Welcome to the web home of the Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music!
This site lists information about folk music and related activities in the greater Atlanta area and the Southeastern U.S. It contains:
- General and recurring information in an expanded directory format
- Links to other folk resources
See the EVENTS Tab for Fiddler's Green and other AAFFM- sponsored concerts, workshops, and pickin' parties, as well as other events of interest in and around Atlanta.
In email blasts, you'll find details about current events and information on member-only activities like our famous "get-togethers". If you'd like to host a pick-'n-grin, let us know! See the EVENTS tab for upcoming concerts and pickin' parties.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to host a pickin' party, join our organization, find out about an upcoming concert, party or workshop, or to submit listings to the website.
See the 'History' tab for the history of the organization.
AAFFM sponsors a local monthly coffeehouse, Fiddler's Green, that features concerts that included traditional music, singer-songwriters, poetry and storytelling. It is located at Steve's Live Music in Sandy Springs, GA. AAFFM Membership benefits include the email blasts (our mailing list will always remain private) and discounts on AAFFM sponsored concerts. Annual membership dues are $15 for individuals and $20 for families, $35 sustaining members. E-mail email@example.com for membership information.
FIDDLER'S GREEN HAS MOVED TO STEVE'S LIVE MUSIC!
As announced earlier, AAFFM has relocated its Fiddler's Green coffeehouse concert series to Steve's Live Music in Sandy Springs. Since opening in June 2012, Steve's Live Music has generated plenty of positive buzz among local folk music fans. The cozy club/restaurant features international and American grassroots music including blues, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, singer-songwriters and folk of all sorts. The rustically alluring 120-seat venue offers an intimate setting with seats and tables up near the stage, a state-of-the-art sound system, professional lighting, a full bar and eclectic menu, plentiful and convenient parking, and other folk and acoustic music throughout the week. Owner Steve Grossman, a long-time fan of AAFFM and its mission, is generously giving us the coveted 7-9 PM slot each third Saturday of the month at no charge other than a nominal fee for the sound tech.
We bid a fond farewell to Anthony's Pizza and Pasta, Fiddler's Green's home since we restarted the series in March of last 2012. The management has been very kind to us, and we urge you to continue giving that fine Italian restaurant your patronage and enjoying its diverse, high-quality live music presentations. But now it's on to an exciting new era as AAFFM and Steve's begin a partnership that was meant to be. We look forward to seeing you there!
IN LOVING MEMORY
AAFFM mourns the passing of three American folk music legends who died of natural causes in recent weeks.
Folk musician and musicologist Guy Carawan died at age 87 on May 2. Carawan was music director and song leader for the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee.
Carawan is perhaps most remembered for gracing the American Civil Rights Movement with the anthem We Shall Overcome. This union organizing song based on a black spiritual was a favorite of Zilphia Horton, wife Highlander Folk School founder Miles Horton. Carawan taught it to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. The song is copyrighted in the names of Horton, Carawan, Pete Seeger and Atlanta resident and AAFFM friend Frank Hamilton. Guy’s and Candie’s research in the Gullah regions of Georgia and South Carolina were responsible, in part, for the folk world becoming aware of the wonderful talents of Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers.
In performance Carawan accompanied his vocals with banjo, guitar, and hammered dulcimer. He frequently performed and recorded with his wife Candie and occasionally with their son Evan.
Folk singer James “Sparky” Rucker has been closely associated with the Highlander Center throughout his career. “The thing about Guy Carawan,” says Rucker, “is that he was never ego driven. He was always willing to put others forward. He was the one who encouraged me to become a folksinger. During the turbulent years of the civil rights movement, he would hand me his guitar and say, ‘Why don’t you go up and lead us in a song, Sparky.’ Guy is the reason I have a career today.”
Jean Ritchie, often called “the Mother of Folk,” died June 1 at age 92. Ritchie was revered as a folk music singer, songwriter, ballad collector, and Appalachian dulcimer player. Her recordings, films, and books introduced traditional American folk music to young musicians such as Bob Dylan. With the help of husband George Pickow, she made the little-known Appalachian lap dulcimer internationally popular.
