Steve Suffet's Musical Friends
Photo by Takako Nagumo.
Use the links below to visit the websites of some of my musical friends.
Mike is an all-around musician and an all-around funny guy. He is also one of my high school classmates.
Hillel is a singer-songwriter, as well as a former assistant archivist at the Woody Guthrie Archives.
Folksinger, songwriter, folklorist, and long time radio host, Oscar has done it all. He wrote When I First Came to This Land, even though you could have sworn it was traditional.
Alan is living proof that a city slicker can play and sing authentic old-time country music.
Bev is a musical powerhouse who has written some incredibly inspiring songs, such as Together We Can Move Mountains. In addition, she is a music arranger, a concert producer, and the director of the Brooklyn Women's Chorus.
Emma is a talented and witty singer-songwriter with a big floppy hat and an even bigger smile. But don't be fooled. She can wield her songs like a surgeon's knife when she wants to.
With her banjo or guitar in hand, Robin can magically transform herself from traditional folkie into contemporary singer-songwriter and back again in an instant. She is brilliant in either incarnation.
Allen could well pass himself off as a time traveler from the 19th century. Certainly his clothes and musical instruments are from then. So are many of his songs, some about canals, some about trains, some about the American Civil War, and some brought to America by Irish or Jewish immigrants.
Paul sings traditional songs, original compositions, and parodies, all with gusto, charm, good humor, and sometimes a touch of sentimentality. He is also a fine music teacher who works just as easily with youngsters as with grown-ups.
Alison is an educator and a designer, as well as an exceptionally fine singer of songs from several traditions. She performs as a member of four different vocal groups: the NexTradition, the Johnson Girls, New York Packet, and Ida Red.
Jody is a poet, ethnomusicologist, and photographer. She took the photos for my second CD, I've Been Up On the Mountain, and can be heard among the back-up singers on four of the tracks. In addition, Jody took the photos for Pete Seeger's Grammy-nominated CD, Seeds.
Ray is a singer-songwriter, political activist, and one of the founders of the Peoples' Voice Cafe in New York City. He is also the sound engineer who recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered my three CDs.
Joel is a singer-songwriter, parodist, and producer of the Songs of Freedom cable TV program. He also had been a member of MacDougal Street Rent Party.
Mimi is a veteran of several punk, indie rock, and country bands. She is also a singer-songwriter who carries the folk tradition forth in her music and goes around imposing it on unwitting rock hipsters in basements and night clubs throughout North America.
Heather is a singer-songwriter who can make skeptics believe she is the reincarnation of the late and great Malvina Reyonlds.
Eric Levine (1957-2008)
Eric, my beloved comrade in song and in struggle, passed away at the age of 51. He had been a member of MacDougal Street Rent Party, the musical director of the Disabled in Action Singers, a member of the People's Music Network steering committee, and much more.
MacDougal Street Rent Party
Comprising Joel Landy, Eric Levine, Anne Price, Gina Tlamsa, and myself, MacDougal Street Rent Party came into being in 2003. For five glorious years we performed at coffee houses, clubs, musical retreats, festivals, outdoor concerts – anywhere and anytime we got the chance. Sometimes when we appeared in the New England states, Sandy Pliskin would pinch hit for Eric. The group dissolved in 2008 following Eric's death, but we still remain close, and the surviving members often perform together.
Jay describes himself as an existential troublemaker who presents relevant but irreverent songs and stories. That's as good a description as any. He travels around the country in a van fueled by vegetable oil.
Bruce is an enormously energetic musician who seamlessly integrates jazz, pop, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, country, rock, bluegrass, R&B, and what-not into his alternative folk mix.
Anne is a folksinger with a beautifully rich voice and an enormous repertoire of both traditional and contemporary songs, including a few she has written herself. She was a member of MacDougal Street Rent Party, and she is now often my singing partner, as well as my most supportive critic.
Jean is truly a national treasure. For more than half a century she has taken the traditional music of her native Kentucky and brought it to appreciative audiences throughout the world.
Carlos is a teacher and mentor, activist for peace and justice, and garage band rocker. In spite of our differences in musical style, Carlos and I are have come to appreciate, respect, and nurture each other's work.
Two Black Sheep and a Stallion
They are three guy from York, England, who like to get together to sing and have a good time. Ron Akehurst is a university professor, Peter Outhart is an electrician, and Martin Bartlett is a retired archaeologist. Each claims to be the stallion.
at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.
July 8, 2007.
Photo by Takako Nagumo.