting workshop. Brainstorm on Saturday, and present a finished song on Sunday. There's no more profound way to learn the craft. For info, e-mail workshops@folkus.org.

Bob Franke: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Natalia ZukermanNatalia Zukerman
After she opened for Garnet Rogers last winter, this roots-oriented singer songwriter was an obvious choice for a headline appearance.

Friday, October 24, 2014
(note special fourth Friday date)
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

With diverse influences that include folk, jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass, country, and even classical, Zuckerman has been described by public radio as “an example of the finest Americana.” She combines her unique slide guitar playing style with seductive vocals, a painter’s observing eye, unapologetic writing, and sharp wit. She'll be supporting her new album -- her seventh -- called "Come Thief, Come Fire."

No less than the New Yorker said, “Natalia’s voice could send an orchid into bloom while her guitar playing can open a beer bottle with its teeth.”

Natalia Zukerman: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Boxcar LiliesThe Boxcar Lilies
The darlings of last year's Falcon Ridge new-talent showcase make their Folkus debut.

Friday, November 7, 2014
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

The Boxcar Lilies have quickly made a name for themselves with their signature mix of folk, country, and bluegrass-tinged Americana music featuring spine-tingling, innovative harmonies and top-notch songwriting. Accompanying themselves on guitar, clawhammer banjo, ukulele, electric bass, and washboard, they have brought their uniquely warm sound and energetic stage presence to venues up and down the Eastern seaboard, including The Birchmere Music Hall, Club Passim, and Philadelphia's Tin Angel, and opening for legendary performers like Bill Staines and The Seldom Scene. In 2012, they were selected to perform an official showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference and in 2013 won the audience voting in the Emerging Artist Showcase.

Based in Western Massachusetts, The Boxcar Lilies are Jenny Goodspeed, Stephanie Marshall, and Katie Clarke — three singer-songwriters that met through a local musicians’ cooperative and discovered a shared passion for three-part harmony. They joined forces and in 2011 released their debut CD Heartwood, recorded with producer Dave Chalfant (Erin McKeown, The Nields). In 2013 they released their second studio album Sugar Shack which they recorded with producer Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Catie Curtis). The album debuted on the Folk DJ Charts at #2 this May and it was highlighted by both CMJ.com and eMusic.com in their roundup of exciting new releases.

The Boxcar Lilies: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Karen SavocaKaren Savoca & Pete Heitzman
Our favorite Munnsville-based funk-folkers return to the Folkus Project stage.

Friday, November 21, 2014
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

artist's website / YouTube clip

Musical partners for more than twenty years, Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman got their start here in Central New York, performing at many a local joint as Mind's Eye. Then, thanks to a breakout appearance at Falcon Ridge, Pete and Karen became stars of the folk world, and now travel hither and yon (from their home base in Munnsville), performing for appreciative audiences. Every couple years they come home to Folkus.

Karen and Pete mix soul, r&b, roots and world rhythms, with Karen pouring her heart into a song the way a great actor throws herself into a role. Pete, a Syracuse native, was playing in clubs at the age of fifteen, carving out a reputation as an ace guitarist capable of playing many styles, touring across the country with a variety of bands. They met one night while Karen was at Syracuse University and performing locally; they jammed the night away and Pete joined Karen's group the next day.

Acoustic Guitar magazine calls Heitzman "a true virtuoso of groove, with a sly touch that, combined with Savoca's in-the-pocket drumming and spectacularly soulful vocals, gives the duo the impact of a four-piece band." Said Greg Brown (with whom they have toured extensively): "If [Karen] were a Native American, her name would be Sings Like Two Birds." The duo have released eight CDs on their own Alcove Records label, the latest of which is "Promise," recorded in their 19th century church studio.

Karen Savoca: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)




Sparky TownLinda Sparky Mortimer
Thanks Sparky Town
. . . great supporters of Folkus

The good folks at Sparky Town restaurant provide meals for visiting artists and lots of other little favors to Folkus. We love Sparky Town! (Their website.)


Past Shows on Facebook
Photos, videos, and recordings of some recent Folkus shows have been posted by Larry Hoyt:

Mike PowellMike Powell / Feb. 21 . . . Video at YouTube . . . Photos on Facebook MP3 recording of Andrew & Noah VanNorstrand, 3/8/14, at the Westcott Center: "Til the End of the World Rolls 'Round" More photos on Facebook:

 


Address questions about this website to Dana Cooke, shortorder@danacooke.com

Join FolkusFans
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Reminders and late-breaking news. Click here.

About Folkus
Who we are and what we do. Click here.

The Venues
May Memorial UU Society
First and third Friday of the month
All shows at 8 pm (doors open at 7:30)
3800 East Genesee St., Syracuse / website / how to get there

Westcott Community Center
Second Saturday of the month
All shows at 8 pm
Corner of Euclid Ave. and Westcott St., a half-mile east of SU / website / how to get there


Ticket Policy
Advance sale tickets through PayPal and other methods. Click here.

(Don't have a PayPal account? You can still use PayPal to make a credit card purchase.)

Note: If you have questions about your ticket purchase for a Friday show at May, please do not telephone May Memorial or the Westcott Center. Review our advance ticket policy and, if you still have questions, try e-mailing tickets@folkus.org. Thanks.


Elsewhere in the Region

Stable Junkies • Kellish Farms • Fr 8/29 • website


Friends of Folkus

Bill Knowlton's Bluegrass Ramble. Bill's bluegrass radio show (and associated events) date back almost as far as Bill Monroe himself! / website

CNY Bluegrass Association. Folk music's mountain-bred second cousin / website

"Common Threads." Folk music on the radio. / website

Guitar League. Talk and workshops about your ax. Meeting monthly / website

Irish Sessions. A great, ongoing jam of Celtic and old-timey types. Every Sunday / website

Kellish Farms. This Pompey Center farm has been converted into a music center, featuring concerts and jams of folk, bluegrass, and country types / website / Syracuse Post-Standard article

Oswego Music HallOswego Music Hall. One of upstate New York's most venerable music venues, in a beautiful location to boot! / website

Syracuse Community Choir. Songs of peace and social justice / website

Syracuse Country Dancers. Contra dances and the like / website


Join the CNY Friends of Folk listserv. For info: website