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.

The North 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.

The 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.

The New 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.

Paul 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.

David 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.

Cooker 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 Records.

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. As Trollstilt, they perform mesmerizing new tunes based on traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddling. Their first CD is available from Azalea City Recordings.

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