Sweet Chariot Music Festival

Once upon a time, on the coast of Maine…

This is how the story began.

And everything that followed,

Was just a dream.

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Part II :

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Led by Geoff Kaufman and Daisy Nell,  sweet charioteers sail from boat to boat, jumping from one schooner to another to invite everyone to join the fun.

Merci Monsieur Douglas Day.

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Children of Abraham

 

 Swans Island,  Bob LUCAS sings “Children of Abraham”

Bob Lucas is a fascinating character : a fiddle virtuoso, a banjo picker, a guitar master, a poet, singer, Composer, an art director…
and not only he excels in all these domains…not only he is the kindest soul…but on top of that, he has a magical power, as every soul pirate should have, when your ear his voice, you never forget it.
I am convinced he is not human.
This song “Children of Abraham” resonates ever more as we witness the actual revolutions in the Middle East. It was shot by Jim Whitney in 2007.
If you are discovering Mr Lucas, I invite you to visit his web site :  www.boblucasmusic.com
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Bonnie Prince Billy

Printemps de Bourges 2009 – Folk USA –

Will Oldham is an American musician, a brilliant poet from Kentucky. His first album appeared in 1993, published by Drag City : “There is no one that will take care of you”, an acoustic country album. Will has been performing under the name of “Palace or “Palace Music”.  He published “I see a darkness” under his real name in 1999, celebrated by Johnny Cash in, Solitary Man, in 2000. Since then he’s been using a pseudo ‘Bonnie Prince Billy’  and has produced numerous albums.
Through his music I discovered the extraordinary harpist, Joanna Newsom. I  had the good fortune to attend one his performances during the 2010 Printemps de Bourges Music Festival, and my expectations were far surpassed after experiencing his live concert. I remember his quote regarding music festivals « they are like a Library with lots of shelves and the musicians are the books sitting on them ». In this badly captured video, he is performing with Susanna Wallumrod his Norwegian musical partner on stage.
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Sweet Chariot – A Folkloric family

For almost 20 years now, I attended The Sweet Chariot Music and Art Festival. The same group of musicians have gathered on a secret little island on the Coast of Maine every summer to share Music, Art, Love and Food. I started documenting the festival every year, 18 years ago,  and the story goes on…

You can find a few Video Clips of these various films on youtube. Here are a few of these talented musician, that have a presence online, for you to enjoy.

Jennifer Armstrong is a fascinating woman that travels through Art and time. She is a storyteller, bagpiper, fiddle virtuoso, poet and a songwriter coming from several generations of talented performers.
If you have the chance to see her perform, do not miss the opportunity for any reason. More on http://www.jenniferarmstrong.com/

 

Bill Burnet is a world class songwriter, an award-winning wordsmith and a storyteller. He writes funny songs, love songs, kids’ songs, theme songs, ballads and jingles. Lately, he started a weekly show on-line with a new song/video every week.

http://www.billburnettsongmine.com/

 

Dillon Bustin is a folklorist, singer/songwriter, filmmaker and playwright. After obtaining a degree in Folklore and Anthropology at Indiana University, he returned to his native Massachusetts with a wealth of great songs from the Ohio River area, including the oft-recorded “Shawneetown,” “Bayou Sara,” and “Cranberry Bogs.” Dillon is also known for his theatrical musicals which include “Walden Pond Revisited,” “Come Life, Shaker Life: The Spiritual Quest of Isaacar Bates” and a number of productions based on characters from the history of Martha’s Vineyard.

The latter form a trilogy called “Tidebook: an Island Rhapsody” which is comprised of “Tallman at the Dock,” “The Captain’s Daughters” and “The Journeys of Joshua Slocum.”

Amongst other activities, Dillon is also a film director. Unfortunately, his work is extremely hard to find. His latest CD is out of stock, his films are not available anywhere and his books are out of print…Where can you find his work ?

If you are lucky, you could try writing to him after perusing his new web site and order the new release of “Almanach”, one of my very favourite Dillon’s album, and music you need to have in your Itunes library.

Here is a little Video I shot during Sweet Chariot Music festival some years ago :

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Liza Constable sails and sings for a living. As a woman of many talents, she can do it all. She has mastered the fiddle, composes beautiful songs, is the mother of two beautiful souls, speaks French, cooks, writes and has an amazing sense of humor.

