All entries filed under DF Life

Frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect for Dave Fry Day at Godfrey’s on Saturday. I knew my TAMA friend Jennifer Ridgway wanted to celebrate my time with TAMA and as a Teaching Artist, but she enlisted Ramona to pull together the local community to drop on by. It turned out to be pretty special.

Bethlehem Mayor W. Reynolds

First of all, I was not looking forward to any kind of spotlight but, in the course of the afternoon, came to appreciate the community I have around me, and it became an opportunity for us to all get together and socialize. I just happened to be at the center.

Daughter Rosalie and her new boyfriend Jordan showed up from RI and son Jaimie, his wife Chelsy and grandson Jayden came up from Pottstown. An unexpected delight for the afternoon!

MC Mark McKenna

Mark McKenna, TA and Touchstone alum, was the emcee and set the tone for the afternoon, as I was ensconced in a make-shift throne. To lead off, Bethlehem’s Mayor William Reynolds spoke briefly about how the arts are healthy for us individually and as a community. He presented me with a fine Proclamation that was particularly well written.


Jenn came up and spoke about my history with Teaching Artists of the

Jennifer Ridgway of TAMA

Mid-Atlantic (TAMA)

with several comments from my fellow TAs in the organization, and, indeed, our weekly Monday mornings during Covid were wonderful gatherings of some pretty extraordinary artists. We became good friends during a very hard time.

I was particularly glad that the festivities were to celebrate my career as a teaching artist, as opposed to my music and my Godfrey’s life. Folks from those slices of my life have no real opportunity to see my work in schools, and today was a good way to share the world of Teaching Arts.

Poet Marilyn Hazelton

I was also glad to see and hear from my good friends in our local Teaching Artists of the Lehigh Valley. Bill George, Marilyn Hazelton, Bill Christine, Mary Wright, Doug Roysdon spoke about how we have all benefited from our small, tight community, sharing demonstrations of our pieces. Lots of fooling around and being creative: movement, poetry, music, and other wonderful explorations over the last four years.

Bill George of Touchstone Theater

Bill Christine brought up a raft of friends to give me a rousing kazoo chorus, and special appearance of my grandson Jayden. Special.

Bill Christine’s Kazoo Chorus

I was pleased that other long-time Godfrey’s friends mentioned Cindy Dinsmore’s hand in Godfrey’s place in establishing the artist-friendly atmosphere here in  Bethlehem and good community friends like Anne Hills, LA Williams and others. She deserves a Cindy Dinsmore Day and I’m sure that will happen.

Good friend John Gorka phoned in to say hello. Special treat !

My friend Jaqi Tice presented my Lessons From Pete, adding a melody to my recitative version, and accompanied by good fellow Craig Thatcher. I appreciate her time and effort putting it together, as well as her many other contributions to the event. She remains a dear friend. There.

Having fun!!

I took it upon myself to insert myself in the festivities with my TA exploration Jelly In The Dish, one of favorite routines I use with kids. Few of the people in the room knew what was coming. I was really looking forward for this opportunity get everyone up, moving and playing with the scarves. Craig sat in on guitar. We pushed the tables back and filled up the space controlled chaos, dance, colors. Grandson Jayden really took the spotlight with his movements and big smiles. I think the event really prospered from the exercise, and I got to show my TA chops. I even included a reflection at the end where folks brought up what they liked: Scrapple, using the whole room, scarves in the air, mixing socially. Later, I came to appreciate that I had never experienced the volume of Godfrey’s so filled with such floor to ceiling movement and color. Mission accomplished.

Other folks came up and talked about my Covid series of daily posts, my radio work and other curious reflections on my work in the community. Anne Hills came up and sang a snatch of “Magic Penny” that encapsulates my philosophy well: “Love is something if you give it away, you’ll end up having more.”

There was cake, lots of snacks and soda and lots of folks talking with each other, reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. It was satisfying to have my kids experience the love and respect I enjoy in my home town. A special afternoon, after all.

This was one of the good ones of the year for me, essentially my only professional set at Musikfest this year, with my good friend Kris Kehr on bass. This marked my 39th MF and I believe I’m the only one left to have played them all.

This set was kicking off the Tuesday evening at the new Stadtplatz (the old Americaplatz) and I was able to link some of my old gigs at that site over the years during my set. There was some light rain in the forecast, so there was a small crowd on hand (several folks coming in to see the Americana band following me), but a noticeable group of young families with grandmoms in tow. That turned out to be a great factor in how the set turned out.

I was a little concerned about my duo set at this stage, since most of the other groups were much louder, band-oriented groups. I had asked Craig Thatcher to sit in a few days ago, but he is quite busy with his many gigs during the festival. As it turned out, Kris and I had an excellent sound crew and, together, we had a nice, phat sound ourselves. We were able to fill the arena appropriately.

I had gotten wind that several friends were going to bring their grandkids so I front-loaded the set with some kids’ material. After opening with Don’t Call Me Early, some of the kids and families started to drift up front of the stage. I went into Shoo That Fly,  and folks started to dance. That energy captured some of the older folks in the back, and certainly gave Kris and me a boost. I followed with Summertime Blues, We Are Welcomed and then into the kids’ stuff: Giants, I Like Peanut Butter (with my goth story) and We Gave Names. Eventually, we had a nice, comfortable mosh pit of kids and grandmoms and a few dads dancing in front of us. (I should have brought in my bag of scarves and instruments, but, alas, I was traveling light for this one.)

Having changed my strings before the gig, my Martin was really holding its own in the mix, and coupled with Kris’s bass, I felt energized by our wall of sound. We drifted into my adult material with Nadine, Giant, How Legends are Made, Rosie is a Friend of Mine (with the story about Rosalie’s pregnancy announcement from this stage in 1989) and finished up with a very strong Lessons From Pete. I featured Kris’ lead bass on several songs and I believe his leads surprised and entertained the audience. He was great. Nice back-up vocals, too.

All in all, we did a great set with all the elements of what I do best: family material mixed with strong adult songs, a full sound, strong acoustic guitar chops, interesting banter that was site specific and great visuals with kids dancing in front of the stage. I am quite proud of how it turned out.

It was nice to have some folks come up after the show with legacy stories.

From Joe Ann: Aryana, my granddaughter, and I enjoyed your concert today. I’m sure Ary will continue to enjoy your music as her dad and aunt (our son and daughter) did when they were her age! Thanks again.
These things matter.


This was a pretty big deal for me in my strange but not-so-little world as an arts educator. The folk world knows that I been playing for kids for thirty plus years, but few have had the chance to see me do it, nor do they realize the creative challenge of doing what I do. It’s not part of the folk scene, but I play for thousands of people every year and that counts for something. This was one of those moments that counted for me.

