Kitty and I are heading off to College Park, Maryland, tonight for the World Folk Music Association's benefit concert for the Madison House Autistic Foundation. We always enjoy WFMA's concerts -- fantastic music, great people, and good food. Tonight's concert should be no different, with five of the best acts in the business.
Buskin and Batteau. David Buskin has been writing and performing since the late 1960s. For several years he was the opening act for Mary Travers. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Mathis, Robert Flack, Judy Collins, Tom Rush, Peter, Paul and Mary, among others. He has also inflicted numerous advertising jungle upon the American public -- including ones for NBC, Amtrak, Burger King, and the U.S. Postal Service. David is also a member of the folk trio Modern Man, a group that attempts to bridge the gap "between The Three Tenors and the Three Stooges." Robin Batteau has won an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Clio Award, and has been nominated for an Oscar. He is the creator of the "I'm Lovin' It" jingle for McDonald's, the "This Is Beer" jingle for Budweiser, and the 'Heartbeat of America" jingle for Chevrolet. He joined David Buskin in the early 1970s and they performed together until 1992; after thirteen years apart, they reformed as a duo and have been bringing their unique style to audiences since then.
Mack Bailey. Four eight years, from 2004 to 2012, Mack Bailey was a member of the seminal folk group The Limelighters, providing a classically trained tenor voice to the group. And for eighteen years, he has been a member of The Hard Travelers, a renowned folk group that has been around even longer than The Limelighters -- if only by a few months. Add to that his solo career and his career performing with his wife Rachel Levy, it's easy to understand why Mack Bailey is one of the busiest performers on the folk music scene.
Christine Lavin. There are not enough words to describe the multi-talented Christine Lavin, although a few of the are "warm," "funny," "open," and "caring." The legendary Dave van Ronk was the one who convinced her to make a career in music (and he gave her guitar lessons, as well). She was a founding member of the Four Bitchin' Babes folk group. She also lays claim to having written the longest song title in the world: "Regretting what I Said to You When You Called Me 11:00 on a Friday Morning to Tell Me That at 1:00 Friday Afternoon Your Gonna Leave Your Office, Go Downstairs, Hail a Cab to Go Out to the Airport to Catch a Plane to Go Skiing in the Alps for Two Weeks, Not That I Wanted to Go with You, I Wasn't Able to Leave Town, I'm Not a Very Good Skier, I Couldn't Expect You to Pay My Way, But After Going Out with You for Three Years I DON'T Like Surprises!! Subtitled: A Musical Apology." A cheerleader in her youth, Lavin often ends her show by baton twirling; she has been known to sponsor knitting and crafts sessions with audience members before her show.
Tom Paxton is a national treasure and holder of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He
has written and performed thousands of songs over the past half century and has been recorded by hundreds of artists. Seems like you can't throw a stick without hitting a Tom Paxton song. He rightly deserves all the acclaim he has received.
Noel Paul Stookey is the "Paul" in Peter, Paul and Mary. He is the man who created "Puff, the Magic Dragon," "The Wedding Song (There Is Love)," and countless others. I've seen him become a wild man on stage when performing with Peter Yarrow -- doing everything he can to break his friend up. He is simply one of the best in the business. Little know fact: he and Tom Paxton were roommates when both were starting out in New York City.
Here's some samples of what we may hear tonight:
Buskin and Batteau - "Guinevere"
Mack Bailey - "The Wings That Fly Us Home"
Christine Lavin - "What Was I Thinking?"
Tom Paxton - "I Miss My Friends Tonight"
Noel Paul Stookey - "In These Times"
The Madison House Autistic Foundation is a group that addresses the social, educational, and economic needs of autistic adults. To learn more about Madison House, go to their website @madisonhouseautism.org. All proceeds from the concert goes to Madison House and all performers have donated their talents for this concert.