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January 25, 1984 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-25

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The Michigan Daily Wednesday, January 25, 1984 Page 5
Folk festival brings in the stars

By Joseph Kraus
SOME THINGS are worth a whole
year's wait.
Things like the first day the snow
really melts in spring, your birthday
(the superbowl?) and, of course, the
Ann Arbor Folk Festival.
This, the seventh annual festival,
promises, as all those in the past have
been, to be the single biggest folk or
folk-related event of the year.
:,Once again the festival will be
headlined, as it has many times before,
by Dave Bromberg. His supporting cast
is extremely talented and well known.
It includes such luminaries as: Steve
Goodman (who wrote "City of New
Orleans"), Richard Thompson (whose
1982 release, "Shoot Out the Lights,"
Wges chosen co-album of the year by
Rolling Stones magazine) and Ferron.
4?',ddition, many less-well-known but
highly talented performers will appear.
The first festival was held in 1977
primarily as a fundraiser for the Ark,
Anih Arbor's local folk haven. The Ark,
lioWever, features only small concerts
} (aften with big names), and since the
igistics of staging a full scale festival
are more involved than a small concert
Alhost in your own living room, they
turned to more experienced help: the
Uiversity Office of Major Events.
'That first festival, put together
primarily. by Dave Siglin, the Ark's
director and Karen Young of the Office
'f Major Events, was a smashing suc-
&e§s despite 'some interesting com-
plications. The headline acts for the
show were John Prine, Leon Redbone
And Ramblin' Jack Elliot. Elliot,
however, was unable to make it. For-
tunately, and almost out of the blue,
David Bromberg showed up and filled
Bromberg's connection with the
festival, continued into the second
festival and beyond, as he headlined all
but the fourth after that.'
The second festival was held in 1979,
and it was the first to be on the now
traditional January date (carefully
chosen not to coincide with the super-
bowl). According to Siglin, "The reason
we put it in January is that there's
nothing happening in Ann Arbor in
The fourth festival saw some in-
tgresting happenings. It was the only
festival thus far, in which Bromberg
did not contributes It was headlined
instead by Leon Redbone. It was also
the last done in cooperation with the Of-
fice of Major Events, since then it's
been the Ark's baby.
Also, as part of the festival
promotion, the actual line-ups for the
afternoon and evening shows were

released for the first, and last, time.
According to Siglin, difficulties in coor-
dinating the arrivals of all the various
performers caused a last minute
change in schedule which left some
spectators upset. Ever since then, it has
been official policy not only to refrain
from announcing which performers will
appear in the afternoon and which in
the evening, but even to wait until the
last minute to decide.
Because the festival is composed of
two shows (although tickets are
available for the full day), it seems
always, according to Siglin, that the
evening show sells out more quickly
than the afternoon. Perhaps people
assume that the bigger names will ap-
pear in the evening, but that is just not
so. Bromberg will be appearing in both
shows, but Ferron will appear in only
one, and although he can't promise,
Siglin seemed rather certain it will be
the afternoon show.
In addition, Siglin said that either
Goodman or Thompson will probably
appear in the afternooh. "Generally we
stack the afternoon show with the
bigger name performers. . . I'd like to
emphasize . . . there are better seats
(available) in the afternoon,"
Don't miss the Seventh Ann Arbor
Folk Festival, two years is just too long
to wait.
The festival is this Saturday at 1:30
and 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the
Herb'David Guitar Studio, Schoolkids
Records or the Ark itself. A limited
number will be available the day of the
festival at the Michigan Theater Box
The Arnn Arbor folk fesitval has the
- reputation %f featuring great perfor-
mers, and the seventh annual festival is
no exception.
Each performer is of such a caliber
as to warrant his own separate
preview. Each, alone, would fill the Ark
tt $6 a head. Dave Siglin, director of the
Ark, said, "I would not put an act on in
the festival unless it was highly enter-
taining." That's quite a compliment
from a man who sees an average of
three concerts a week.
Bromberg has been one of the coun-
try's premier folk/blues musicians for
close to fifteen years. He has worked as
a session player on nearly 100 albums
by such artists as 'Bob Dylan, Ringo
Starr, Chubby Checker and the Eagles.
Throughout the '70s Bromberg recor-
ded albums with his own back-up band,
the David Bromberg Band, on such
labels as Fantasy and Columbia.
In 1980, though, Bromberg made a
major career change. He broke upthe
band and enrolled in violin-making


This years folk festival is sure to be first-rate with the multi-talented David Bromberg once again headlining.

school and essentially altered his
musical style to include less electric in-
For the festival, he will still perform
with a band. Not the same band that
became famous in the '70s, but a newer
band full of fresh musical ideas and
Another big name at this year's
festival is Steve Goodman. Goodman
has been a major recording artist since
1971, with the release of his self-titled
debut album. Some of the some songs
on the album are, "You Never Even
Call Me By My Name," which was later

label, Philo, the album has sold over
30,000 copies.
Ferron recently received national at-
tention when she appeared with Odetta
in the final act of the 1983 New York
Folk Festival.
Many of her songs are topical,
dealing with the feminist movement,
and that, coupled with her unusual
voice, have drawn her numerous com-
parisons to the young Bob Dylan.
Rare Air is billed as "Canada's finest
acoustical fusion group." Made up of
musicians Patrick O'Gorman, Grier
Coppins, Dick Murai and Trevor