I was nominated by my friends at Young Audiences of NJ and E. PA, a booking group I’ve been with since 1991. They were the first to book RockRoots early on, and have been the major consistent source of income for me (and my family) for thirty years, and have been instrumental in my development as a Teaching Artist. Lots of diverse performance possibilities and situations, as well as numerous high-level workshops with fellow TA’s over many years.

I was part of a roster of YANJ awardees, along with fellow TA’s Mary Knysh, Erik James Montgomery, David Gonzalez, booking pro Carol Hunt and a few corporate supporters. Waiting for things to begin, I was able to connect with Mary, a world music specialist from Bloomsburg. We both know Rand Whipple who’s from that town and travelled with me and Touchstone in Mexico in the early 80’s. Deep roots, again.

We finally we allowed in to the hall, and I found that my assigned set was an empty space. That was disconcerting, but didn’t matter a great deal. Lots of seats. I sat next to a principal being honored for Distinguished Service in Theater Education and we struck up another fine conversation about my high school theater experiences, financial support for the arts in schools. She said she had to leave early since the Prom was that night. I said I hope she gets a corsage.

So, the Young Audiences roster came up, and then my name. I hopped up on the stage to make the long walk across and I did a little dance for about four beats and the audience ignited. (not much spontaneity from the awardees so far.) I acknowledged the audiences response, and while getting my photo with the proclamation, I looked at it and said, “Paper,” again tickling the crowd. Curious and spontaneous but I got several compliments from folks later on. How little it takes, and how unconscious I am about being on stage to engage an audience.

The rest of the program featured many very talented high schoolers in Debate, Art, Music, Theater with some very nice short pieces and lots of awards. It was great to see the next generation of performers, and the salute to their talents was fine to see.

I drove off to a YANJ reception at a restaurant near Princeton for some wine and pretty good snacks. As we stood around, I picked up conversations and congratulations with many of the YANJ staff, many of whom I go back decades with. It was cool that when I walked into the small reception room, I got some applause and thanks for my impromptu dance. Funny that it rung a bell with the arts folks.

After an hour of standing around drinking my ginger ale and inhaling the tasty hors d’oeuvres, I headed out home, thanking every one for this honor. I looked forward to a crisp hour and a half drive through the Jersey landscape. It ended up being three hours, with some navigation errors on my part and a large accident on Rt 78. I arrived home after 11:30 exhausted. Still, a great day for me.


Packer Chapel at Lehigh

My friend Lloyd Steffen asked me to play for a memorial service for a Lehigh professor who had passed in November, 2020 (mid-Covid) and the family had a chance to gather in his memory. I said I’d be glad to, and the family asked for John Lennon’s Imagine. I said I will work it up. At the time, I didn’t recall James McIntosh, but got to know him at the service, and then recalled him quite well. He was the weirdo Social Science guy in Price Hall. In a sea of conservatism, his shorts and T-shirt set him apart.

I spent four or five sessions working on an arrangement for it. I like doing this stuff. Listening to the original, jamming with the chords, looking them up, finding a key I can sing in, and then just playing the tune for a while.

It’s tough doing a song that such a well know anthem; everybody knows it. It’s the LICK that everyone expects, so I concentrated on the quick arpeggio between the verse lines, got it down on guitar. I then figured I could use it as a vocal community tool to get everyone to sing it. I decided to do it mid stream, after the first chorus. It should work.

I don’t have the head for memorizing lyrics. I don’t play the songs out enough these days to keep them on the mental desk top. So, I print ’em up, and sit and play, make sense of the song, find places to breathe before a falsetto (boy, you don’t want to hear that in process…). I have to pitch Beatles and Lennon songs lower, where I can sing with conviction. What was C was now in A (G capoed 2), and it fell together nicely, with several shots a couple days ahead that sounded really good. I looked forward to performing this in PackerChapel.

I got there in time to set up, check in with Lloyd and drink in this place, a sanctuary for me for over 50 years, from freshman student, to Sunday folk mass with Hugh Fleisher (after bar gigs in Allentown the night before), and my early folk roots in the Catacombs Coffeehouse in the basement beneath us. And the room itself is quite awesome, in the richness of that word.

Jim’s widow Sally was seated up front, right in front of me, and started up some conversation, sharing our memories of the early Musikfest days, when this community felt that it had a place in its construction and its implementation. Esprit de corp.

My workspace for the morning.

Several other folks came over to say hello, mostly folks who have seen me over the years at Musikfest, and it felt good.

Professor McIntosh, bearing the Mace

The organ cracked up with the opening. My god, what a sound. Gets your attention. The service started with Lloyd doing his best self, setting folks at easy, chatting about Jim’s honors at Lehigh (he carried The Mace at Lehigh’s formal function – rumor had it that he also carried Mace in case of a felony.). As I listened, I was studying the audience, and noticed that Jim’s son was sitting next to Sally. Then it all came together in his son’s resemblance. Yeah, I knew exactly who Professor McIntosh was.

Lloyd wrapped up with the readings and it was my turn. I chatted that I was wearing the requisite Lehigh Brown, that my diploma was checked at the door, and my connection with The Catacombs, and how I had now broken through the slate ceiling to be here today. Chuckles.

I launched into Imagine with two bars of the intro – I’m glad I could posit it, from my practice that week. Two verses and then the chorus with its falsetto (You oooo, may think that I’m a dreamer.) I did fairly well, enough to get me through.

My view from up front, a tad to the right.

When it came around on the guitar, I asked the audience to sing the LICK, “it’s easy if you try….”, and slightly badgered them to sing louder, and then proceeded to the third verse. I could see some folks singing along and the LICK seemed to hold. We finished with the chorus and we did the LICK three times – last time just the audience – to a fade. The last part was what I wanted to nail, and it did, with the common voice of the people, filling up this marvelous and historical space. It landed as I hoped it would.

I stuck around to hear the fine memorial speeches, and everyone was great. The family and friends soaked it up. And, it was nice that enough time had passed that their was more joy than grief. I packed up, thanked the organist for such an experience, and headed out into the gray Lehigh afternoon.

Another gig later.


I was pleased to hear that I will be awarded  for  Distinguished Service NJ Governor’s Award by YANJ. “This award is dedicated to folks with a deep dedication to the work of teaching artistry, and you were an easy choice to receive the honor this year.”

I’ll be headed to the award ceremony in Trenton at the War Memorial Arena on Thursday, May 26th. Cool.

Since 1980, this ceremony has highlighted and recognized the outstanding arts achievements of student and educators in New Jersey.  Award recipients are selected on the basis of criteria established by various sponsoring organizations.

Governor’s arts represent the highest honor a state can confer in the arts. Across the country, governor’s arts awards programs share similar goals. Collectively, these programs acknowledge and showcase the best of arts and cultural communities. They highlight awardees’ statewide achievements—or, in some cases, national or even international successes—related to creativity and/or leadership. They recognize awardees’ visions as well as the talent and hard work they bring to bear in realizing.

