Tag: folk music

Folk Rocker Kevin Morby Releases Single ‘Baltimore,’ Donates Proceeds to Local Music Nonprofit

Morby performing in Los Angeles in 2016. Still via YouTube/Daniel Kirby

Kevin Morby took his fondness from touring through Charm City and infused it into not one, but two endearing singles.

Koleda Celebration at the Creative Alliance Tonight


Bulgarian Folk Music

catch of the day fish (2)We hope everyone is enjoying their snow day as much as we are. And sure it’s cold out, but a little bit of sunshine sure does turn a daunting winter day into the perfect opportunity for a winter frolic. But if things like sledding (or sliding around slick roads in your car) don’t exactly float your boat, might we recommend heading (carefully) down to the Creative Alliance this evening—where the rich a capella vocal traditions of renowned Bulgarian singer Tatiana Sarbinska and her group Orfeia, will be warming up the joint all evening long as part of a Koleda Celebration for the new year.


Folk Legend John Cohen To Make a Rare Appearance at a Station North Community Garden

L to R: Eli Smith, John Cohen, et al
L to R: Eli Smith, John Cohen, Walker Shepard, Craig Judelman (since replaced by Jackson Lynch)

This Saturday, John Cohen — the octogenarian photographer, filmmaker, musicologist, and Appalachian musician — will perform with old-time string band the Down Hill Strugglers at the community garden at 1825 N. Calvert Street.

This is a chance for Baltimoreans not only to enjoy a pleasant evening of first-rate music, but to commune with a seminal figure of the old-time music revival. Cohen, with his groundbreaking trio the New Lost City Ramblers, empowered urban musicians to attempt traditional styles, a practice so common today I assume all traditional musicians are from the city. 

Baltimore Folk Festival at Final Fridays in Station North


This month, Final Fridays in Station North will be overtaken by the Baltimore Folk Festival.  The event is part of the city’s Free Fall Baltimore program, sponsored by the Baltimore Office Promotion of the Arts (BOPA).  The Signal on WYPR described the festival as a celebration of influences from all styles of music, focusing on folk music’s versatility of music and instruments, nothing how pivotal it is that we all realize music can be created from anything.  Folk music, they note, is music “of the folks.”  Of the people.

There are performances throughout Station North, from the area in front of the beloved/hated Man-Woman statue at Penn Station, to The Windup Space, to Joe Squared.  Entrance into the Windup Space is $8, all other performances are free.

The Baltimore Folk Festival will also be hosting this year’s Folk Yeah Flannel Off.  From their site:
“[Come] flaunt your folk for 1st, 2nd and 3rd PRIZES provided by the fine folks at hoodSCAPE. Register anytime before 9PM at The Windup Space! We can’t wait to check out your Buffalo Check, take in your Tartans, and see you get badass in your Madras.”

Take a break from your Halloween festivities for a night, and enjoy Flying Dog’s finest brews while enjoying some music “for the people.”  Baltimore is brimming with talent, and it’s good for the community and the soul to immerse yourself in that talent, whenever possible.

Station North

Friday, 6pm

Folk Music Festival

Music, beer, local talent, and far from the Fells Point and Fed Hill Halloween scene.

Baltimore Native Shines on "Occupy This Album"


Matt Pless is the only Baltimorean who will be featured on Occupy This Album, the CD being produced to benefit the Occupy movement. It comes out this spring with over 50 artists including Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Crosby and Nash, Debbie Harry and Willie Nelson.  Pless is also credited as the one who inspired the album, according to a report in Forbes which quoted the album’s producer, Jason Samel, as being “blown away by a singer-songwriter playing on some steps with a guitar and a harmonica” at Occupy Wall Street, last fall. The singer was Matt Pless of Catonsville.

“I’ve been making up songs and singing since I was in third grade,” said the Catonsville High grad.  “Each week, I’d go up to the front of the class, snap my fingers and sing a new song.”  Pless has released seven CDs — three of which he performs solo — with his original songs.

I first heard Pless sing five years ago at the open mike night at Ryan’s Daughter on Northern Parkway.  With a head full of curls bobbing, his converse sneakers tapping, Pless was — hands down — the voice to hear that night.  A song stayed with me, one of its lines resonating:
Pay attention when the helmets hit the ground.

“I’m really not a political songwriter,” Pless said.  “I just write songs about everything I can think of.”  His song on Occupy This Album is called “Something’s Got to Give.”  He added that he wrote it in Zuccotti Park about “what I felt when I saw all the energy around me.” Pless slept in the park on occasion during the Occupy event and crashed on the couches of friends in Brooklyn.

Pless works temporary jobs to earn enough to support his music, and another bus ticket to New York.