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In Virginia for Thanksgiving

Beech leaves in Powhatan, Virginia

Dr Janie and I are in Virginia with daughter Sarah and family, and we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving at husband Jame’s parents’ house in the woods in Powhatan (where Sarah and James have—at last!—almost finished their new house). So we’ll just have a program of HAH Generic Hours this Saturday, from 9 to 11 AM, just two hours in what seem these “latter days.” Not sure about December 4th; depends on when we get back.

We drove down in The Green Expy, our 2013 Ford Expedition, across the Tappan Zee, staying overnight in an Holiday Inn in Hightstown, NJ. It was a dreary, if functional, building within shouting distance of the New Jersey Turnpike, which we abandoned for commercial Route 130 and free I295 to the Delaware Memorial Bridges. Thence it was down US 301 across the Bay Bridge and then the narrow two-lane bridge across the Potomac at Newburg, a white-knuckle affair until the new companion bridge is completed. Impressive to see the new construction, though.

Sarah, with Dr Janie’s help, is undertaking our traditional “Nine Kinds of Pie that Harold Liked Best,” with her usual amazing alacrity. It’s cool, but sunny, here, with still-vivid November yellow foliage, and we’ll likely tarry for some extra days and Dr J’s birthday on the 28th. I hope all of you in Hillbilly radio land will enjoy this Thanksgiving as well, and put aside for a few days the strange and untoward world of 2021. /CL

Lincoln and ‘Acoustic Pals’ Live in 1992!

ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD

If you heard the Archival show from Halloween Day in 1992 with the Lynn Morris Band in Studio A, you will remember John Lincoln Wright talking about his upcoming 20th-Anniversary Jamboree the next weekend. Lincoln also promised to come play live on Hillbilly at Harvard with some members of his Sourmash Boys. And so he did. It was November 7th, 1992.

Lincoln called them the ‘Acoustic Pals’; they were Chuck Parrish and Matt Leavenworth on guitars, plus Tom Miller on bass. I’m not sure why Matt didn’t play fiddle, but the low-key trio gave Lincoln a nice opportunity to focus on singing rather than band-leading, and the two virtuoso guitars provide an elegant accompaniment. My only regret is the set is only about half an hour. It was not very often we managed to get Lincoln singing live on the air.

Of course Lincoln and Tom Miller, and Old Sinc, are no longer with us, which makes this recording all the more poignant for me, and I assume for many of you who’ve been listening all these years.

Tune in early; as we’re confined to a two-hour slot, I chopped off the first hour and a half (the original was 3.5 hours) and Lincoln’s set will be in the first hour of this Archival show. Plenty of good tunes and some of our usual tomfoolery in the rest, of course. /CL

The Poodles, Live in 1986!

ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD

It’s February 22, 1986, and the four young ladies doing business as The Poodles are on a roll, heading up to Brattleboro, VT for a show tonight, and playing a double bill with Stoney Lonesome at the Nightstage in Cambridge tomorrow. As Sinc points out during their live set, that’s a lot of action for an old-timey band. But The Poodles are as eclectic as they are old-timey, mixing up their ’30s era string-band tunes with Tex-Mex, Cajun, and even Hungarian melodies, and are as lively and entertaining as any band we’ve had at Hillbilly at Harvard.

The Poodles were Ruthie Dornfeld and Leah Weiss on fiddles, Ruth Rappaport on guitar, and Carol ‘Hambone’ Hamm on bass. In 1993 they released the album Unleashed on my Northeastern Records label, and apparently disbanded just a few years afterward. Ruth Rappaport is still in the Boston area, and making music with various groups, including her fiddlin’ son Ben Wetherbee, who with others joins her on her recent album, Cheers and Crackers. Ruth tells me that Carol Hamm is in Greencastle, Indiana, still playing some; Lea Weiss is in Annapolis, Maryland, playing originals and country songs with partner Gary Wright; Ruthie Dornfeld is now in Seattle, teaching and performing. I should mention that Ruthie along with Morten Alfred, guitar, under the aegis of the American Cafe Orchestra released an album of ‘Transatlantic Fiddle Tunes’, Egyptian Dominoes, on Northeastern in 1992.

