29 December 2012

An Open Letter from Dave Isom

Open Letter to Newport Fiddle and Folk Club plus Newport Bush Orchestra Members

Dear Fellow Members,

Before I head off I just wish to sincerely thank you all for the friendship, support and encouragement you have given me during my time in NFFC and NBO.

It has been a very pleasant, happy and rewarding time and given me an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge of Australian tunes which would otherwise have gone undiscovered. I hope that I can pass on some of this music to others where and whenever I may be playing. Although the fiddle has been relegated to the backburner for the time being while other matters have been moved to the front right it will keep simmering and re-cook further down the track… or should I say voyage?

You are all very fortunate to live in this part of the world and be surrounded by enthusiastic folks with similar interests. I keep telling friends who don’t come from the enlightened side of town how wonderful it is down here. The musical energy in Newport and surrounds is palpable and the Folk Festival is going from strength to strength. This is due to all of you who participate and especially to the dedicated committee members and organisers . While on this point I would like to give special thanks to Michael Stewart. The Folk Club is extremely lucky to have Michael as President. His enthusiasm, dedication, organizational skills, people handling ability, not to mention musical skills means that the folk club and festival has a rosy future.( Even if his repertoire is stuck on one track…Foot-is-gray)

And Michael is lucky to have such a great team around him too. On this point I would also like to thank all those people who assist in so many ways in running the club. Alan for the sound ( and lately Simon as well), Sue with the finances, door and CD sales, Christine with publicity and parties, Simon L. with programming and the Celtic sessions, Greg and Helen with the Bush Orchestra, Neil and Mary- Anne  for their performances and gigs, Don with the PA at the festivals and his great double bass playing plus all the rest of you enthusiastic members.

Finally, thanks must go to the Newport Bowls Club for providing such a great, friendly venue and drinks at sensible prices (plus free veggies on a Friday night).

I trust that in my time here I have contributed something worthwhile  to the richness and depth of the music through performance, experience, ideas and bringing along other ‘seasoned’ professional folk musicians to the musical life of the area.

I will have fond reflections of my time here at Williamstown and Newport and hope to return with more enthusiasm and ideas and look forward to lots more music with the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club and The Newport Bush Orchestra.

Farewell for now

Dave Isom.

18 December 2012

Carols at the Substation

The Carols at the Substation was a wonderful night for our community to come together and welcome in the Christmas season.  The Newport Community Choir led the singing of the carols as well as performing their own pieces including the lovely Australian 'Carol of the Birds'.  Simon Leverton performed 2 English carols that drew on his enthusiasm for Morris Dancing (hence the costume) and got the evening off to a fine start with Somerset Wassail and Sans Day Carol and then The First Noel.  The Newport Carols Orchestra, an all ages ensemble, lead by Simon Harvey, provided the accompaniment to each of the carols.  Newport Lakes PS, lead by Kathy Hirsche, came along in 2 groups and entertained one and all with a set of 4 Christmas songs, and also lead the community singing for Away in a Manger and Joy to the World.  Proceedings were most ably lead by Nola Wilson who provided an insight into the joy of Christmas and of the often surprising impact that music can have on people.  The night was then rounded off by young Hayley Edwards who sang Mozart's 'L'ho perduta, me meschina', from the Marriage of Figaro and then O Holy Night - absolutely beautiful!.  Hayley stayed to join the choir and the community in a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, and then a most rousing version of We Wish You A Merry Christmas.   What a lovely night.                                                

16 December 2012

When the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club hosts a book launch!

As one of the Club storytellers, I have tried and tested many ideas on club nights - better to fall flat on my face amongst friends than out on the job! One of my stories about a Lyrebird, was polished in this way and went on to become a short film and then later a 32 page picture book for children. The book illustrated by Peter Goulthorpe and published by Museum Victoria was going to creep onto the market quietly, just in time for Xmas. However our Club president Michael Stewart suggested the NFFC host a launch. I'm still recovering.

I feel so honoured to have celebrated with friends who prepared musical items - all with a reference to birds or flight.