Governor’s Awards website:
I’ve had the chance to absorb this news and I’m feeling quite gratified, reflecting on the many early hours driving to schools in NJ for RockRoots gigs, songwriting residencies and solo assemblies across CT, NJ, PA and right here in the Lehigh Valley.


A partial list for RockRoots: Kevin Soffera, Nick Franclik, Wayne Smith, Don Mayer, Billy Wear, Craig Thatcher, Beau Jones, Rick Levy, Jeff Biro, Todd Schied, Neil Braunstein and others. I am also thankful for Donna Reckelhoff at Young Audiences of NJ who has really hustled our show to NJ schools since 1991.
YANJ has given me the financial ability to raise my family since 1991, a deep knowledge in the field of Teaching Artistry with college-level workshops, and provided me a rich laboratory to work on my craft as a TA. I have also benefited from being immersed in this community of creative teaching artists and inspired me to create Teaching Artists of the Lehigh Valley. I am blessed.

Hello, friends. This is a fairly exhaustive blog on my project, but it’s my way of documenting for myself the creative decisions and thought processes that I made along the way. I beg your patience.

I initiated this project in the very early days of the pandemic. I vowed to put up a song a day on Facebook for one year, and, as it happened I rolled through 500 daily posts. Not all were new posts, but, for the most part, all were fresh. More on that later.

I was inspired by a Teaching Artist gathering at The Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, one of the many opportunities I have through Young Audiences of NJ to meet up with other TA’s in my field and share philosophies, teaching techniques and basically re-energize ourselves in our craft. Several years ago a photographer did a keynote presentation on his book and project called 365. He outlined his effort to post a piece of art daily on social media, picking out of the blue the subject of skulls. Over the year, he developed a vast international following while gaining a strong skill set, as well.

I figured, since I was going to be locked down for the foreseeable future, now was the time to attempt this process for myself. The mutation of the posts was interesting as I learned new production skills, refined my work habits and expanded my repertoire.

KItchen studio

early session

Initially, I worked in front of my computer in my bedroom, quickly became dissatisfied with the left-handed aspect of the camera, the scenery in my room, but started out with some positive songs from my repertoire to help me and my audience cope with the new situation. I quickly turned to carving out a space in my small kitchen, purchasing a stand for my phone (good ole Amazon), finding a simple desk lamp for lighting and a simple movie-making app to create my videos. It turned out that I really enjoy the creative aspects of designing a video and seeing it posted in the morning.

The production began a process of developing a opening scene Dave Fry Kitchen Sessions (with seasonal flowers), ending credits (with paypal info – hah!), as well as some Google images of old record labels, Godfrey’s photos and other arcania that linked to the subject. I also made deep dives into who wrote the songs, who covered them, and generally found some back stories on the song in order to share them with my audience. I learned a whole lot.

I opened myself up to pulling songs from the ether, often song ideas perculating up from nowhere during the day. I picked out songs I’ve always wanted to do from favorite performers over the years: Flying Burrito Brothers, Utah Phillips, Dylan, Sandy Denny, old hokum songs, The Beatles and more. I would find the lyrics on Google, find a video as well and then sit down and figure out the chords and a key I could sing them in (damn Beatles…). I used my capo constantly. I really developed considerable skills in developing arrangements, interesting guitar parts and working on my singing, still not one of my strengths. I’d put the song in my head to record the next day.

Meet the Beatles


It was now time to record the sucker, with a brief rehearsal in front of the computer. I’d set up my phone in the stand, turn on the lava lamp and desk lamp and try to get a reasonable take on the song. Early on, I sang to the room but found my vocals weren’t as good as I would like. I then set up my small amp to my left, plugged in my guitar and a vocal mike. This turned out to be crucial. I now had a vocal monitor for my voice and could also give my guitar a physical presence in the video. Big difference! I was able to get my instrument collection back into shape and, oh, wardrobe… pick out a hat.

I would set in trying to get a decent version of the song. I would plow through mistake after mistake, occasional street sirens going by, clearing my throat and other stumbling blocks along the was. I got to the point where I would simply stop midstream and begin again, muttering a few epithets along the way. (I’m glad I don’t have a blooper tape,) Eventually, I would make it through a version that I could live with, turn off the phone and head back to the computer for post-production.

epilogue material

Ideally, the best cut would be at the end of the file and I could quickly cut the chaff from the beginning. I would edit the ending, add the ending credits and epilogue, and final script. I found it necessary to log the date and the instrument for posterity. I’d then find a good beginning, snip the dross, add the opening scene, beginning credits (date) and song and songwriter credits, create a photo for You Tube, save and create the movie file. I would then post to You Tube.

I found that simply posting the movie file itself wasn’t enough. I had troubles with Facebook screwing up the file, with a time lag between the audio and video. I also found people were “liking” the video but I had no way if they had actually watched it. I gave up on the immediacy of FB posting for the extra step of linking to You Tube in order to quantify the number of people actually committing to watching the video. This was a good move.

As I was dealing with some sleepless nights, I began a ritual of posting the video at 2, 3 or 4 am, doing my daily exercise, meditate and then read the NY Times on line. I had the sense that I had been productive early on that day and could let the rest of the day unfold, record a new tune and deal with my solitude. This ritual served me well for over a year.

Christmas shenanigans

December proved to be a good time to post my library of Christmas tunes. January gave me the chance to do ‘cold’ songs, Saturday’s became ‘Family Songs’ and a breakup with a good friend became ‘Friendship Week’.

365 Concert at the IceHouse in March

I wanted to do a concert celebrating the 365 Project, and the IceHouse provided me that opportunity. Ara Bartlieb had be producing a series of virtual shows, so we lined up a session for mid March. I enlisted my good friend Craig Thatcher to accompany me. I picked out tunes that helped display the process and Craig covered a few that I had done during the series. It was the first time we had played outside our homes and the electricity was palpable. We came up with a very nice show that was put online and I am particularly proud of.

Cheap shades

After the passing of one year – 365 – I decided to post earlier videos in order to cut back on my workload, especially since a few gigs started coming back in the late spring and summer. I usually would record at least three or four new ones a week, and I found that the old ones held up over time, and the audience didn’t seem to mind. I’ve kept a log of all the tunes and dates, and, as I was approaching 490 or so, I gave thought to wrapping the series up. I had developed a group of loyal followers, but, with more and more gigs, I decided to end the streak and post occasional new videos just to maintain a presence online.

I decided early on that online shows didn’t work for me. I had trouble with the technology and prefered being able to have a well-produced, clean and short post, under my control and post on a daily basis rather than longer sets in a live situation. Others have done it differently.