The Viper, Kentucky native came from a family of ballad-singers. As a youth she performed at dances and county fairs in the eastern Kentucky the coal-mining country. A turning point in her career came when folklorist Alan Lomax recorded and interviewed her extensively for the Library of Congress’s American folk music collection. Under a Fulbright Scholarship Ritchie in turn conducted field recordings in Britain and Ireland researching the roots of American balladry.
Ritchie was also an activist who protested poverty and environmental destruction blamed on coal mining companies in the Cumberland Mountains. She wrote classic songs including West Virginia Mine Disaster and Blackwater in support of those causes.
“I see folk music as a river that never stopped flowing,” she told The New York Times in 1980. “Sometimes a few people go to it and sometimes a lot of people do. But it’s always there.”
Folk singer, songwriter, actor, and political activist Ronnie Gilbert died June 6 in California at 88. She was an original member of the Weavers, along with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman. In that group she lent her soaring contralto voice to such folk classics as This Land Is Your Land, If I Had a Hammer, Goodnight Irene, and Kisses Sweeter than Wine.
The group dissolved in 1953 after being blacklisted for their leftist activism. Gilbert devoted the rest of her life to singing, acting, political protest and clinical psychology. Her 2004 marriage to her manager Donna Korones lent support to the LGBT movement.
"She was one fourth of the Weavers, which in and of itself would have qualified her with a badge of courage,” wrote Arlo Guthrie in Facebook. “But she also continued throughout her life to stand as a beacon for anyone hoping to make the world a little more equal and normal for those too often told to stay on the fringes of society."
We gratefully celebrate the long and memorable lives of Jean Ritchie, Guy Carawan, and Ronnie Gilbert. They blessed us with a legacy rich beyond measure.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
January 15, 2014 - Yes, dear members, you're again receiving something much less than the complete monthly AAFFM newsletter. The fact is that we've once again lost our editor, and this time we have no prospects for a replacement. So we're turning adversity into an opportunity to bring our communications into the 21st century.
After some three decades we're discontinuing the newsletter. It's the end of an era -- but the beginning of another. We'll instead focus on three electronic vehicles to fulfill the information-sharing part of our mission.
First, you'll continue to receive a monthly email blast about Fiddler's Green and other activities in which AAFFM is directly involved. You'll find January's information below this message. If you're one of the few members who have still been receiving the print version of the newsletter by mail, and you simply don't have access to email, we'll print out the monthly notice and mail it to you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Secondly, we'll continue to carry much of the erstwhile newsletter material on our website, aaffm.org. Much content has been duplicated for some time anyway. And when you think about it, we're fulfilling our mission better when we share news of folk-music-related activities with the world -- not just with our members.
Thirdly, thanks to the tireless efforts of our invaluable webmaster Teresa Powell, we have an additional way to raise visibility for AAFFM, compensate for the lack of a newsletter, and to make it easier to share information and attract new listeners/members. We've upgraded our Facebook page. It's important that you visit the page at https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaAreaFriendsofFolkMusic and "like" it, as well as adding it to your interests list and select notifications. This will make it much easier to keep folks up to date with the Fiddler's Green Concert Series, and acoustic music venues including coffeehouses and house concert series are invited and urged to post their shows on the page. From now on this will be the mechanism for you to update your talent listings and other information that changes month to month. Be sure to also invite your music-loving friends to join the page as well!
Being a traditionalist (hey, I'm a folkie, after all), I'll miss the newsletter. Perhaps you will as well, and if you don't feel you're still getting your money's worth for your membership, we'll refund your dues. But we hope you'll agree with your AAFFM Board that members are richly benefited by the discounted admission at Fiddler's Green, the monthly email notice, and the satisfaction of knowing they're helping promote and educate about folk music and related activities in our region. We appreciate your support as we adapt to and try to take full advantage of the Digital Age.
P.S. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, writer Helen Cauley, and photographer Hyosub Shin for the wonderful January 10 article on Fiddler's Green and its move to Steve's Live Music. We've had a splendid response to it!
The Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music, Inc., is an all-volunteer IRS designated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional folk music and arts in the greater Atlanta and Southeast regional areas.