Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music
(AAFFM)

Fiddler’s Green June 15, 2024

CLAUDIA NYGAARD and HARM’S WAY

CLAUDIA NYGAARD

Claudia Nygaard is a mesmerizing storyteller and a cinematic lyricist who writes songs that are heartfelt, humorous, scrappy, and sensual, And she does so with a daredevil’s vulnerability and a complete lack of self-censorship. Nygaard, with her powerful, resonant, and deeply emotive amber honey voice, is a master at putting a tear in your eye with a song that breaks your heart, and then with a quick wit and an outlandish sense of humor, she’ll replace it with tears of laughter.  

Building on the craft she learned while a staff songwriter on Nashville’s Music Row, she has won numerous awards including the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival Songwriting Competition, and with the title cut of her latest album “Lucky Girl”, the Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Competition. “Lucky Girl” charted at #3 on the Folk Alliance Radio song chart and #5 on the album chart, and gave her a significant debut on the Americana chart.  It also received impressive reviews from the press.  Legendary folk music magazine “Sing Out” claimed the songs “rival the likes of Guy Clark or Ian Tyson”.

claudianygaard.com

HARM’S WAY

Harm’s Way is an Atlanta-based, folk/Americana music group that has entertained in the Southeast since the mid-1970s. Playing monthly concert series, private events, parks or wineries, Harm’s Way’s mostly acoustic sound is always well received. Their song list includes many familiar classics by favorites such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Eagles and the Everly Brothers, as well as many folk tunes you may not be familiar with, but will enjoy just as much.

The group is led by Harmon Koeltz, who began his career as a drummer and band leader in high school. While playing bars, parties and weddings, he found his voice during one gig, when the band saw that he was singing along while drumming, and remembered the lyrics better than the lead vocalist! Vocalist Liz Bradley has been lead-singing in banquet orchestras since the 1980s, singing pop, folk, rock, traditional big band/swing and more. Phil Griffin is a singer/songwriter born and raised in Atlanta. He began playing guitar at age 9 when his gather brought home a Harmony acoustic and he’s been playing ever since. Phil has been making his way through the ever-growing Atlanta music scene and can be found around town playing lead guitar for Harm’s Way.

Welcome! 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 membership@aaffm.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. As of August, 2016, it is held at First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta. 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 membership@aaffm.org for membership information or click HERE for our Membership Application.

AAFFM Needs YOU

We at AAFFM deeply appreciate John’s kind letter (see below) and hope it inspires you to join or re-join AAFFM. Just click the button below in order to access our membership application.
Thanks,
Chris Moser, President
AAFFM

John McCutcheon
Smoke Rise, GA

April 7, 2019

Dear Friends,

I got a call, early on in my years of performing, from Betty Smith, a friend I’d met at the Folk Festival of the Smokies, inviting me to come do a show in Atlanta. A follow up call from Don and Laeta Smith sealed the deal and, sometime in the 1970’s I appeared in Atlanta for the first of many times. My host was a freshly-formed group, The Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music. What I found was a devoted clutch of folk music lovers who not only presented concerts, but sponsored all sorts of events that encouraged people to play music themselves, to share the love of this music that is the root of all the world’s music. To get involved with the music, with one another, with the world.

 Having this lovely relationship with Atlanta played a part in my decision to move here in 2006. And I thank you for that.

Over forty years later, AAFFM is still sponsoring events that are meeting places for Atlantans of all stripes and a watering hole for that wandering herd of performers still plying the boards out there. I get to see some of my far-flung fellow performing pals as a result of these. And I thank you for that.

But groups such as AAFFM do not magically sustain themselves. Communities must commit to survive. And in this age of hyper-tribalism it’s more important than ever to reach out, to stand up, to say, “This is the kind of community, the kind of world, I want to be a part of.” You’ll never see the musicians AAFFM brings into our intimate gatherings at the Fox or on Netflix. No, you have to go out, sit shoulder-to-shoulder with others and have that experience live and in person. You can learn how to play, how to sing, how to harmonize in jam sessions not sponsored by YouTube. And, in the process, help build a community that improves the lives of individuals and the collective community life of Atlanta.

Pete Seeger would have been 100 years old this year. He taught us what we could feel like, what we could do if we risked adding our voice to the others in his audience, if we dared to harmonize with a roomful of strangers. But we had to make the move.

So, my fellow Atlantans, make the move, risk, dare, and join me in continuing to support the Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music. And for that I thank you, as well.

Take it easy, but take it!  

www.folkmusic.com

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