June 2006 Folk Enews

May 31, 2006 on 3:19 pm | In Monthly Folk eNews

Hi, Folkies,

This will be my only June folk enews. HOWEVER, I may post updates during the month without notice, so you die-hard blog-lovers can check back on occasion throughout the month. What an amazing assortment of news and events June brings. There is no Las Cruces Contra Dance in June!!!

Mark your calendars for the 12-hour+ Albuquerque Folk Festival on June 17 (more below). Those who want to be “dance angels” at the noon contra dance workshop should email me immediately at abogada@aol.com to reserve a wrist band and possible parking pass. I have 12 wristbands and 5 parking passes.

Corrales Sing, Friday, June 2
FOLK SONG CIRCLE. They’re meeting to sing as usual this Friday June 2nd, and the theme is HORSES, WAGONS, CARRIAGES, AND BLACKSMITHS.
FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH, 8:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT
Each participant in the circle may lead a song, do a solo, request a song, or pass. Bring enthusiasm, songbooks, instruments, beverages/snacks, kids, and friends.
Contact: Laurie McPherson 898-6978
Email: lauriemcpherson@hotmail.com or lmcpherson@salud.unm.edu
114 Coronado Road, Corrales, 87048
(Directions: From the intersection of Alameda and Coors, go 1.8 miles north on Corrales Road. Pass the Chevron station, go several blocks. Just past the Horseman?s Supply store, turn left on Coronado Road. Post office is too far. They?re the second house on the right, come in past the barns to park.)

Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, June 3
FM06 018
Photo of Peg Hesley by Merri Rudd (c) 2006

Phoenix caller Peg Hesley graces the mike with the Virginia Creepers playing hot, old-time music. (Bruce Thomson and Peter White on fiddle, Steve Huestis on banjo, Rick Olcott on guitar, Laurie Phillips on mandolin, Scott Mathis on bass) playing. 8-11 p.m., acoustic jam at 7 p.m.; newcomers class at 7:30. Albuquerque Square Dance Center, 4909 Hawkins NE, one full block west of I-25 and 1/2 block north of Ellison. See www.asdc.org for directions. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. $5 members, $6 others.

Durango, Colorado Contra Dance, June 3
Saturday evening June 3rd, the monthly Contra Dance will be held at the VFW Hall, 1515 Main Avenue. Beginner instruction is at 7:00 p.m. Dancing is from 7:30 to 10:30. Special Guest caller Adina Gordon from Radford, Virginia, will call the dance. Live Music will be provided by members of the Kitchen Jam Band featuring Elizabeth Shaffer, formerly of Beltaine, on fiddle. All dances are taught and called. No partner is necessary, and dancers of all abilities are welcome. Admission is $10. These smoke-and alcohol-free dances are a project of the Durango Arts Center. For further information, call 259-6820.

Bosque House Concert, Sunday June 4, Albuquerque
THE BOULDER ACOUSTIC SOCIETY , 6:30 pm — Note the early start time
(near Old Town Albuquerque, directions provided with reservations)
$12 Suggested minimum donation
Reservations required. Contact Jeff at abqmusic.com or make them on-line at www.abqmusic.com/houseconcerts.html
With a marimba and several ukuleles, you’ll be impressed with the funky blend of instruments and the variety of their music. The band mixes up jazz, swing, bluegrass, surf music and more, with a great set of originals and covers arranged to fit their unique instrumental make-up.Listen to some samples at www.boulderacousticsociety.net

Albuquerque Concert, Wednesday, June 7
SLAID CLEAVES, 7:30 pm
N4th Theater, (4904 4th St NW, at Griegos) with special guest Rod Picott
Tickets: $15 advance
Tickets are currently only available on-line at www.abqmusic.com, at Bookworks
and Natural Sound.
This wonderful 150-seat theater attached to the North Fourth Art Center promises to be a new focal point for theater, dance and music in Albuquerque. Slaid was named a Kerrville New Folk winner in 1992 and went on to release a handful of well regarded albums since then. His music is firmly Americana, that country-tinged darker cousin of folk. Geoffrey Himes of the Washington Post says: “”… darkness and weight can be found on Cleaves’s new album, “Wishbones,” a breakthrough project that fulfills his early promise and ushers him into the company of such Texans as Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Lucinda Williams.” Slaid throws a bit of a curve ball with his new CD “Unsung”. It’s all cover songs, though they are all obscure enough that most people won’t recognize them. Slaid will be performing as as a trio with folky Rod Picott opening the show. www.slaidcleaves.com or www.rodpicott.com

Albuquerque Bluegrass Concert, Thursday, June 8
The Hickory Project
Thursday June 8th at 7:00 pm
Covenant Presbyterian Church, 9315 Candelaria NE.
$10.00 Members, $12.00 Non-Members
What started as a routine experiment has turned into a revolutionary project, henceforth known as The Hickory Project. The band features hard?driving traditional and original bluegrass and acoustic music with the expert licks of 1999 Walnut Valley Mandolin Champion Anthony Hannigan and Florida Fiddle Champion Sue Cunningham providing the foundation for an outstanding performance. The Hickory Project has produced six CDs and a DVD under their own label, Hickory Productions. The group is known for precision playing, instrumental acrobatics, diverse and prolific songwriting, and a wide range of musical influences that is reflected in their original music and innovative arrangements of cover tunes. Whether it is straight-forward traditional or a new realm in acoustic music, the Hickory Project is gaining ground ?Linking Old and New in Acoustic Music.? More info: www.southwestpickers.org

Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, June 10
Will McDonald of Santa Fe is calling with the Virginia Creepers (see above) playing again! 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m.

