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A Nod to Bob ~ A Tribute to Bob Feldman

You know the artists, Greg Brown, Lucy Kaplansky, Guy Davis, John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, Peter Ostroushko, Dave Moore, …but you may not have heard of the man who helped develop those careers. His name was Bob Feldman, the founder and president of the Minnesota-based Red House Records, who passed away suddenly on Jan.12th. He was 56.

 Bob, a former high school teacher who at one time taught a course called "How to Start Your Own Small Business With No Money," decided to put what he taught into practice. He quit teaching after falling in love with Greg Brown's music in the mid-80's, and jumped into the record business.  The original Red House Records, founded by Greg Brown and run out of his living room, was turned over to Bob in 1986.

 Over the past 20 or so years, Red House grew from a small business run out of Bob's apartment, to one with over 190 releases in its catalog, 9 employees, and close to $3 million in gross annual sales.

 Bob will be remembered for his undying passion and support for the music and artists on his label. He will be greatly missed by the folk music community. Our hearts go out to his wife, Beth and son, Ari.

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Artists Performing:

Eliza Gilkyson

The daughter of successful songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third generation musician who grew up in Los Angeles knowing that her life would revolve around music. "I got into it for all the wrong reasons, more as a survival tool than anything else, but it proved to serve me more than I dared to imagine." As a teenager, she recorded demos for her father, an accomplished songwriter whose songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Dean Martin, Johnny Cash ("Memories Are Made of This") and the White Stripes ("Look Me Over Closely"), and whose credits include such standards as "Greenfields," "Marianne" and "The Bare Necessities " (from the Disney film Jungle Book).

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Jimmy LaFave

Jimmy LaFave was born in Wills Point, Texas, a small town 30 miles east of Dallas. He began school down the road in Mesquite and by Junior High was making music perched behind his Sears & Roebuck drum kit. It wasn't long before his mother traded a drawer full of green stamps for his first guitar and the switch to singer-songwriter was in progress. His family later moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he finished High School. Although he has lived in Austin for the past 17 years, many people think of him as being from Oklahoma, because of his strong musical ties to the state and what he often refers to as his 'red dirt music'. It was in this landscape that he began to define his sound, which was in part, a combination of his experiences there among authentic songwriters from the tradition of Woody Guthrie. Here he did some independent recording and toured the southwest with the first version of his band, Night Tribe.

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Rosalie Sorrels

One critic described Rosalie Sorrels' singing voice as "one of the most wonderful voices in American music, an instrument as mellow and finely aged as an antique viola." Gamble Rodgers referred to her as "the hillbilly Edith Piaf."   Rosalie was born in Idaho nearly 70 years ago and lives there now in a log cabin her father built, 30 miles outside of Boise. She has traveled this country, usually driving herself, for the past 40 years—wherever she has stopped she has made lifelong friends. She began her career as a folklorist in the 1950 's -- she has an encyclopedic knowledge of the folk idiom, ranging from the English ballads to Mormon songs to the work of contemporary songwriters -- not just the songs but also the tradition from which they are derived. Her songs and stories serve to create and preserve the oral tradition. 

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Lynn Miles

Born outside Montreal in Sweetsburg, Quebec, Lynn Miles grew up in a musical home. Her father played the harmonica and listened to his jazz collection while her mother was a lover of both opera and country music. Miles' mother recalled once that she knew when Lynn had finally fallen asleep in her crib: Lynn stopped singing. During her elementary school years, Miles learned guitar, violin, flute and piano. She began performing in public at around the age of sixteen and when she was in her early twenties she studied with an opera singer to strengthen her voice and enrolled for a time at Carleton University in Ottawa where she studied classical music history and theory. Years later, Miles put this training to good use while serving as a voice teacher at the Ottawa Folklore Center. While at the center, she taught voice to many students including a then fourteen-year-old Alanis Morrisette. The lessons came just prior to the making of Morrisette's first album.

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Eric Peltoniemi   

 A veteran folk/country singer and a former member of the trio, Trova, Eric is known for his well-sung renditions of both American and Finnish roots music. Fine original songs comprise the other portion of his concert repertoire.  As a songwriter, he is admired by his peers, and artists such as Bok/Trickett/Muir, Robin & Linda Williams, Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt have recorded his songs. Better known compositions include "Tree of Life," "River in the Sea," and "Kävelin Kerran" (a minor hit in Finland). He is also the composer/lyricist of several musical plays performed in around the US and Canada, including "Ten November", "Plain Hearts" and a new musical play, "Heart of Spain."

His discography includes 2 CDs with the group Trova on Red House Records ("Trova" and "Healing Zone"), "Suomi" (a solo Finnish language CD) and "Songs O' Sad Laughter."

In his other life as a producer, he has worked over 20 years with Red House Records and is now that company's Label Manager after the passing early this year of his long-time friend and colleague Bob Feldman.

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