Drawing new impulses from old traditions--it is the living tradition of Mardi Gras dance music and New Orleans that is celebrated here--the city that gave us Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino--the fathers of jazz and rock'n'roll. We go back to the roots to find the spirit that has its source Down There, and we follow its branches of Motown, Soul, and R&B, that reach out to all of us as Americans and even beyond. We go there with horns and guitar, keys, and rhythm, and stellar vocals covering all kinds of dance tunes, and we discover ourselves in the mix, as does our audience. It's new and old music, coming out of the oldest and most vibrant of American traditions. The American Folksoul embraces all.
"You're music gladdens hearts and drives away the clouds." Doris "Granny D" Haddock
This band enjoys a good parade, with our trombone, clarinet, tuba, accordion and percussion, and we enjoyed parading with Granny D when she ran for US Senate in NH, and as we do in Peterborough every Children In the Arts Spring Festival, and during Mardi Gras season, and at our own Folksoul Music Festival.
Our music is music that's alive and gets the party going.. It's what appealed to Ken Kesey at the Country Fair in Eugene, Oregon when the band played with the Flying Karamazov Brothers on the Veneta fairgrounds and opened for the Grateful Dead, and then closed the show.
"You guys were the heroes..." said Ken.
It's dance music, with a natural and organic acoustic balance that does not rely on volume to reach people's hearts and souls.
No other band sounds quite like this one, or makes music exactly like it. It is high-spirited music generated by the musicians and the instruments themselves, and it's an interesting assortment on both counts!
The Folksoul Band Personnel--Fred Simmons on trombone and vocals, Karl Wilson on tuba, Leslie Vogel on piano, accordian, and vocals, Barbara Leavy on balafon, Phillip Sherwood on guitar, Walden Whitham on sax, flute, clarinet, and rub-board, and Tara Greenblatt on drum set, djembe, and vocals.
Folksoul Music has appeared at:
-Clearwater Festival-Croton-on--Hudson, NY, 2010
-Mammapalooza Festival, NYC, 2009
-The Cake Shop, NYC, 2009
-Harlow's Pub, Peterborough, NH, 2010
-The Fitzwilliam Inn, NH, 2010
-Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH, 2008
-Del Rossi's Trattoria, Dublin, NH
-Antrim in the Evening Music Series, Antrim, NH
-The High Mowing School, Wilton, NH
-The Solstice Festival, Winchendon, MA
-The Mariposa Museum, Peterborough, NH
-Union Mill Café, Peterborough, NH
-The Meeting School, Rindge, NH
-Peak into Peterborough Series, Peterborough, NH
-Peterborough Farmer’s Market, Peterborough, NH
-Art Opening, Lowell, MA
-Plus private parties and weddings
A Quote from a fan:
"...The only group I've seen who consistently coaxes people out of hibernation, thawing out their inhibitions is the Folksoul Band. Everyone makes it onto the dance floor at their shows. They make it there, shimmy and shake there, and most impressively stay there until the end. The universality of the music coupled with the casual and spirited nature of the performers allow this freedom to take place. They come to party not for the audience but with the audience. And they do this in such a welcoming way that their shows are great parties every time. At the height of such a party if the doors were to open the revelers would take it to the streets, dancing, regardless of the weather. -Andrew Hannah, NH.
Leslie Vogel - Piano and accordion
Walden Whitham - Saxophone and Flute
Karl Wilson - Tuba
Tara Greenblatt - Drums
Barbara Leavy - Balafon
Phillip Sherwood - Guitar
Fred Simmons - Trombone
The Folksoul Band: 'Somethin' to Say on Mardi Gras Day', Live at Nelson Town Hall-2009
The Folksoul Band: Let It Shine (2011)
Folksoul: Good on CD, Great Live
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"The Folksoul Band is an overwhelming presence...Their sound instinctively reaches within a person t..."The Folksoul Band is an overwhelming presence...Their sound instinctively reaches within a person to make them dance. In Nelson, it was not long before almost the entire audience was on it's feet moving around. The benches surrounding the stage were all but unnecessary."
Mamapalooza Festival, NYC, 2008
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"I love this band. They are colorful, kind, and have amazing energy on stage! They rocked the New Yo..."I love this band. They are colorful, kind, and have amazing energy on stage! They rocked the New York City Mamapalooza Festival 2008" - Joy Rose
Excerpt from the book "Granny D's American Century" by Doris Haddock & Denis Burke
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"Fred and Leslie kept the band playing behind me, and we hit the downtown sidewalks all over the sta..."Fred and Leslie kept the band playing behind me, and we hit the downtown sidewalks all over the state....It was more fun than anything I could ever have imagined. We were back in the joy business, and the red and gold leaves swirled around us...."
A typical set list includes a combination of electric originals, New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll, West African Traditionals, Mardi Gras Dance Music, and Classic American spirituals. Running time on a typical set is 45 to 50 minutes.
Some covers in the Folksoul Music repertoire include: Standin' On Shaky Ground, Baby I Love You, Hello Josephine, Tu Te Ma, Co Fa, You're No Good For Me, Mr. Big Stuff, Yield Not to Temptation, Lady Marmalade, People Get Ready, Heebie-Jeebies, Nobody's Fault But Mine, My Baby Left Me, Carnival Time, Saints Go Marching In, Second Line, and Day Tripper.
Beautiful and danceable West African Tunes Include Soko, Sunjata, Mané, Mariama, and Etaloli.
Some of our original songs: Is It Beautiful, Red Hot Mama, Dance Dance Dance, Two Truths and a Lie, Folksoul Band Is Gonna Play Tonight, Walking Down The Road (Tribute to Granny 'D'), We Are Here, Funky Pants, Virgin Mother, Down There, Turn of the Wheel, Lost and Found, Beyond the Pale.