Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald

Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

a blend of contemporary and traditional styles, graced by exquisite harmony, compelling songwriting, deceptively simple arrangements and intricate guitar work ... haunting work, weaving ethereal harmony into a rich tapestry of guitar and storytelling.

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Biography

BIO and VIDEOS
Modern folk musicians Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald, from Nevada City, CA., have been writing and performing original, contemporary folk music for 29 years. A blend of contemporary and traditional styles, their music is graced by exquisite harmony, compelling songwriting, deceptively simple arrangements and intricate guitar work… all embraced by great heart.

They’ve been applauded throughout the US as well as overseas for the lyrical content of their songs and vocal blend…a haunting style which weaves unique harmonies into a rich tapestry of guitar work and storytelling.

They are Kerrville, Telluride and Rocky Mtn New Folk and Unisong International award winners, to name just a few, but the real nature of their musical voice doesn’t come into focus as easily as reciting a list of these coveted prizes. The quiet way they live and work flows through their music like water, and washes over you as surely as the notes do. You get the impression that working for issues like peace and justice shouldn’t keep us from dropping everything to help a stray animal in need, and that ambition is nothing without love, because one thing follows another, one hand connected to the other. In an uncompromising yet comforting way their music is patient, like talking with someone who looks you in the eye, someone who reminds you to breathe, because these things might take a little time. Their songs are filled with stories that touch us all, and whether it’s love or politics, war and peace, old farmers, old women or the earth and our children, this music brings to life both history and today with a powerful mix of inclusion and compassion.

At home in large venues like the Strawberry, Kerrville or Kate Wolf music festivals, a late night ‘in the round’ tribute to Woody Guthrie with folks they greatly admire like Jackson Browne, Eliza Gilkyson, Steve Earle and Jimmy Lafave, or in the small intimate setting of a living room house concert, Paul and Eleanore sing with the same voice. One that is personal and unguarded… a voice draped in stark and ethereal harmonies as welcoming as the warmth of a winter's fire.

Since 1987 Paul and Eleanore have independently produced 9 albums of original music, receiving critical acclaim from all of the various trade reviewers worldwide. Music from these CDs are played on NPR, Community, College and Public radio stations the world over as well as on internet and satellite radio. They’ve been featured in Sing Out! Magazine (most recently in the winter 2010 issue, with a song co-written with Utah Phillips, 'Sihp Gonna Sail'), Air America, Democracy Now!... ’Josephine’, from the CD ‘Fool’s Paradise’, was used at a multimedia event in 2002, commemorating the events of 9/11/2001 at Ground Zero in NYC. They’ve been seen on PBS performing on a few episodes of the ‘California Heartland’ series, and have had their song ‘Calling on Love’ used in a PBS ‘Visionaries’ segment. Their song, ‘The Dark Seed’ will be featured in a upcoming documentary film by Aaron Lucich, ‘We Are What We Eat’, and their rendition of Kate Wolf’s song ‘Unfinished Life’ is included on Nina Gerber’s latest CD ‘Good Music With Good People…Live at the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival’.

Their newest CD, ‘From the Fire’ was released in June 2010, and features the work of guest artists Joe Craven, Nina Gerber, Bill Douglass and Tom Menig (Alela Diane). It has charted #45 out of 265 CDs on Richard Gillman’s 'most played of 2010' list based on playlists submitted by Folk DJ’s worldwide … the song ‘Ship Gonna Sail’, co-written with their friend and respected elder, the late Utah Phillips, is featured in Sing Out! Volume 54#1 — Nov./Dec. 2010 & Jan. 2011… now Paul and Eleanore are hoping to start work on a long planned recording of unrecorded pieces written by Utah Philips.

A concert with Paul and Eleanore is a night to remember…the depth and beauty of their lyrical and harmonic mastery is filled with colour, their songwriting is stimulating, inspirational, magical, folky yet somehow all smoky jazzy and far away places too, and it might make you want to get up and move…their powerful lyrical imagery and haunting and moving harmony always in honor of their folk roots.