Second Sunday Dance, June 11
This will be the last 2nd Sunday dance until fall. If you want this series to continue, please come on June 11 and voice your support with your feet!! We did some great English dances at Folkmadness camp last weekend. Let’s keep the momentum going! Noralyn Parsons, Linda Starr & Merri Rudd will call elegant English country and zesty contra dances; music by One Good Turn (Gary Papenhagen on fiddle, Peter Wegman on guitar, Graham Daily on fiddle, and Lou Blackwell on bass). 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Dance Studio in Albuquerque at 4217 San Mateo NE, 1 block south of Montgomery on the west side of the San Mateo between Auto Zone and Bank of the West (across from Grandy’s). Park directly behind the studio on west side in gated area or along San Mateo to avoid vehicle break-ins. Do not park behind Auto Zone. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. Clean dance shoes and tennis shoes OK. $6 admission.

Albuquerque Megaband Practice, Tuesday, June 13
Join the Megaband on Tuesday, June 13, at the Blue Dragon, 1517 Girard NE, Albuquerque, 7:30-10:30 p.m. More info: Bruce Thomson, 277-4729.

Albuquerque House Concert, Tuesday, June 13
Richard Smith and Aaron Till, 7:30
1000 Parkland Circle SE, Albuquerque (not sure if it’s full)
266-6928 or 858-3463

http://www.richardsmithmusic.com/richard.html

“He can play anything I know, only better.” – Chet Atkins
?If you like my playing, you should hear Richard Smith.? – Tommy Emmanuel
Sample Recordings:

Albuquerque Folk Festival, Saturday, June 17!!
Finally, it’s time for the all-day folk blow-out on Saturday, June 17, at the Fairgrounds in Albuquerque. The Folk Festival schedule is now out and about. A copy was included in the latest FOLKMADS newsletter (look on the back side for DOZENS of workshops), plus schedule info is posted at the web site: www.abqfolkfest.org/schedule.htm Performers include Round Mountain; Syd Masters & the Swing Riders; Sandia Hots; Black Eagle; Steve Smith and Hard Road; Ronstadt, Ramirez Santa Cruz River Band; Jenny Vincent Trio. Contra dance at the Fairgrounds that night from 7:30-11 p.m., Kris Jensen calling, Megaband playing, at the Dance Building. Full info at www.abqfolkfest.org

Taos Contra Dance, Saturday, June 17
7:30 p.m., Caller Jim Buechler and the Taos ContraBand. Call 505-776-1580 for location and more info.

FERINTOSH, a Celtic All-Star Trio in Concert in Santa Fe, Thursday, June 22
8:00 PM at The GiG (1808 Second Street-next to the Second Street Brewery)
for info: judykahn@earthlink.net or abby@abbynewton.com
Suggested contribution $15.
Ferintosh, featuring David Greenberg on fiddle, Abby Newton on cello, and Kim Robertson on Celtic harp, presents the vibrant folk music of Scotland and of Cape Breton where Scottish Highland music has continued in a living tradition since the 18th century. From poignant airs to high spirited strathspeys and reels, their dynamic arrangements unleash both the subtle beauty and rhythmic energy of this timeless music. www.ferintosh.com (They’ll be in Albuquerque too; see below.)

4th Saturday, Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, June 24
Open mike for callers, SF Community Band playing, 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m.

FERINTOSH, a Celtic All-Star Trio in Concert in Albuquerque, Saturday, June 24
ALBUQUERQUE NM 7:30 PM (read about the band above at June 22 entry)
HOUSE CONCERT (At home of JoMargaret & John Farris), $15 suggested donation. For reservations and directions: Linda 505-255-7089 dvik@comcast.net

Los Alamos Contra Dance, Saturday, June 24
There will be a contra dance in Los Alamos on Saturday, June 24th at the Unitarian Church. Roaring Jelly will be playing, Alan Wadlinger calling. The dance will begin at 7:00 p.m. (instruction), with full-scale dancing at 7:30. The Unitarian Church is at 1738 N. Sage St. (near the corner of 15th and Canyon). Contact Gordon Keating, 505-662-5972, keating@cybermesa.com for more info.

