Mike Seeger in Concert
For over 30 years, Mike Seeger has served us truly as a "one-man traditional festival" -- a leading performer and painstaking collector of music from the rural southeastern United States. He discovered the rich "roots" of "roots music." As a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers (1958 to present), he helped to introduce a tremendous amount of old-time music foreign to urban audiences and performers.
Without him, few of us might have heard Doc Watson, Elizabeth Cotton, and others. Mike Seeger serves up the musical history of America not dull and dusty, but vibrant and authentic, funny and ironic, on an amazing array of instruments, and with stories both charming and profound. He ranges from unaccompanied English ballads to songs and tunes with a smooth succession of fiddle, banjos, guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, autoharp, pan pipes, Jews harp, harmonica, to hambone and wild stomps and hollers. To see him in action is to see a consummate, jovial juggler. This is the real thing, music running broad and deep.
His discography reflects boundless energy and dedication: eleven solo recordings (including the 2003 True Vine); twenty five recordings with New Lost City Ramblers; nine with other performers; and thirty field collections that he recorded and edited.
All this with a busy schedule of tours, workshops, lectures, and advising for major festivals. Highlights from a lengthy list of honors: Honorary Member, Society for American Music (2003); Guggenheim Fellow (1984); Smithsonian Institution Visiting Scholar (1983); National Endowment for the Arts Grantee (1975, 1982, 1984, 1987); Smithsonian American Folklife Company (1968-76); Board of Directors, Newport Folk Festival (1963-67); National Folk Festival (1972-78); Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project (1973-86).
It's rare when a traditional musician is featured in Rolling Stone ("an American artist standing forth ... himself branch and root of the entwined true vine") and Billboard ("he illuminates the roots of contemporary music"). He may be slight of frame and unpretentious, but Mike Seeger is a giant in his influence on folk music. Don't miss this show!
Tickets are available at Ithaca Guitar Works, Colophon Books (formerly Borealis Bookstore), Greenstar Co-op, Small World Music, Bound for Glory, and, if any are left, at the door. You may also order tickets online and by mail from CFSC, PO Box 481, Ithaca, NY 14851.
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