You can view VIDEOS of a live performance, footage taken in July 2010, here -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGF02hi8Ix0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Q8JwXzr2k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG4BBkZ7zao
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFFk05rH2qo

Archived Radio Interviews:
- podcast - W/ Jeffrey Callison, Sacramento’s CPR ‘INSIGHT’ program
http:/www.capradio.org/programs/insight/default.aspx?showid=1632
-w/ Che Greenwood, Folk Say, KVMR Nevada City
http://www.kvmr.org/programs/fs/index.html

Sonicbids EPK - http://www.sonicbids.com/PaulKammandEleanoreMacDonald
CDBaby - http://www.cdbaby.com/all/kammmac
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Paul-Kamm-and-Eleanore-MacDonald/52634676765?ref=ts
Myspace

Lyrics

Talking About Freedom

Written By: Paul Kamm

Maybe it's just cause I've only known freedom
Entitled to dreams and safety and things
Free to complain and say here's the answer
Maybe it's just cause I've only known freedom

Maybe it's just that I'm trying to remember
A million small things like 'do unto others'
Things that we knew when we were just babies
Maybe it's just that I'm trying to remember

Maybe it's just that we're slowly forgetting
The women and children who bled with the men
For better conditions in mines and in factories
Maybe it's just that we're slowly forgetting

Maybe it's just that we can't hide the story
Of the killing of Indians and Blacks and Chinese
Of the poor who fight wars while the rich drink martinis
Maybe it's just that we can't hide the story

Maybe it's just that I'm growing im pa tient
With leaders and bosses who laugh up their sleeves
And think that we're stupid and won't lift a finger
Maybe it's just that I'm growing im pa tient

Maybe it's just that I know that they're lying
For money and power and shortcuts and privilege
They tell us we owe them for all that we're blessed with
Maybe it's just that I know that they're lying

Maybe it's just that I'm becoming in diff erent
I've got troubles enough without thinking of you
And horrors that don't really touch me directly
Maybe it's just that I'm becoming in diff erent

Maybe it's just that I want my compassion ECHO
Intact, undiluted and free of disguise
So hit me for saying 'well that's just how the world is'
'Cause maybe it's just that I want my compassion

And maybe it's just that it's never quite over
While arrogant powers digest and consume
while people have children and pray for their future
Maybe it's just that it's never quite over

Maybe it's just that we're talking about people
not blue chips or NASDAQ or 401K's
Our programs are gutted while taxes build weapons
Maybe it's just that we're talking about people

Maybe it's just that the people are stronger
no one on top ever hands you a thing
You'll die for resisting and still ask for better
Maybe it's just that the people are stronger

Maybe it's just that I've only known freedom
but I still believe in dreams and the hope that that brings
And I hope we complain when they don't hear the answers
Maybe it's just cause we're talking about freedom

Salt in My Tears

Written By: Paul Kamm, Eleanore MacDonald

Salt in my tears, salt in my tears
Will you matter then or be swallowed by the years,
like you ain't worth the salt in my tears

My name is Old Mary and I live down by the tracks
I used to stand a little straighter 'til this pain came to my back
So I ride the bus to Canada for the medicines I need
'Cause my healthcare won't provide them at a price that I can meet

Salt in my tears, salt in my tears
Will you matter then when you're older in years,
like you ain't worth the salt in my tears

Now my friend Smiley owns the local hardware store
He always treats me kindly and has coffee by the door
But the Box Stores are coming, and they'll bring him to his knees
'cause the Big Corporations, they do anything they please

Salt in my tears, salt in my tears
Will you matter then when the bottom line appears,
like you ain't worth the salt in my tears

Smiley's got a daughter, who fought in Desert Storm
She's got Depleted Uranium burnin' in her core
Now these proud sons and daughters we call heroes everyday
but they can't get admitted to the local V.A.