Albuquerque House Concert, Sunday, June 25
Albuquerque Baroque Players (ABP). Period instrument quartet ABP features Linda Vik on baroque violin, Mary Bruesch on Viola da Gamba, Susan Patrick on Harpsichord and Mary Ann Shore on Baroque winds. FREE CONCERT, Sunday June 25 at Albuquerque, NM 3:00 PM, Unitarian Church (Corner of Carlisle and Montgomery), for info: Linda 505-255-7089 or email dvik@comcast.net

Wildlife West Music Festival, Sunday, June 25
Sunday, June 25, 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. Concerts and workshops with Shawn Camp, Cadillac Sky, Elliott’s Ramblers and Jerusalem Ridge. Get down and boogey while playing hot tunes in Edgewood, New Mexico. This one includes a mandolin contest with a mandolin awarded courtesy of Encore Music. $15 at the gate, children under 12 free. More info at: www.wildlifewest.org

Albuquerque Bluegrass Concert, Wednesday, June 28
LOST HIGHWAY IN CONCERT JUNE 28TH, 7 PM AT COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 9315 Candelaria NE. Albuquerque, NM
Lost Highway is built around the smooth lead singing and rhythm guitar of Ken Orrick. His warm, soulful voice and his fine original songs, written in the best traditional style, define the Lost Highway sound. Eric Uglum, Dick Brown, Mike Tatar, Joe Ash and Ken Orrick, the members of Lost Highway, are united in their love and respect for traditional bluegrass. With their unforgettable trio harmonies, amazing instrumental prowess and relaxed, friendly stage manner, they are sure to be a hit at any festival or concert stage. Cost – $10 for SWP Members, $12 for non-members, http://www.losthighwaybluegrass.com/

This and That
Folkmadness Photos on Web: Shockingly, there were extra men at camp, so the girls certainly had a good time. Plus we were in a brand new dining hall. I posted a few photos from Folkmadness Music and Dance Camp over Memorial Day at http://www.flickr.com/photos/merridancing/tags/folkmadness2006/ Apologies if I misidentified anyone; let me know corrections. Also, if you do NOT want your photo on the web, let me know, and I’ll take it down.

I haven’t had a chance to blog about it yet, but hope to soon… Those of you who were there know that I got to perform FOLK WEDDING #8! And I heard a rumor that FOLK WEDDING #9 has already happened (I won’t say who; I’ll let them tell their own news).

Sample photo from camp:

FM06 046
Folkmadness Thrift Store Prom, 5/28/06 Photo by Merri Rudd (c) 2006

Merri’s MayMadness 2006 Report: I survived my weekend gig with Seth Tepfer, Hotpoint String Band and the Privy Tippers in Prescott, AZ May 19-21, 2006. I posted a blog entry at: http://merridancing.com/wp/category/report-from-the-road/ and photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merridancing/sets/72057594143467958/

Looking Ahead: YES! There is a dance in Albuquerque on July 1, despite the holiday. Merri Rudd will call with the Five-Dog String Band, Albuq. Square Dance Center, 8-11 p.m.

Mark your calendars for Globalquerque! Saturday and Sunday, September 23 & 24: ?Globalquerque! – at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Early Bird tickets at http://www.globalquerque.com/ticketspecial.html

That’s all for now. Enjoy the many June music and dance activities!

Merri Rudd
Albuquerque NM
www.merridancing.com

MayMadness 2006

May 30, 2006 on 3:56 pm | In Road Trips

You would think that on a one-hour, nonstop flight between Albuquerque and Phoenix, it would be difficult to lose a suitcase. Yet there I was on May 19, standing at the Southwest Lost Luggage desk, saying, “but my outfits and dance shoes are in that suitcase and I have to be on stage tonight.” A further complication was that the dance weekend was two hours away in Prescott, Arizona.

This was the 15th annual MayMadness dance weekend, http://sharlot.org/madness/ I’d been preparing for several months to entertain 250 dancers, along with caller Seth Tepfer of Atlanta, the Hotpoint String Band from Ohio, and the Privy Tippers from Tucson, Arizona.

I did at least have the foresight to carry my dance program onboard, plus fudge and pecan cookies for the bands. So I wasn’t entirely up the proverbial creek with no paddle. But my toothbrush was in that suitcase!

One of the Tippers and I drove up to Prescott, checked in and went over to the dance hall. Banners were up in the giant gymnasium, and the sound crew was doing sound checks. I had nothing to unpack, so hung around the hall and did a sound check. My first introduction to Seth was when he walked into the dance hall as I was asking for a mike condom (that gray foam thing that fits over the microphone head). Well, what else is it called?!

