Folk Plus Saturday November 16, 2002 Interviews:

Taking advantage of the hundreds of talented musicians gathering locally for the annual North East Regional Folk Alliance,  four acts came in today to be on Folk Plus. Read all the NERFA 2002 Interviews Angela conducted

Aengus Finnan All About Buford Zoe Lewis Rod MacDonald

Part Four:  Rod MacDonald & Canadian callers

Rod MacDonald - 6 Strings and a Hole Big and Round
Out of the Blue - Gadfly

Angela: That was Rod MacDonald here on WJFF. I again have the folk alliance on the line.
John Webber: (WJFF Webmaster) Yes, we've got Chris White and Erin Benjamin.

Chris White: Hello.

Angela: Can you be a touch louder?

Chris: Oh yes, I can be very loud if necessary.
Angela: On the phone right now is Chris White, he is the artistic director of the Ottawa Folk Festival. It's a really great festival. While I was up there Lucy Kaplansky said that you should give workshops on how to give workshops.

Chris: She did say that. That was very nice of her. Everyone is doing very well here, considering how late everyone was up last night at all of these hundreds of unofficial showcases taking place in the hotel rooms. Everybody seems reasonably bright and fresh this morning.

Angela: I can't believe I have 8 people over here who not only got up early, drove the half hour but they are singing!

Chris: There is so much energy in this music you know? It just keeps people going. Its such a really nice feeling over here at Kutshers at the moment. Would you like to speak to Erin.

Angela: She wears many hats doesn't she?

Chris. She does. Right now she is hatless, but she does have many hats that she does wear. She is our glorious executive director of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals. (OCFF) We all admire and adore her.

Angela: And an award winning songwriter to boot. Sure I'd love to talk to her.
Erin: Is this Angela Page?

Angela: Hi Erin.

Erin: Angela, how exciting to talk to you on your radio show today.

Angela: I've played your stuff, but not your talking voice. What workshops have you been to?

Erin: I have to admit I'm just on my way to my first workshop. I've spent a lovely morning socializing and eating in the main dining room. Went for a run this morning and saw a herd of deer crossing the road which was lovely. Also I stayed up way too late...

... last night, seeing showcase after show case. 

Angela: Hear any new people you didn't know before?

Erin: I did! All new people!  Great stuff. I heard Andy, a guitar player, Andy has no last name apparently but all different kinds of music. I know people I heard were all over the states, and that's always interesting hearing different parts of the country.


Angela: Maybe you could do me a quick favor and end on a little sentence about a Canadaian who is playing locally and we will end the last 20 minutes of the show with Rod MacDonald. TIm Harrison is playing at the Sanctuary coffee house tonight. Can you tell me about tim?

Erin: Oh that's excellent. Tim's nearby, that's great. Tim is a lovely man. I believe he is a founding members of the Summerfolk Festival in Owen Sound Ontario. He has been really active in the Ontario and Canadian folk scenes in general. He is one of those guys who has been around forever and his music is fantastic. I encourage everyone to take a listen.

Angela: I have the number here, for anyone interested. Thanks for checking in from the conference.

Erin: OK Angela, great talking to ya!

Angela: So Rod, it's hopping over there and you are missing it.

Rod; Yeah! (laughing)

Angela: You were great last night. Rod, was one of the showcasers last night and is on his way to Syracuse today. Enough talk, lets hear something live.

Rod: You folk out there should know that Angela introduced me last night on stage.

Angela: That was fun, I was happy to.

Rod: It was great. You did a great job. You know I know Tim Harrison, I have one of his CDs, he is really good I think. So you folks should go see him if you're near the gig. Most of the people listening to this show have not been to this conference, I'll play one of the songs I played there.

Rod MacDonald Live: You Who Sleep Beside Me

Angela: Great tune.

Rod: Thank you, boy I sure have morning voice.

Angela: Really? That's a nice quality.

Rod: Well, ok. I was up partying 'til about 5:30 in the morning with the guys in the Canadian room that you were just talking to.

Angela: Well, I grew up up there. I often end up in those rooms. There are some talented Canadians.

Rod; And actually they kind of grabbed me in the hallway and asked ...would you sing us this song we have always loved this song, you know, and handed me a beer. In the course of the night I ended up back there about 3 or 4 different times. Every time I went there were a different group of people. I'd sit down, and immediately the host would hand me a beer and ask would you play me another song. So I ended up having four different groups of people in the course of the night which was great. In between I saw a bunch of different people, Amy Fairchild, Aztec Two Step which was fun. Those guys are such good old friends of mine and its kinda good to see them working together you know. There is something so chemically there about those two guys together.

Angela: Boy, Neil can play guitar huh!

Rod: He has always been a good guitarist. I've known Neil since 1973 and he was always a really great guitar player, really distinct. His own style.

Angela: I wanna let people know, you might be interested in too Rod, in something we have been announcing that is happening today: The Battle for the 2000 Presidential Election. There is a special film presentation to benefit the delaware valley youth center. The right of the US Citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged. So, what happened in Florida and who won the presidential election. Here what internationally acclaimed journalists are reporting.

