Folksongs of the Great Lakes
From the Great Lakes of North America, a sing-along program of traditional folksongs and ballads about shanty boys, freshwater sailors, miners, log drivers, and lake freighters.
Folksongs from the Little House on the Prairie
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House on the Prairie book series has become a part of American literature and American folklore. Her stories tell of a time before radio and recordings — when families made their own music. This sing-along program revisits folksongs from the prairie states after the American Civil War. Many of the well-known (and not so well-known) folksongs used in this program are sung by the family in Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books.
The Real McCoy: The Irish Roots of Traditional American Folksongs
This entertaining sing-along program traces the evolution of traditional Irish ballads and melodies that have become firmly entrenched in American folk music.
Charming Faire Eily
The State of El-A-Noy
A sing-along program of traditional folksongs from and about Illinois, the Prairie State.
Is Yo’ Lamps Gone Out?
Old Songs for Young Folks
It wasn’t that long ago when only kings and queens were rich enough to have other people play music for them. In the old days, regular folks like you and me had to make our own music. That’s why it’s called “folk music!”
The Frog Song
“His performance is truly entertaining and riveting. He’s doing a real service for folk music: defending the Treasury of American Tradition.”
~ Frank Hamilton, co-founder of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and former member of folk quartet The Weavers.
Traditional and contemporary English and American chants and sing-along folk songs for All Hallow’s Eve.
Who Were the Witches?
Woody Guthrie: When the World’s on Fire.
Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) wrote over 1,000 American songs in his lifetime – and he didn’t use an original melody for a single one of them! This sing-along program includes the story that received the 2019 Storytelling World Award – the true story of the man who wrote, “This Land is Your Land,” one of the best known English-language folksongs on the planet.
This Land is Your Land
Whaling and Sailing Folksongs
Two hundred years ago, every lamp that burned was filled with oil made from the carcass of a great whale. Authentic 18th and 19th century sing-along shanties, saltwater sailor ballads, and whaling songs from the days of Moby Dick.
The Golden Vanity
Folksongs of the Winter Holidays
Well-known and not-so-well-known traditional folk songs and carols for New Year’s, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice.
Going to the West
Folksongs of the Westward Migration: the Oregon Trail, the Gold Rush, pioneers, Indians, and the opening of the American West.
Coming Round the Horn
“A natural-born raconteur and skilled performing artist who has distinguished himself as a masterful interpreter of American folksongs.”
~ Monterey County Herald
Colonial Days – Folksongs from the English Colonies in North America
A musical exploration of life in the English and Dutch colonies in North America – broadsides, ballads, and sing-along folksongs from the days of the War for Independence.
Folksongs of the American Labor Movement
The American Labor Movement was a singing movement. This program features sing-along folksongs about the people who built America and their struggle to improve the conditions of their labor.
Waggoner’s Curse on the Railroad
Folksongs of The Civil War
Folksongs from the time of the “War Between the States” (1861-1865) including Abolitionist anthems, President Lincoln’s campaign songs, and the songs sung by rank-and-file Union and Confederate soldiers.
Little Do You People Know
Songs to Grow On
Simple and silly songs with lots of hand movement coordination for small children with big imaginations.
Why, Oh Why?
Humor in Folksong
What makes us laugh? What makes a song funny? For centuries humans have used humor to temper the hardships of life. This program features examples of understatement and exaggeration, the humor in seeing ourselves as others see us, and the differences between parodies, satires, and broadsides.
Hell in Texas
“Your performance was an exhilarating ride. So entertaining and informative…”
~ Cory Brust-Sheridan, Volusia County Public Library
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Evolution of the Ballad
When a song becomes firmly established in the oral tradition, it often produces floating stanzas and melodies that attach themselves to other, often unrelated songs. Explore the relationship between seemingly different folksongs and ballads tracing their evolution through several centuries and musical genres.
The Butcher’s Boy
Before the Civil War, the wide, flat, seemingly endless expanses of the rivers were the original American freeways. This program features stories and sing-along folksongs about the steamboat – the first self-powered watercraft in American history.
Is Yo’ Lamps Gone Out?
Folksongs of the First World War
Seventy million military personnel participated in the First World War (1914-1918), the so-called “War to End All Wars.” Many of the songs of this war have become part of the English-language oral tradition.
The Gold Rush
The discovery of gold in California, South Dakota, and Alaska sparked a frenzy that shook the world. People swarmed to the gold fields from as far as China and Australia. Their folksongs give insight into their actual hardships and triumphs.
The Great American Railroad
By 1870, there were 250,000 miles of parallel steel rails crisscrossing the USA. By 1920, one out of every 28 Americans worked for the railroad. No wonder people still sing so many songs about trains, hobos, conductors, engineers, and the days of the steam engine.
The Hobo’s Last Ride
Cowboy Songs and Frontier Ballads
An introduction to Western folklore and folksongs: the stories and songs of real, hard working American cowboys, and the caricatures and legends that have evolved about the West.
Just for Fun Sing-Along Songs
Folksongs with easy choruses, musical games, and stories, with an emphasis on having fun singing together.
The Frog Song
The Orphan Train Movement in America
The Orphan Train Movement may well have been the largest migration of children in human history. Between 1854 and 1929 some 200,000 American orphans, street children, runaways, and foundlings were sent west on the “Orphan Trains” to foster homes in the mid-west. Today, there are an estimated two million individuals who have descended from orphan train riders. (Adam Miller is on the Speaker’s Bureau of the Orphan Train Museum Complex in Concordia, Kansas.)
The Orphan Train
Steinbeck Country Odyssey
John Steinbeck modeled many of his fictional heroes on his close friend, marine biologist Edward Ricketts of Cannery Row. A musical exploration of their friendship and collaboration, featuring folksongs and stories from California’s Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, and Salinas Valley.