A bunch of us crew and organizers walked to a Chinese restaurant for dinner, where Seth and I chatted briefly about how to run the Saturday morning waltz workshop: I wanted to be Vanna White to his lead. Southwest called to tell me my suitcase had NOT gone on to California as originally thought, but instead never made it onto the plane in Albuquerque. They would send it on a later flight, then drive it up to Prescott on the shuttle. Seth called fun dances the first half of the Friday night dance with Hotpoint. I was on at 9:30 with the Tippers. Someone reported from the hotel that my suitcase was in town, but when I walked over, no such luck. I went back to dance, still in my airplane clothes. My suitcase arrived a few minutes before I was due on stage, so I was wrinkled, but ready, teeth brushed.

The Tippers, Jacquie Wohl on fiddle, her longtime hubby Craig Tinney on guitar, JerryRay Weinert on bass, and Dave Firestine on mandolin, and I have done half a dozen gigs. We love working together. But if I could leave my body and float off to observe myself on stage, directing 250 dancers and a band, I’m sure I would run screaming out of the dance hall. Calling is not for sissies. You are teacher, cuer, band director, programmer, stage personality, and trouble-shooter, sometimes simultaneously. All of this happens in the space of 32 seconds, which is about one time through the AABB structure of the dance tune. Yikes! It looks easy if all goes well, but it’s not as easy as it looks. To borrow from a “Futurama” episode where Bender plays god, “When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

I called an intermediate program, Swell Dance, Seth’s dance Will You Marry Me?, Kathy Anderson’s Weave the Line, Bob Isaacs’ Cure for the Clap, Pinewoods Crossing, Gene Hubert’s Firecracker, and Carol Ormand’s You Can’t Get There from Here. Teaching and calling seven dances in an hour and a half is pretty amazing for me–we did quick walk-through’s and I didn’t run dances too long given the heat and altitude (mile high). I watched how well the dancers danced and thought, “Ut, oh, I have nothing to teach them tomorrow in my workshops.”

What was especially cool was having 10 New Mexicans out on the dance floor egging me on. Lonnie, Julie, Chole and Judy showed up from Las Cruces. Bob & Linda, Joli, Larry, Laine, and Chris showed up from Albuquerque. Their smiling faces buoyed me all weekend.

My Beloved Privy Tippers
Tippers & Merri, Photo by Lonnie Ludeman (c) 2006

At the catered breakfast the next morn, I randomly wandered and asked dancers for their ‘pet peeves’ on the dance floor. “Twirling me out of the line,” “bending my wrist back so it hurts,” “avoiding eye contact,” “not being there on time.” Voila! I had the makings of a workshop. First Seth called a “hot squares” workshop, then we co-taught the waltz workshop. Actually, I was Vanna, chipping in occasionally and walking around observing frame and posture and heart to heart alignment. Seth taught the step, framing, turns, and a ‘pause’ to accent the dance. At the end a dancer came up to me and asked, “do you know how to do that waltz pivot step?” “Sure,” I said, “It’s like a zwiefacher, waltz, 2, 3, waltz, 2, 3, pivot, pivot, pivot, pivot.” I danced this move with him and his eyes gleamed. “YES! That’s what I wanted to remember. Thanks!” Later that day a friend and I did that same move, adding a ‘pause’ at the end of the pivots. What fun! A new combo move!

We had a catered lunch for everyone at the dance hall. Then it was my turn to work with Hotpoint, who played for both of my afternoon workshops. The first one, Timing is Everything, Better Never Than Late, I started with some of the pet peeves I’d gathered earlier that morning. I had everyone close their eyes and clap on the #1 beat of music. No cheating! Clapping was scattered until everyone settled into the music. Then I had them, depending on their birth months, dance early, on time, and late, so they could all feel the jaggedness of discordance. It’s hard for good dancers to dance badly, so I suspect this was a challenge for many, to deliberately dance off time. When the tune switched, all danced on time. I polled them to see which way they enjoyed more. After that came a few more dances to accentuate and practice the timing of various moves.

The second workshop was Dancing Transcendently, no NOT transcendentally! People thought we were going to meditate, so I read them the workshop description to make my goals more clear. “Nuance is the key to making dance sublime. Sometimes the art of dancing can be lost in all the twirls, flourishes, and rowdiness. This dance workshop will focus on making you stand up, stretch out, lean back and discover an elegance, grace, and beauty you never knew you had.”

My calling teacher, Bill “Doc” Litchman, laments that we are losing the “art of dance” or the “elegance of dance.” So I sometimes teach workshops to remind people just how beautiful dance can be with gentle leads, small flourishes, flows, and treating each partner like a queen or king, if only for 32 seconds. I talked to them about the yoga principle of standing as if a string is coming up out of the crown of one’s head. This causes one’s shoulders to move back and the body to rise, creating a grace of movement akin to that found in English dance. And most important, it opens one’s heart to the joy of the music, infusing the dancer with an even greater connection to the band. I forgot to tell the dancers this last, most important point. I used four dances to illustrate these principles, Evan Shepherd’s Wedding Rings, Kathy Anderson’s Tropical Gentleman, Tony Parkes’ Hey Fever, and Tom Hinds’ Scooter.

