Picker's Supply Presents

Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase 
A Monthly Concert Series Featuring Original Acoustic Music

Friday, September 25,  1998, 8 pm

This Month's Songwriters ...

Randy Barret
Barbara Martin
Christina Muir Bill Parsons

Picker's Supply Concert hall 
902 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA (entrance in alley around back) 
Admission $6.00

Call (540) 898-0611 for

About the songwriters
Randy Barret | Barbara Martin | Christina Muir | Bill Parsons
Randy Barrett is a growing presence on the acoustic scene. His songwriting has won numerous awards (including First Place in the Folk category for Hold Me Forever in the 1995 Mid-Atlantic Song contest) and his soulful baritone is gaining fans wherever he goes. Randy garnered the 1996 Washington Area Music Association award (WAMMIE) for Best Male Vocalist in the Traditional Folk category and his CD Each & Every Day has gained accolades from a wide variety of listeners. It features eight originals and two updated classics and has a stellar lineup of supporting musicians including Mike Auldridge, Buddy Charleton, Jon Carroll, Pete Kennedy, Dede Wyland and Grace Griffith.

 Some call him traditional, others arenít so sure. Randy doesnít mind not being pigeon-holed. His musical roots are in folk, bluegrass and country but what matters most is the song, whatever the genre: It should be singable and worthy of harmonies. That strategy appears to be working. Randyís songs have been recorded by Chesapeake, Grace Griffith and Peg Loughran. A few of his songs are on the Nashville publisher circuit, ever in hopes of finding an A&R man with taste.

 Randy comes from a family of singers - barbershop, classical and stage. One of his earliest recollections is falling asleep under the piano while a jam was in full swing overhead. All that early musical steeping has left an indelible mark - a fine ear, a world-class voice, and a love of performing.

 "Indeed, if Barrett never wrote another lyric he easilycould get by on his singing alone, thanks to his handsome, rough-hewn baritone. It's a storyteller's voice, personable and persuasive, and it swiftly brings to life the characters who populate his ballads and love songs." --The Washington Post 

The music of Barbara Martin crosses several genres--blues, folk, country and jazz with "slice-of-life songs that ring with truth, wit and experience." The Washington Post. A common thread of down-to-earth sincerity and a healthy respect for the roots of American music is woven throughout Martin's eclectic style. She is equally at home wailing the blues or singing a tender ballad.

 Martin began performing during her high school days in Iowa in local coffeehouses and continued in Boston where she earned a Master's degree in music therapy and was involved in the lively New England music scene. In 1986 Martin switched gears and moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where she began to explore the blues and country roots of American music. Martin has released three recordings, which have received critical acclaim from national and regional publications, Between White and Black 1996, A Matter of Time 1993 and Barb Martin, 1991. She was nominated for two Wammies (Washington Area Music Association awards) for female vocalist and contemporary folk recording in 1998. She has been the recipient of touring grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts for the past four years.

 For more information about Barbara and her programs and to hear sound bytes from her two recordings Between White and Black and A Matter of Time visit her Website at http://songs.com/bmartin or http://va-acoustic.com/sa/artists/bmartin

"Christina Muir just charms the socks off her lucky listeners. She's effervescently friendly and luminous on stage, plays guitar (and mountain dulcimer) like an old pro, and delivers her songs and stories in a clear, true voice which rises and falls over the octaves as though they were invented to serve her personal command" (A New Song Coffeehouse, MA) . 1996 saw the release of her debut album of originals entitled Feet First of which The Washington Post wrote..."music with restless spirit and graceful turns... whimsical...candor and poetry...soft-spun harmonies and clever wordplay...an honesty and charm that's hard to resist". Her elegant musicality accompanies lyrical images that reach far beyond familiar landscapes, seeking a fundamental honesty, and discovering unexpected views.

 Often compared with Ann Hills and Kate Wolf, Christina's gracefully agile voice has enhanced many fine artists recordings including those of Andrew Lawrence, Wendy Beckerman, Gordon Bok and Ann Mayo Muir. Openings for the likes of Dar Williams, Maria Sangiolo, David Wicox, and Cormack MacCarthy as well as inclusions on Fast Folk's Musical Magazine have garnered her high praise. The Boston Globe wrote, "...sweet voiced and spirit rich". In additiona to her solo work, Christina is also heard weaving sweet, inventive harmonies with the WAMMY nominated female trio, Hot Soup!

Imagine a train wreck between David Wilcox and Elvis Costello. Or a talk show hosted by Dr. Scott Peck and Bill Maher. What would you get? Irreverent spirituality. Enlivening metaphor. Blunt illumination. Playful chit chat. In short, you'd get Bill Parsons. Folk music for a post politically correct world.

 Bill Parsons, age 30, has been delighting audiences with his signature performances on the North American folk circuit since 1993. In that time, he has performed with many of today's marquee names in folk music (e.g. The Burns Sisters, Dana Cooper, Catie Curtis, Bob Franke, Vance Gilbert, James Keeleghan, The Nields, Odetta, Garnet Rogers, Martin Sexton, Dar Williams) at many of the top listening rooms across the country (e.g. The Birchmere, The Bluebird, Cafe Lena, Club Passim, Coffeehouse at Mays Chapel, Eddies Attic, The Fast Folk Cafe, The Fez, Godfrey Daniels, Johnny D's, Jonathans, Left Bank Cafe, Prism Coffeehouse). He has sold over 3000 units of his recordings and built a mailing list of over 3500 fans nationwide. In 1996, he performed three shows for the athletes at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and his song "Oslo Blue" was picked up by National Public Radio for use on its Morning Edition program. In 1998, he was invited to participate in the prestigious Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Artist Showcase in Hillsdale, NY and received artist endorsement deals from Taylor Guitars and D'Addario Strings. What's more, the people who know Bill best -- the 1500 strong members of the Washington Area Music Association -- have now honored Bill five times with coveted WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Award) nominations. Born in New York City, Bill makes his home in Washington, DC with his girlfriend Kerry and their dog Josh. When not performing, Bill remains active in the songwriting community -- helping to organize songwriting retreats with Trapezoid co-founder Paul Reisler -- as well as being a regular columnist for Performing Songwriter magazine. He is a former aide to consumer advocate Ralph Nader and an accomplished martial artist. In addition, he is the pants. "To be hopeful without being trite or naive. That's the goal." -- Bill Parsons

Randy Barret | Barbara Martin | Christina Muir | Bill Parsons

What's next!

Want more Info?

For more information call (540) 898-0611 or send e-mail to Bob Gramann at showcase@bobgramann.com.

Past Shows

Links to other Songwriters Showcase Web pages

Sites on the WWW with links to Federicksburg Songwriter's Showcase (Thanks!)

URL for this page: http://www.mwc.edu/ernie/songwrite.html
Last Time I changed anything on this page: Wednesday, September 23, 1998
Page put together (with info & pics from Bob) by Ernest Ackermann.

Send rants/rave to above mentioned Ackermann at ernie@mwc.edu


FROM the fortune list ...

More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly. - Woody Allen