The Song Journal

Miscellaneous news and writing by Bob Franke, mostly about songs as a portable art form, and the process of creating them and enabling them to do their work in the world.

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Location: Peabody, Massachusetts, United States

from Bob Franke began his career as a singer-songwriter in 1965 while a student at the University of Michigan. Upon graduation in 1969 with an A.B. in English Literature, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has since made New England his home. Bob has appeared in concert at coffeehouses, colleges, festivals, bars, streets, homes and churches in 33 states, four Canadian provinces and England.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making my way back

Well, as Steve Gillette used to sing, I'm back on the street again, full-time in music, having been laid off from Harbor Sweets last November. In the interim, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has cleaned up their health insurance act a bit, so it's a strange situation: once more I can theoretically afford to follow my bliss without courting homelessness, but can I really? Hard to say. Joan has been doing a great job of putting my calendar together into the summer and fall. I'll be teaching once again this summer at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and Summer Acoustic Music Week. John Schindler and I will be kicking off what I hope will be a new Thursday night concert series in Salem this May 21st. I'm looking forward to a Notlob Music show next week with my old friend Martin Grosswendt, and to again being with Martin, Sally Rogers, Howard Bursen, Sloan Wainwright, Chuck Hall, John Kirk and Trish Miller, Kate Seeger, Kim Wallach, Geoff Bartley, Ellen Groves, Paul Combs and Joshua Levin-Epstein on April 5 at St. Andrew's in Marblehead for my Passion cantata. The privilege of performing it in the midst of that community, with the choir of St. Andrew's, is nearly overwhelming to me.

In the interim, I find I'd gotten used to luxuries like paying all the bills on time. Then again, my sense is that many folks are kissing that luxury goodbye these days. I will continue to seek out ways of returning to my former amateur status (that being, by the way, a condition of the very helpful unemployment checks that come in from time to time). But meanwhile, I will remain thankful for not only Joan's support but also for the folks who hire me to sing my songs, and the folks who come out to hear them.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

To Hear Your Banjo Play - 1947

Martha Burns pointed out this link to a video of Pete from the year I was born.