Ron Olesko

Welcome to the home page for my “Folk Music Notebook.” Here is where you’ll find regular musings about the music I love, play on the radio, and bring to the Hurdy Gurdy Coffeehouse … along with my playlists (see sidebar) for “Traditions” (heard on WFDU), and, hopefully, a whole lot more. You can subscribe to this blog by selecting one of the links in the sidebar to the right.

To access any of the full posts excerpted below, just click on the title. Enjoy!


Folk Revival Inspiration and Folk Radio Pioneer Oscar Brand Passes


During the evening of September 30th, the legendary Oscar Brand passed away at the age of 96. He died peacefully in his home in Great Neck, New York after a two week battle with pneumonia. The accomplishments of Oscar Brand could fill a book. He is in the Guinness Book … → read more

Judy Kass’ “Beyond the Ash and Steel”

Judy Kass

On the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, my guest on WFDU-FM’s TRADITIONS was singer-songwriter Judy Kass who shared songs from her new CD Beyond the Ash and Steel. In 2001, Judy worked in the Employee Relations department for a firm on the 48th floor of the World Trade … → read more

Great “Mileage” from Toby Walker

CD cover

Seventeen songs, two guitars, one voice and an engineer were all that was needed to create the stunning new CD Mileage. Of course, we can’t forget that the guitars, voice and concept for this recording belong to internationally acclaimed roots guitar wizard Toby Walker. Toby teamed up with Grammy award … → read more

Ron’s “2016 Old Songs Diary” – part 2 of 2

Howard Bursen, Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt
Old Songs 2016

This is my second and final installment of my 2016 Old Songs diary. Part 1 featured some background about the fest and the first night of the fest. Every festival has a personality of its own, and Old Songs is unique. I welcome all readers to submit a comment at … → read more

Ron’s “2016 Old Songs Diary” – part 1 of 2

Old Songs banner 2016

There are numerous festivals to enjoy every summer and opportunities to join loyal nomadic families of folkies who come out to enjoy spectacular performances and good times with good friends. Newport, Philadelphia, Kerrville, Falcon Ridge and so many other festivals large and small have become annual destinations for these pilgrimages. … → read more

Sharon Katz & The Peace Train Ride Again


Sharon Katz is once again riding the Peace Train. On July 9, the 2016 US Peace Train tour kicks off with a performance in New York City at the Ethical Culture Society. Additional stops are being made in Jersey City, Trenton, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Harry and Shari Belafonte are … → read more