Golden Link celebrates 45 years

Vern_1666.jpgIn May, Golden Link finishes our 45th year of existence – just for Tuesday evening sing-arounds that’s about 5,400 hours of music, roughly 81,000 songs. Quite remarkable!

Responses to a recent survey repeatedly mentioned two things about the club that have played a role in its longevity: music and community.

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Americana songwriter Jonathan Byrd tells stories of everyday folk

Byrd-Waken_300px.jpgJonathan Byrd’s songs tell stories of everyday folk with a quirky streak – that long-haul trucker who loves his Peterbilt semi, the wild Cherokee barmaid with raven hair, the fisherman who couldn’t hold his liquor. Musician Tim O’Brien says Byrd’s songs are “like dirt road visits with your neighbors outside the car window.” Jonathan Byrd comes to Rochester for a Golden Link concert on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 pm at the Rochester Christian Reformed Church.
Byrd’s music will take you from his native North Carolina to Texas, where he won the Kerrville New Folk award. In fact, a Jonathan Byrd show brings together the Texas songwriting tradition with southern storytelling and hot guitar picking in the line of North Carolina greats Doc Watson and Tony Rice.

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How did Golden Link get its name?

Golden-Ring-CD_600px.jpgOne of the CDs in my car right now is something I picked up at September’s Turtle Hill Folk Festival. It’s called “Golden Ring” and was released in 1964 by Folk-Legacy Records. According to a note on the Folk-Legacy website, “the ‘Golden Ring’ has never been an established group of specific individuals; it has always been more a concept, an approach to informal, non-competitive music-making by a gathering of friends, often solo performers in their own right, who simply enjoy singing and playing together.”

Inspired by that recording, the Golden Link Folk Singing Society was founded in 1971, with the concept that our local group was like one “link” in a chain of folk musicians who enjoy just making music together. And the club has been operated completely by volunteers since that time.

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Singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler comes to Golden Link

Cheryl-Wheeler_540px.jpgIf you have never seen Cheryl Wheeler perform live, you’re in for a real treat when she comes to Rochester for a Golden Link concert on Saturday, October 17 at 7:30 pm at the Rochester Christian Reformed Church. I first saw her in concert at a music festival in Vermont, shortly after writing “Potato” (and yes, it’s all about potatoes, sung to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance).

Known for her well-crafted songs and beautiful voice, Cheryl is also hysterically funny in live performance. In fact, it sometimes seems as if there are two Cheryl Wheelers. 

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Welcome to the Golden Link blog

Dana & Susan RobinsonJoin us for a conversation about folk music in Rochester. You'll find lots of information here about Golden Link's concerts, special events, and other activities, as well as profiles of musicians coming to the area. Occasionally, it will be a more general topic, such as why musicians write songs, the value of seeing a live performance, the legacy of Pete Seeger, or the business of folk music. We will be sharing posts from Golden Link's page on the Community Arts blog on the Democrat and Chronicle website.

Click here to read past posts from the D+C blog.


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