Folksinger Bill Staines Plays Woods Hole Sunday

Bill Staines returns for his 42nd concert, Jan. 19. He's played every year since the Woods Hole Folk Music Society began. Tickets are only available at the door: $15 with discounts for members, seniors, military, youth and children.

Folk music mainstay Bill Staines returns to Woods Hole Jan. 19, 2014. (Submitted photo)
Folk music mainstay Bill Staines returns to Woods Hole Jan. 19, 2014. (Submitted photo)
Posted on Patch by c. polloni

The Woods Hole Folk Music Society celebrates its 42nd season with singer-songwriter Bill Staines who will return for his 42nd concert. He is the only artist to perform every season since the organization's inception, earning him a special place for regular concertgoers and folk music aficionados.  

Bill Staines has long occupied a central position among traditionally inspired singer-songwriters, with songs such as "River," "Roseville Fair" and "All God's Critters" that have become beloved classics. Over time he has added many more original songs — about the beauty of wild lands, the challenges of raising children, the endurance of the human spirit, and the comic elements of life on the road. His newest album, "Beneath Some Lucky Star," released in 2012, reflects the optimism of one who believes he was given a unique gift to share, and reflects on a lifetime of singing and writing music from the heart. 

On stage Bill Staines is an intimate and compelling performer, encouraging audiences to sing along on his chorus songs. He mixes traditional tunes with his original compositions, adding humorous tales of life on the road and observations of everyday people for an entertaining blend of story and song.  

Delivered with relaxed confidence, crisply accompanied by an unusual left-handed guitar style, and peppered with hilarious anecdotes, Mr. Staines' performances are heartwarming experiences for old and young alike. Fans from the 1970s now bring children and grandchildren to meet him and join in on choruses they have heard all their lives.  

Bill Staines got his start in Cambridge, MA in the thriving coffeehouse scene of the 1960s, emceeing hootenanny sessions at the famous Club 47 - now Passim - in Harvard Square. He carried Mississippi John Hurt's guitar, played poker after hours with Tim Hardin, and hung out with Phil Ochs just after his famous Carnegie Hall concert.

"I was just a kid then," he says, "but those experiences, and that time in music, became the fabric of my life."  

Four decades and 26 albums later, Mr. Staines still continues to tour regularly, performing up to 200 concerts a year across the country. He has sung on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, HBO's award winning series Deadwood, and Public Radio's Mountain Stage.

His songs have been covered by artists from Jerry Jeff Walker to Peter, Paul and Mary. His music has won countless awards and has been used in a number of films including Off and Running, with Cyndi Lauper, and The Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles' debut as a writer and director.

Bill Staines' songs have appeared in grade school music books, church hymnals, and scouting campfire songbooks; his books and albums are in libraries everywhere; and a number of his originals are published in the classic song collection, Rise up Singing.

Composer David Amram recently described Bill as "a modern day Stephen Foster…his songs will be around 100 years from now."  Nanci Griffith once wrote, “Bill Staines has been my hero since 1977. He carries on where Woody Guthrie left off: carrying on the tradition of stories and characters you wish you knew.”  

Upcoming performances in Woods Hole include: February 16, The Johnson Girls; March 2, Amy Gallatin and Stillwater; March 16, Anne Hills; March 30, Finest Kind; and April 13, The Honey Dewdrops.  

 The Woods Hole Folk Music Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enjoyment of folk music in all its forms. Concerts are generally held on the first and third Sunday of each month from October to May. They are made possible by support from its members, season subscribers, volunteers, and performers. More information is available at www.arts-cape.com/whfolkmusic or by calling 508-540-0320.  

Tickets are only available at the door - $15 with discounts for members, seniors, military, youth and children.


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