Steve Suffet's Musical Friends
Steve Suffet at right with Joel Landy, Anne Price, and Eric Levine of MacDougal Street Rent Party.
Photo by Takako Nagumo.
Use the links below to visit the websites of some of my many musical friends.
Mike is an all-around accomplished musician and an all-around funny guy. He is also one of my high school classmates.
Hillel is a singer-songwriter, as well as a former archivist at the Woody Guthrie Archives.
Oscar Brand (1920-2016)
Oscar was a folksinger, songwriter, composer for the musical theater, author, and host of Folksong Festival
, the longest running radio program of all time.
Russ is a singer, banjoist, and political activist now living in Sheffield in the UK. Russ previously lived in London, where he helped run the Walthamstow Folk Club. His repertoire includes both traditional and contemporary folk songs, as well as popular songs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of which he learned from old recordings.
Vincent was born in Ireland, moved to Australia as a child, returned to Ireland, and now lives in New York City. Much of Vincent's music is what he calls "tradiginal," meaning it is traditional folk music that he reworked until it became his own.
Bev is a musical powerhouse who has written some incredibly inspiring songs, such as Together We Can Move Mountains
. In addition, she is a music arranger, a concert producer, and the founding director of the Brooklyn Women's Chorus.
Emma is a talented and witty singer-songwriter with a big floppy hat and an even bigger smile. But don't be fooled. She can wield her songs like a surgeon's knife when she wants to.
With her banjo or guitar in hand, Robin can magically transform herself from traditional folkie into contemporary singer-songwriter and back again in an instant. She is brilliant in either incarnation.
Allen could well pass himself off as a time traveler from the 19th century. Certainly his clothes and musical instruments are from then. So are many of his songs, some about canals, some about trains, some about the American Civil War, and some brought to America by Irish or Jewish immigrants.
Paul sings traditional songs, original compositions, and parodies, all with gusto, charm, good humor, and sometimes a touch of sentimentality. He is also a fine music teacher who works just as easily with youngsters as with grown-ups.
Alison is an educator and a designer, as well as an exceptionally fine singer of songs from several traditions. She performs as a member of four different vocal groups: the NexTradition, the Johnson Girls, New York Packet, and Ida Red.
Ray Korona (1946-2014)
Ray was a singer-songwriter, political activist, and one of the founders of the Peoples' Voice Cafe in New York City. He was also the sound engineer who recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered my CDs and digital albums.
Folksinger, photographer, and licensed family therapist Beth Kotkin was introduced to folk music as a small child when she went to a summer camp in Vermont owned by the Seeger family. A New York City native, Beth relocated to the West Coast for several years before returning to the Big Apple and reconnecting with her Northeastern folk roots.
Pat is a wonderfully talented singer-songwriter whose songs have been highly praised by Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, and others. She is also a Unitarian-Universalist activist who songs reflect her commitment to peace, nonviolence, compassion, reason, human liberation, and social justice. Oh, did I say that once in a while Pat and I have been known to perform together?
Joel is a singer-songwriter, parodist, and producer of the Songs of Freedom
cable TV program. He also had been a member of MacDougal Street Rent Party.
Heather is a singer-songwriter who can make skeptics believe she is the reincarnation of the late and great Malvina Reyonlds.
Eric Levine (1957-2008)
Eric, my beloved comrade in song and in struggle, passed away at the age of 51. He had been a member of MacDougal Street Rent Party, the musical director of the Disabled in Action Singers, a member of the People's Music Network steering committee, and much more.
MacDougal Street Rent Party
Comprising Joel Landy, Eric Levine, Anne Price, Gina Tlamsa, and myself, MacDougal Street Rent Party came into being in 2003. For five glorious years we performed at coffee houses, clubs, musical retreats, festivals, outdoor concerts – anywhere and anytime we got the chance. Sometimes when we appeared in the New England states, Sandy Pliskin would pinch hit for Eric. The group dissolved in 2008 following Eric's death, but we still remain close, and the surviving members often perform together.
Jay describes himself as an existential troublemaker who presents relevant but irreverent songs and stories. That's as good a description as any. He travels around the country in a van fueled by vegetable oil.
Bruce is an enormously energetic musician who seamlessly integrates jazz, pop, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, country, rock, bluegrass, R&B, and what-not into his alternative folk mix.
Bill and Eli Perras
This husband and wife duo are masters of the Americana idiom as well as mainstays of the Florida folk scene.
Anne is a folksinger with a beautifully rich voice and an enormous repertoire of both traditional and contemporary songs, including a few she has written herself. She was a member of MacDougal Street Rent Party, and she is now sometimes my singing partner, as well as my most supportive critic.
Jean Ritchie (1922-2015)
Jean was truly a national treasure. For more than half a century she brought the traditional music of her native Kentucky to appreciative audiences throughout the world.
Skinner and T'witch
Based in Leeds, England, husband-wife duo of Steve Skinner and Sandra Twitchett have a background in musical theatre, having managed a theatre company and toured the UK with musical reviews. Their music includes folk, flamenco, and theatre style songs, with driving rhythms, intense harmonies and inspiring lyrics. In addition, Skinner and T'witch organize the Acoustic Roots Solidarity Festival, held each October in Leeds as part of the UK's We Shall Overcome Weekend.