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February 15, 2020

Behind the Scenes of the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame


 Maine Seniors


AMERICAN SONGWRITER
by Liz Thomson
 

On Boston Discovery Guide’s 10 Top Boston Attractions, not one relates to music. The same on Trip Savvy’s 20 Things to Do in Boston. On Culture Trip’s 25 Must-Visit Attractions in the city, the Boston Symphony squeaks in – shamefully low down the list, below baseball, beer and shopping opportunities. Sure, Cheers! was a great series but is the bar really a must-see?

Yet Boston, and its sister-city Cambridge, a five-minute subway ride away across the Charles River, is one of America’s great centres of music. Beyond the eponymous mid-Seventies stadium rock band, the area has a claim on many celebrated names: Aerosmith, the Cars, the J Geils Band, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Donna Summer, DMZ, Darlingside, James Taylor, Tom Rush, Tracy Chapman, and Joan Baez to name a small but mighty handful. They may not all have been born in Boston, but they have all put down musical roots there.

And roots is a key word, for roots music in its broadest sense is being celebrated in downtown Boston in a new and evolving permanent exhibition in one of the nation’s grandest old theatres, the Wang, an Art Deco jewel that is on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the non-profit Boch Center.



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January 2020,

Maine Seniors January 2020


 Maine Seniors
PART 2 - AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF MAINE'S GREAT TALENTS
by Mary Frances Barstow
 

Click here for the rest of the story.
 Starts on page 36.




December 2019,

Maine Seniors December 2019

Maine Seniors
 
AN INTIMATE INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF MAINE'S GREAT TALENTS
by Mary Frances Barstow
 
Wow! Look closely at this man. Notice the blue eyes that go on forever? You have to wonder what's behind him... and his music. His list of accomplishments is huge. He is rememebered for all the songs he has written, but especially for 'The Wedding Song' which was a gift he wrote for his friend Peter Yarrow (from Peter, Paul & Mary) on his wedding day.

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November 26, 2018

Noel Paul Stookey's new Christmas album is 'a recollection of special memories'

Christmas Dinner
 
CENTERLINE  by Jim Bessman
 
 
In his liner notes of his new Christmas album Somethin’ Special: A Noel Paul Stookey Holiday Recollection, folk legend Noel Paul Stookey calls it “a recollection of special memories.”
Click here for the rest of the story.

 
 




December 30, 2017, 1:05 pm

One Light, Many Candles

Noel & Betty
Spirit Matters Talk
 
Betty and Noel Stookey, who have been married for over 50 years, together founded “One Light, Many Candles.” They produce and perform multifaith presentations combining spoken word and music—both Noel’s original compositions and indigenous music from various cultures. Betty is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and served as chaplain at Northfield Mount Hermon School (1997-2005), where she became aware of the need for greater spiritual inclusivity among the culturally diverse student body. Noel was the Paul in the iconic folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, whose activism was central to the antiwar and civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s. We spoke about their spiritual histories, the genesis of “One Light, Many Candles,” the difference between interfaith and multifaith and more.
 
Click here to listen to the interview.
 


 

December 29, 2017, 7:38 am

Like he did in the ´60s, Noel Paul Stookey sings out in troubling times

noel at home
 
December 27, 2017 Hugh Bowden EntertainmentLifestyle
 
BLUE HILL — One might think that, as he closes in on his 80th birthday, Noel Paul Stookey would be content to kick back, relax and take a contemplative view of a musical career that has spanned six decades.
 
But on a November afternoon, sitting in the kitchen of his South Blue Hill home with a guitar in hand and both voice and fingers still in good form, Stookey observed that “the harsh reality of our political climate” still cries out for the sort of resistance that has been an integral part of his music since the protest songs of the 1960s when he arrived on the folk music scene as one-third of Peter, Paul and Mary.
 
And now, when faced with “the bizarre results of the 2016 election,” he’s more than ready to provide that resistance. Stookey says the fact that his music has political perspective “is part of a larger evolution that began when I went to Greenwich Village in the ’60s and discovered that music, while entertaining and perhaps inspiring, could also be informative. I feel a responsibility to my neighbors to articulate what many of them may be feeling but don’t have a musical platform.”
 
Stookey has just released a four-song compact disc titled “summerfallwinterspring” that includes a song loosely designated for each season. Two of the CD’s songs are about as politically topical as it gets.
 
