Category Archives: community

Burns Night January 26 at the Trumpet Blossom in Iowa City

26840627_1147582428710763_4532419243623273119_oI’m so pleased to be a part of another Burns Night at the Trumpet Blossom on Friday, January 26 at 8 pm. We gather to celebrate the life of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, who was born 259 years and one day before our event and designated as “The Greatest Scot” by STV in 2009.

As my eldest Liam observed: “Wow, he’s super dead.”

Indeed he is and yet his work lives on!

Music by David MacLeod Burt, Ed Raber, Keith Reins, and myself and readings by David MacLeod Burt, Kassia Scott and Jeff Biggers.

Free and open to the public! Come early to treat yourself to a tasty meal and to stake your place for a fun evening.

Our song is in Best of 2017 by IPR!

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As you can see, this news is almost a month old but I just heard about it yesterday.

Many thanks to Karen Impola, Charity Nebbe and everyone at Iowa Public Radio for your wonderful advocacy of local music and of folk music in general.

Karen has positioned Iowa artists in the first half of her list of ten featured songs:

Karen Impola’s top folk music picks for 2017

1. Catfish Keith – “Shake Sugaree” – Mississippi River Blues

2. Al Murphy – “Steamboat Quickstep” – Hogs in the Cornfield

3. Keith Reins & Tara McGovern – “The Twa Sisters” – Folk Songs You Never Sang in Grade School

4. Raldo Schneider – “That Thing” – Churchills’ Blues

5. Medicinal Purposes – “Badazz” – That’s What I’m Talkin’ About

6. Rhiannon Giddens – “At the Purchaser’s Option” – Freedom Highway

7. Joel Mabus – “We’ll Understand It Better Bye and Bye” – Different Hymnals

8. David Rawlings – “Yup” – Poor David’s Almanack

9. Usher’s Island – “Felix the Soldier” – Usher’s Island

10. The Early Mays – “Chase the Sun” – Chase the Sun

Click through to read the rest of the article and to listen to music samples and discussion between Charity Nebbe and Karen Impola.

Merry Christmas from the Champagne Céili Band!

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Tom Stoeffler and I loved playing for the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance‘s Christmas Céili 2017.

Awesome job, dancers! Thanks for including us.

December 16 Christmas Ceili

As a proud returning member of the Champagne Ceili Band, I warmly invite you to join us on Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

Christmas Ceili 2017: Christmas in Killlarney will be an afternoon of dance, music, fun, food and community.

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From the Facebook event page:

Watch your favorite Irish dancers perform both traditional and contemporary Irish dance along with some seasonal favorites! Then join in for a jig yourself!
Performance
Ceili (social dance)
Pot luck
Tickets sold at the door: $16
3 and younger free (on lap please)

Family Folk Machine; Calling Me Home

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Participating in the band of the Family Folk Machine is one of the great joys of my life and my husband Joe equally loves being a member of the intrepid bass section.

I will only be able to participate in the Sunday concert but my fellow fiddlers Caleigh Stanier and Ben Sauder will have the fiddle situation well in hand at the Friday concert also.

If you’re not yet familiar with the Family Folk Machine, we are a non-auditioned, multi-generational community folk choir directed by Jean Littlejohn. We are all devoted to and in awe of our wonderful director. She brings unmatched musical integrity as well as boundless joy with her to every rehearsal and performance.

The art for this poster is by one of our fellow choir members, Susan Stamnes. I love it so  much.

Please join us!

Friday, November 17, 7:00 pm at the Iowa City Senior Center
Sunday, November 19, 3:00 pm at the Old Capital Senate Chamber

Vote for Meghann Foster tomorrow (Tues 11/7)

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Citizens of Coralville, tomorrow is the big day for you to cast your vote for Meghann Foster for Coralville City Council! The polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. If you’re unsure of your polling place, it’s easy to confirm by following this link.

Meghann has been endorsed by The Gazette, the Iowa City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 1260 and AFCSME Council 61. You can also read a number of endorsements from private citizens on Meghann’s website, including my own enthusiastic endorsement.

I have found this year to be very discouraging politically and I have desired at times to find a way to unplug from the whole system. It has been a battle to not allow my cynicism to take over my dedication to do whatever good I’m able to do in this world.

“I cannot do all the that the world needs but the world needs all the good that I can do.”
-Jana Stanfield

When my husband Joe and I marched in the 4th of July parade in support of Meghann for City Council, I felt such relief and true pride to be supporting to be a candidate who is so smart, so richly experienced and so equally committed to all of the citizens in our community.  I remember saying to Meghann’s husband Nick that I had never felt so patriotic on our nation’s Independence Day as I did that day.

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As stated on her website: “Meghann Foster is a mother, community volunteer, and small business owner who is running for the open seat on the Coralville City Council. Meghann is committed to ensuring that Coralville is an inclusive place for all its residents.”

Please join me in casting your vote for Meghann Foster tomorrow.

Congratulations to Stella!

Introducing Stella, my featured musician for November and December!

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How awesome is the self-portrait that Stella provided for her featured musician poster?!! I hope you can tell that the shirt she is wearing reads “Be Who You Are”. Stella embodies that message so well.

It also delights me to no end that Stella’s mother Katie captured a photo of our very first fiddle lesson together 4 years ago when she was just shy of her fifth birthday.

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Since that first lesson, Stella and I have learned so much together. We sing in nearly every lesson because two people who love to sing as much as we do just can’t help ourselves when we get together. We are also both shameless multi-instrumentalists. The more music, the better! I’m actually quite jealous of Stella’s collection of musical instruments and I highly doubt the collection is complete.

Stella draws deep inspiration from performing and I believe it stems at least in part from her generous spirit. She truly understands how much joy a passionate performance brings to the audience and she loves to spread happiness. There is very likely a genetic component as well, given how richly blessed Stella is on both sides of her family with a legacy of performance and music making that goes back many generations.

Please join me in wishing Stella a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations on all her musical accomplishments past, present and future!