Jess Ballew (in for his next shift) What happened in Florida?

Angela: They couldn't count.

Rod. The fix was in.

Angela: So tonight you can see the film Unprecedented. see: or if you are not heading to Kutshers perhaps you politically interested types may want to check out this movie at the Delaware Youth Center at 7:30.

Rod: I'm also playing a couple of times in the area. I'm playing tonight in Syracuse at the Westcott community center. I'm playing Wednesday night in the Turning Point in Piermont. Its maybe an hour from here.

Angela: A touch more, Greg (from WJFF) and I went last time to see you there. We allowed an hour and it took much more, but really a nice club, worth the trip.

Rod: That's Wednesday. That's early at 7:30. It is a nice club and very much a listening situation which is great.

Angela: In the area under the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Rod: Yeah, its just south of the thruway barely above the NY state line near New Jersey. Well speaking of the Florida election we just had another one of course, equally a disaster - well it depends on your point of view I suppose. You know how they fixed the 2000 voting snafu in Florida they got voting machines that can't be double checked. Once the vote is cast in the machine, when you go to check it it gives you the same thing, it is its own monitor. It has been demonstrated that there are people who can fix the machines so that you vote for one person and have it register for someone else. Then when you go back to check to see if that is really how the person voted and the machine will tell you the same thing the second time. So they have basically figured out how to fix it with computers what they used to fix with other things. I think on some level I believe that they are fixing the elections down there.

Angela: What's the answer with elections? Well we can't go there, we don't have time. I'd like you to sing. But, boy if you are not at Kutshers tonight, you ought to go to this film.  Both these songs are on my new CD which is out in Europe. It will be out later in the year. You can check it out on my website

Rod MacDonald: For the Good of America
A song about those who win, or create injustice, saying we need to "move on" rather than investigate, complain or otherwise operate in ways that are not for "the good of the country".

Angela: That's a great introduction to the fact that we are playing this film over there in Callicoon.

Angela: Fabulous, that is what the movie is about! Really, I'd love to be able to see this, but I'm otherwise engaged tonight. I recommend it, what are journalist finding out about that election and the voting.

Rod: I can tell you a couple of things they found out. In Jacksonville they prevented about 55,000 people in the largely black part of town from voting, 80% of whom they presumed would vote democratic, so that's why they did it.

Angela: Not a small number.

Rod:  In Daytona Beach area there were road blocks between the black neighborhoods and the polling places, stopping people and frisking them, and many turned back instead of voting. That turned a few thousand away. In my area, Palm Beach County they had the famous butterfly ballet, which gave Pat Bucchanan the largest number of votes he got anywhere in the United States in a county that otherwise was 3 to 1 liberal democrats. I would estimate they stole in excess of 50,000 votes and of course Bush won by 500. You know, and that's the way the game is played on a certain level, but Ill tell you what really offends me the most. I believe that anybody who would want to be the leader of this country would want to say count all the votes I don't care. Count em once, count em twice, three times, whoever wins should win because all the votes were counted. Instead they wanted to win so badly that they prevented people votes from being counted. That is essentially an undemocratic thing to do. 

They have all the justifications. They have their supreme court guys and apologists everywhere telling you that Gore is a wimp. All of that is irrelevant. Regardless of who you support, all the people who go to the polls ought to have their votes count. Period. I don't care who they vote for....Hitler...count it.

Angela: We can live with the truth, if we are sure we have the truth, and there is the rub. We have to move on though right, like the line in your song, for the good of the country.

Rod: That's just it. I was watching Cross Fire last night. They had a right wing guy and a  moderate liberal and that's considered a balance. The Right wing guy says come on the country has moved on. Then the other guy said A lot of people consider Bush an illegitimate president and the crowd applauded the guy who said that. Here is a guy in a big hurry to take us to war and in a big hurry to appoint right wing judges and feeling free to change the entire nature of our society and he didn't even get a majority vote. They are making  like he got a mandate in this last election when in fact, a couple of seats changed. Its a fraud.

ANgela: We were talking at the dj workshop about playing peace songs and getting callers complaining. Can you imagine? Can we end with live music?

Rod: You wanna hear a brand new song? You know Mike Stock  the main folk dj in south Florida, on WLRN.

Angela: Yes, by name.

Rod: I was on his show about a month ago and he said that he believed there was a need for peace songs, not that just make you feel good, but about peace for its own sake, not for you personally but the need for peace. I thought that was interesting and I had a concert booked for the Gainsville media center, which is like a liberal critique media group, and they hired me for their annual fundraiser. So I wrote this for that event. I haven't played it anywhere else yet.

Rod MacDonald Live: Peace

also see interview from.January 1999
also at:

Read all the NERFA 2002 Interviews Angela conducted

Aengus Finnan
All About Buford
Zoe Lewis
Rod MacDonald
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