HUGH'S NEWS (4/12/18)
Hugh Blumenfeld, Short Bio:
A long, long
ago, I left the pre-med track to study poetry and poetics. At the time,
I saw it as a choice between treating the body or treating the
soul. I studied and taught literature and creative writing for ten
years - a gypsy scholar going from university to
university. I wrote about how we become drawn to the wisdom of poet
William Blake long before we understand him, about creative writing and
chaos theory, about the Beatles and Orientalism, and I taught
Kepler, Darwin, Einstein, Freud and Rachel Carson as poets. My
students read Martin Espada, Marilyn Nelson, Leo Connellan and Doug
Anderson, poets who were actually alive and magically appeared in
the classroom, and they listened to Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bob
Dylan and Gil Scott Heron and others (though only Jack Hardy, Cheryl
Wheeler, Andrew Calhoun, Kat Eggleston and Frank Tedesso showed up to
Along the way I started writing songs and eventually left
academia to become a full-time singer-songwriter, touring around the
U.S. and in Europe for the next decade. I lived in NYC through most of the
80's, and got involved with the Fast Folkscene
in Greenwich Village. During that time I worked with many amazing
artists including my producer/collaborators David Seitz and Mark Dann;
together we made five albums, the first four released on Prime-CD and
the last released on Waterbug. I even made a studio recording in
Europe, put out by the Swiss folk music label, Brambus. I also owe a
debt of gratitude to all the club owners and coffeehouse organizers who
invited me to play for their audiences, encouraged me in my work, and
showed me the most amazing hospitality.
Check out the band: The Faithful Sky!
Jeff Buchbinder, HB, Mark Hall, Diane Chodkowski, Jim Mercik, circa 2014.
THE LATEST CD: A Children's album for adults.
My 7th album, Dad, is available on Waterbug Records. This collection is half children's album, half parents' album. Most of the songs were made up as lullabies & play songs for my boys when they were little, as a way of making it through early mornings & late nights. Reviewed in Folk Roots (UK).
Earlier CDs & MP3s
Also, some cool montages and live recordings have been showing up on YouTube.
For details on upcoming gigs
A verse from "The Strong In Spirit" serves as the opening epigraph in Kevin Brockmeier's acclaimed novel The Illumination published by Pantheon Books. I'm biased, but it's a great read.
* * * * * * *
FAVORITE (obscure) SONGWRITERS
Andrew Calhoun. Prolific songwriter & poet, scholar & presenter of traditional spirituals & Scottish ballads, tireless advocate of other artists. He sings about the redeeming power of love, the endless struggle to be human, in songs that have the purity of water.
For about 25
years I've been holding on to a cassette of songs by Brian Anderson. I
met Brian at Kerrville Folk Festival in 1991 and for the next five
years I'd make special trips out to Chicago mostly to see him, Richard
Krueger, Kat Eggleston and Andrew Calhoun. Brian introduced me to the
Charleston, a bar on the west side, and we shared many gigs there. I
have covered his song "Map to Another World"
for years, thinking I was one of only a handful of people who knew the
song even existed (Brian never toured and the album was never released
on CD). Imagine my surprise when the song recently turned up on the TV
series Transparent. Of course, the show is written by Jill Soloway, sister of folk goddess Faith Soloway. How did she hear it?
Annie Gallup . No one tells a story like Annie, half singing, half chanting - a kind of musical sorcery. On her newest album, Weather, she sings with a string quartet, taking her out of the realm of folk music altogether. Truly inspired.
Guilty Pleasures: Fountains of Wayne, Magnetic Fields.
GREAT MUSIC WEBSITES
- You are crazy if you don't visit this site and download vintage mp3's
from the very earliest recordings of artists like Suzanne Vega, Tracy
Chapman, Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin and others - all
captured by Fast Folk Musical Magazine between 1982 and 1996.
Hober Thinking Radio - 24/7 streaming webcast, remarkably consistent - and remarkably, still streaming after years and years.
etree.org / Internet Music Archive.
Mother lode of free music, from rare 78's & blues classics to the
40,000 live concert bootlegs by 2000+ artists including Greatful Dead,
Billy Bragg, Billy Bragg, Lucy Kaplansky... also connects to Democracy
Now archives, presidential speeches, and other educational stuff. What
the internet was meant to be.
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
Peter Crowley, is an iconoclastic photographer - for years
he never digitally edited or even cropped any photo. What he wants to
give viewers is what he saw through his viewfinder in that instant of
perceiving and simultaneously creating it.
For comments, bookings, or to buy CDs direct,
signmail at hughblumenfeld.com
or via my Facebook page.
website content and design: © 1998-2015 Hugh Blumenfeld
transparent hand graphic: photo & art by Andrea Gaines; computer magic by Harvee Riggs
three-handed guitar logo art: Mark Bilokur
Hugh's publicity photos: Peter J. Crowley (www.peterjcrowley.com)