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November 1, 2017, 8:11 pm

Noel Paul Stookey releases SUMMERFALLWINTERSPRING recording

summerfallwinterspringSUMMERFALLWINTERSPRING, a four-song collection by Noel Paul Stookey has just been released on CD and for digital download.  The new recording features a tune for each season.  “Two of the tracks are ultra-political”, says Stookey referring to his viral hit “Impeachable” and the recent followup “I Will Stand” where he is joined by Peter Yarrow, Jonathan Edwards, Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Josh White Jr, David Mallett, Barry Ollman, David Roth and Maureen McGovern.  The remaining two songs “Moon River” and “Somethin’ Special” are part of his longer range project: a holiday album for 2018.  
 
        “It’s sort of like sweet and sour”, says Noel about the SUMMERFALLWINTERSPRING combination of material.  “There’s the harsh reality of our political climate”, he continues “but there’s also the realization that beneath the surface of our rhetoric, is the possibility of a genuine regard and respect for one another.  That’s why i chose to include “Moon River” - to speak to the hopeful dreamer in each of us.”
 
 The ‘Winter’ offering of the release features “Somethin’ Special”, a semi-autobiographical story-in-song that harkens back to a nostalgically sweet and warmly glowing memory of a Christmas past that is sure to bring a smile to the season.  Following recent performances of the song, audiences have shared with Stookey similar stories from their family holiday times.
 
Summer’s offering is “I Will Stand, (Work Together)”, and draws its inspiration from a FaceBook rant by Thomas J. Gray, that spoke to Noel and cried out for being put to music. It quickly found its way into the live set list and aroused spontaneous ovations that interrupted almost every line. Noel invited a few folk friends to add their voices to the recording and many responded with their passion, too.  Be sure to check out the YouTube video with lyrics and photos of the participants!
 
What song could be more romantic, sentimental and appropriate for the Fall than “Moon River”? This beautifully rendered acoustic version is enhanced with guitar chords inspired by Eric Satie’s atmospheric “Gymnopedie No. 1”, and will certainly become a favorite take on the classic composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, that made its appearance in the film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and sung by Audrey Hepburn. Noel’s sensitive cover is destined to stand tall beside Andy Williams’ and Frank Sinatra’s recordings as one that will be shared in the hearts of a new generation of lovers.
 
Spring brings us full circle with “Impeachable”. Set to the tune of Irving Gordon’s “Unforgettable”, (first made popular by Nat King Cole,) this is the orchestral version by Stookey of the new song that went completely viral as a video when a very modest, man-and-his-guitar version found its way to YouTube, quickly tallying views well above a six digit count. What else does a folk icon, whose pedigree goes back to protest songs of the 1960’s, do when faced with the bizarre results of the 2016 election?
 
Available on Amazon, YouTube, Itunes and CDBaby.  
 




 
February 16, 2017, 4:34 pm

With parody song ´Impeachable,´ folk icon Noel Paul Stookey takes jab at Trump

Noel Paul StookeyStookey, a member of Peter, Paul and Mary, sings it to the tune of 'Unforgettable.'
by Ray Routhier, staff writer at the Portland Press Herald 
 
Noel Paul Stookey was sitting in his Blue Hill home a few weeks ago, talking about President Trump with his wife and a friend, when he was reminded of an old Nat King Cole tune.
 
Stookey – who gained fame in the 1960s singing songs about social justice with the trio Peter, Paul and Mary – said they were talking about the “egregious overreaching” by Trump and his top officials in just their first few days in office. Could Trump be impeached, Stookey wondered? First he’d have to be found to have committed offenses that would make him impeachable, Stookey mused. This prompted Stookey’s friend Becky McCall to blurt, “Impeachable, that’s what he is.”
 

click here to watch the video of IMPEACHABLE
 


 

August 30, 2013, 8:33 pm

Part of famous trio returns to National Mall for anniversary march

March on Washington
by Lacey Martin
WASHINGTON - The images of 1963's March on Washington are instantly recognizable. The sound of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. calling for change and sharing his dream still pricks ears and commands attention.
But that day 50 years ago had a soundtrack, too. Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Odetta, Marian Anderson and Peter, Paul & Mary all offered their voices as part of a demand for equality.
Noel Paul Stookey, a third of Peter, Paul & Mary, plans to take the stage Wednesday along with Peter Yarrow at the National Mall for the 50th anniversary of the march. Mary Travers died in 2009...
 
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