What did I learn? Personally, I kept my sanity by staying creatively active inspite of living a solitary life on the Southside of Bethlehem. I could quickly learn a song, arrange it and perform it in 24 hours. My performance skills became adept in front of that little white light on the camera, and was comfortable in projecting my persona onto tape. I became appreciative of the songwriting skills of many artists, especially The Beatles (at such a young age, too.) I was able to pick out the essence of tunes for the brief introductions, find something interesting to say and then deliver the song and a crisp ending.

I found I had tremendous support from a small group of daily listeners as I was able to guage interactions on You Tube and Facebook. I found some satisfaction in that I was part of many people’s morning ritual as we all dealt with these strange times. I was part of a community.

I finished up the series with Hank Snow’s I’m Moving On. It seemed to be an appropriate way to wrap things up. Here’s some feedback from the 500th post:

“Thanks for brightening my mornings – I will miss you!”

“Good morning Brother Dave!! Thanks for sharing your Music my friend!! Yeah Buddy, it’s been a Great run!!”

“Thank YOU for helping us get through the pandemic with your daily ray of musical sunshine!!”

“Thank you, Dave, for lifting our spirits and reinforcing for us the power of music.”

“I enjoyed and learned a lot, and you inspired me to play more. Thank you!”

“Thank you for the morning cheer!”

“You got me through the pandemic.”

“I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.  Thank you so much !!”

“Thank you, Dave, for the best music to start the day with. I’ve learned a lot and have enjoyed them all.”

For me, I come away knowing I am a better artist and person for the experience, and I have a library of songs to show for it. And, I’m not done yet.

Here’s the 365 link:

Dave Fry’s Campfire link:


It finally rolled around, my concert with Craig Thatcher at the IceHouse which we recorded back on a Monday, March 22nd. It was a good live session and it was great to see it on tape tonight. The sound and camera work was clean and the IceHouse crew appreciated it. ” You guys played probably the most genuinely free and clean performance we recorded over the past 9 months (and includes the performance of my music hero, Joey Mutis). Lovely, sweet, and delightful. Thank you!”

There were about 60 folks tuned it, not great shakes but enough for a Wednesday night. Nice to see a bunch of friends tuned in, though. I can’t complain. Great compliments all around. I feel really good about it.

It’s nice when things turn out well.

The Set List:

  1. We Are Welcomed D
  2. Souvenirs G
  3. Water of Love D
  4. Pacing the Cage (Craig)
  5. How Legends are Made E
  6. Simple Gifts
  7. Urge for Going (Craig) G
  8. Rosie is a Friend of Mine A
  9. My Old Man C
  10. Lessons From Pete A

The patter went well and I’m glad there was some editing. The narrative seemed to be both loose, and, in toto, told the story that I wanted tell. And Craig, of course, played brilliantly and clean. He’s the best. Yes.

It’s posted on Face Book:

I expect the IceHouse folks to rebroadcast it some time.




I received a wonderful email on Sunday from an old fan/former kid that knocked me out.

“Dear Dave,
     When I was about 7, you came to my elementary school in Lebanon New Jersey. Everyone set up beach towels in the auditorium and you sang and played and did your thing, brought down the house as far as this seven year old was concerned. My mom bought me your cassette tape AW SHUCKS and you signed it for me. Played that thing for years like it was going out of style!
     Time warp…
     It never did go out of style. In March, I turned 37. My mom gave me back that old cassette because she never throws anything away. Lol. I popped it in my tape deck in my 2004 CRV (the only working tape deck I have, of course) Now, 30 years later I’m still jamming out in my car to your cassette tape with my 6 year old son, Bennett. He knows all the words and my wife and I are getting a kick out of it. – Jesse Loubet. “
This really brings home the power of that initial recording, as well has my school performances over the years. I reflect on Wendi and Lauren’s great vocals, Hub Willson’s playful keyboards on Spider on the Floor and his great photo on the front, and the many other musicians who added their whimsey to the project and the Bear Swamp boy genius Clark Ferguson. In its reincarnation as part of the I Like Peanut Butter CD, it remains a creative romper room for both kids and adults, and that’s no small thing.
I posted it on my FB page this morning and has, of this afternoon, gathered 310 likes. I’m going to share some of the comments, just to have them in one place. Indulge me.
I also really like the fact that many of the professional, touring musicians I truly respect from across the country have chimed in, perhaps never knowing what music I’ve made under the radar all these years. That’s a big bow on this event, friends.
Here we go:
That’s FOLK music, by gum. Folk’s music. Scott Alarik
Love this story! I’m certain there are several dozen just like it! As you are well aware of, Dave Fry, you have entertained my family for years. And now you continue to entertain my granddaughter! We “took you along with us” from PA to Washington State and back twice, and many trips to Nebraska over the years. I’m privileged that I have joined you in concert all these years. Looking forward to getting together to play in the future. John Christie
Same here! You came to my daughter’s elementary school. Years later I’m sharing those same songs with my grandchildren!! Thanks for so many great memories!??? Pat Brennan
Awww shucks! What a legacy. What a legend. And you keep on keeping on. Talk about making a difference in the world. Love you my friend! Mary Wright
My 4 year old granddaughters love your CDs, But they refuse to believe it’s you on the radio ? Sandra Peters 
We are on our third generation of Dave Fry fans ?? Diana Walls 
This was my favorite as a kid ??? Avalon Christine 
I wonder how your wax Victrola albums are doing…  Gail-Elaine Tinker
You harness the power of music to do good in this world — and you get priceless returns on your investment. Patricia Moore Brown
I had given a copy of this to my nieces & nephews. Their CHILDREN now know all the words, too! Wendi Bourne
That was the tape you sent me to come play the Circlewood! Still have it. How cool is that? Tom Kingston
Thanks for sharing this, Dave! Just never know how much you can make a difference in someone’s life through one performance … one cassette tape ! {I’m impressed that he still has a cassette player in his vehicle !} Gail Simon-Bierenbaum
Your life’s work has been a profound influence and you’ve brought joy to so many, Dave  – and you continue to do that…. That’s a life well lived, well served – and still going strong! ❤️?❤️ Nina Romnenko 
That’s gotta bring a tear. What a wonderful tribute. ???❤️ Dave Hulshouse ( it did for me ? Fred Gilmartin) 
I’ll never forget the day my daughter came home from school after you were there and sang “The Library Song”. It had many verses. She knew THE ENTIRE SONG BY HEART and sang it to us over and over ? you made QUITE the impression!! Cheryl Baker
You’re a significant piece of his life. You can’t hope for more ! Mike Stengel
?❤️?Yup…our kids and grandkids listen to this cassette & others of yours! Barb Shafer
Many more short but sweet comments. I feel blessed.

I was all prepared to spend the afternoon/evening recording 365 at the IceHouse with my friend Craig Thatcher, exploring some of the songs and reflections on my epic journey of posting a song a day over the last year. I’m up to 352 and on my way.

