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Random Acts of Kindness

September 26, 2005

Rhoda Anderson Habedank, a Folk Alley listener from Twin Valley, MN, sent me this letter last week, and I wanted to pass it along to you. It's a wonderful example of why she (and a lot of us) are drawn to folk music and to the people who create it. ~ Linda Fahey

Last evening we were privileged to go to a Natalie MacMaster concert at the Fargo Theatre (in Fargo, North Dakota). She was endearing, enthusiastic and after the concert, so encouraging.

First off, the concert was candy for the eyes and ears talented musicians giving the audience such pure fun and real entertainment.

Our friend, who hails from Nova Scotia - Natalie's homeland - wanted to go to the concert but was laid up in the hospital 2 blocks away dealing with cancer. When approached after the concert if she could do a favor for our friend, she was selfless in her response. Natalie, fiddle master, MacMaster sat in the lobby and chatted on the phone with our friend, Harry, for nearly 10 minutes. This was huge for him. We went to see him after the phone call and he was simply beaming. What joy and hope she instilled in someone with a single act of kindness.

Natalie is 7 months pregnant, and just finished over 2 hours of playing and dancing on stage after getting off a plane from New York at 2 p.m. After this concert she had a 4 hour bus ride to Sioux Falls looking her in the face. The fact that she took a moment out of her schedule - to give another person her time to help make their life a little easier and add a little fun - in a way, speaks to one of the reasons why I am attracted to folk music and the people who make the music.

This is an event that, I suppose, could go without mention, but as a parent and a lover of real music, I want these heroes and genuinely kind people to be set out as a vision of hope of what we all can be on this earth.

Thanks for your time.

Rhoda Anderson Habedank
Twin Valley, Minnesota

Posted by Linda Fahey at September 26, 2005 2:10 PM


That is a wonderful story. Natalie just won over another fan thanks to this email.

Jack Swain

Posted by: Jack Swain at September 26, 2005 3:15 PM

I fell in love with her music when I was in N.S. and PEI and Cape Breton, last year. But now I am a bigger fan. Thank you so much for relating this incident. Wonderful to repeat 'good stuff'.

Posted by: Lynn Oatman at September 26, 2005 4:21 PM

This is a wonderful story!

I would hazard a guess that there are few, few artists in our community that would even hesitate.

I tell my kids that their alternative rock, for the most part, is fine. But when you go to one of their concerts, how likely are to to be able to head up to the group and shake hands and tell them how much their music affects you, get an authograph or simply pass a few minutes?

Damn few I suspect.

Posted by: Scot Witt at September 26, 2005 4:44 PM

I also feel privileged to belong to a folk club keeping alive the music. We run an open-mike every Tuesday and, because I don't play an instrument, I bill myself as AcappellaPete. Once a month we host a professional artist. One month Carolyn Hester was performing. On those nights there are only four slots of one song each, to showcase the local talent to the pro.
Tom Paxton, who lives nearby in Maryland, was in the audience. I had the privilege of singing "Jennifer's Rabbit" for him. He told me at breaktime that it'd been a long time since he'd heard it and I'd done a good job. It made my night!

Posted by: Peter Nelson at September 28, 2005 5:00 AM

I just heard the comment about folk music 24 hours a day. Yes you play folk music and I love it. But you also play a fantastic mix of blues, world and other music that I would never have the chance to hear if it weren't for Folk Alley. Thank you!

Posted by: Steve Stump at November 3, 2005 8:06 PM

I was touched by your story and feel inspired to share a memory with you. i live in Manchester, England and IO'm a regular contributor at folk sessions throughout the north west of England. Within easy access of my home are sessions specialising in Irish, Lancashire, 'Contemporary' (singer/songwriters) and Americana.

We're a close-knit bunch. Many of us have been brushing shoulers around the clubs for thirty years or more.

recently, one of our number, Graham Whitehead, died afer a long battle againts cancer. Graham was well-knopwn on the scene. Knowing death was imminent, he (finally) made an album, produced by his great friend Clive Gregson.

At his funeral, the throng appeared to include everybody who ever picked a guitar. An impromptu band was created and the mourners heard several of Graham's songs sung by people who loved him (and still miss him).

Yanks, limeys... we're all the same.

Best regards to you all. I hope you enjoy this wonderful internet resource as much as I do.

Ian Reynolds.

Posted by: Ian Reynolds at November 3, 2005 8:30 PM

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