It was great to share the stage with Mary Faith again, celebrating 45 years of performing together. She has the gift of gab, so my task was to find places to play the music. It was a good night all around. No problem.
Mary was already a traveled folk performer when I met her in the mid-70’s: she was already traveling to France and Canada, writing songs, playing lap dulcimer. She was a legend in the local Bethlehem scene. Mary and the Sheiks hooked up before the Godfrey’s era, backing each other up, sharing the stage at festivals near by. She then invited me to go with her and her mom up to the Winnipeg Folk Festival for an experience that gave me a world-view of the folk music scene – in many ways.
Tonight we shared a few hammered dulcimer tunes, some of her original songs while I came up with Stan Rogers’ Giant and Lessons from Pete that she joined in on concertina as well. I accompanied some of her songs on mandolin. Mary still has got it, and I was challenged throughout the evening.
There was a small crowd, as usual, but many had come out to see Mary, since she rarely plays out. In fact, I had asked her to do one of these DNOs several years ago and she declined, saying she wasn’t up to playing on stage. She’s turned it around.
We had great chat about traditional music, the dulcimer, Winnipeg and her various world travels, Stan Rogers, Steve Goodman and Richard Farina.
It was a good night with my old friend Mary Faith.