I got a call this afternoon that the sound guy tested positive for Covid and we decided to shut it down until Monday, March 22nd. It’s been that kind of year. But, Craig and I are all practiced up, for sure. so it goes.

I posted this notice on FB this morning, and I thought I’d share some of the wonderful comments.

I’ll be headed over to the IceHouse this afternoon to video tape 365, my reflections on a year of posting daily pandemic music online. I’ve invited my very good friend Craig Thatcher to join me in the celebration. The project will be released in a few weeks. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Some replies: And hats off to ya’ for doing it. It’s definitely inspirational.

Your year of kitchen sessions has been wonderful. Thanks for doing it.

I am so glad that you have posted music this past year. I looked forward to listening to what you played each day-some favorites, some pieces new to me, kids songs that brought back wonderful memories. Thank you Dave❤️

I echo the thanks for the kitchen sessions. They helped me stay sane and I believe they were a positive for you too.

The Kitchen Sessions have been a joy. A glorious way to start each morning, an education and often a trip down memory lane. Thank you.

Your morning sessions songs were rays of sunshine in a year of cloudy days — thank you so much for sharing your talent with us.
Thank you Dave for your perseverance.
Grateful to you both for the wonderful efforts you have made to allow us to have music in our lives albeit on a screen not live!!??
You da best!!
You’ve helped us all get through this. Thanks.
It’s been a lonely year but comments like these resonate deeply.
Amy Forsyth, artist

Amy Forsyth, artist

That’s saying something, though there have been plenty boring ones, especially recently.

I was played, to a certain extent, buy my sister Janet and friend Ramona behind the scenes and it didn’t really sink in until about 2:30 am a day and a half later. I was quite amazed by videos folks had been sending me and I was quite touched by each one. And, with so much time alone these days, I had the opportunity to savor each one.

It was all a scam. Janet and Ramona were planning a big 70th party, at the IceHouse perhaps, but COVID-19 got in the way. I had no idea. So, instead, they reached out to folks to get in touch, and beyond daughter Rosalie, son Jaimie and sister Janet, I expected their calls, and planned on staying away from FB. Frankly, I am not familiar with a lot of the folks who post birthday messages. In the past, I kind of enjoyed it, but when it gets above 400, no thanks.

But I was taken by videos this year, some with some sophisticated music involved. Saxophone, bunch of fine guitarists, two accordians!, Harp-guitar, mandolin and a flash mob on Zoom. There were a bunch of a Capella versions of the old tune, as well. And I was blown away by the heart-felt messages that they shared with me. I was literally serenaded from across the country and here in town. Powerful stuff.

I know I would have been uncomfortable in a large social setting, so this turned out to be a perfect way to celebrate my birthday among my friends.

I am a rich man.

I’ve been quite lucky to be part of this Teaching Artist movement over the last thirty years. Thanks to my involvement with Young Audiences of NJ and the CT Council on the Arts, I’ve been able to take in some great professional development courses and mini-sessions that have shaped what I do as an artist. I even came to recognize myself as a “artist”, beyond just a “musician”.

Often, we get to hear a keynote speaker that has changed system of thought. Eric Booth, author of the Teaching Artist “bible”, challenged me to take home some of what we learn and apply it to our own home town. Out of that, I began our own Teaching Artists of the Lehigh Valley and that has become a template for more local artist meet-ups.

One year, a photographer gave an opening speech called Three Sixty Five. He challenged himself to creating art every day for a year. He randomly selected the theme “Skull” for no apparent reason. But, he began a year-long project to find, create, share something with in that parameter, with the caveat that he had to post it online every day. He had to publish it, and that was a factor that made sure he stayed on course. Eventually, he formed a following of others who started sending him their images, even troops stationed in Afghanistan. What he found out that, not only did he have a book at the end of the period, he found himself to be a much stronger artist.

Thanks to the pandemic, I now have the rare opportunity to attempt such an extended work of art. Once I began to post a song a day online, it dawned on me that I could adopt his process to my music. So, hear I am, posting a song at 4:30 am or so, spending time in my kitchen recording tunes, learning new ones, revamping old songs from repertoires past and playing my guitar every day. I’m also finding that I’m extending my art into performance for the camera, design and production of the videos on my computer and working on promotion, too.

After six weeks, I already feel stronger as a player and performer and I’m finding friends enjoying waking up with one of my songs and a cup of coffee. That’s pretty cool.

But I’m not doing this just for the social value I get out of compliments and a number of daily hits (though I do get a warm feeling), I am doing this so I remain engaged as an artist and, therefore, continue to grow. I do believe it’s the publishing that makes this exercise so important. You can’t hide it under a bushel, as the song goes.

So, there ya go. A song a day. I think I can, I think I can……

Well, I’ve resigned myself to a life of solitary austerity, as we all hunker down to beat back this scourge on our society. But, I’m trying to find some ways of being productive and musical, as best I can. It’s led me through some interesting ways of performing online, with the aid of cell phone, a simple movie app and some staging smarts to develop a presence online. I enjoy the challenge of putting up a song, crack o’ dawn everyday. I do get some feedback and it helps me to connect with my friends. Some say it makes a difference in the morning.

I’ve done about 10 days of recordings and have gained a bunch of knowledge on how to make this stuff more professional and yet remain personal. I hope to be able to meld the two concepts and have made some strides on several fronts.

It takes me a short time to get the song in shape, performance ready in about four takes. That’s the easy part. It’s what I do well.

Then, there’s the damn equipment that gets in the way. (My most constant nightmares are about gear failure… really). I’m dealing with phone/camera minutiae and spend more time re-setting the camera for ephemeral quirks and retakes.

On the plus side, I’ve got all my instruments out and in relative tune. I’ve got some very nice tools. And I’ve only just begun. I’ve been mixing my Martins up and enjoying hearing each one’s zone. They make me play differently. Good for them and me. I’ll get around to the banjo and mandolin soon.

I’m enjoying moving through my repertoire. The sensitive, new age stuff will only last so long. Good though. But I’m thinking that it will open up an audience who will want to hear my other stuff. I’ve just started working up some adult stuff, and sharing some of it with Kris Kehr for bass. We’ll see. I’m glad I have the chance to log these songs on You Tube as well.

I’m also exploring the dimensions of the movie maker to expand and tweak the videos I’m churning out daily. Toys for tots, I guess. But it keeps things fresh.

Eventually I’ll step into the realm of online concerts, and, with that, a chance to make a little money. Friends have tried it and found it surprisingly responsive with the tip jar economy.

I’m healthy and surprisingly content in lock down – no surprise for introvert, I guess.

The performing arts world has collapsed and we all have to find our way in this new land. Godfrey’s has closed up, other restaurants, music venues, concerts have all shuttered for the foreseeable future and it seems people are making quantum jumps into online streaming services, trying to find some way to continue to make money making music. I feel I’m already behind.

