Saturday, September 15, 2007

An evening with Hope Machine and friends



"Ever since the beginning, there's always been the guys designated to carry the coal. Remember? See, when the tribe's fire went out, when they moved on, someone had to carry the last hot coal to start up the next fire with at the next campfire. They needed this fire to cook with, sleep near, and even for some good 'ol talks and songs. Now many of these coal holders, over time, became folk singers. Later, some went electric. Some even became rock and rollers. (Hey, different tribes, different instruments). However the job has never changed." — Nora Guthrie

ope Machine is a group of coal-holders, keepers of the flame, messengers; foot-stompin', guitar-bangin', drum-beatin', song-leadin', harp-blowin', hand-clappin', human hoping machines. FRED GILLEN, Jr. - HOPE MACHINEBased in New York's Hudson Valley, Hope Machine started out singing the songs of Woody Guthrie. These days they sing plenty of Woody, Pete Seeger, traditional, and original songs with messages of hope, love, and spiritual transformation in celebration of the human spirit. They incorporate old-time, modern, native-American, folk, rock, and whatever other influences give strength to the spirit of their coal-holding. They encourage people to sing along, dance, yell, yodel, jump up and down, or to do whatever else their spirit moves them to do.

ope machine stalwarts include Fred Gillen, Jr., right, and Steve Kirkman, below. Fred is a prolific singer-songwriter, guitarist, washboard player and past president of Tribes Hill, and Steve is a roots-rockin' Americana singer-songwriter, STEVE KIRKMAN - HOPE MACHINEwho grew up in rural North Carolina. Together they carry the message of human unity, hope, and spiritual freedom handed down to them by their elders. They sing songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. An ever-evolving group, Hope Machine often invites other musicians to join them. Its 2006 debut album, March, features Steve Chizmadia and Abbie Gardner & Laurie MacAllister of Red Molly.

haring the stage with Gillen & Kirkman tonight and performing both with them and solo were Matt Turk and Lara Herscovitch. Turk is an acoustic folk troubadour who also can rock out. Along with Gillen, he won a coveted spot in the MTA's Music Under New York Program in May. Lara Herscovitch is a Connecticut-based singer-songwriter and 2006 finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, whose music blends folk, pop and world styles. She also was one of the featured song swap artists during the recent Huntington Folk Festival.


Click picture below for a video of
tonight's Hope Machine performance of This Land is Your Land


Link to the Hope Machine myspace site:  

Our host tonight was Amy Tuttle, Amy Tuttle

  and our open mike featured performances by:

  • Jon Brooks

  • Jim Evans Jim Evans

  • Suzanne Ernst Suzanne Ernst

  • Mark Virgilio Mark Virgilio

  • Bob Mist Bob Mist

  • Ed Mocko Ed Mocko

  • Denise Romas Denise Romas

  •   ... and David Bailey David Bailey

  • If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...