4 Seasons 4 Years

 

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an exclusive
Old Songs production

featuring



visitors 4-some


About Four Seasons Four Years

Four Seasons, Four Years is a new and exclusive production featuring eleven singers and musicians performing a selection of songs extant in America between 1850 and 1865. These include both popular songs of the period as well as songs composed in response to the Civil War itself and events leading up to it. The songs are interspersed with historical narrative specific to New York State and the New York Volunteer Regiments.

The cast of singers and musicians include Greg Artzner, Dan Berggren, Betsy Fry, Steve Fry, Reggie Harris, Terry Leonino, John Roberts, Bill Spence, Toby Stover, Susan Trump and George Wilson. All known in their own right as fine working musicians, they have joined forces to present this unique show in observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The songs of this period include Negro spirituals, shape-note hymns, marching songs, sentimental songs and songs and parodies written by 19th century writers such as Stephen Foster, George F. Root, the Hutchinson Family and Henry C. Work. The cast performs in individual and ensemble performances bringing these songs alive with great gusto, emotional impact and exceptional musicianship.

The production has been produced, compiled and directed by Old Songs, Inc. Executive Director Andy Spence in collaboration with the musicians.



The Cast:

Greg ArtznerGreg Artzner is an outstanding guitarist whose fingerstyle approach owes a lot to his heroes, guitar legends such as Reverend Gary Davis, nBig Bill Broonzy, Nick Lucas, Phil Ochs, and Rolly Brown. His high baritone voice has equal range and his captivating interpretation gives power and beauty to the full spectrum, from growling blues, to a Chilean lament, to a sweet croon. He and Terry Leonino have performed together as "Magpie" since their meeting at Kent, Ohio in 1973

Terry LeoninoTerry Leonino's voice is a truly impressive instrument, not only because of its natural power, but also because of her versatility. She is a gifted singer of jazz and blues in the tradition of Connie Boswell and Billie Holiday, but is equally comfortable with the subtle beauty of traditional folk and contemporary songs. Terry is also an excellent player of the harmonica, mandolin, fretted dulcimer, and rhythm guitar.

Dan BerggrenDan Berggren has been collecting, writing and singing folk music of the Adirondacks for the past 30 years. He grew up in the mountains on the land farmed by his mother’s family and worked in the woods on a forest ranger’s crew and a survey crew. Hearing stories and songs from local friends and neighbors, Dan has developed a style that captures the spirit of the mountains.

Betsy Fry Betsy Fry was singing at an early age and in school, church and college choirs and in her 20s with Elaine Brown's Singing City Choir and Chorale, which performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. More recently she has performed as a member of Annie and the Hedonists (20 years, on bass) and on clarinet with the Albany Area Senior Orchestra and Swing Shift swing band. Favorite quote: " You're only as good as the last note you played!".

Steve Fry Steve Fry is a musician's musician. Beginning with formal piano studies at age 5, he also played violin, trumpet and french horn as a child, ending up as a music performance major early in college. Over the years he has played in symphony, pops, opera and light opera orchestras, various concert and marching bands, a rock band, a jug band, various contradance bands, an English country dance band, bluegrass and folk ensembles, and performed for 20 years with "Annie & the Hedonists".

Reggie Harris Reggie Harris is a superb guitarist, a wonderful singer, and an eloquent, and engaging storyteller with a scholarly depth of knowledge of his material. Reggie and his wife and partner Kim Harris have performed widely and to great acclaim for over 3 decades. Creative curiosity, years of road and stage experience and interactions with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Jay Leno, Tom Paxton, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Harry Belafonte and others, has led them to produce music that entertains and inspires.

JohnRobertsJohn Roberts has been singing English folk songs since the early 1960s, when he joined a local folk club in his native Worcestershire. Coming to the U.S. as a graduate student in 1968, he soon joined with Tony Barrand to form a duo which has lasted ever since. Singing in unaccompanied harmony, or with concertina or banjo, their entertaining style has delighted audiences at major festivals and venues such as Fox Hollow, Mariposa Folk Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Old Songs, and the Mystic Sea Music Festival.

Bill Spence Bill Spence has been a musician for over 50 years, playing banjo, guitar, autoharp and the instrument he is best known for today, the hammered dulcimer. In 1970 he formed a string band named Fennig’s All-Star String Band with musicians living in the Albany, New York area and in 1973 the group released its classic LP, The Hammered Dulcimer. Since 1976 the band has featured Bill along with George Wilson and Toby Stover.

Toby Stover Toby Stover is a long time veteran of the music and theatre arts, having worked extensively with a wide range of groups and programs. She is an acknowledged master of New England-style rhythm accompaniment on the piano. Toby began studies in West African rhythms in 1985 and has trained on the djembe and dun dun drums intensively since 1998 when she began performing with the folkloric group Fakoli Dance & Drum. She continues to perform regularly with The Vanaver Caravan, Fakoli and Fennig's All Stars.