Salt in my tears, salt in my tears
Will you matter then when you've saved us from our fears,
like you ain't worth the salt in my tears

Our politicians promise there'll be jobs comin' soon
And if you want to work for peanuts, you can have one by noon
The rich are cryin' class war and the poor are cryin' too
And we hide it all with a smokescreen and call it the news

Salt in my tears, salt in my tears
Will you matter then when you're clogging up the gears,
Like you ain't worth the salt in my tears

Now my name is Old Mary and I've won and I've lost
Some still call me a Communist, for questioning the boss
But I'll tell you one more thing, boys, and that's all that I'll say -
You can screw the people, but we'll get you someday

Salt in my tears, salt in my tears
Will you matter then when the crowd no longer cheers,
Like you ain't worth the salt in my tears

Josephine

Written By: Paul Kamm

Josephine was born on the north side of town
On a warm Tuesday morning with the sun streaming down
The red leaves of autumn had yet to fall
Her daddy went missing when his ladder got the call
There are fires in Manhattan
Like a war on T.V.
And a nation staggered bleary eyed from it's blind reverie
And all at once, tomorrow came suddenly

Like a shot heard around the world
Like the only piece of news
It choked any other thing that might have spoken true
Just rally 'round the flag, boys, and demonize the foe
And turn those human faces into something that won't show
Be careful what you say here
In the land of the free
'Cause the walls are closing in, in this cage of certainty
And all at once, tomorrow came suddenly

Now this is more than they had hoped for on either side I'm sure
As we tear into each other for the scraps left on the floor
And we march like self-righteous crusaders again
I will pledge allegiance only to fighting that end
When our hearts have turned against us
Like the fury of the sea
And thoughts of Josephine
Are all there should be
When our hearts have turned against us
Like the fury of the sea
And thoughts of Josephine
Are all there should be

Last Tango In Paradise

Written By: Paul Kamm

LAST TANGO IN PARADISE

THEY USED TO HAVE A GOOD THING HERE
NOW THE RENT’S TOO HIGH AND THE AIR
AIN’T CLEAR ANYMORE
IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
THE CITY’S PUSHING FURTHER OUT
WITH SHOPPING MALLS
AND SUBURBAN CLOUT, LIKE A SORE
THAT WON’T STOP BLEEDING
THE MELTING POT’S FILLED WITH FIRE AND ICE
LOOKS LIKE WE’RE DANCING THE
LAST TANGO IN PARADISE

IN FOURTEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY TWO
ALL YOUNG BRAVES WERE TALKING ‘BOUT WHAT TO DO
ABOUT THESE BOATS THAT WERE COMING
I GUESS WE’LL FEED ‘EM
THEY LOOK ALRIGHT
BUT WHAT’S THIS GOLD THEY KEEP
TALKING ABOUT ALL NIGHT
I THINK WE’RE MISSING SOMETHING
THE TABLE’S RATTLING NOW WITH LOADED DICE
LOOKS LIKE WE’RE DANCING THE
LAST TANGO IN PARADISE

YESTERDAY IS LIKE A DISTANT HUM
BUT I AIN’T WAITING ‘TIL THE LAST DANCE COMES
TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN

The Queen of Northern Lights

Written By: Paul Kamm

THE QUEEN OF NORTHERN LIGHTS

Come darkness spin my coat
With shadows and pale blue smoke
And places that no one goes
Far away come sit by me

Now out on the endless road
From town to town you go
A drink for a sirens’ note
A fair exchange the way that I see

Are you like the wind a gypsy king
A stranger in the night
Will you look forever trying to find
The queen of northern lights

In snow fields that scrape the sky
In the shimmer of city lights
You shadow me day and night
A fair exchange the way that I see

Come darkness spin my coat
In echoes of pale blue notes
A loon from a drifting boat
Far away come sit by me

The Walls of Paradise

Written By: Paul Kamm

THE WALLS OF PARADISE Paul Kamm

Children, don’t give up your heart
To the counting of days
And the sleep that we start
Hold on to the wind at night
And the river of dreams
That will show you the way back
To moonlight in the garden
And fireflies in the dark
These angels that are waiting
To watch over your heart

Standing all alone at the walls of paradise
Funny how salvation comes in pieces
Go on don’t you wait, lightening just might hit you twice
But you won’t fool your heart by giving reasons
On the river of dreams

How long will we say goodbye
When it’s always the same
In different ways
So strong but not ready to fly
Are we falling again
Does it softly remind you
Of moonlight in the garden
And starlight in the dark
These angels have been waiting
To watch over your heart

