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Sat, May 06


Saranac Lake

New Audiences for Old Songs

This FREE event aims to expand awareness for – and enjoyment of – a rare and important collection of folk songs and traditional ballads from the Adirondack region of New York State; the kind of “self-made” music sung by everyday people and passed down through the generations in earlier days.

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New Audiences for Old Songs
New Audiences for Old Songs

Time & Location

May 06, 2023, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Saranac Lake, 24 Cedar St, Saranac Lake, NY 12983, USA


About the event

These songs have been kept alive in one family – the Clevelands of Hudson Falls and Brant Lake NY - and the music is little-known today outside a small circle of enthusiasts. The goal of the project is to introduce this material to musicians working in more “mainstream” genres (country, bluegrass, old-time, contemporary folk, even rock and jam bands) so that they in turn can bring the music to their audiences.

Musician and teaching artist Dave Ruch and Cleveland family member Colleen Cleveland (fifth-generation singer of these songs) will present a free and open-to-the-public workshop at BluSeed Studios on Saturday May 6 from 10:30am-Noon to introduce this “heritage” music to area musicians and interested others. Come learn about the collection and hear Colleen sing some of her favorites as learned from her grandmother. Immediately after the session, a wide selection of the Cleveland family repertoire will be posted on the project’s webpage for all to access, and participating musicians are then free to work up one or more songs in their own style to be presented at their future performances. Dave will also encourage musicians to submit audio and/or video recordings to be shared with the public via the webpage and partner organizations’ social media accounts.

The workshop is open to singers and musicians of all genres including (but certainly not limited to) country, bluegrass, rock, old-time, jam bands, Americana and folk. The general public is more than welcome to attend as well, and registration is not required. The “New Audiences for Old Songs” project is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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