Friday, August 26, 2011
8pm/Doors open at 6
Great Barrington, MA
WORK O' THE WEAVERS: Celebrating America's Pioneering Folk Quartet
4 Van Deusenville Rd, Great Barrington, MA USA
Returning to New York following service during World War Two, Pete Seeger and Lee Hays teamed up with the brilliant guitarist Fred Hellerman and the exceptional alto Ronnie Gilbert to create the Weavers in 1948. Drawing from many varied sources including international music and traditional ballads, work songs and hymns, lullabies and the songs of Woody Guthrie and Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly), the Weavers presented an eclectic array of folk music with a freshness and exuberance that had never before been heard. Their musical verve and their knack for breathing life into a song soon caught the attention of bandleader Gordon Jenkins at Decca Records. A string of collaborative hits followed including On Top Of Old Smoky, Wimoweh (Wi’Mbube), The Midnight Special, Tzena, Tzena, Woody Guthrie’s So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh and of course, Leadbelly’s Goodnight Irene. Blacklisted and forced from the stage for their political beliefs during the height of their popularity, the Weavers reunited in 1955 for their now-legendary Carnegie Hall concert and persevered long enough to inspire the ‘folk boom’ of the ’50s and ’60s. They then passed the microphone to the likes of the Tarriers and the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Don McLean, Bob Dylan & countless others, all of whom credit the Weavers among their earliest musical influences.
With faithful adherence to their original arrangements, Work o' the Weavers recalls the spirit of the Weavers, providing an echo of their timeless music and some insight into their timely story, one that especially resonates when an American’s right – and indeed, responsibility – to dissent has of late once again been challenged. In addition, at the encouragement of none other than Pete himself to be forward-looking -- forward-singing, they've introduced newer songs into the repertoire that the Weavers might be singing were they still active today. Some originals, some from friends, some by former Weavers themselves. All together, they create a program that is rousing, relevant and revelatory.