Herb Metoyer & Cane River Folk
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Herb Metoyer & Cane River Folk

Southfield, Michigan, United States | SELF

Southfield, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Black Folk Artist Unveils New Song on YouTube"

Black folk artist unveils new song on YouTube
By Cornelius Fortune | Published 10/1/2008 | Living | Unrated

Cornelius Fortune

View all articles by Cornelius Fortune
“This is the time”
Songwriter and folk artist Herb Metoyer was watching a speech by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama when inspiration struck.
“This is the time,” a phrase that Obama used, became the basis for Metoyer’s song.

“I saw that speech and all those people out there. They were just as hopeful as we are for a better time and he mentioned in his speech, ‘This is the time.’ It just stayed on my mind so I wrote a song about that,” Metoyer said.

After writing the song, it made sense to take advantage of YouTube’s ubiquitous reach, as thousands use the streaming video service to showcase their works and to catch up on favorite movie, TV clips, music videos, etc. Metoyer’s son, Hermes Metoyer, did the editing for the video.
“I hope I can inspire people to get out and vote for Obama,” he said. “Secondly, I kind of hope it will advertise me.”

Metoyer is no amateur. He’s been writing songs for over 40 years, as one of the few African Americans to come out of the folk movement of the ’60s.

His album, “Something New,” recorded on MGM’s VerveFolkways label, was popular.

He has several published songs registered with BMI (Stormking Music, Herb Metoyer Music) and ASCAP (Cane River Media).

His first album “Four Star,” was met with critical attention from Billboard magazine and “Mother, Fools are a Long Line Coming” was recorded by Fred Neil on his “Sessions” album, released by Capitol.

Metoyer has played with Joni Mitchell, Fred Neil, Mike Taylor, Josh White (senior and junior), Vince Martin and others. Folk music is his first and only love as a songwriter.

“I liked documenting stuff, it’s kind of like the writer part of me. I just like to write stories. People I meet, I turn some of them into songs,” Metoyer said. “That’s just my first love. When I first started playing guitar, folk music was the thing I was addicted to right from the beginning.”

When he first picked up the guitar, the goal was to play jazz, but one day he did a fill-in set at a jazz venue and the audience loved his music. From there, his path was clear: no more stumbling through complex jazz chords, he was going to devote all his energies to folk music. That led to publishing and record contracts with Folk Ways, the premier folk label at that time.

Later, he was called to serve in Vietnam and because of the protest nature of songs of the day, he was told by the Army that he’d have to end his recording career. An aviation engineer, he ended up in Thailand. By the time the war was over, so to was the folk music movement, which had fizzled out under the electric guitar boom ushered in by rock.

“Folk music was no longer popular. All of the protesting and stuff had pretty much settled down. The market for folk music just dropped,” Metoyer said. “I was so embedded to it. I’m not a gutbucket blues singer. Folk is about the only thing suitable for my voice.”

With a new CD on the way (“Louisiana On My Mind”), Metoyer is ready to once again be a political voice through his music, and by extension, the campaign of Barack Obama.

“Things are so messed up it’s time to change the way we let people do things,” Metoyer said.

He added that his music isn’t necessarily meant to blaze the charts: “For me it’s a way of kind of recording history and every song I write there’s a story behind it and what it speaks to.”

To see Herb Metoyer’s “This Is The Time,” visit http://www.youtube.com/herbmetoyer. You may also visit www.metacafe.com/tags/herbmetoyer and www.myspace.com/herbmetoyer.
- Michigan Chronicle


"Something New" MGM's Verve/Folkways Label, 1965
"Here I Am Again" Cane River Music, 2004
"This Is The Time," Cane River Music, 2010



Introducing… Herb Metoyer
Songwriter, Folk Singer, Poet and Author

Herb Metoyer is a Louisiana Creole gentleman who graduated from Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA at the early age of nineteen (19). He is a retired military officer and helicopter pilot, and a recent retiree from General Motors where he served as a Test Engineer in GM's Testing Laboratories.

Herb’s music is difficult to classify. Some folks say he is an Urban Blues Folk-singer. Nevertheless, he writes in many genres wholly dependent upon the subject matter he is addressing at the time. These include Blues, Country, Latin, Contemporary Folk, and Jazz.

He is also one of the few (maybe the only) African-American folksong writers to emerge during the 1960’s PROTEST ERA. You might also say that he is a musically enhanced "Storyteller" & "Poet." Much of his music concerns civil rights, unusual people & children, historical events, and other topical subjects such as war and personal observations he has encountered during his lifetime.
He performs utilizing both the guitar and synthesizer, sometimes playing a harmonica which hangs around his neck, and the tambourine with his foot. His vinyl album recorded in 1965 by MGM’s VERVE//FOLKWAYS Label entitled "Something New," has become a classic folk album that has been selling on ebay as a collector's item. Even today, he still receives fan mail relative to this album from fans in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, & France.
When released, Herb’s first album received a “FOUR STAR” rating by Billboard magazine. He was a Helicopter pilot in the military at the time. But once he was promoted to grade of Major, the military cut his budding music career short, claiming that his activities as a Protest Singer/Songwriter were unbecoming of a Field Grade Officer. So…, Herb gave up performing in favor his military career.
One of Herb's most prized accomplishments, however, is the fact that one of his songs "Mother, Fools are A Long Line Coming" is on the “MOON" in the TIME CAPSULE. It was recorded by FRED NEIL on his "SESSIONS” album by Capitol. This was the album selected by the astronauts to be encased in the time capsule that was placed on the moon.
During his youth, Herb performed on the same shows along side such great artists as Joni Mitchell, Fred Neil, Mike Taylor (Lead Guitarist for John Denver), Josh White (Senior & Junior), Odetta, Vince Martin, Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Mayon Weeks, Danny Potter, and Steve Biggs.
During his latter years, Herb concentrated on writing and book publishing. In 1984, he became a founding member of the “Detroit Black Writer’s Guild,” a non-profit organization devoted to improving literacy and training potential authors. With this organization, he held the posts of Senior Editor, Executive Editor, Chairman of the Board, and Executive Director.
To his credit, he has completed two novels and published over twenty books for other authors.
Now, in his later years, Herb is again focusing on his music. His last CD, “Here I Am Again” was released in 2004. His new CD to titled “THIS IS THE TIME.” Honoring The Spirit of New Orleans was released in June, 2010.
Concurret with the release of his new CD, Herb has been nominated to receive the "2010 ASANTE AWARD" presented by NOLA.TV of New Orleans.
You are invited to give his music a listen. Full length samples of his music can be found on his website: www.HerbMetoyer.com.