“I was born in the path of the winter wind and raised where the mountains are old ...” These opening lines to a Bill Staines song promise to introduce you to an intriguing main character, but as the song goes on, you realize that he’s writing from the perspective of the river itself. He’s also talking about memories, the changing of the seasons, and the passage of time.
“River” is one of the songs you’re likely to hear when Bill Staines comes to Rochester for a Golden Link concert on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm.
A profound respect for nature is in all of Staines’ songs, and his lyrics convey a real sense of place. You feel as if you have joined him on an adventure along a dusty highway, traveling far up into the mountains where you might find an antique shop full of treasures, or meet someone with a special story to tell.
You might meet the young man who meets his future wife at the “Roseville Fair.” Or maybe the trucker driving coast to coast in “Wild, Wild Heart,” or the hobo riding the rails in “Rye Whiskey Joe.” You would even find a wide variety of animals as in “All God’s Critters (Got a Place in the Choir).”
Staines has written more than 300 songs, many of which have been recorded by the likes of Peter, Paul and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Jerry Jeff Walker, Fairport Convention, Priscilla Herdman, and Gordon Bok. He is also a past winner of the National Yodeling Championship in Kerrville, Texas.
I’m not sure if we’ll hear yodeling at the May concert, but I know we are in for a real treat whenever Bill steps onstage, guitar in hand. For a preview, here’s a video of Bill Staines singing “River:”
For advance tickets to the Bill Staines concert and more information, visit the Golden Link website.
Keep on singing!
– Janice Hanson
Janice Hanson is Concert Chair of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society, which was founded in 1971 to present, promote, and preserve folk music in the Rochester area.