Susan Trump Susan Trump has been winning fans for years with her singing, her songwriting prowess, her outstanding skills on mountain dulcimer, guitar and banjo, and her clear, relaxed teaching style. Her love of Anglo-American music has taken her from the mountains of Southern Appalachia and the Adirondacks to the British Isles, where she has collected and performed traditional music. Her music links the pastoral, tranquil images of rural America to our contemporary life, touching the heart, recalling the past, and inspiring the times ahead.

George Wilson A talented, multi-instrumentalist and singer, George Wilson's repertoire samples a wide variety of traditional and folk styles. As a fiddler, he has over 500 tunes for dancing and listening tunes from New England, Quebec, Cape Breton, Scotland, Ireland and Shetland. His dynamic fiddling, strongly influenced by Cape Breton and French Canadian styles, has been popular with contra dancers and concert-goers since the late 1970s. Also accomplished on guitar and 5-string banjo, George is especially known for his spot-on renditions of songs by musical personality's of the past like Uncle Dave Macon and Huddie Ledbetter.


Andy SpenceAndy Spence, Director.
Entrepreneur and producer for over thirty years in the field of folk and traditional music. A founding member of the Pick'n and Sing'n Gather'n and Old Songs, Inc. Andy's producing credits include Woody Guthrie's California To The New York Island (1969), A Tribute to Malvina Reynolds (1972), An Evening At the English Music Hall (1974), The Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance (since 1981) and The American Conscience: Folk Songs of the 1960s (2004), The Visitors (2007). Dedicated to presenting folk, traditional, Celtic and World music and dance in the Capital District, she continues to carry on the tradition.


Schedule
 

 

There are currently no future performances planned

Past Performances:

 

Sand Lake Center for the Arts Averill Park, NY - website
Saturday, April 20, 2013

Springville Center for the Arts Springville, NY - website
Saturday, June 1, 2013

West Kortright Center East Meredith, NY - website
Sunday, September 30, 2012

View 3273 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY - website
Saturday, September 29, 2012

Caffè Lena, Inc. @ Universal Preservation Hall
25 Washington St., Saratoga Springs, NY - Caffe Lena website

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Old Songs Festival
Friday, June 22, 2012

Earlville Opera House Earlville, NY - website
Friday, June 8, 2012

Old Songs Community Arts Center 37 S Main St., Voorheesville, NY
November 17, 18 and 19, 2011





Program

Concert Program

PDF of 12-page Concert Program
Includes song list, narrative citations,
bibliography.
Click on image

 


Contact us

For further information about this program and to inquire about booking, contact:

Andy Spence
Old Songs, Inc.
PO Box 466
Voorheesville, NY 12186
(518) 765-2815


Photos

Photos from November 2011 performances:

Photos by John Ozard from November, 2011.


Video

Excerpts from our November 2011 performances

Michael Cavanaugh, video

 


Reviews

 

Four Seasons, Four Years – The Civil War: A Musical Journey @ Old Songs, 11/17/11 (www.nippertown.com)
by Michael Eck

The American Civil War was a brutal, bloody struggle, pitting North against South and brother against brother. It literally tore the country in two. But the set list was great.   CONTINUE READING

 

Civil War Musical Journey Opens Festival
Saturday, June 23, 2012, Times Union

By Greg Haymes

ALTAMONT — "Welcome, welcome every guest. Welcome to our music fest ..."  CONTINUE READING

 

Folk Music as Entertainment and History
Sunday, September 23, 2012, Troy Record

By "The Arts Whisperer" (Bob Goepfert)

There's nothing more pleasing than a happy accident. 
On Saturday afternoon my evening plans went awry...
  CONTINUE READING

 



Links


Old Songs, Inc. www.oldsongs.org - dedicated to preserving traditional music and dance. Concert Series, Instrument Classes, Contra Dances, Summer Camps and the annual Old Songs Festival

Cast Websites:

Magpie www.magpiemusic.com (Greg Artzner & Terry Leonino)

Reggie Harris www.kimandreggie.com

John Roberts www.goldenhindmusic.com

Susan Trump www.susantrump.com

Dan Berggren www.berggrenfolk.com

Bill Spence / Fennig's All-Stars www.billspencemusic.com

George Wilson georgewilson.oldsongs.org



Promotional Material

Cast photo Press Release

High Resolution
    Photo of Cast

L to R in photo:
Back row: Toby Stover, Reggie Harris, Dan Berggren, Terry Leonino, John Roberts, Susan Trump, Betsy Fry, Bill Spence, George Wilson.
Seated: Greg Artzner, Steve Fry.

 

 

 

Funding

NYSCA logoThis event is part of the New York State Presenters Network Presenter-Artist Partnership Project with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.


Old Songs, Inc.

PO Box 466 • Voorheesville, NY 12186-0466
(518) 765-2815 • Fax: (518) 655-0061 • Email:

www.oldsongs.org

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