Faith Nolan singer/songwriter, plays guitar, harp, banjo, ukelele- songs focus on social justice , kids music, LGBTQI- Enviornment-anti racism, anti-capitalism-ani-sexism, anti-homophobia- pro peace , love and joy Heritage – Black-Mi’kmaq-Irish , born in Nova Scotia -have recorded 16 CD’s, original many world languages used in lyrics and lots of blues folk jazz, reggae
In 1983, while living in Seattle, John O’Connor sent a batch of his songs off to Flying Fish Records cold and–almost unheard of in the music business at that time–landed a contract to make an album of his powerful original songs. Songs For Our Times came out in 1984 and was named one of the best albums of the year by the Washington Post and several folk publications and radio stations.
Geoffrey Himes, in his Washington Post review said of John’s songs, “Mister, Slow It Down,” … is the best hitchhiking song since Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGree.” O’Connor’s “Missy and Me” is the best song about old age since John Prine’s “Hello in There.” “A Cold November,” an a cappella ballad about a poor man harassed by a Chicago cop, echoes Woody Guthrie’s hobo songs.
Almost 40 years later, having traveled the country, touring and working as a union organizer, John has gathered a treasure-trove of songs, stories and poems about the working class, war and peace, love and loss. Craig Harris has said, “…O’Connor has shaped his own acute observations of the working class into songs that beg to be sung along to…” Si Kahn calls his songs “wonderful: direct, simple, singable, powerful.” “Songwriting… right out of the same well that slaked Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger,” commented the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch.
John’s music has always been inseparable from his involvement in working class politics. He began his involvement in the labor movement right out of high school when he went to work in the factories of Waterloo, Iowa. His passion for American folk music led to a career as a folk singer and a cultural educator, performing in concerts, festivals, coffeehouses, schools and colleges, union education programs and political action events.
John recorded three albums with Flying Fish, one of them with the political quartet, ‘Shays Rebellion’, and a CD on the Chroma label. He also recorded a CD produced in conjunction with Collector Records called “We Ain’t Gonna Give It Back”, which is regarded by many as one of the best collections of original songs on the American labor movement. The late Joe Glazer said of John, “He writes the best songs about labor you are likely to hear.” Britain’s Southern Rag has said that “John O’Connor deserves to be numbered with the all-time greats of contemporary folk music.”
In 2017 John released his first CD in more than 20 years. Upon release, Rare Songs was ranked for several weeks in the top 50 albums on the US folk charts. John McCutcheon wrote, “John O’Connor’s wonderful new album, Rare Songs… is a welcome return of one of our best and most humane songwriters.”
Some 50 years after walking through the gates of his first factory job, John is still stalwart in his focus of fighting for the working class and inspiring them with his music and their music. John’s songs have been recorded by numerous singers from around the world. In 2009, the French topical singer, Renaud, adapted and recorded O’Connor’s song of deindustrialization, North by North, which went to number one on the French charts.
Also an accomplished poet, John has seen his poems published in dozens of literary magazines. He has won the Associated Writer’s Program’s Prague Prize and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. His book of poems, Half the Truth, won the Violet Reed Haas Poetry Award in 2015.
Deidre McCalla doesn’t merely take the stage – she owns it.
Deidre – a Black woman, mother, lesbian, feminist – has long been in the forefront of Black musicians rewiring perception of how Black folk do folk. Deidre McCalla’s 2022 release, ENDLESS GRACE, her fifth independent album, is the bold statement of an artist confidently claiming her place in the world and relentlessly affirming the power and diversity of the human spirit.
For fifty years John McCutcheon has been a stalwart of the American folk music scene, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, storyteller, author, activist, union man. He was introduced to folk music as an 11-year-old watching the March on Washington on television. The wedding of art and activism captured him then and he’s spent the many years since exploring that union.
Besides being considered one of the world masters of the hammer dulcimer, John also plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, piano, Jew’s harp, mountain dulcimer, and a host of other instruments he’s wise enough not to play in public. His songwriting has been internationally praised, his classic “Christmas in the Trenches” was mentioned as one of the One Hundred Essential Folksongs by Folk Alley.
He has toured internationally for decades with a unique blend of storytelling and music. “Folk music’s rustic renaissance man” is how the Washington Post described him. “Calling John McCutcheon a folksinger is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player,” heralded the Dallas Morning News. But perhaps the most insightful description comes from John’s mentor and friend, Pete Seeger, “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.”
A lifelong unionist, he is one of the co-founders of Local 1000 and served as president 1997-2012. He currently serves as the chair of the Fair Trade Music committee and also is on the executive board of the Atlanta Musicians Union (AFM 148-462).
He is the recipient of the Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation and the Utah Phillips Lifetime Service to Labor Award from Local 1000.
Arthur performs with The Celtic Rathskallions, a children’s musical theatre, Moore & McGregor, ( recording ‘Dream With Me’ ) a duo with my wife, Wendy, and McGregor and Lindsay with Graham Lindsay along with solo shows with a mix of my songs and others. I ran the Ottawa Folklore Centre for 34 years, and I’m currently the Canadian Vice-president of Local 1000. I’ve played and worked in folk music all my life…so far!
As a member of the women’s trio Belles of Hoboken in the early 80s (with Janet Stecher and Marcie Boyd), Susan performed throughout the New York City area and recorded numerous songs for the “Fast Folk” musician’s cooperative monthly musical “magazine.” When she moved to Seattle, Susan was a founding member of the quartet Shays’ Rebellion, along with fellow Local 1000 member John O’Connor (as well as Tim Hall and Janet Stecher). Their ‘songs of social movements past and present’ were shared with audiences across the United States and Canada. Their album “Daniel Shays’ Highway” was released on Flying Fish Records (FF427) in 1987.
Susan and Janet teamed up to form the duo Rebel Voices in 1989. They have released 3 albums together: “A Little Look Around”, “Warning: Women at Work”, and “A Piece of the Wall”. They have appeared in concert at coffeehouses, K-12 schoolrooms, colleges, festivals, living rooms, conventions, rallies, picket lines, and union halls across the U.S. and Canada, as well as in England and Portugal. The thousands of hours they’ve spent working together and the love of the material they sing are evident in their confident and inspiring performances. Their performances for organizations and events representing a broad spectrum of political and social causes have gained them enthusiastic fans wherever they go.
Most recently, Susan has begun to delve into musical theatre, as a cast member in the Vashon Repertory Theatre 2021 production of Woody Guthrie’s American Song.