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/ –