As I write this afternoon, the rain is finally making its way down to us here in Los Angeles, and I find it so fitting to settle down, become quiet, and write to you.
I was gifted with a wonderful poem recently by my friend James Walker, Director of Music at All Saints Church, who quotes Rabbi Harold Kushner. I share it with you because it seems so perfect for this day and these times:
A Prayer For The World, Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
Amen indeed. I am myself reaching for Heaven, each day, and I’ve been sad to be frustrated in this daily “try.” There seem to be roadblocks with each new endeavor, and I wonder at times what it all means. There are suggested ideas such as that this whole year was just a bad one, and given some big changes in our life, I feel that I could agree. However, how must we move forward? Find joy in small, everyday things perhaps? Go inside and retreat? Do unto others? I think the answer is, do all of those things, as your heart guides you. There IS laughter in the world, there IS joy, there IS love. Those things will never die away, and in the hope that they once again dominate our thinking, I will press onward with what I know how to do: let my heart breathe into music, give my soul in the making of art, and find beauty in all I do.
The New Folk Ensemble is slowing down these days as we finished a spate of shows in the fall just past. As I’ve written in these letters before, the band re-grouped in the summer to become the ensemble that we are now and have re-configured our goals for the future. The goals are good ones in that we are forming new collaborations with great musicians and artists. There are projects on the horizon, and we’re grateful.
Look for more news of us as the New Year comes around. We as always send you our love and appreciation for being our supporters and fans. We cherish each and every one of you.
To close for this time, I will again offer a poem, this time the words of a great Christmas song from my blessed friend, the great and late Jean Ritchie, “Wintergrace.” My prayer is that we have the Wintergrace she speaks of, for ourselves, for others and for the world. I so miss my dear Jean. Bless her in Heaven, and all of you, too.
With love from
This is the time so well we love,
The time of all the year;
When winter calls with chilling breath,
For fireside and good cheer.
A time for man and beast to stand
And feel the season turn;
To watch the stars for secret signs,
And God's true lessons learn.
For the time...
When the corn is all into the barn,
The old cow's breath's a frosty wine
And the morn along the fallow field
Doth silver shine.
And when cold morning's radiant star
Shines over hill and plain;
We know anew that little Babe
Is born to us again.
And man and beast and bird in tree,
each one in his own place;
We bow our hearts and thank our God
For winter rest and grace.
For the time...
When the corn is all into the barn,
The old cow's breath's a frosty wine
And the morn along the fallow field
Doth silver shine.
Watch Jean sing "Wintergrace" Here: https://youtu.be/MvusiOLOHgA
New Verses ~ New Shows ~ Welcome Glenn Houston!
Glenn Houston Joins The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble at McCabe's October 22!
Last month we wrote to you about our grand new partnerships with new players and THIS month we're in concert with these fine musicians. We have stellar shows coming up in October ~ new tunes, new arrangements ~ all so exciting!
New Partners ~ Glenn Houston
The great Glenn Houston, recently of the Bay area's Houston Jones Band, will be appearing with us at McCabe's on October 22!!
Glenn Houston has been voted Best Guitarist by the Northern California Bluegrass Society, is a past judge of the National Flatpicking Guitar Championship Competition in Winfield, Kansas, and was the founding lead guitarist of the Waybacks, co-founder and long-time lead guitarist for Bammie (Bay Area Music Award) winners Hearts on Fire, and more recently co-founder and long-time lead guitarist for the powerhouse Americana quintet Houston Jones. Glenn has recently joined our ensemble for select shows and we couldn't be more excited to work with Glenn's phenomenal talent. Join us at McCabe's and fill that wonderful room!
Buy tickets online at www.mccabes.com
The Good Intentions
U.K.'s Americana super group, The Good Intentions, are touring through California this month to support their new album "The Long Unbroken Line." They join us at The Coffee Gallery on October 21, the albums' official release day, and will be joined by the wonderful Rick Shea, who did the producing honors on this great new record.
The Good Intentions songs are centered around the original songwriting of Peter Davies, guitarist, and lead vocal, supported by harmony vocals from Gabrielle Monk, who also plays autoharp and accordion. Their songs have an old time feel with memorable tunes, clear harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and traditional instrumentation.
Steve and I will debut our brand new duo tunes along with our friends sitting in: Mark Indictor on fiddle and Fred Sanders on bass. This concert will be filmed.
We hope to continue this fruitful new collaboration with Peter and Gabi. And if all goes well, we'll be off across the pond together next year!
Next month we'll be in concert with one of the most brilliant musicians on the planet, the incredible Joe Craven and his wonderful new trio The Sometimers. Their new CD will also be with them at these shows.
Check out ALL our show details on the CALENDAR page and plan to come out! We want to see you at a show!
The other morning I walked outside and distinctly felt a difference in the air ~ that oh so subtle shift that comes with the very beginning of the season changing. It was just a faint change ~ in light, the texture of the air ~ but knowing what it brings, this small change always represents something much larger on the way.
We hope you've had a great summer. When we last wrote to you in April we were preparing to travel to the great Merlefest music festival in early May. The festival was a great experience! We were so wonderfully taken care of there, and were so excited to be performing amongst some of the best musicians in the world.