You can sense all of this in her music and poetry.

On her web site, you will find Rumblestrip, her latest album and a CD store to order after you have listened to her pretty voice. http://www.lizaconstable.com

 

Douglas Day is the captain of many boats. Not only he sails a beautiful schooner on the coast of Maine from his house on Swans Island, not only he his the happy father of 3 beautiful kids, but he is also the fantastic founder and director of the Sweet Chariot Music and Art Festival. Of course he is a song writer amongst being a cartoonist, and a pirate. Here is a little performance I shot some years ago with my old Sony Hi8 camera, Douglas Day and David Dodson performing on of my favourite Doug Day Song “What I see”… Unfortunately the quality of video and sound is poor…But still..it’s there…

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David Dodson is one of my favorite musician in Maine. And Maine is probably the most gifted State when it comes to musicians…That says it all doesn’t it ? 

David

More on David here http://www.daviddodsonmusic.com 

Ritt Henn has played bass for all sorts of famous folks. Among these are Chuck Berry, Buddy Rich, Tom Jones and Margaret Whiting. When I first met him, I was jealous because he was an inch taller than me, then I was jealous because he could play the bass like a master, then I was jealous because he had the coolest friends in the world and everyone wanted him in his band, then I was jealous because he wrote the funniest tunes and he could sing in rhythm. I could go on about the guy and why I love him. Go and check him out for yourself.

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Bob Lucas is a genius.

There is no better word to describe this musician. Mr. Lucas is not only a beautiful poet, a fantastic musician, but a soul that commands respect when you are lucky enough to cross his path, hear his fiddle tunes, his banjo rhythm or his guitar melodies.

If you are lucky, you might listen to him master theses instruments with Chloe Manor, his fabulous daughter or Austin, his over talented son.
Bob plays original songs, old time music, and writes musical plays for his theatre company, Mad River Company. (more on mad river by clicking here).

To listen without moderation. This important song was recorded in 2008 on the coast of Maine :

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Austin Lucas. The son of Bob Lucas is no exception. Here you have the same blood, the same talent. It is as simple as that. Austin is a guitar virtuoso, a talented musician and a fun guy! Both he and his father create sticky tunes, melodies that once heard, do not go away. These are songs that stay with you and that you find yourself humming in the street. This is the album that was recorded at Bob’s house in Ohio. It is a masterpiece created by Austin Lucas, his father and Chuck Ragan.

 

Dean Stevens. Along with the other musicians of this list, Dean has a special place in the heart of everyone who has been fortunate enough to meet him. Not only is he a wonderful songwriter and an overtalented guitar player, but he is also a missionary of love.Dean spends part of his time in Guatemala helping the people of his community to live a better life and writes beautiful hymns to simple life stories. The release of his latest album «At Last» is a beautiful collection of songs that I could only advise the reader to acquire as soon as possible. More on Dean : http://www.deanstevens.com

This song I recorded on Swans Island a couple of years ago is one of my favourite song from Dean Stevens, “Old Man in his garden” :

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Teresa Tudury

“Part chanteuse, part comedian, part bona fide pop artist…and a voice that could stop a war”. Teresa Tudury is an absolute original. From her San Francisco roots to the Greek Islands to New York and LA, she wakes up the music scene. Teresa creates a loyal following and rave reviews wherever she performs. If you are lucky enough to go and see her perform, do not miss the opportunity. http://www.teresatudury.net 

Alan Thornhill. Alan’s album was nominated Album of the Year in 2008 and received the Mavric Music award. This is a well deserved prize for one of the most beautiful guitar players that one can have the pleasure of listening to.

“Guitarpenter’s dream” captures the warmth and melody of Alan’s playing along with occasional crackle of the fireplace of his house in Ojai.

When Alan plays and you close your eyes, some say that you can share his dreams.

The one and unique Suzy williams performing on Sweet Chariot stage.

http://alanthornhill.com/music/

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Mr Bob Willougby.

Not to be mistaken with the famous homonym photographer, Mr. Bob Willougby is his equivalent in the music world. Accomplished fiddler and piano player Mr. Willoughby can play anything from Jazz to soul to folklorist music. He plays guitar and piano and has a voice that is deep and unique

Here is a short, unprofessional little video of him so you can enjoy some of his talent as well.

