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Politics and Community
Albany, NY
October 18, 2008

Support the New York Folklore Society


2008 New York Folklore Society Annual Conference

New York Field Trip 2008: The Folk Music Revival - Politics and Community, Saturday, October 18, 2008, New York State Library, Albany, NY

Theme: THE FOLK MUSIC REVIVAL: Politics and Community
October 18, 2008
Clark Auditorium, New York State Library and Museum
Albany, New York

The New York Folklore Society hosted its Annual Fall Field Trip, “The Folk Music Revival: Politics and Community,” October 18, 2008, at the New York State Library.

Josh White Jr., Sonny Ochs, Oscar Brand and Moderator Paul Mercer at NYFS Fall Conference 2008

From the left: Josh White Jr., Sonny Ochs, Oscar Brand and Moderator Paul Mercer at NYFS Fall Conference 2008

The Capital Region of New York State was a hotbed of activity for folk musicians in the latter part of the 20th century. Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs is perhaps the most legendary location as the oldest coffee house in America, hosting folk music luminaries and launching the careers of Utah Phillips, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and many more. The region continues to thrive and support folk and roots music through multiple venues and community based groups.

New York State was instrumental to the revival of folk music and folksong with institutions such as Caffè Lena and media outlets such as radio station WNYC helping to launch the careers of many folk musicians in the 1960s and 1970s. The New York Folklore Quarterly devoted a conference and a journal issue to the subject in 1963, inviting the commentary of many noted scholars and proponents of that day.



Fast Forward 45 years!

The 2008 NYFS conference, “The Folk Music Revival: Politics & Community” continued this scrutiny, through exploring the influences of and on the folk music community.

The Folk Music Revival: Politics and Community assembled a core group of activists, scholars, and performers to explore the politics and community of the folk music/roots music movements.

Participants included Suze Rotolo (keynote speaker), Andy Spence of Old Songs, Wanda Fischer of WAMC’s Hudson River Sampler, and Sarah Craig, manager of Caffè Lena.

“Folk Scare! Politics and the Folksong Revival,” examined the politics of the era through the eyes of those who experienced it firsthand, including Sonny Ochs, Josh White, Jr., Oscar Brand, and Jaye Alper.


QUESTIONS? Please contact: Dr. Lisa Overholser, nyfs@nyfolklore.org, 518-346-7008

VIEW pages on previous conferences.

RETURN to the Main Conference Page.

The Folk Music Revival: Politics and Community was funded, in part, by support from
the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York Council for the Humanities. Media sponsor was WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, a regional public radio network serving parts of seven northeastern states—New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

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