The news we bring this month is that, like the season, our band is evolving. Our lead guitarist and composer, Rob Carlson, has made the decision to leave performing and concentrate on songwriting, and his songs will continue to make up a large share of our repertoire. We've been re-grouping through the summer and some exciting things are taking place, mainly with new collaborations with brand new partners in music. And in our soul-searching summer, we also realized that we wanted very much to change our name. We wanted our name to reflect the folk-dominated sound we produce, music we love and are developing. The Hilonesome Band will now be known as (drumroll!)......The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble. I hope you like it because the new stationery is already at the printers! :)
The New Folk Ensemble will make its debut as a performing quartet on Saturday, October 8 at the FolkWorks Folk and Roots Festival in Santa Monica. Come out and support FolkWorks, a wonderful organization that has been energetically and devotedly supporting folk music in Southern California for so long! Lots of great talent on the bill, dance, workshops (I'm teaching singing!), jamming, folk films, craft vendors, silent auction and a beer and wine bar! Check it out and plan to join us! You can find details on our Calendar Page.
As mentioned above, we've started work with several great musicians who are new to us, and we're cooking up some great shows and tours. First to tell you about is our work with our friend Glenn Houston, formerly of the Bay area's Houston Jones Band. Any of you who have heard and seen Glenn play will testify to the fact that he is a phenomenal talent! Our debut show featuring Glenn will be at none other than the venerable McCabe's Guitar Shop on Saturday, October 22.Find details on our Calendar page and look for news of more shows scheduled as we develop our new repertoire with Glenn.
Next up is another very cool collaboration, this one with the U.K.'s Americana super group, The Good Intentions. Steve and I are debuting as a duo for the first time ever, and we'll be joined by this great husband and wife duet. Their work is centered around the original songwriting of Peter Davies, guitarist, and lead vocal, supported by harmony vocals from Gabrielle Monk, who also plays autoharp and accordion. Their songs have an old time feel with memorable tunes, clear harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and traditional instrumentation. When we first played together last year we realized that our work was complimentary and so hatched an idea behind this perfect fit! We're appearing with the Good Intentions at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on Friday, October 21, and will debut this collaboration as a two-duo show (with help from a few local friends) that night! Also, this will be a CD release concert for the Good Intentions so come get your brand new copy of their new record! And if all goes well, we'll be off across the pond next year!
There are more collaborations on the way, including with our great friend and brilliant musician, Joe Craven, for two shows in November. We're looking forward to presenting with Joe for the first time, with his fabulous new trio, The Sometimers.
Thank you kind readers and fans for sticking with our group over the years. Your support and fandom has meant the world. You help me keep going! Now let me thank you in person at a show! Check out the shows on our Calendar Page and plan to join us!
Welcome to the Home of The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble!
We're glad to have you visit! Have a look around the site to find our music, live performance videos, photos, our performance calendar, and so much more. Getting in touch is easy ~ have a look at the Contact and Press Kit page, and find out more about us at our "About" page.
The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble
Award-winning vocalist Susie Glaze, mandolinist Steve Rankin, fiddler Mark Indictor and bassist Fred Sanders are The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble, the newest version of the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Americana group, a lush new folk Americana fusion ensemble, presenting gorgeous eclectic blends of mountain folk and exciting new grassy and Celtic-inspired originals, all with the remarkable voice of Susie Glaze. The group has been likened to the classic British bands Pentangle and Fairport Convention in that they blend classic folk music with rough-edged stories of tragedy and fate, all with orchestral arrangements sounding like chamber music gone folk! The band has appeared at many premier venues and festivals on the West Coast, including Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage, McCabe's Guitar Shop, The Broad Stage, the Hollywood Bowl, Palms Playhouse, Don Quixote's Music Hall, Kuumbwa Jazz Center and CalTech Folk Music Society among others. Their CD “White Swan” was released in March of 2013 to critical acclaim from No Depression, FolkWorks, Pop Matters, M Magazine for Musicians, Music News Nashville and FolkWords UK among others, and charted in the Top 50 on the Roots Music Report's Combined Internet and Terrestrial Folk Chart. Their new album "Not That Kind of Girl" produced by Herb Pedersen was released in June 2015 and is enjoying critical acclaim and radio airplay around the country. “If there were a word to describe this fine band, it would be sophisticated. They draw influences from disparate sources to meld their sound. The level of musicianship is exemplary.… display a great range of prowess and work as a tight unit.” Bluegrass Unlimited. “…one of the finest and most original Americana groups in California (or in the country for that matter).” No Depression. Augmenting their sound is the lush, Celtic sounds of Rankin’s bouzouki, the mountain sounds of Susie’s Appalachian dulcimer and traditional autoharp, with Mark Indictor’s virtuoso fiddling and Fred Sanders’ remarkable bass work rounding out the orchestral nature of this amazing quartet.
Susie Glaze has been honored to be included on the newly-released Compass Records tribute album "Dear Jean - Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie" alongside such artists as Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Tim O'Brien, John McCutcheon, Robin and Linda Williams and many more.
"The band is tight, great picking, and beautiful vocals and harmony." KVMR, Nevada City, CA
"She held the audience in the palm of her hand…." Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival
"…does something with a song that only great singers can do..." KCSN, Northridge, CA
"One of the most beautiful voices in bluegrass and folk music today.” KPFK's FolkScene
"...with people like this to trust, my music will go on living, and soaring. And so will I.” Jean Ritchie
"I celebrate Life!
I tangle my fingers in its long-haired grasses...with gladness.
I beat upon its breast with futility.
I lie across its loin with joy.
I give to it and take from it sweet juices of abundance with...pain and pleasure.
I replenish it with my tears and the vibrations...of my laughter.
Until it sweeps me off, I will not leave it,
This World, this Earth!
This Universe, this Time and Space!
This Chance at finding God!
~ Jean Ritchie
May she fly on the wings of doves.