We have been so lucky through the years to meet, create friendships with and collaborate with many of our music mentors, heroes and heroines. It’s a very long list of folks who are still here, and folks we have had to say goodby to. Part of our sense of living and working “in the tradition” is being a link in the chain – making music that matters for fun, for causes we believe in and for spiritual “je ne sais quois”. The most recent on their next journey is Pete Seeger, joining Mike Seeger, Faith Petric, Bruce Phillips, Ola Belle Reed, Patsy Montana…….and many others.
You’ve no doubt read many articles and obits about Pete, so we thought we’d pass along the comments of his sister Peggy, that resonated with us. “I know many of you will be saddened by Pete’s death but we must remember that he led a very full and productive life. He leaves a prodigious body of work for us to enjoy, a legacy the enormity of which will continue to grow. He touched so many people’s lives, from children to the golden oldies like myself.” A short anecdote: At Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC, Pete attentively listened to our mainstage set. We were sandwiched between Doc Watson and other heavyweights of the bluegrass world. Pete came backstage, gave us each a big hug and said, “You girls do so well in this bastion of male supremacy!”
1948 edition of Pete’s still selling banjo tutorial
A lesson from Pete– He listened to everyone-young, old, backstage, on a street corner. Because of that, he discovered many songwriters we may never have heard, including Malvina Reynolds (“Little Boxes”) and others who gained wider audiences through his performances of their songs (Tom Paxton, Lorre Wyatt..). Not only did Pete write the classic instruction “How to Play the Five-String Banjo”, he also wrote the first instruction book on the steel drums! Amongst the great inspirational recordings is the double album of “WE SHALL OVERCOME” the Complete Carnegie Hall Concert recorded live on June 8th 1963. His songbook, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” is in the words of Sing Out!, ” a lovely musical autobiography, supported by stories, anecdotes, photos and drawings. From the 1940s, when Seeger began playing with Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly, through his fifty-plus years of activism, he has held the belief that everyone should be able to participate in making music. This book is a celebration of that spirit, and a thoughtful examination of a life well lived. Available from the magazine he helped start and wrote for all his life.” Order your copy HERE. We’ll miss Pete, his optimism, his activism, his voice-but so many songs to sing and so much inspiration will stay with us.