About Rob Weir

Rob Weir is a freelance journalist and a longtime contributor to Sing Out!. He is also a college professor based in western Massachusetts and the author of five books on American history. He’s still in shock from an NPR story that called the late Sandy Denny a “virtually forgotten” singer! Oof.

Richard Polenberg: HEAR MY SAD STORY ….

                  Richard Polenberg HEAR MY SAD STORY: The True Tales That Inspired Stagolee, John Henry, and Other Traditional American Folksongs Cornell University Press 978-0-5017-0002-6 www.cornellpress.cornell.edu   In 1966 Phil Ochs remarked, “Before the days of television and mass media, the folksinger was … → read more

JENNA MOYNIHAN: Woven

Jenna Moynihan Woven

          JENNA MOYNIHAN Woven Self-Released www.jennamoynihan.com   I once asked Kevin Burke what kind of fiddlers impressed him. He replied that just about anyone with a moderate amount of talent can play fast; he pays attention when they can play slowly. Burke would probably love Jenna … → read more

VARIOUS: Rhythms of Labour

        VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythms of Labour Cambridge University Press 9781107000179 www.cambridge.org/large-river-music www.rhythmsoflabour.com   Can you imagine it? Noon rolls around and office workers begin to sing: “Boss man called a meetin’ / At a time I should be eatin’ / Didn’t hear a word he said / … → read more

KIRSTEN ALLSTAFF: Gallowglass

Kirsten Allstaff Gallowglass

          KIRSTEN ALLSTAFF Gallowglass Self www.kirstenallstaff.com   Flautist Kirsten Allstaff was raised in Scotland and now lives in Ireland, where she co-founded the Online Irish Academy of Music. She honors her pan-Celtic perspective with a new project appropriately titled Gallowglass – the name of Scottish mercenaries … → read more

HALTADANS: EP

Haltadans EP

          HALTADANS EP Haltadans www.haltadans.com   Discussions of Shetland Islands fiddling often begin with Aly Bain and proceed to Fiddlers’ Bid, the latter so famed that locals simply call it Da’ Bid. Both Bain and Da’ Bid deserve their accolades, though they would recoil at attempts … → read more