The Poodles played before noon for half an hour, and then took off for Vermont. HAH started at 10 AM back then, proceeded by my ‘Down Home Show’ at 8, and went till 1 PM. Since we’re restricted to two hours these days, I cut off the last hour, so we’ll close with the end of The Poodles’ live set. Tune in from 9 to 11 AM, and we’ll take you back to February 22, 1986. /CL

Back on Track with The Lynn Morris Band on October 31st, 1992

UPDATE 8Nov21: The Archival show ran successfully this past Saturday, but the DJ following cut off the program before my concluding Announcement ran. Here is the text of the announcement:

Nope, it’s not 12:30 PM, and it’s not October 31st, 1992, either. We’ve been listening to a selection from the Hillbilly at Harvard Archives, featuring a live appearance by the Lynn Morris Band, then celebrating the release of their second album on Rounder Records.

The Lynn Morris Band released three more albums on Rounder, the last in 2003 when Lynn Morris suffered a stroke that prevented her from performing afterwards. Happily, she was just recognized for her spectacular career by the International Bluegrass Music Association, which inducted her into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at their 2021 World of Bluegrass events in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the Lynn Morris Band, along with Old Sinc co-hosting with me and emceeing the live portion, and to guests Ken Irwin, John Lincoln Wright, and Flo Murdock.

Remember, the Country Calendar announcements on these Archival shows occurred long ago, so don’t circle your calendar, and don’t call any phone numbers, either!

If you’d like to hear more Archival Hillbilly shows, or if you have a suggestion for a particular show you remember, email me at Hillbilly@WHRB.org; that’s Hillbilly@WHRB.org. Or leave a comment on the Paper and Pen page of the Hillbilly at Harvard blog; go to HillbillyatHarvard.Wordpress.com. That’s HillbillyatHarvard.Wordpress.com. I’m Cousin Lynn, and I’d love to hear from you. Would you like us to continue this Archival series? Let me know.

Stay tuned for contemporary bluegrass, country, and Americana on Hillbilly Jamboree, right here on WHRB, Cambridge Country.

Not that regular listeners care about these Announcements, but they may help new listeners explain what they just heard. This is important. /CL

ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD

It was a technical error that derailed last week’s Archival Hillbilly show, featuring a live set from the Lynn Morris Band (see previous post). This week I’m told we’ll be back on track, so tune in at 9 AM Eastern (the last day of Daylight Savings Time), and hear for yourselves. /CL

Hear New IBMA Hall of Famer Lynn Morris on Hallowe’en 1992

ALERT UPDATE: SHOW DID NOT RUN AT ALL, FOR UNKNOWN REASON. I WILL ASK THEM TO RUN THIS SHOW NEXT SATURDAY. /CL

ALERT! SOMETHING HAPPENED AND THE ARCHIVAL SHOW IS NOT RUNNING. I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO CONTACT ANYONE WHO CAN FIX THE PROBLEM. NOW 9:53 AM. 😦

ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD

Lynn Morris was inducted into the IBMA Bluegrass Hall of Fame this month (along with The Stoneman Family), so I thought it was appropriate to play part of a show where she and The Lynn Morris Band appeared live in Sumptuous Studio A at WHRB’s studios under Sanders Theater in Cambridge. That Saturday was October 31st, 1992, which of course was Hallowe’en, so there are a few spooky songs sprinkled in (and one rowdy one—you know which).

The Lynn Morris Band was celebrating the release of their second album on Rounder Records. Ken Irwin, who produced the album, was in the studio. The traveling band included Chris Jones, Jesse Brock, Tad Marks, and Marshall Wilborn. Lynn Morris released three more albums on Rounder, the last in 2003, after which she suffered a stroke that has prevented her from performing ever since. It is wonderful that she has finally been recognized for her amazing banjo playing and beautiful vocals, and for setting an example for women in bluegrass country music.

Old Sinc co-hosts with me and emcees the live portion. Other guests included John Lincoln Wright, promoting his upcoming 20th Anniversary bash, and Flo Murdock highlighting the Lynn Morris Band at Johnny D’s and other upcoming country acts as well. Remember, the Country Calendar was a vital part of the community service Hillbilly at Harvard provided, so I am reluctant to cut much out, even though the events were long ago. They preserve the flavor of the time, and heavy editing would make the Archival shows very choppy. I did manage to get the intro theme and a couple of tunes in before jumping to 10:30 and the rest of the show, which ended at 12:30 for football. /CL