It looks like Troubadour Two will be closed down in April and that was the one creative outlet I had on my calendar. Very few school gigs the spring and few other paying gigs as well. I’m not taking a hit like many of my hand-to-mouth fellow performers since I have low maintenance fees and a monthly SS check. So I’d like to use the TT concert to raise some money (from thems that can afford it) to pay my fellow players at that gig. I was hoping to do some small sessions at Godfrey’s but that has run into some in-house politics and I many not be able to use this very stage that I built. Damn.

It seems that online concerts have risen from the mire and they are laudable. As of yet, I don’t have a camera and only my computer to work with. I don’t have a solid audience to build on yet and don’t feel quite adequate in performing to a screen.

I have several ideas that have popped up, and it’s good to see a creative community spark going on. I’ll have some things up and running soon, though.

I’m glad I have my radio shows to work on, Godfrey’s sound archives to process and the Godfrey’s book challenge ever on my mind. These are very strange times for us all, especially my fellow artists. Collaboration in a vacuum is a very hard thing.

I’m glad to be able to process this, here on this blog.

WDIY had its 25th Anniversary party on Saturday at the IceHouse. I signed up to be a greeter early on, as folks came in the building. I’m glad I can have a presence at this event, to put a face behind my radio shows, hang out with fellow programmers and other former board members. Lots of chat and friendship going on.

Craig’s band was the feature for this year’s event and it was a delightful change from some of the oldies cover bands in the past. As I told Craig, “You play for real.” Craig had invited me to sit in earlier in the week and I jumped at the chance. I figured out a couple songs and landed on Nadine by Chuck Berry – a simple rocker that the band could pick up with no rehearsal.

I actually danced earlier on in the set as a woman asked me to dance, and, surprise, surprise, I said yes. It felt good, and though I really couldn’t hear her with the loud music, I figured she didn’t really know who I was. Her husband watched from the seats, though. Folks saw me dance for the first time this century.

Craig called me up and I took his acoustic while he picked up his electric and we launched into Nadine. Drummer Don laid down the beat, Wayde the bass line and we kicked it, with leads on piano (Cliff) and guitar (Craig). People got up and danced. I did screw up half a verse, but who knows….  Great reaction and it felt good to play with these guys. We finished up and Craig said to do another one.

After a brief pause, I decided to do Dixie Chicken. A good choice though I wasn’t sure the band knew all the changes. Not to worry, though there are a few minor wrinkles. It’s nice to have faith in these players. I’ve installed a simple chord change in the lead part, one that sets up nicely for improv and it worked great. The first one was built for Nyke on violin, and, as expected, he chewed it up. It was a great spotlight for him, one missing during most of the first set. Craig followed with a blistering lead that folks acknowledged warmly. A friend, Rick Weaver, commented later that I have to ability to provide space for these musicians and can lead the band well, especially in these open situations. The song went over really well, with several Little Feat fans coming up and thanking me for doing it.

I particularly enjoyed having the chance to play live for a full house of WDIY supporters, quite a sophisticated audience, for sure. I believe that many folks haven’t seen me play, and it was an opportunity to promote the Troubadour concert next month.

I hung out for awhile, enjoyed conversations with some good-looking women (yup, I fell in love briefly with one) and basked in some limelight. But, the social ramble began to wear me out; I excused myself with some talk about my social introversion, packed up my guitar and headed back to the SouthSide.

I played and I danced. Pretty good for a Saturday night in Bethlehem. Craig continues to be very good friend.

Sunday was a curious day on the planet. I prepared material for my morning DIY radio show, picked up some fine art work from my long-time friend and artist Barbara Kozero and headed to the station for my show. There were the various blips in the presentation but I pulled off a pretty good show (even if Tom Druckenmiller preempted my baseball set. (grrrr….).

I headed back to Godfrey’s to catch some of Pete’s Posse, an incredible New England acoustic trio. Another world class act this weekend at the club. (Ramona rocks!)

I decided to head over to Arts Quest for the 21st Greater Lehigh Valley Music Awards. I found out that they were charging nominees and came close to bolting. But, my friend Allison Gillespie rescued my ass with a free pass with her band. It proved to be a god-send. I got in. Sometimes I’m pretty arrogant.

The production was much better this year, though some of the performing acts still don’t know that a short set is sweet. (Always the critic…) As they rolled through the awards, the Godfrey’s Best Open Mike came up quickly, and I didn’t quite realize I should go up and get it. (Slow….). But I went up and waved and walked off. No need to speechify. As the event proceeded, I picked up the Godfrey’s Best Performance Venue, the Best Community Radio Programmer,  and, finally, (a surprise…) my Best Folk. That one I was not expecting at all.

I reflect on the six awards tonight, after running the small but mighty Godfrey’s Open Mike, I try to compartmentalize the afternoon at Arts Quest. I enjoyed the nods from lots of familiar faces (I am easily confused these days…) as well as hanging out with friends in the biz: players, newspaper writers, etc. This truly is a community experience. It’s nice to feel the support at this social level. I cherished each and every small moment with these friends.

The Radio award was interesting. I’ve received it fairly fraudulently for the last couple of years. There are other more heavily invested that me. But this year, I am spending a lot more energy in my shows, so this one finally felt deserved.

The Children’s award is a fairly default award. Though it feels good, my fellow nominees are deserving, especially Kira Willey. I have thought about retiring from this award, but today was a good pat on the back for my legacy, more than anything. I made a great acceptance speech, “I proud to be the oldest person in this category (children’s music)”. Nice feedback from folks.

The Folk award was quite unexpected. Several other performers have won this recently, with far more exposure in local bars. I really thought folks had moved on. I truly appreciate this one; folks continue to see me perform in various venues, with various bands, and as a solo, so, I guess, I’m still out there. I suppose Troubadour air play  and a few CD’s has helped a lot.

I was particularly gratified with the awards that Godfrey’s picked up: Outstanding  Performance Venue and Outstanding Music Supporter Organization, along with the Open Mike Venue. Together they signify the respect that Godfrey’s has in the Valley, but also how the “team” has shaped that respect. Ramona’s booking, Dina’s web design and radio show, my radio work, Nick on sound, etc. and the Board’s support, too. We beat out several larger venues and a multitude of bars, as well. That is mighty sweet.

I had to leave early to open Godfrey’s up for the open mike. I was particularly proud to inform Lou about his part in the Open Mike award. It was a low-key evening, as usual, but I take pride even on the quiet nights at Godfrey’s.

A full day of music.



I finally got to meet my grandson Jaysen today, five days into his new life. He was presented to me by the loving hands of my son Jaimie. It was quite a moment. Jaimie is a very big man and his delicacy and deft handling of his son was, upon reflection, a lifetime instant. He trusted me and, frankly, it has been years since I did for him, it was a flash in time.

