TAUNY is spearheading a collaboration with Mountain Lake PBS, the Adirondack History Center Museum, and SUNY Plattsburgh Feinberg Library's Special Collections on an exciting and ground-breaking project to showcase and raise awareness of the folk music of New York’s Adirondack North Country.
The partner organizations are delving into a long-forgotten collection of North Country folk music that is housed in the SUNY Plattsburgh Feinberg Library's Special Collections. The songs in the collection, ranging from rare British and Irish ballads to native New York songs of the lumber camps and iron mines, were recorded in the 1940s and 1950s by the enigmatic Champlain Valley historian Marjorie Lansing Porter. The project is possible in part because of a recent initiative to digitize the entire SUNY Plattsburgh Porter song collection, an undertaking that took two years to complete.
Other important groundwork for the current project was laid by Lee Knight, a musician and friend of Mrs. Porter’s. For 20 years he has been researching the songs and singers Mrs. Porter recorded and transcribing the lyrics of the music he uncovered.
With this substantial work complete, the goal of TAUNY’s “Songs to Keep” project is to celebrate this timeless music and allow others the chance to hear and enjoy it, too. The project has a number of components; the hope is to reach as many people as possible with this newly uncovered link to our past.
- The tunes in the collection are interpreted and “reimagined” by favorite contemporary Adirondack musicians on a CD to be released in August. The CD will include 15 tunes from the collection performed by such North Country musicians as the Fraser Family, the Akwesasne Men Singers, Dan Berggren, and many more.
Concert Series Dates and Times:
- 8/8/13 - 7:30 PM - Clayton Opera House
- 8/21/13 - 8 PM - Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
- 8/24/13 - 7:30 PM - View in Old Forge
- 9/14/13 - 7 PM - Edwards Opera House
- 9/20/13 - 6 PM - Adirondack History Center Museum
- 9/21/13 - 7 PM - Giltz Theater, Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh
Adirondack History Center Museum Essex County Historical Society 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, New York 12932 View Map
The Museum is open 10am - 5pm, 7 days a week from late May through mid-October. The Brewster Library is open all year by appointment only.