My friend Christine sang with style in front of a montage of photographs of displaying lyrebirds, the choir (pitch perfect) presented The Carol of the Birds, my mate Greg sang a Hoagy Carmichael song and then he and Michael played the music which they had recorded and arranged for the short film, Zoe and Alan contributed two items and then there was the Bush Orchestra and of course Gerry warming the room as folk arrived and Gred who did a grand job as MC .... so many people the thank ... I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Thanks Everyone. And Thanks Gerry for the photos.

Jackie Kerin
Lyrebird! A true story (available on line, Museum Victoria and selected bookstores)

09 December 2012

Young Musos on Mason

Saturday morning in Newport was swinging with the Young Djangos from Rob Broatch's guitar school.  The boys started with a rock classic (All along the Watchtower) before heading in to some standards from the Django repertoire - Autumn Leaves and Minor Swing.  They played with plenty of confidence and a nice strong rhythm - Great stuff!

 Then followed the singers from Newport Lakes PS Junior Choir under the careful eye of Kathy Hirshe.  Lots of Christmas songs, color and plenty of movement and all watched by their greatest fans - mum and dad!  A most musical morning up at Sammy's. 

04 December 2012

Dave Isom CD Launch and Bon Voyage

As the year winds up, there are still a couple of events on the NFFC Calander.  On Friday Dec 21st the Folk Club is launching Dave Isom's new CD 'In Possum Land'.  Dave has been working on the CD over the last 6 months and he is pleased that it is ready not only for the Christmas market but also because he is heading off in his boat 'Eliana', for a trip round the world.  With a firm sailing date of January 7th, the Folk Club is going to help Dave launch the CD, but just as importantly provide Dave with a send off to wish him safe travels for his journey. 

This will be a great event to finish of the Newport Musical Year - all invited, free entry, FOLKUS to kick off the night, Dave will talk about his trip and then his band will launch the CD, and then the night will conclude with a very Newport session lead by Greg O'Leary and the Newport Bush Orchestra Session - BYO Instrument.  See you there. 

A 3 String Cigar Box Guitar

THis is the instrument that Danny brought along to the last folk club night.  Some might think that it is a uke but in fact it's a 3 string cigar box guitar.  It's forefather was the 1 string diddley bow.  Here are Danny's instructions for those with the inclination ......

'The general consensus when making one is to use whatever you have to hand.

So....it's fret less but I've inlaid fret markers using bbq skewers.The side markers on the neck are nuts.The sound hole is an old sive from the kitchen sink and the bridge is a bit of brass rod.The nut is a piece of threaded rod.'      
We'll have to see what it sounds like powered by the folk club PA .......

02 December 2012

Final Club Night for 2012

Last Friday's club night was a lovely end to the year - some oldies (songs) some newies (people) and that wonderful soulful vibe that is created when 40 people get together with the single intention of having a good time.  Still nothing stronger than choc teddy bears and tea/coffee to fuel the occasion that included:
  • Show and Tell:  Danny brought along his brand new, home made, 3 string, electrified uke that was made from a cigar case.  It wasn't just for show, as he played a rock n roll number (with slide) and had everyone playing along. 
  • Sing-along:  We don't hear many songs from the musicals but we had a trio (Mark, Anneliese and Jayne) who were dressed up a la My Fair Lady and got everyone singing 'Wouldn't It Be Lovely'.  It was! Everyone knew the words and the room was filled with music.
  • Impromptu Collaborations:  Sarah, Bernard and Gail (and everyone who knew the words or music) welcomed the new season in with their version of Summertime - sultry and classy, and another one from the musicals. 
  • Spiritual: Alan led the gathering in a moving rendition of We Shall Overcome and reminded us why the song was so important for the Civil Rights Movement in the USA in the late 50's and early 60's. 
This and much more (Alcohol and Pills and The Man from Ironbark give a sense of the diversity) kept the session well and truly alive till we closed with the anthem to the western suburbs, Footscray, at 11pm.  It was a good way to spend the evening.

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