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Photo credits : Group picture – Marti Stone http://www.martistonephotography.com – Photo Burning desire street Band and Mr Willoughby : Frederic Park , http://www.apalache.com/ –

 

 

 

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Senor Holmes, C’est Grave….

 
I met Harry and Quito 5 years ago at the music festival I attend every year : Le printemps de Bourges. Quito is a hard working musician and Harry an amasing drummer; together they have created 2 wonderful albums that should be in everyone’s musical library. Their music is based on “Gwo Ka”, originaly played by African slaves in Guadaloupe, it is composed of seven distinct rythms. Harry uses 2 of them “Toumblack”, that calls for revolution, and “Kaladja” that can be assimilated to Blues. Hard to describe and incredibly energetic.
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Piers Faccini – A home Away From Home

From the album “Two grains of Sand” this song of Piers Faccini was recorded during the printemps de Bourges 2009 in the Palais Jacques Coeur.
For all information and tour dates just click here : http://www.piersfaccini.com/

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Video of the Month !


Every month, I select one video that strikes me and relates to my work. Here is this month’s discovery : “Blue Marble 3000”

YouTube Preview ImageThis visualization has been developed at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences by Adrian Meyer and Karl Rege. It shows the earth starting at the last glacial maximum 21’000 years ago and ends 1’000 years in the future.
Further Information: http://radar.zhaw.ch/bluemarble3000.html

 

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Budapest

Budapest is a grand city, a beautiful majestic town, comparable to Rome or Paris.

 

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Miscelaneous – Quotes, Music, Directors, links….

 

 

Favourite Quotes : «If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.» Thich Nhat Hanh

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy” – Tom Waits

«A man should always think of the water as he drinks it» – Sifu Yip Man

Favourite Music : Tom Waits, Têtes Raides, Les Ogres de Barback, Brigitte Fontaine, David Bowie, The Clash, Bérurier Noir, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Smiths, Seu Jorge, Salif Keita,Bruce Springsteen,Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,Michael Jackson,Camille,Yael Naim,Polka, CarolinaChocolate Drops, Bonga, arthur h., La rue ketanou, Buena Vista Social Club, Bashung, Arno, Billie Holiday, Massive Attack, White Stripes, Screaming Jay Hawkins, NicoNick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Jack Johnson, Fela Kuti, Daniel D. Johnston, Elvis, Birdy Nam NAm, John Cage, Zappapilar diaz, La Chanson du Dimanche , Cheikh Lo , Georges Brassens , Jacques Brel, Monique Serf, Piaf, Palace, Pogues, Golden Gate Quartet, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Peter, Boney M., Luis Mariano, Natalie Merchant, AC/DC, Adriano Celentano, Bonga, J.S.Bach, Ben E. King, Ben Harper, Willie Nelson, Bonnie rait, Boubacar Traore, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Burning Spear, Aznavour, Mark Knopfler, The Christians, Christy Moore, Compay Segundo, StillNASH, Daniel Balavoine, David Alan Coe, Deep Purple, Django Reinhardt, The Duke, Tom Waits, Piers Faccini, Moira smiley & VOCO, Larkin Grimm, Coeur de Pirate, Bonnie ‘prince’ billy, Nick Drake, Sam Amidon…I could go on and on…

Favourite Directors : Scorcese, Casavets, Fellini, Kurosawa, Kubrick, PArker, Godard, Spielberg, Burton, Renoir, Fritz Lang, Coppola, Lynch, Tarkovsky, Jarmush, Allen, Wells, Altman, De Palma, Lynch….

 

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Nancy Rudolph, Pioneer photographer of the 20th century

Ever since she was a teenager, Mrs Rudolph was enamoured with Black and white photography, she is now considered as one of the pioneer woman photographers of the 20th century.

Everywhere she would go, she was kept company by her Leica M6 and would capture the world surrounding her. Nancy has the capacity to connect with people, penetrate barriers, quickly privileged an intimate view point for a subject.

From Plum village and Thich Nhat Hanh, to New York city’s meat packing district, Greenwich village, her 11 St studio is still brimming with her photographs, journals and life stories.

