Charlie King!

October/November 2021 News

Posted: to General News on Fri, Nov 12, 2021
Updated: Sun, Nov 21, 2021

Hunkered Down

Autumn has been winding down, slow and mild. The colors have not been at their most brilliant, but they have lasted, under clear and sunny skies here in Shelburne Falls. Owing largely to the lingering pandemic, Candace & I have been sticking close to home, enjoying long walks on the hills of town. And the music I’m making has likewise been close to home - and online. One new development is that all of my albums are now available for digital download on my website - check them out here.

Music

It’s been a busy online season for The People’s Music Network (PMN). My job on the steering committee keeps me hopping and also involved in our musical zoom performances. A highlight was our Fall Virtual Convergence, with great music workshops, a late-night round robin sing and a Sunday morning spontaneous a capella sing-out known as Songs of the Spirit. A highlight for me was the opening session of the convergence, a panel of activist community artists -- Ricardo Levins Morales, LuAya of The Peace Poets, and Jane Sapp -- addressing the question: “What do our communities need to heal and persevere in times of trauma and struggle?”

I’ve sat through more than my share of committee meetings with the PMN steering committee as well as the AFM Local 1000 Executive Board and Diversity/Equity/Inclusion sub-committee. Good work worth doing. Most recently PMN hosted a beautiful musical tribute to the life and work of Martin Foster Swinger. A wonderful testament to a wonderful musical spirit.

Concerts

After a 2-month hiatus I resumed online concertizing with two longtime friends. October 8th Colleen Kattau and I did a concert to benefit Syracuse’s ArtRage Gallery. It was a night of humor and passion including a dramatic rendition of Peggy Seeger’s great song “B-Side: There’s Dangerous Women About.” On October 22 Annie Patterson & I launched a new musical series: “What the World Needs Now: Odd & Unpredictable Love Songs.” It was a chance for me to sing songs I love but rarely get to perform and, more significantly, the first time I got to sit down beside another performer and sing together since December of 2019 when Annie and I last toured together. Multiple instruments! Harmonies! It’s been so long and it was so fine. Annie and I planned the next episode in this series for December 9th and other artists are signing up for future episodes in 2022.

The Kids are Alright

As I’ve told you in previous News, I have two wonderful granddaughters, 7 & 10, who never cease to amaze and amuse. The latest caper was The Great Protest. Back story: the girls have grown up on picket lines, marches, vigils, and street protests. Both parents are political activists. So the parents should not have been surprised when the children rose up in a militant protest for kids’ rights. The issue? Parental invasion of their private spaces (i.e. unkempt bedrooms). The action? An elaborate protest march through the house with picket signs held in each hand as well as signs displayed by their favorite stuffed animals, strapped papoose style to their backs. Of all the signs they created, my favorite was the very edgy: “Prosicute the Mama Polese!” Then, knowing that the price of liberty is eternal publicity, they headed for the cellar where they regularly publish THE WAY DOWNTOWN NEWS. Quote: “Big Protest! Uptown has had a protest! Several people had a protest about the MOMS not breaking into rooms. Kids were carried on backs and also held signs.” The future is looking a bit brighter.

What's Next?

Stay tuned for my first tour in years (or so it seems). Rick Burkhardt and I were poised to go on a 3 week tour in March of 2020 when Covid -19 shut down all the venues and left us sitting at home (quite like yourselves) with 1000 freshly minted copies of our latest CD. We reboot that effort Dec. 2 – 4 in Shelburne Falls, Boston & New York, the first of several more tours coming up in 2022. Watch this web page for future details. And don’t forget, Annie Patterson & I will be doing an online Episode Two concert on Dec. 9. Until then…

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