The Fair Lawn Community Center, 10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn, NJ
NEXT AT THE HURDY GURDY
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Sam Gleaves first met Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer at Common Ground on the Hill, a traditional arts festival in Westminster, Md. In spite of a four-decade age gap (Sam is the youngest), they bonded, sharing a love of traditional music and social justice. The three began to play together, touring and showcasing at Folk Alliance International. They released their debut album, "Shout and Shine," in June 2018. The record highlights the trio's polished three-part harmony and illustrates the skill and musicianship of each member with varied instrumental work on fiddle, banjo, resonator guitar, mandolin, guitar, cello banjo, and penny whistle. While the album's themes include social justice, inclusion, celebrating diversity and other contemporary issues, it is also a commentary on the importance of art. "Art is a valuable way to make a happy life for yourself," explains Sam. "I hope that folks who hear the record might want to sing and play some of the songs, take classes or even be inspired to write a song themselves. Anything to work music into their lives."
Grammy Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer began playing together over 35 years ago. Their discography includes a diverse mix of folk, country, bluegrass, old-time, and children's music. They've toured worldwide, playing on stages in Japan, New Zealand, Vancouver, and New York; performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals, including Galway International Arts Festival and as headliners at the Patchwork Tales Storytelling Festival. They earned a Grammy in 2004 for "cELLAbration, a Tribute to Ella Jenkins" and again in 2015 for "Bon Appétit!," a children's album celebrating food and encouraging healthy eating. In total, they've been nominated 11 times, including twice in the category for "Best Traditional Folk Album." They have appeared on CBS' "Early Show," NPR's "Morning Edition," and NPR's podcast, "All Songs Considered."
In 1980, Cathy became the first woman to win the West Virginia State Old Time Banjo Contest; she held the title until 1984. She and Marcy appeared with Laurie Lewis, Sally Van Meter, and Molly Mason on the legendary 1989 album "Blue Rose," released on Sugar Hill Records. "It was my response to the fact that multiple super-group bluegrass recordings had been released, and not one featured any female players," explains Cathy, who co-produced the record.
Cathy and Marcy have produced recordings by Tom Paxton, Si Kahn, Ysaye Barnwell, M.S.G. Blues Trio, Patsy Montana, Bonnie Rideout, Bill Harley, and Pat Humphries, among others. Devoted to spreading an appreciation for music, they have taught at over 100 camps to notable musicians like Rhiannon Giddens and Kaki King. Located in the Washington, D.C. area, they regularly hold workshops, offer online classes and pro-bono mentoring.
Sam Gleaves' music merges traditional Appalachian ballads and dance tunes with their historical roots, providing a unique perspective on mountain music as it addresses the social issues of the region. Born and raised in southwest Virginia, he began singing and playing a variety of instruments, including guitar, banjo, fiddle, autoharp and dulcimer as a teenager. He earned a degree in Folklore from Berea College, KT. His music has been featured on NPR, KEXP, and such on-line magazines and podcasts as Exclaim!, The Bitter Southerner, the Journal of Roots Music No Depression, and BGS (Bluegrass Situation). He's toured internationally and appeared at venues across the U.S., including Mountain Stage. Since 2012, he has taught at multiple camps and events around the world, scored films, and composed the music for the folk opera, "In These Fields," a commentary on the relationship between agriculture and cultural diversity in the South.
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