Hey there Molasses Creek folkies,
When we last blogged we were about to enter onto the stage for a sold out show in Frederick, MD. The show was a great success and we enjoyed a wonderful visit with Marcy Brenner’s sister and husband. We then traveled to Pittsburgh, PA on Monday and enjoyed stretching our legs in the sunny 60 degree temperatures. While in town we stayed and feasted with our good friends and longtime Ocracoke visitors, MR and Ward Kelsey. Highland Park and the Pittsburgh Zoo were nearby our hosts' home, and the reservoir at the top of the park boasted a wonderful view of the surrounding area.
Last year you may remember that we kicked off a new concert series at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. This tour we traveled north to Cranberry Township for a fundraising concert at the Dutihl Episcopal Church. The concert helped raise funds for a youth mission trip to Charleston, SC. We met the church music director, Lyn Marsh (and her husband Charles), on Ocracoke last fall and they invited us to their home town while in the Pittsburgh area. Once we arrived and set up we met a young musician, Avery, who joined us on banjo for a driving rendition of Blackberry Blossom and Keep on the Sunny Side.
A beautiful cake from Lyn Marsh!
On Wednesday night we stayed in the city to perform a house concert at the home of Cindy Harris. Cindy is well known in the folk world as an autoharpist, and has traded tunes with many of the Ocrafolk Festival musicians of yore (Bob Zentz, Bryan Bowers, and Michael Stanwood). Thanks so much to the Kelseys, Marshes, and Cindy and her husband for bringing us to Steeler Territory!
On Thursday, we shuffled up to Buffalo . . . noticing quite a change in the weather as icy winds off the great lakes blew snow into the region. Fiddler Dave’s mother grew up in Niagara Falls, so he was a little more familiar with the region albeit during the summer season. Family friend, Joelle Logue, worked with the YWCA to orchestrate a wonderful evening of Music with a Message, featuring a presentation of the documentary film on Marcy Brenner’s experiences with breast cancer, entitled Dead Girl Walking. Filmmaker Ray Schmidt created the work after meeting Marcy and Lou at a Coyote concert on Ocracoke Island back in 2008. This inspiring film won the Grace Award at the Breastfest Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, as well an Award of Excellence at the West Virginia Film Festival. After the movie showing and a question and answer with Marcy Brenner, the rest of the Molasses Creek crew joined her for a set of songs.
The concert took place at the Riviera Theater in North Tonawanda, one of the few remaining theaters in the US to boast a mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ (the Wurlitzer factory was actually within a half hour of the theater).
Our theater host, Jim Pritchard, explained that the area of North Tonawanda became an instrumental shipping location because of its proximity to the great lakes and ease of access to the region before Niagara Falls. The elegance of the 1200 seat Rivera theater is proof of the success of industry in the area. We have included some photos for you here as well as some backstage film footage of Fiddler Dave and Amy Howard’s son Lachlan, dancing to the colorful pipes of the organ.
On Friday after the concert, we traveled to see the sights of Niagara Falls . . . . beautifully snowy and chilly.
Fiddler Dave and family also visited the Niagara Falls aquarium where Dave and Lachlan fell into a shark tank and were almost eaten by a great white, and played with some very hungry and active seals.
On Saturday, everyone drove to Albany NY for an evening radio interview with Wanda Fischer on the Hudson River Sampler at WAMC radio.
Wanda Fischer hosts Molasses Creek on WAMC's Hudson River Sampler
Tight fit but we did it!
Wanda has twice chosen Molasses Creek albums to be amongst her top picks for folk albums of the year (thank you Wanda!). Gary, Gerald, Marcy, Lou, Fiddler Dave and Dave’s uncle Ron all packed into the radio studio and sang around the can, performing some old favorites as well as new pieces off of the upcoming Molasses Creek album Catharsis. We especially enjoyed Wanda’s questions and interactions during the performances. She gave new meaning to the additional Molasses Creek lyrics to Write Myself a Letter, telling us about her dog that would jump up and “nip ya on the bottom.” Molasses Creek even received a text message “hello” from singer-songwriter Noah Paley who listening in from about 30 minutes away where he was picking up his parents from the airport.
Sunday at 2:00 PM, Molasses Creek gave a performance to a packed house at the Bethlehem Public Library in Delmar, NY. An enthusiastic audience listened, laughed, and sang along to Paradise and Sunny Side. The visit was best summarized by attendee Barbara “You guys are so much fun I’m exhausted!” We had a wonderful time too! Thanks to the friends at the library for hosting us.
Amy Howard documents the making of quiche with Marcy and Fiddler Dave
We will be spending this next week visiting with Fiddler Dave’s aunt and uncle Ron and Carolyn Tweedie, and sightseeing in the area.
We will tell you all about our adventures at the end of this week!
Eating with the Tweedie clan and Molasses Creek
Here Are the Next Dates on the Tour!
Saturday, April 2 ~ 7:30 PM * The Grange in Whallonsburg, NY, http://www.thegrangehall.org
Tel: (518) 962-4386 Email: email@example.com
Sunday, April 3 ~ 11 AM * The Bee Knees in Morrisville, VT Come out for brunch and music!
Thanks to our tour sponsors, we aren't packed as high as this fella!
52 TOUR SPONSORS AS OF 3/29/2011
Wow! We are thrilled by the support that everyone has shown along our tour and from home! As of March 29th there are 52 folks who have signed on to be tour sponsors and help Molasses Creek travel along their way through New England. Each of the following folks have contributed $30 to help pay for tires, shocks, and the new roof carrier for the band. Come June each of them will receive a brand new Molasses Creek "Catharsis" album autographed from the band with many thanks. If you would to join their ranks, you can find out more information by clicking on the below image link.
Thanks again for everyone's support!
Finally Amy appears in a picture . . . !
Molasses Creek 2011 Spring Tour Sponsors. Thanks for traveling with us! Yippee!!!
John and Emy Hinnant
Vickie A. Pavlik
John and Dolores Gilbert
JoAnn & Walter Shaub
Deborah T. Leonard
Kathleen A. Weiss
Gary & Trisha L. Davis
Nora & Ed Pascht
Ed S Mann
Rev. Kelli Sorg
Stewart Aly and Annie
Heidi R. Bokesch
H. Nelson Bsitzel Jr.
Jay D Myers
Bruce E. Smith
Bette & Patrick Tefft
Charles and Nancy Scholes
Larry and Chrstine Deyss