Hotpoint is a master at choosing just exactly the right set of tunes for a particular dance, so the music for both workshops was wonderful. It is quite a treat for me to work with national caliber bands, such as Hotpoint. Members include Mark Burhans on fiddle, Hilarie Burhans, QUEEN (no kidding) of the banjo, Marlene Shostak on piano, Nick Wieland on bass, and wild man Mark Hellenberg on multiple percussion.

It is because of Hotpoint’s piano player Marlene that I am on the bigger stages at all. She heard me call one dance at a workshop in Houston in January 2003. The workshop allowed “baby callers” to call a dance with the “big band.” I called Don Flaherty’s Slapping the Wood. At the end, Marlene jumped off the stage, ran over to me, and exclaimed, “You’re no baby caller! That was great!! Who are you?” Until that moment, I never saw myself as worthy of the big stage, but something about Marlene’s willingness to take the time to make a kind remark, set me on my way. An Austin dance organizer was there too and hired me to teach a workshop and call an evening dance in Austin in September 2003. Based on that performance, Austin hired me to call my first dance weekend in November 2004, the 8th annual Fire Ant Frolic, with Rodney Miller and Airdance playing. I probably prepared over 100 hours for that gig, with the helpful, and infinitely patient, email and telephone coaching of Becky Hill and David Millstone. My essay about Austin and Airdance is now over 7,000 words and not yet complete. Suffice it to say, the weekend with Airdance made the “top ten best moments of my life” list.

Back to Prescott…by then it was 5 p.m., and a bunch of us were going out to dinner. Back at the hotel, I realized I had no energy left to sit up and interact with more people at dinner, so I begged Seth to bring me carry out, and I lay down for a while. This turned out to be smart. After scarfing spicy ginger chicken, Thai style, I walked across to the hall. I was on first with the Tippers Saturday night.

Callers live for moments of magic, yet can’t plan to make magic happen. Once I stood on stage with a classical violist from Bolivia, Willy Sucre. He had just come from playing Handel’s Messiah for 3 hours, and wanted to end the night doing something fun. So he stood in with Gemma DeRagon and friends. He wasn’t familiar with the music, but he listened, then started improvising right beside me. The hair stood up on my arms, and I marveled at how the music energized the dancers. Magic. Another time I taught the Mennonite group how to do contra corners (don’t tell them it’s hard) in three-couple sets (a relatively safe formation). A 6-year-old girl, now in her 20s, picked it right up, and was beaming as she did a full contra corners with her sixsome. Magic.

That first half of Saturday night’s dance felt magic to me. The dancers could do no wrong. The Tippers’ tunes were scintillating. We started with a triple medley, no walk through. We never looked back. We did the Devil’s Backbone, Eleanor’s Reel, a triple progression, A Rollin’ and A Tumblin’, Sicilian Gypsy, and Trip to Phan Reel. The dancers performed everything flawlessly. The band played Music for a Found Harmonium, Dancing Bear, and other driving tunes. Magic. Then Seth and Hotpoint were on, and all hell broke loose. Hotpoint is so dynamic and rhythmic, it’s hard not to go wild. Seth called one of my dances “Convolution,” that I had never danced before. It was chaotic, and I thought maybe I should take it off my web site. Later I figured out a little fix and wrote a new, even more convoluted version. One of the dancers said it was his favorite dance of the weekend. He must enjoy chaos. :-)

Sunday morning Seth and I decided to reward the dancers with a program quickly accessible to the dancers, then get out of their way and let them connect to the music. My flow session featured Al’s Safeway Produce, the Dreaded Swing (photo below), Eyes Have It, and Venus and Mars. Seth then connected them to their inner klutz with gender benders and other fun games. Both Seth and I called the farewell dance with Hotpoint, sharing a medley of three dances with no walk through’s. We ended with Smooth Sailing and Daisies and Delphiniums. And the 15th annual Maymadness came to a reluctant end.

The Dreaded Swing
The Dreaded Swing, Photo by Merri Rudd (c) 2006

The MayMadness organizers, Terri Eichelberger, Steve Appel, Warren Miller, Leslie Loomis, and countless others, put on a welcoming, riveting weekend with great music, dance, and food. They deserve the dancers’ adoration and praise.

Seth and I headed back to Phoenix with Bill and Judy Norman, sharing stories and laughter. We ate a big Ethiopian dinner, then flew our separate ways. My suitcase, of course, made it home just fine.

Twenty-five photos of the weekend’s events and players are posted at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merridancing/sets/72057594143467958/

This is my full report. Let me know what you think.

Merri Rudd
www.merridancing.com

Wilderness, Oh Boy!

