May-June 2010

Are you a member of Folk Alliance?  If so, then here's some good news.  Folk Alliance International now offers an opportunity for all domestic Folk Alliance members to obtain comprehensive health insurance at an affordable price.

Are you an Artist, Audio Engineer, Broadcaster, Manager, Producer, Promoter, Publisher, Songwriter or any other folk music professional?  Would you benefit from affordable health insurance, a medical supplement plan, hospitalization coverage, or other forms of protection?

Many music industry professionals are self-employed and the need for access to affordable benefits is great. Folk Alliance International's (FAI's) endorsement of the Sound Healthcare will provide FAI members access to a variety of benefits and insurance programs.

For more information, or to become a Folk Alliance member, visit


BBC World Music presenter Charlie Gillett has died after a long illness, aged 68.  Known as a champion of world music, the Lancashire-born broadcaster passed away in a London hospital on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack, his family has confirmed. World Service director Peter Horrocks said Gillett was an inspiration whose spirit of adventure and passion for the rich diversity of global music opened the ears of the world.   He will be missed by the millions of fans who listened to his show on BBC's World Service and on the internet.


Here are some excerpts from reports submitted by students attending a concert of classical music:

·         The auditorium was very nice and I was impressed with the lighting and atmosphere, maybe because my boyfriend is an electrician.

·         The musicians seemed very prepared and well-rehearsed. They were all wearing either tuxedos or a black dress, depending on their gender.

·         Notes were not the only elements used to produce the right sound of the music, but body language also added a flare to the performance.

·         The musicians instilled a suffering to the work that made you feel as if you were suffering yourself.

·         One thing that I did find funny about the conductors was that they acted like a host or hostist from The Price Is Right showing off a new car after each song was completed.


How thoughtful: If you visit the online shopping page on the official Peter, Paul and Mary web site hoping to buy a CD, you won't be able to do so.  Instead, you'll find the following message: "We've discovered that we can't sell CD's and videos as inexpensively as the BIG stores so rather than ask you to pay us more, we're recommending that you either purchase from your local music store or your favorite on-line CD outlet."


OK... this next item has nothing at all to do with music, but it just sounds like something that FolkWorks readers might enjoy. The World Beach Project is a global art project open to anybody, anywhere, of any age. The brainchild of Sue Lawty, artist in residence at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, the project focuses on patterns made with stones. That means no seashells, seaweed, driftwood or other flotsam and jetsam commonly found on beaches.

The project happens in two stages, in two locations: first, at a beach where you choose the stones and make your pattern, recording the work-in-progress with some photographs along the way. Then later, at a computer, you can upload the photographs to the project website so everybody else can see what you've created.

You can find instructions at where you can also see the beautiful creations others have made around the world.

An American now living in Scotland, Linda Dewar is a singer and a player of various instruments with strings and keys. She can be found performing Scottish and American folk music at gatherings on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as singing In the Aberfeldy and District Gaelic Choir. Visit her web site at




All Columns by Linda Dewar