I would not put an act in the festival if it.
was not highly entertaining . . . We have
had, surprise guests in various years, this
year we probably will too.'
- Dave Siglin
Director of The Ark

followers in the Tom Lehrer tradition,
with Peter playing guitar, Lou accor-
dian and both of them supplying wit.
Flashy harmonicas and who know
what other kinds of instruments take
the floor as local/national harmonica
virtuoso Peter "Madcat" Ruth does his
stuff. Madcat plays often in Ann Arbor,
and always manages to attract and
please his audience. Many people are
not aware that in addition to his having
performed on four albums as part of the
Dave Brubek Band, he has twice been a
member of folk rock bands that have
won major label recording contracts:
Sky King and New Heavenly Blue.
Local Ann Arborites, Footloose round
out the scheduled performers this year.
Made up of musicians Myron Grant,
Bill Barton, Patty O'Connor and John
Foster, the band combines forms of
music ranging from bluegrass to blues
and '30s classics to folk to produce high
energy and good time music.
Don't stop there though. While these
are the only scheduled performers, that
doesn't mean they're going to be the
only ones performing.
For one, the festival always has an
entertaining and unique emcee. This
year, to continue the tradition, the em-
cee will be O.J.Anderson, the talking
mime. Anderson has appeared at
several major folk festivals in Canada
and the U.S. and according to Siglin,
"He will be performing at a lot of
festivals here in the future."
Finally, as if all this weren't enough,
the festival has something of a tradition
of unannounced guests. As Siglin said,
"We've had surprise guests at various
years .. . this year we probably will too

OVER 8,000

covered by David Allan Coe as a major
country hit, and "City of New Orleans,"
which Arlo Guthrie popularized in 1972.
Since then, Goodman has had five
albums, all of which have been
critically acclaimed, and has appeared
on television many times. In addition he
has often appeared with comedian
Steve Martin.
Richard Thompson, another big-
name festivalite, first established him-
self as a major musician with the band
The Fairport Convention. In 1972, he
began a solo career that has won him
great critical acclaim, but, sur-
prisingly, slight notoriety.
In 1982, Thompson and his then-wife,
Linda, released "Shoot Out the Light."
Again the album received almost
unlimited critical acclaim, even being
voted co-album of the year by Rolling
Stones magazine, but sold barely 50,000
copies in all of the United States.
Although Thompson has spent a good
deal of time recently touring with a
slightly more rock influenced band, he
is scheduled to perform alone at the
Still another important artist at this
year's festival is Ferron, an up and
coming singer riding high on the
greater than expected success of her,
recent debut album. Despite being
distributed on a small, independent

F errier, the group has the unusual in-
strumental lineup of, respectively, two
Scottish bagpipes, acoustical guitar
and Scottish Sten drum. Formerly
known as Na Cabarfeidh the band has
appeared frequently in Ann Arbor. Just
recently, it released its third album,
Mad Plaid.
Eclectricity is another band that has
appeared recently in Ann Arbor having
been at the Ark just last season. Made
up of musicians Bob Lucas, Bill Sch-
wartz and Miriam Sturm, the trio
brings together a ,wide range of in-
strumental and vocal talent. Lucas is
an accomplished banjo player as well
as a master of the "fiddle". His 1973
solo album, The Dancer Inside You,
was nominated for a Grammy award.
Schwartz is a master of both conven-
tional instruments such as piano and
accordian, as well as the exotic in the
tabla, cymbalom, sarod, sarangi, oud
and nai. He has studied under, among
others, Ravi Shankar. Sturm has been a
violinist since age nine, and is a
mistress of such diverse styles of fid-
dling as Balkan, Jewish and gypsy.
Lou and Peter Berryman are not your
average couple. The comedy/music
duo did not begin performing together
until after their divorce in 1974. Calling
their debut album No Relation, they
have established themselves as grand

Thursday January 26- 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM
4:00 PM East Lecture R., Rackham
"Popular Organizations, Politics and the
Catholic Church in Brazil"
7:30 PM St. Mary's (William and Thompson)
"Base Communities in the Catholic Church in Brazil"
SCOTT MAINWARING, Fellow of the Kellogg Institute of International Affairs of'Notre
Dame recently did a major study of Religion and Politics at the gross roots in Brazil.
Dept. of Political Science, Dept. of History,
Dept. of Romance Languages, Office of Ethics and Religion



Take a hint from Steve Goodman, one of the many well-known folk perfor-
mers playing this weekend, and see the festival. You, too, will have
somethng to smile about.
SAC* Lunch Program
presented by:

Brighton and Ortonville, Michigan Kennedy,
Agree Outpost, Teen Trips, Silverman Village
Cabin Counselors " Specialist Counselors for Arts &
Crafts, Campcraft-Nature, Waterfront & Small Crafts,
Tripping, Sports, Horsebackriding, Drama, Dance,
Music " Unit & Specialist Supervisors " Nurses * Sec-
retnrv * Fond Service Staff " Maintenance and Bus

The celebration will be held on
JANUARY 28, 1984
Slauson Intermediate School
1019 West Washington St.
U-M BUS SERVICE 5:30, 6:00
in front of Michigan Union
Please Call for reservations:
re-rv -A1,4 ''

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