Links (With Comments by Bob Norman)
This site was originally created by Fortissimo
Folk Music, and they've hosted it free of charge since 1997.
Am I grateful? You betcha. Fortissimo is a volunteer aggregation
of computer geniuses/folk music fans. You'll find many other folk
musicians and organizations at their site. They also host an excellent
house concert series in the Philadelphia area.
My website was designed and developed by Mary Anne and Bill Stewart
of The Bayberry Design Co. They also designed and published my father's
memoirs, Victor Norman: A Life in Music, A Lifetime of Learning,
[see Remembering Victor Norman]
and other books as well.
From 1970 to 1977 I had the signal privilege of editing this country's
foremost folk music magazine, Sing
Out!, and I was part and sometimes president of its board for
13 years thereafter. Sing Out! was founded
in 1950 by a group of writers and musicians that included Pete Seeger,
and against all odds it's still going strong today—bigger,
more inclusive, and with a song CD as part of the deal. The Sing
Out Corporation also publishes songbooks and has an extensive resource
center in Bethlehem, Pa.
American Alliance of Folk Music & Dance, or Folk Alliance
for short, is an umbrella organization for hundreds of musicians
and folk organizations. Together with the Network of Cultural Centers
of Color, it holds a national conference in a different city each
year, and there are several regional conferences too. The alliance's
many other benefits and resources are detailed at its Web site.
Princeton Folk Music Society has been hosting monthly concerts
and sings in our area of central New Jersey since 1965. Its Web
site will also link you up with other excellent concert series,
folk organizations, and radio shows in these parts.
The Central New Jersey Songwriters Circle meets at my house in
Lawrenceville on the second Thursday of each month. We bring new,
old, and in-progress songs and offer each other a sounding board
and some supportive critique. If you write songs and would like
to be on the list, e-mail
me with Songwriters Circle in the subject line.
Jersey Classical Guitar Society meets once a month at alternating
homes in Hopewell and Madison. These are informal gatherings where
we play new and old pieces for each other. If you play classical
guitar (or something similar), check out the website.
Beyond life with my family and friends, my greatest pleasure has
been listening to and working with a host of wonderful musicians.
I can't begin to list them all here, but I thought I'd include a
few you may not have heard yet. These are mostly old friends and
don't include the dozens of remarkable players and singers I've
met since moving to New Jersey in 1994. Contact
me if you'd like some of those names for your events.
Kaplan is a great singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who
lives in Amherst, Mass. We shared many shows when we both lived
on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and Paul appears on my first album.
He's recently released his third album (and first CD), and his elegant,
witty, and insightful songs are in the repertoire of many folksingers
around the world.
Massengill, originally from Bristol, Tenn., and a long-time
resident of NYC's East Village, is one of our finest songwriters
and storytellers. I've had the pleasure of sharing six concert evenings
with him over the years, and he plays mountain dulcimer on the song
"Like a Sailor Sighin' " on my CD To The Core.
He's always got something new and creative to offer.
Mark Wenner is one of the universe's best blues harmonica players,
and his D.C.-based band The
Nighthawks , has been touring the world for more than 30 years.
Mark and I met playing in bands at Columbia University in the 1960s,
and he did me the honor of coming up to play on three of my CDs.
Check him out—and don't let the tattoos scare you.
John Sagner was the lead singer of two of those Columbia bands,
and he's still very active in the music scene around Minneapolis-St.
Paul. In 1997 he released a CD called Grocery Store that
included two songs I wrote for our second band. He's kept them alive
ever since and added some trenchant new lyrics. In 1995 his album
Larry's Road Trip captured the Modern Folk category in
the Minnesota Music Awards.
Another fine musician I met and worked with at Columbia was Dave
Gershen. He and his brother Jon, together with Jim Rooney, recorded
two beautiful albums for Avalanche Records in the 1970s under the
name Borderline. Through a strange twist of fate, those two albums
have recently become very popular in Japan! Dave and Jon have recorded
a fine new CD called Faded Glory for Boardinghouse
Yet another gifted musician I met at Columbia was Alan Senauke.
Later, we worked together at Sing Out! Alan has sung and
played guitar with the Fiction Brothers, Country Cooking, the Blue
Flame String Band, and now the Bluegrass
Intentions . His first solo album, Wooden
Man , is a gem. Alan is surely one of the few Zen priests on
the bluegrass/old-time scene.
For the past several years, Monica Mugan has been classical guitar
muse for my son Sam and I. Her husband, Dan Trueman, is a brilliant
violinist and composer and an assistant professor of music at Princeton.
they perform mesmerizing new tunes based on traditional Norwegian
Hardanger fiddling. Their first CD is available from Azalea City