Standing all alone at the walls of paradise
Hearing your redemption in the breezes
Go on don’t you wait, lightening just might hit you twice
And nothing breaks your heart in like the seasons
On the river of dreams

To Let the Light In

Written By: Paul Kamm

TO LET THE LIGHT IN Paul Kamm

Snow is falling through a halo of streetlights
You feed the strays like you’re one of them
Kicking dust off your shoes in the moonlight
All night long you count to ten

Oh oh oh come on you say
You say come on

These cold days we stand by fires
And watch the birds in the frozen square
Shooting holes in the clouds to let the light in
You say sometimes it’s a curse to care

Oh oh oh come on you say
You say come on

All you beggars
And all you drifters, come on
All you lovers
And all you dreamers, come on

So everything you can beg, steal or borrow
You set out on the steps for free
Cause all the wild things, the lost and abandoned ones
Are really more your family tree

Oh oh oh come on you say
You say come on
Oh oh oh come on you say
You say come on

All you beggars
And all you drifters, come on
All you lovers
And all you dreamers, come on
All you seeking peace, come on
And all you prisoners of hope, come on
… and rattle your chains again …

The Dark Seed

Written By: Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald


Born with the rising of the moon
The pulling of the tides
The ancient seeds are growing
In river valleys black with dirt
More rich than any man -
The fields were gold
And grew tall with amaranth
While the tellers told
Of winter’s turn to spring -
Nothing could survive without the land
And nothing ever can

We used to praise the sun
The women and the stars -
These circles were unbroken -
But now we’re building food like we build cars
Like it’s just a simple plan
And while we stitch and sew
And ignore what’s behind the veil
It’s a dark seed
And we’re pulling the dragons tail
But no shadows prey upon your mind
When you’re making lots of cash

Will you wander through this field
With the coming of the rain
It’s been handed down for years
And we’ll watch it bloom again
But now the battle lines are drawn
With the helix and the plow
And someday when we are gone
Will they stop and wonder how
Did we ever need so much
And how did we ever come to touch
The dark seed

Won’t you wander through this field
With the coming of the rain
It’s been handed down for years
And we’ll watch it grow again
While we listen to the song
Of the furrow and the plow
When the summer days are long
And the sun never goes down
And no one takes too much
And no one’s fool enough to touch
The dark seed

If You Hadn't Been Lucky

Written By: Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald

It’s too hot late in the afternoon someday
And you have forgotten to call again
She’s not ready to leave so you hold her
And that’s when you see how it could have been

If you hadn’t been lucky

Softly the wind in your hair
Smells of places you are aware you should go again
Losing all of your fear is like floating and still being here
When the days pretend

That you hadn’t been lucky

Night comes cool as a meadow
The moon climbs over the hedgerow to shine with you
She’s not ready to leave so you hold her
And that’s when you see how it could have been

If you hadn’t been lucky

Bread and Salt

Written By: Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald

Hush now, my heart
Come in
And tell your troubles to the night
So the moon will sing

Sleep now, my eyes
The four winds
Will still be calling at your door
If you lose or if you win

The hard rains
Might blow through the corn
But we could share this bread and salt
When the sky is torn

So hush now, my heart
Come in

We could share this bread and salt
These angel’s tears
This blood and song
Hush now, my heart
And take this bread and salt

So trim your lamps and bank the coals
Cause fortunes come and go

We could share this bread and salt
These angel’s tears
This blood and song
Hush now, my heart
And take this bread and salt

Discography

From the Fire 2010
Like Water 2005
Fool's Paradise 2003
Live 2001
Calling on Love 2000 out of print (avail. digital at CDBaby)
Fields of Elysian 1995 out of print
Into the Clouds 1991 out of print
Unbroken Chain 1989
Game of Dances 1987

'Calling on Love', 'Fool's Paradise' and 'Like Water' are still getting airplay (digi and fm) worldwide, and the recent release,

Set List

The sets are infinitely adjustable!! Paul and Eleanore have about 100 original songs, with more coming all the time - their sets generally will include a well rounded cross section of their older songs and will prominently feature the newer ones. They also have an eclectic mix of covers they can do in true Paul and Eleanore style...