May 15, 2006 on 5:00 pm | In Road Trips

Many “small world” events populate my life. My past dogs me. Old beaus show up 2,000 miles from where they ought to be. Almost any random stranger on the streets of Albuquerque knows someone I know. The woman in the pool in Ouray, CO discusses an appellate tax case I worked on that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But few of my life history stories run as deep and long as my relationship with Bill and Sally Meadows. Bill was my first boss at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in 1976. A few days after he hired me, my dad died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. “Take all the time you need,” Bill said. “You can start whenever you get back.” And that was that. We’ve been loyal and heartfelt friends for 30 years. Sally has shared our relationship all 30 years, and I have profound ties with her too. She has one of the best social consciences I know and is active with Common Cause and other worthy groups.

Bill Meadows, circa 1978
Photo by Merri Rudd, (c) 2006

To honor my dad’s memory, Bill gave me a membership in the Sierra Club in 1977. In our non-working hours, we both volunteered for various non-profit environmental organizations. My beau at the time was a botanist with the Tennessee Heritage Program, and he and I led botany hikes on weekends. Bill helped me get my next job at the Tennessee Environmental Council. After 20 years at Vanderbilt, he worked at Sweetbriar College for a few years, then at the Sierra Club as development director.

But he came into his ‘national conservation leader’ own when he became president of the Wilderness Society. Yes, THE Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. with offices scattered across America, many in the west. If you read a news article about proposed drilling for oil on the Arctic National Refuge, chances are you’ll read a quote from Bill Meadows. Check out legislative battles on ‘the hill’ in Washington, and Bill will have testified. At least a quarter of the U.S. Senators know him personally. Interview a consortium of groups who love wilderness, and Bill has probably meddled in some of their meetings and policy strategizing. We think he’s a big deal; he thinks there’s always more to do.

The Wilderness Society has had two meetings of its Governing Council and staff in Albuquerque, one in 2000 and one a few days ago. And so I came to be one of the 20 or so wilderness society staff, governing council members, and a few locals, including trip leader Albuquerque City Council President Martin Heinrich, who traipsed onto America’s newest federally designated wilderness area, Ojito, near the Zia Pueblo off Highway 550. Mark and I had hiked several times on the periphery of Ojito, the “ACEC,” area of critical environmental concern, but never where we were on May 13. I was struck part by awe and part by irony at the moment. I felt history being made as I watched national conservation leaders hike on the new wilderness. But I was also mindful of the not-inconsiderable impact that 40+ human feet were having on the area.

Down the Two-Track, Now Closed to Vehicles
Photo by Mark Justice Hinton (c) 2006

Bill and Sally have two Vanderbilt classmates now living in Albuquerque, who joined us on the hike–Robert and Diane Fleming. In typical “small world” fashion, Robert is a local dance fiddler and has played for several dances I’ve called.

The two-track trail ended at several flat (not vertical) panels of petroglyphs and the site of a recent seismosaur excavation. Most of us opted to hike off the edge of the cliff down to the wilderness floor below, over a sandy arroyo, up a hill, off another rocky cliff and over to some of the lowest elevation ponderosa pine trees in the state, complete with hoodoos and a perfectly shaded lunch spot. Along the way we observed gastroliths (jet black “dinosaur barf” stones, aka gizzard grinders), rare lavender blazing star flowers (looked a lot like a long-throated phlox), the bark of a walking stick cholla stripped by a porcupine (?), and Cabezon Peak off in the distance. Not to mention other mountain ranges spanning 100′s of square miles–Redondo Peak, Sandia Wilderness, Jemez Mountains, and more.

Heinrich, Hoodoo, and Ponderosa at Ojito, 5/13/06
Photo by Merri Rudd, (c) 2006

We wandered in the wilderness for about three hours, then hit the dirt road where vans transported us home. I brought almond fudge, lemon cookies and a bag of ice cubes for the end of trip and also passed around 30-year-old photos of Bill. Many of his staff were not yet born when those photos of us were taken!

Bill says he likes to be out in the thick of things to get a “sense of place” and to be inspired to find new partnerships to preserve and protect wilderness areas. Bill shaped my own environmental conscience, awareness, and longtime love of the outdoors. We know there is much more to do, but Bill has shown us how to lead the pack in pursuit of wilderness preservation. Bill, we’re darn proud to know you. If we were wolves, you’d be our alpha male.

Mark, Bill, Merri Ojito 5/13/06
Photo by Robert Fleming, (c) 2006

May 2006 Folk Enews

May 4, 2006 on 2:21 pm | In Monthly Folk eNews

Hi, Folkies,

This will be my only May folk enews. HOWEVER, I may post updates during the month without notice, so you die-hard blog-lovers can check back on occasion throughout May.

Corrales Sing, Friday, May 5
FOLK SONG CIRCLE. Plants, Flowers, and Trees are the May theme.
FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH, 8:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT
Each participant in the circle may lead a song, do a solo, request a song, or pass. Bring enthusiasm, songbooks, instruments, beverages/snacks, kids, and friends.
Contact: Laurie McPherson 898-6978
Email: lauriemcpherson@hotmail.com or lmcpherson@salud.unm.edu
114 Coronado Road, Corrales, 87048
(Directions: From the intersection of Alameda and Coors, go 1.8 miles north on Corrales Road. Pass the Chevron station, go several blocks. Just past the Horseman?s Supply store, turn left on Coronado Road. Post office is too far. They?re the second house on the right, come in past the barns to park.)

Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, May 6
Merri Rudd hosts an open mike with Lewis Land and Linda Starr calling and Adobe Brothers (Bruce Thomson on fiddle, Wayne Shrubsall on banjo, Elliott Rogers on guitar, Tim DeYoung on mandolin, Janice Ryals-Rogers on bass) playing. 8-11 p.m., acoustic jam at 7 p.m.; newcomers class at 7:30. Note Different Location Tonight Only! Dance Studio in Albuquerque at 4217 San Mateo NE, 1 block south of Montgomery on the west side of the San Mateo between Auto Zone and Bank of the West (across from Grandy’s). Park directly behind the studio on west side in gated area or along San Mateo to avoid vehicle break-ins. Do not park behind Auto Zone. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. Clean dance shoes and tennis shoes OK. $5 members, $6 others.

Durango, Colorado Contra Dance, May 6
Albuquerque’s own Sandia Hots will play for the dance, and Wendy Graham from Durango will call. Saturday May 6th, Needham Elementary – 2425 West 3rd Ave., (Enter on the East side). Beginner instruction at 7:00 and dancing from 7:30 to 10:30. All dances are taught and called. No partner is necessary, and dancers of all abilities are welcome. Admission for this special dance is $10. For further information, call 970-903-9402.

Albuquerque Concert, Sunday, May 7
PERLA BATALLA
El Rey Theatre, 7:30 pm, 21 and over
No Smoking
Tickets: $20 advance, $25 door
Available at abqmusic.com, Bookworks and Natural Sound.
Neal is thrilled to bring the National Hispanic Cultural Center on board as a partner for the PERLA BATALLA show at the El Rey. Perla was the first artist in their wildly popular Latin Divas series, so it only seems fitting that she also be the first artist in the Latin Divas on the Road outreach program. Perla got her start as a back-up singer for kd lang and Leonard Cohen before she started making beautiful recordings of her own that highlight her Mixteca heritage. Perla’s got a new CD out entitled “What I Did On My Summer Vacation By Perla Batalla” which highlights the music she discovered on a recent trip to Argentina to meet her mother’s family. It’s beautiful music that perfectly highlights Perla’s stunning voice and charming presence.

Bluegrass Concert, Albuquerque, Thursday, May 11
Southwest pickers is pleased to announce that The Lost & Found Bluegrass band will perform on THURSDAY MAY 11 at 7:30 PM at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 9315 Candelaria Ave. NE. ONE NIGHT ONLY. Admission is ONLY $10 for SWP members and $12 for non-members. The Lost & Found was founded in 1973 by original members Allen Mills, Dempsey Young, Gene Parker & Roger Handy. Allen and the fellow band members were asked to do a local cable TV show. Before that the band had not played anywhere too far from their own basement. To meet that deadline they decided to use the name The Lost & Found until they could think of a better one. That was in 1973, and now the name The Lost & Found is one of the most respected and recognized names in bluegrass music.
For more information on The Lost & Found, go to: http://www.lostandfoundbluegrass.com or http://www.southwestpickers.com

Las Cruces Contra Dance, Friday, May 12
Julie writes that their dance is May 12, the SECOND Friday, so they can go to Prescott’s Maymadness camp May 19-21 with me!!! (That would be Lonnie, Julie, Judy F, Cynthia W., aka dance gypsies, following Merri). Current location is San Andres High School, 2355 Avenida De Mesilla, Las Cruces (main highway through Mesilla and 2 blocks east of plaza). Three callers, Lewis, Chole and Lonnie and SNMMDS House Band , which numbered 8 last dance. >No dances in June or July. Following dance is third Friday, August 18. Info: 505-522-1691.

Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, May 13
Jim Buechler of Taos is calling with Beat La Feet playing. 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. $5 members, $6 others. Instruction at 7:30 p.m.

Second Sunday Dance, Mother's Day, May 14
Merri Rudd, with a little help from Noralyn Parsons, will call elegant English country and zesty contra dances; music by One Good Turn (Gary Papenhagen on fiddle, Peter Wegman on guitar, Graham Daily on fiddle, and Lou Blackwell on bass). 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Dance Studio in Albuquerque at 4217 San Mateo NE, 1 block south of Montgomery on the west side of the San Mateo between Auto Zone and Bank of the West (across from Grandy’s). Park directly behind the studio on west side in gated area or along San Mateo to avoid vehicle break-ins. Do not park behind Auto Zone. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. Clean dance shoes and tennis shoes OK. $6 admission.

Albuquerque Megaband Practice, Tuesday, May 16
Join the Megaband on Tuesday, May 16, at the Blue Dragon, 1517 Girard NE, Albuquerque, 7:30-10:30 p.m. More info: Bruce Thomson, 277-4729.

