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SFFMC Labor Day Campout

We've changed from our usual location: we will camp at Mark Levy's place, a site among the redwoods in Santa Cruz County on the way to Big Basin State Park, about an hour and a half from San Francisco and two hours from San Rafael. We've had a great time there the past three Memorial Day campouts.

Facilities: There are spaces throughout the 7.5 acres of woods for parking and tents, including two spaces where RVs can connect to electricity. There is also a shelter for meetings in inclement weather; it is 30 feet in diameter and has a roof and walls. Portable toilets will be provided. We also have a shower stall for a portable shower; if you have a solar shower, please bring it.

Water is available. Bring your own tables and chairs. Garbage can be recycled, burned, used for compost or carried out. But please take away some garbage and recycling when you leave, (even if you didn't generate much) especially if you leave camp early.

Work Party: We want to organize a work party to help get the site ready a day or so before the campout. Melissa Sarenac will be running this camp and will organize the work party. Please give her a call (415-647-1474) if you'd like to participate. Work party participants can camp free for the days of the work party. Clean-up participants may stay Sunday night without charge as well.

At camp's end, Mark could use someone with a pickup to haul off trash and recycling. Contact Melissa, for more information about volunteering to help before and after the campout.

Registration: We encourage everyone to make reservations ahead of time to get directions and to give an estimate of the number of vehicles and people attending. The registration blank is below and online at It is not necessary to be a folk club member to attend.

We are camping on land owned by SFFMC member Mark Levy, and parking is somewhat limited - about 20 vehicles. Car pools are advisable.

Maps: People who pre-register will receive a confirmation sheet with a map and directions to the site. If you are registering by mail, please send it in to be received by August 15 to allow time for the map and confirmation sheet to reach you. Contact Ed Hilton (, 510-523-6533) for directions if you have not received a map and he can email you one.

Click here for a registration form.

Annual Sea Music Concert Series

Join the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in celebrating 20 years of concerts of sea music's finest performers. Experience the driving rhythms of chanteys and the beauty of seafaring songs from the wooden decks of the historic sailing ship Balclutha.

This year, the Concert Series feature two performances. Both concerts begin at 8:00. Tickets are $14 each concert; discount season tickets are available for $24 for both concerts. Concerts are wheelchair accessible. Geoff Kaufman, Saturday, September 27. From New London, Connecticut, Geoff brings a passion for and a deep knowledge of sea music and maritime history, and a fine voice to each performance. For the past 28 years, Geoff has been leading audiences to find truth, beauty, and humor in folk songs. Whether singing aboard the Sloop Clearwater in the Hudson River, or in concerts and festivals in the U.S. and Europe, Geoff has entertained and touched audiences near and far.

Ida Red, Saturday October 18. Ida Red blossomed out of the traditional folk music scene of 1990's New York City and has taken old school harmony singing and acoustic arrangements through the spinner of modern influence, the byways of America, and wrung out a new kind of folk. They are veteran sea music performers Alison Kelley (The Johnson Girls), Daphne Glover (The Windlasses), Erica Smith, and newest member Craig Edwards (Mystic Seaport's Forebitter). Singing a cappella, or playing fiddl0e, banjo, and guitar, this 4-member group brings both traditional sensibilities and a fresh approach to sea music.

Berkeley Old-Time Convention

The Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention takes place, September 11th - 14th. It features concerts, square dance, old-time string band contest, open mic cabaret, workshops, jamming and children's activities; four days of nonstop, old time music.

Guest Artists include

The Square Dance features three fabulous bands: Benton Flippen, Paul Brown, Frank Bode & friends will be joined by the Foghorn String Band who is at the forefront of Portland's vibrant old-time revival, and former Convention contest winters, the Squirelly String Band from Oakland. The amazing callers: Bill Martin (Portland), Maggie Brunjes (Portland) and Jordan Ruyle (Oakland). Come early for a FREE clogging lesson with Evie Ladin!

These events and many more take place at the Freight & Salvage, Ashkenaz, Civic Center Park, Jazzschool, Jupiter and other venues around Berkeley. Some events are free, others are $5-20. For more INFO, 510-848-5018.

Benefit Concert

Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, the editors of Rise Up Singing, will give a benefit concert on August 10 at Berkeley Friends Meeting House, 2121 Vine St., Berkeley CA . Concert begins at 6:00 pm. Suggested donation is $15.00; no one turned away for lack of funds. Come hear the editors of this essential collection of folksongs present a selection of their favorite tunes. INFO Bryan Uhlenbrock, 510-525-5779

Memorial Day Campout Review

An early Memorial Day weekend found us heading out to Waterman Creek and the harmonious tunes of many old and new friends. Mark Levy, our generous campground host, had been busy with the early bird volunteers, cleaning up and preparing camp sites for the dozens of expected campers.

Even through Saturday afternoon, with cloudy skies threatening unseasonable precipitation, Mark was industriously hammering new steps up to the octagon house, so we could use it as a concert hall in case rain put out our campfire and drove us to find shelter. Mark is also kind enough to tolerate several children tagging along after him asking questions; thank you, Mark, from me and my four kids.

When we pulled up to camp in our van, Marian and Jerry were already there in their RV; Ed Hilton popped out to greet us, and Donna Hyatt was there to check us off the registration list. Thank you to all those who helped organize the weekend. We put up our big tent in the designated family area, set up our gear, and watched as more campers appeared: Morgan with his warbling saw - half a dozen or more packed into his two-rifle case - setting up a handsome stand complete with C-clamps; Gray with his tall stool and guitar showed up, friendly as always. Kent rolled in around the campfire, game for more music. Frank came out with his drum and his chainsaw, cutting up some downed wood for the fire. Faith & Ed had songs to remember Utah Phillips, and Faith told us about her granddaughter's traveling shows. Many more whose names escape me also gathered around our earthen pit fire, singing, playing, hanging out, and just having a good time.

From day to night (my husband's turn to hang out by the campfire) to day again, there was good music and fine company. Just what we came for.

Come out for Fourth of July and Labor Day campouts; the music is fine and the company friendly. I'll be there to say hello.

--Victoria Chang

Fold-in/Folk Sing Aug 24

The fold-in is at noon, Sunday, August 24, at the home of Joan Hall & Abe Feinberg.

The more, the merrier. Help with the folknik, enjoy a meal afterwards, and make music. Bring a potluck dish and instruments.