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Stuart Ripley Dies in Edinburgh, UK

May 28, 2008

Singer/Songwriter Stuart Ripley fell to his death while working on renovations to the Edinburgh University library. He was 33. The musician was well liked and a big part of the local music scene. It is thought that he was working to save money for a trip to Australia.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:40 PM | Comments (3)

Weepies Issue A $10,000 Video Challenge

With the release of their newest CD, Hideaway, The Weepies are offering you (or people like you) an opportunity to create a video for the album's title song. They're working through Imeem and there's $10,000 in it for the winner (along with being able to say that they are professional video producers). The Weepies are really working their way into America's pop culture consciousness with a couple of songs finding their way into TV ads and popping up on the new Sex in the City soundtrack. Hideaway debuted at #31 on the Billboard Top 200 chart (as my mother would say: "Big time Charlie Bubbles!"). The contest runs now through July 3rd.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:08 PM | Comments (1)

Jack Johnson Named Top 'Green 10' Artist by Billboard

May 20, 2008

Responding to the increasing focus that many musicians put on environmental issues, Billboard has assembled a 'Green 10' of artists taking action. The list includes Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins at #9, UK singer/songwriter KT Tunstall at #5, top-40 jamband Dave Matthews Band at #4, and renegade Willie Nelson at #2. The artist atop the list is Hawaiian surfer/singer/songwriter Jack Johnson. His new LA studio was built using denim for insulation and solar panels for power. His tour buses run on bio-diesel fuel, tour catering uses organic and locally grown food and venues along the way are being asked to recycle. On a side note, we hope to have a Folk Alley booth at the June 17 concert at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. I'll bring a recycling bin, just in case.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:06 PM | Comments (2)

Pete Seeger Nobel Prize Effort Continues

Even though this year's February 3rd deadline has past, the website is still collecting signatures to have his name put on the ballot for the Nobel Peace Prize. One of, if not the most, prestigious awards in the world, the Nobel Peace Prize is given out annually in December in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Nobel Prizes were established in the will of Alfred Nobel (1933-1896), a Swedish chemist who invented a powerful dynamite. By the end of his life, Nobel had become concerned about the use of his invention in modern warfare. Along with international acclaim, the Nobel Prize carries a hefty monetary reward.

According to Eleanor Walden (who is heading the effort), "Pete Seeger is an ambassador for Peace and Social Justice and has been over the course of his 89-year lifetime. Using his prowess as a musician he worked to engage other people, from all walks of life and across generations, in causes to build a better and more civilized world: His work show up wherever you look in the history of labor solidarity, effort to end the Vietnam war, ban of nuclear weapons, work for international diplomacy, support of the Civil Rights Movement. He spread the Civil Rights Movement through promotion the SNCC Freedom Singers and making songs such as We Shall Overcome knows all over the world.

Pete Seeger taught Peace through song all his life; he used a cultural medium to promote social justice. His life proves that cultural workers are not just performers. We can help nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize so that the whole world is aware that a man with unassailable integrity, doing cultural work, can shape the hearts and minds of his generation."

When choosing nominees, the Nobel Committee solicits, among other sources, former award recipients. So, after you sign the online petition, you can always drop a line to Al Gore and Jimmy Carter.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 1:40 PM | Comments (7)

Singer/Songwriter Sara Bareilles Helps Celebrate National Train Day

May 7, 2008

Singer/Songwriter Sara Bareilles will perform a free concert at Washington DC's Union Station this Saturday (May 10) to help mark Amtrak's National Train Day. Bareilles currently has a massive hit with "Love Song," a song written about how much she didn't want to placate the suits at her label by writing a love song for Little Voice, her major label debut.

National Train Day culminates 6 weeks of celebrations meant to raise awareness of passenger rail travel across the U.S. On May 10, 1869, the "golden spike" was driven into the final tie in Promontory Summit, Utah, that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, creating the country's first transcontinental railroad - tying together the East and West Coasts.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:17 PM | Comments (1)

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