Taos Concert, Tuesday, May 16
ZoukFest Presents Mandolin Duo Mike Compton & David Long in Concert at RANE Gallery on Tuesday, May 16th, at 7pm. Mike Compton, the mandolinist on the soundtrack of the Cohen Brothers film “O Brother Where Art Thou?”, and who appeared in the associated performance film “Down from the Mountain,” will appear with his duo partner David Long in a special Tuesday evening concert at RANE Gallery, 214 Ledoux Street in Taos, at 7pm on Tuesday, May 16th. The late, great John Hartford said that Mike Compton knows more about Bill Monroe mandolin style than the Father of Bluegrass himself! Check out Mike’s website: http://www.mikecompton.net/

Santa Fe Concert, Friday, May 19
MICHAEL COMBS plays at UPPER CRUST PIZZA
(corner of De Vargas and Old Santa Fe Trail)
FRIDAY, MAY 19, 6-9p.m., no cover
Traditional Acoustic Songs of the West, South & Norte on the Button Accordion, Fiddle and 6- and 12-string guitar. 438-6636.

Albuquerque Contra Dance, Saturday, May 20
Donna Howell is calling and Megaband is playing, and it may be someone’s birthday! 8-11 p.m., acoustic jam at 7 p.m.; newcomers class at 7:30. Back to the… Albuquerque Square Dance Center, 4909 Hawkins NE, one full block west of I-25 and 1/2 block north of Ellison. See www.asdc.org for directions. $5 members, $6 others.

NO 4th Santa Fe Contra Dance, Saturday, May 27!!!
Why not??? Cuz we’ll all be at the FolkMADness Music and Dance Camp in Socorro from May 26-29. Visit www.folkmads.org for details.

Albuquerque House Concert, Monday, May 29
Notorious in concert in Albuquerque
Eden MacAdam-Somer: fiddle, vocals
Larry Unger: guitar, banjo
May 29, 2006 7:00 PM, Home of Martina Mesmer
Donations $12 at the door
To reserve a seat, please contact 505.237.1033/505.620.0211 or martina776@comcast.net
Spend an evening with Notorious duo, Eden MacAdam-Somer and Larry Unger, as they bring FolkMADness to a close with a concert showcasing their new CD. With Eden on fiddle and sweet vocals and Larry on guitar and banjo, this band presents everything from traditional American and Celtic fiddle tunes to jazz, blues, and the group?s original compositions. Bring your families, neighbors, and friends to see how many ways Notorious can metamorphosize 64 beats! For information on Notorious visit www.larryunger.net or www.fiddlegarden.net

This and That
Albuquerque Folk Festival!! It’s almost time for the all-day folk blow-out on Saturday, June 17, at the Fairgrounds in Albuquerque. If anyone has instruments, cases, tuners etc that they want to sell, they can sell them at the ABQ Folk Festival, which will have a consignment booth there. ABQ Folk Fest will take 15 % of the sale leaving 85 % to the consignee. Gretchen is the lead on the consignment booth. The more instruments, the better the booth. To sell instruments, contact Gretchen at 266-6928 or gcnewma@sandia.gov. Also, the Folk Festival schedule is now out and about. A copy was included in the latest FOLKMADS newsletter (look on the back side for DOZENS of workshops), plus schedule info is posted at the web site: http://www.abqfolkfest.org/schedule.htm

Fiddler Tim & Pacific Crest Trail I had blogged about how we could follow Hey!’s fiddler Tim Shaffer on his 2000+ mile journey up the Pacific Crest Trail. But after 7 days and 110 miles, he’s back in Albuquerque. He’ll post the gory details at his blog at http://www.trailjournals.com/TimS/ soon.

Two Cats Need Foster and/or Permanent Homes: Boo Hoo, Robin Brown, Marc Leonard, and their son Brendan are moving to the rainy Northwest. They have two cats that need separate homes. One is 11 years old. The other is 14. The 14-year old used to be a good mouser when there were mice around; she needs to be in a home without other cats or dogs. Robin & Marc will be in Santa Fe from April 24 to June 15. If the people taking the cats want, Robin & Marc can take them back after they resettle. If you can help them out, e-mail Robin at: Robin440 @ earthlink. net (take the extra spaces out if you send Robin email, she hates spam, hence the precautions!)

Rodney Miller & Airdance in Colorado: Airdance is coming to Colorado!
June 1 – House Concert in Erie, CO
June 2 – Dance in Denver, CO – 8pm
June 3 – Dance in Fort Collins, CO – 8pm
June 4 – Dance in Boulder, CO -2 pm
Details at www.cfootmad.org or www.fotd.org. Those of you who are going to Maymadness in Arizona, then Folkmadness Camp in Socorro, can make it “three for three” dance weekends in a row! Let me know how that goes…

That’s all for now. Enjoy the many May music and dance activities!

Merri Rudd
Albuquerque NM
www.merridancing.com

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