Her numerous travels have taken her to Tibet, India, America, Europe, and beyond…Her entourage was left with a poignant testimony of many moments from the past, capturing the undefinable through her Leica M6 lens.

Right next to Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Margaret Bourke-White or Annie Leibovitz, Nancy Rudolph is one of the most talented and important 20th century photographer, yet still unknown to the public eye. Here are a few images from her collection and a short interview shot in France, a few years ago. Nancy Rudolph now resides in California, and continues to look at the world with a passionate eye.
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Nancy Rudolph Photographe

Nancy Rudolph

This month’s West Village Original is photographer Nancy Rudolph, who began photographing in the late 1940’s while working in Europe through the Marshall Plan. Her first photographic essay appeared in the New York Times Magazine in the 1950’s. Throughout her career she has had seventeen solo exhibits and has created three photo books. Ms. Rudolph is currently working on her illustrated memoir in the same house on West 11th Street she has lived in since 1956. Visit www.nancyrudolphphotographs.com.

After a few unsuccessful attempts at college as a young woman, Nancy Rudolph’s mother suggested she take up shorthand and typing. It was a suggestion that would turn out to have far-reaching consequences. “My mother said I could go anywhere and get any kind of job with those skills,” Rudolph recalls. “So I went to Sadie Brown’s Collegiate Secretarial School in the Grand Central Building. I must have had ten jobs in one year! I was not cut out for that kind of work.”

Nancy Rudolph as a young woman in Rome, 1949.

Eventually, Rudolph went to Europe and was living in Paris where she applied for a job through the Marshall Plan. “There were a lot of Americans in Paris those days, both on the GI Bill and working for the government,” she says. “I applied at the ECA (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) and ended up working in Rome for a couple of years as a secretary doing—of all things—shorthand and typing. As pleased as my mother was with that, she was very upset that I overstayed my time in Europe and I wasn’t at home getting married!” Rudolph laughs. “But I had a wonderful life there. I finally did come home, met Alan Rudolph, and married him.”

While Rudolph subsequently “liberated” herself after twenty-five years of marriage to her husband, the photography she began doing while overseas remained a constant in her life. “I started as a painter,” she relates. “When I went to Europe, I brought my paints and easel and an old camera that belonged in the family. And when I was in Rome, I took a trip with a friend to Berlin. This was during the time of the airlift. We stayed with an army officer and his family so I went to the PX and bought myself a decent camera. The first real photographs I took were of people digging out of war-torn Berlin. That was 1949.”
I've always wanted to say things about the human condition.Why did photography become her means of expression? “I always wanted to say things about the human condition,” Rudolph explains. “I have a big social conscience and I wanted to spotlight issues that I thought should be examined and understood and, if necessary, changed. That was the real motivation of my photography. I couldn’t do that through painting so that’s why I picked up a camera. I understood a lot more through photographs.” This approach to the medium also informed her philosophy of it as well. “I never looked at photography as an art,” she says. “I looked at it as a way to say something about the world.”

A resident of the Village since the 50’s, Rudolph claims this is the only place she wanted to live in New York. “I’ve never lived in any other part of the city,” she says. “My husband wanted to move to the suburbs because he grew up in New York. And I grew up in the suburbs on Long Island and vowed never to go back!” With such longevity, it’s no surprise that Rudolph’s strongest desire is “to preserve as much of the Village as can be preserved.” “I was involved with the whole Jefferson Market Courthouse fight when they were trying to tear it down,” she says. “I was also very involved in Washington Square Park when they were going to put Fifth Avenue right through it. I think that was the first victory that citizens had over an issue like that.”

While Rudolph’s love affair with Greenwich Village continues to this day, it is difficult at times to reconcile the past with the present. One of the biggest changes for her is the growth of both NYU and the New School in her neighborhood. “The New School has never been very invasive, but now it is,” she says. “I think it’s awful. And then I say to my son, ‘I think it’s terrible!’ like an old codger. But my son replies that these people are being educated to go into the world and make a difference. So how can you argue against that?”

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Links :

http://www.rebeccalepkoff.com/lepkoff.htm

https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/callaloo/v026/26.2rudolph.html

http://www.photoarts.com/journal/rudolph/intro.html

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