I had orange lights on my car for the last two days, and, with advice from my auto guys, I decided to make the trip a day later than what I had wished. (The grandmoms beat me to it.)  I picked some dahlias from my friend Sharlene’s oasis, drove down to Mt. Laurel, NJ and checked in on time at 1 pm.

I quickly arranged the flowers in a vase and soon Jaysen was placed in my arms: still asleep and simply beautiful in his being. I was able to thank both Chelsy for her courage and strength and Jaimie for sharing these moments with me. Jaimie and I chatted about the Eagles, the birth, etc. (as men do) as I absorbed the wondrous and tiny being in my arms. Precious lips, hands, chin, cheeks, closed eyes and a delightful squirming. I do remember this.

Jaimie and Chelsy brought out Jaimie’s birth journal, one that Kim had kept for his first year. I tried to read it while holding Jayden and maintaining conversation with Jaimie. That book was a particularly wonderful excursion into his birth and development , our marriage, Rosalie’s involvement and a very precious time in my family’s life. It was a rich part of my life, and, in retrospect, a defining moment. Family. Love. Amen.

Eventually, as Chelsy prepared for her first post-op doctor’s appointment, Jaimie took me on a tour of modern-day natal technology (you wouldn’t believe….). I got to hold Jaysen again, this time as he awakened. Oh, those eyes. As he begun to fidget, I began to recall the formidable parenting skills of my past. I enjoyed the challenge. I talked to him, conversed, stroked, kissed, hummed and sang to him, with scattered success. Praise the Nuk-Nuk. I have never felt this way before, and yet, I have. This is what baffles me today.

Today, I connected with my grandson and my son, all at the same time. Very sweet.



Martin Jam

I had finished up my shows on Saturday and was looking forward to cruising the Festival on Sunday. I checked out a Korean group at noon at the Culture Tent and loved it. I love the surprises. I stuck around for the Martin Jam and hung out (escaping the brutal heat and sun) and played Lessons from Pete for the small audience.

I enjoyed simply running into friends on the grounds, chatting with strangers about their Godfrey’s experiences, enjoying a little recognition and generally laying low in the heat. I spent some time in The Grotto with Scott Peterson on his birthday, rambled through Hospitality and caught some of the early acts on the main stage. I really wanted to experience David Crosby and Friends as the final act.

Kevin Bittle, photographer

The evening had cooled down a bit and there were a few stars among the clouds to the east and some distant heat lightning to the west. Crosby came out with his cracker-jack band and started the show. Sophisticated music. Watching from the front, with the looming video screen and deafening sound, I figured it would be cooler to head on up to the side of the stage to catch the back-stage action and more comfortable sound. Since I’ve had access over the years with my performer’s pass and the general familiarity with the crew from my emcee days in the past, I felt at ease getting close to observe. I also know how to stay out of the way. This always makes for an amazing experience and tonight was just that.

I checked out David’s guitar tech first, with a rack of very nice Martins and several electrics. The tech had a computer, strobe tuner and all the fixin’s, ready to go out and hand David a fresh guitar for each song. All that gear in a handy road case, the mark of a true professional. I wouldn’t mind doing this for a while. Or not.

I made it over to stage left to watch from the guitarist Jeff Pevar’s  point of view. It was as close to being on stage with band as it could be. Jeff was incredible, and obviously tight with David. It was fascinating to watch the communication going on between the players and David, the smiles, the appreciation among such great players. I even got to witness the road manager try to get David’s attention during his rambling introduction of the band members, to tell him that there wasn’t a lot of time left. I particularly liked observing Jeff’s set up, with amps, guitars, monitors, fan (!!!) and other gear, again, all road-worthy and set up on road cases for a long tour on strange stages. Very cool.

The band was so tight and the vocals were, of course, up to CSNY standards. Seamless harmonies. David was warm, engaging, chatty with the audience and in his element. It’s no wonder; he’s been doing this on major stages for decades. In fact, this weekend was the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. The band finished up with Wooden Ships and Ohio. That’s as powerful a closing set that one could imagine.

The sky opened up during the set as the storm finally rolled in. I was glad I made the decision to come up under the protection of the stage wings. I wasn’t looking forward to gathering my guitar from the hospitality tent and getting soaked going back to my car. As it turned out, things abated when I finally packed it up.

The tour bus pulled up next to the stage and as folks gathered off stage, David took time to chat with the crew. I got to be the fly on the wall for this whole episode. I have had several opportunities at this festival to be able to witness some of the great performers that I have admired, and actually have been able to introduce from this stage. This was extremely special in that it was an incredible show with a powerful band. This is good for my folkie soul. It was a rock and roll  masterpiece just 20 feet from me.

I meandered home through this rural Pennsylvania country side I love so much, a route I’ve driven so many times as as a young folkie, and  workshop participant and a main-stage emcee for 47 years. I had a small footprint at this one, but tonight, I was high as a kite, driving in complete silence, filled with memories of this powerful show, my three days of small performances and my rich history with the Philly Folk Fest.


Corporate picture, 1960’s

I had a fractured relationship with my father, Wayne Franklin Fry, and I’ve come to realize that a large part of that was due to the toxic atmosphere (literally) of my father’s job in the machine felt industry. He rose through the business to eventually become plant manager of Albany Felt Company at its South Carolina facility. They manufactured the large felt “belt” that ran underneath the wet wood pulp slurry as it became paper, removing the moisture along the way. But, in the 50’s and 60’s, I’m sure the chemicals used to take the raw wool and press it into this felt were highly toxic, and there were few environmental standards back then. I remember the stench of the plant in Albany.

My father started suffering blackouts, starting with an unexplained car accident driving home from work one night. As our family started to notice these episodes, my dad would maintain consciousness but not know who he was, who we were and ask, “What do I do now?” It became common when my father would get upset with some emotional situation. We became fearful of getting him mad and we avoided confrontation at all costs. One evening at dinner, he blacked out while eating some food and I had to lift him upside down to dislodge the meat from his throat (pre-Heimlich). I’m also sure that part of his problem was his own avoidance of emotions growing up, in a mother-less household with only his father and Uncle Harry during the 20’s and 30’s.

Wayne and Doris wedding, June 30th, 1944

Camp Lejeune, lieutenant in Marine Corps.

My dad joined the Marines at the beginning of WW II, served in Ireland and as a drill master at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He returned to his home town in Bristol, married my mom Doris Rachel Hendricks in ’44 and moved to the Albany area to start at Albany Felt Co. and began a family with my older sister Christine (’47) , me (’50) and my younger sister, Janet (’54).

My dad in his later years, in the ’90s.

I remember my father enjoying our young family and a circle of bright, witty friends, singing with a men’s chorus The Mendelssohn Club and acting with the local theater troupe The Willett Street Players at our church in Albany. He loved tennis and actually tried to develop “felt” as a surface for tennis courts, very much like a grass surface. But as his condition worsened, he eventually had to retire from the company and his daily care fell to my mom’s province. That took a heavy toll on her and she retreated into her artwork which kept her sane. Eventually, thanks to the VA, my dad took on elder care and finally a spot in a VA hospital for his final days. At the end, I visited him, played my mandolin for him and told him I loved him. Tragically, I don’t remember him ever saying that he loved me.

My mom told me that I shouldn’t worry; his disease wasn’t genetic, but the effects of this disease remains in my psychological DNA. I learned during my teens to avoid conflict and to sublimate my anger and upsetting emotions. My father also thought that I was a homosexual and that misunderstanding led to a dramatic schism in our relationship. I’m sure my relationship and subsequent divorce from my wife suffered from my conflict avoidance. I never confronted Kim when she was doing something I considered misguided, and that led partly to our separation. I tried to support her outright, as an act of love and chose not to contest her decisions. That’s on me.

But, I have learned to tell my daughter Rosalie, son Jaimie, and even Kim, as well as those around me who really matter in my life that I love them. I am a better person for that and I cherish the times we spend together.

My father was a good man, served in WW II, raised three fine children, loved my mother, provided the means for her to explore her creative art, and supported my five years as an Arts-Engineer at Lehigh. I wish his later years were not as tough as they were and I regret our separation.

I have always had mixed feelings about these awards and the ceremony that happens annually this time of year. This one was the 20th and the event has pulled itself together remarkably over the years. It was initially the brain-child of a child-brain hippy, held at various bars, banquet halls, theaters, etc. but now is a polished production at the Musikfest Cafe. It’s still in a bar situation though, as I was remembering giving my Life-Time Acheivment Award speech several years ago. Half the crowd was at either end of the venue, chatting it up with friends at the two bars. But, still, it is now a professional event, with videos, live bands, “celebrities” and a roomful of musicians, old friends and music supporters. Good for us all.

This year was a good one for Godfrey Daniels, taking home Best Performance Venue, Best Music Supporter and Best Open Mike. These all reflect the respect that the local music scene appreciates what the club stands for, all the more amazing because it’s not a bar (!!!!) and it is not a industrial-sized complex. These are the awards that I’m really proud of, and they reflect on the hard work that Ramona LaBarre, Dina Hall and the entire Godfrey’s community put in to maintain our excellence. I merely bask in their dedication and sweat.

I am also proud of the many poets, players, artists and creative friends who won individual awards. It’s really hard to find any larger artistic recognition in this Valley and this event helps to celebrate their efforts in our community. Amen. You know who you are.

There was some lousy weather coming in about the same time that things were about to begin, and that tempered my enthusiasm for going. I was only up for a couple of awards and not nominated for several that I had anticipated would have been over the last year. I was aiming for Best Album with my Troubadour CD and it got no mention. I was not nominated for Best Folk, one I have won over the last few years. I was surprised but would not have minded having someone else win it. I also had hoped Lessons from Peter would be nominated for Best Original Song. I felt somewhat miffed about the selection process, grounded in popular votes and not by a panel for merit. Folks don’t get to hear my CD or see me perform since I don’t play the barroom circuit. I remain invisible. So it goes.

I was nominated for Best Web Site, and would have liked to win this one, especially for the great work that my friend Mikc Duck puts in, developing and maintaining a pretty awesome site. You are on it now. It has provided me the chance to keep in touch with my performance base while giving me the chance to become a better writer through this blog. That’s the real value for me. I remain creatively engaged as an artist. Reflect. Reflect. Reflect.

I thought that I should go, just to bump into my fellow musicians. I owe them that much. I truly regret deciding against going. The weather turned out to be less than ferocious. I could have done it. Lesson learned. Sloth and indolence prevailed.

I did win Best Children’s Performer, one that I have, literally “grandfathered” over the last decade. I win it because I am ubiquitous – I’ve been doing it for several generations. And, there are so few of us doing this in the Lehigh Valley. I’ve had the chance to see Kira Willey’s work and she is as professional and fun as I am. She has some great exposure on PBS TV-39, with great production values. It would be nice to have her recognized as such. But, I hang on to these honors, for some internal reason.

I also received the Best College/Community Radio Personality for the 3rd or 4th year running. Again, I remain ambivalent about it, (especially the “personality” part) and share the airwaves with some much more committed radio programmers. I win this one because of my overall presence in the arts scene, and not because of merit. A.J Fritz, Tom Druckenmiller, Steve Capwell, Geoff Chambers, and many others in community radio all put in lots of time and expertise in their on shows. They all have years of being gatekeepers to what is best in creative radio, regardless of genre. Again, I value being recognized.

I came to realize that the cast for Troubadour took home individual honors. Dan DeChellis (piano), Craig Thatcher (acoustic Guitar), Nyke Van Wyk (string instrumentalist) and Kevin Soffera (drums/percussion and studio producer). That’s pretty good company there, and I wish we could have shared in its recognition.

Again, I was a fool for not attending and perhaps my ‘fragile’ ego stood in the way. But, I guess I can blame it on the weather.

Since I was done performing for the day (12 noon) I was able to cruise the conference for the rest of the day, seeking out friends and other surprises as they presented themselves. No longer booking Godfrey’s has made this endeavor much more enjoyable these day. (I used to have a ‘booking’ target on my back for years… )

I was able to find some great face time with my old friends Ansel Barnum, Sam Steffen, Michael Jerling, Ed Snodderly (40 years), several old GD booking folks, various familiar faces and other chance meet-ups. That’s the charm of these conventions; sometimes incredibly deep and sometimes pretty superfluous. Nature of the game, but always engaging today.

I had time to check out Ed Snodderly’s hidden treasure set in a hotel room in the afternoon. Ed has traveled a parallel life tour with his establishment of The Down Home. a club in Johnson City, TN. We both play, we record, we promote folk. I am glad to play his music on my radio shows. A fellow traveller. Very cool, and made my day.

I cruised the space and handed out Playground (kids) and Troubadour (adult) CDs to folks. I’m certainly not going to sell them, but I’m particularly proud to spread the music around to folk who care. I got some very nice feedback from folks I had put my Troubadour CD in their hands. Radio folks, fellow players and folks whom I really respect. That was a nice perk for the day

I planned to stay for the dinner and seek out folks I hadn’t hooked up with – Claudia, in particular,  but ended up chatting with a woman in the atrium who was at the kids’ showcase. We proceeded to talk about what we do and struck up a very nice conversation about folk music, arts and taking risks. It was powerful stuff and a wonderful escape from the relative chaos of the scene. I think I fell in love.

I wrapped up my gear, said a few goodbyes and slinked out to the parking lot and headed back to Bethlehem in a driving rain. It’s been a very long day, but, somehow, I am energized, even after midnight. A great day on the planet.