Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meeting Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys

I'm extremely excited that I've been assigned to write a profile on a bluegrass band from Albany, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, for an upcoming issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. While I enjoy contributing to the Bluegrass Today website, and I'm honored the editor publishes my work, it's nice to have a freelance writing assignment that helps pay the bills.

After seeing Jim and his band perform at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, a couple weeks ago, I was impressed enough to want to learn more about his music and share a little bit of New York with the rest of the bluegrass world.

Those in the Adirondack region may recognize Jim's banjo player, Scott Hopkins. He's originally from Peru, New York, and he also plays banjo for Beartracks, one of my favorite bluegrass bands based in Clinton County featuring Julie Hogan and her brother Tom Venne. They are good friends with the Gibson Brothers, Eric and Leigh, who are originally from Ellenburg Depot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Work continues on Gibson Brothers book

Thirty-six hours after I got home from the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, I was back in Ellenburg Depot Sunday working on the Gibson Brothers biography, interviewing Eric and Leigh's mother Shannon for the second time. I had some important follow-up questions from my first interview.

With my wife and one of Mrs. Gibson's cousins, we drove around the neighborhood so she could point out the old farms in the family's history. It was the perfect ending to a four-day weekend that began on Thursday, July 16 with seeing the Gibson Brothers perform at Grey Fox.

During the two days I was in Oak Hill, I interviewed Eric and Leigh about their upcoming gig as co-hosts of the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Ceremony on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The announcement came on July 15. It's a good thing my wife and I bought tickets already. We are excited to see the Gibson Brothers take center stage for one of the highlights of their career so far.

On my second day at Grey Fox, I interviewed Katy Daley of WAMU's Bluegrass Country radio station, and she introduced me to several people that I interviewed for the book, including Grey Fox producer Mary Doub, Rounder Records exec Ken Irwin and Kitsy Kuykendall, whose husband Peter is the editor/general manager of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. It was a fun and productive weekend, and I am excited to be neck deep in research for the Gibson Brothers book. I will see the band again Aug. 13 at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour to visit Schenectady

Folk singer/songwriter Dan Berggren and I are ready to take our Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour to the GE Theatre, Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady, on Friday, May 22. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

This performance is a benefit for the New York Folklore Society. To say that we're excited about this program is an understatement. A Minerva native, Dan has been collecting stories, writing songs and performing for more than 40 years. A Tupper Lake native, I've been collecting and writing stories about Adirondack history for more than 20 years, much of it with local media outlets such as North Country Public Radio, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and the Lake Placid News.

Together, we'll share the best of both worlds, literature and music, from New York state's 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. I'll read stories about artifacts from the Adirondack Museum, as published in six volumes of "Adirondack Attic" books, and Dan will perform songs related to those objects.

For example, I'll read a story about a mail sled used in Hamilton County, and Dan sings the song, "When Harry Carried the Mail."

The Adirondack Attic History Project was founded in 2003 to collect artifact-based human-interest stories from the Adirondack Museum. My weekly column ran in newspapers throughout the Adirondack Region from 2003 to 2009. In 2010, I launched the Adirondack Attic radio program on North Country Public Radio. Listen to the stories on my Adirondack Attic page.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at the GE Theatre on May 22. Tickets are $20. ORDER tickets today.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour 2015

There are three opportunities this spring to enjoy the Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour performance.

The Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour vibrantly brings history to life. Author, editor, publisher and host of NCPR's "Adirondack Attic" program, Andy Flynn joins Adirondack folk singer Dan Berggren for a special presentation that mixes folk songs with stories and images from the archives of the Adirondack Museum. This highly entertaining show is sure to please all crowds.

Saturday, March 28 @ 5 p.m., TAUNY headquarters, Canton, N.Y.

Sunday, April 5 @ 3 p.m., Tannery Pond Community Center, North Creek, N.Y.

Friday, May 22 @ 7:30 p.m., New York Folklore Society benefit, GE Theatre at Proctors, Schenectady, N.Y.

Learn more about Dan Berggren.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adirondack Attic January 2015

Laura Rice, chief curator at the Adirondack Museum, speaks with Andy Flynn about "Hough’s American Woods," a 19th-century book of thinly sliced wood samples published in Lowville, N.Y.

“We are looking at a publication by Romeyn Beck Hough called ‘Hough’s American Woods,’” Rice said. “Hough was an expert in forestry from Lowville. This particular volume is from 1898, but it is part of a whole series of books that were published between 1888 and 1928. This is a 25-year passion for Romeyn Hough."

Hear the rest of the story at North Country Public Radio.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Your Story profiles

I first noticed that readers took pride in the newspaper profiles I had written about them when I walked into the lobby of the Trudeau Institute in 1994. I was a correspondent for the Plattsburgh Press-Republican at the time. They framed my full-page profile of the Institute and founder Francis B. Trudeau Jr. and hung it on the wall.

During my stints as a writer and editor for several newspapers in northern New York over the past 20 years, I've enjoyed writing profiles of dozens of people and businesses in the region. And readers continue to frame my stories.

Several years ago, I was faced with getting Christmas gifts for my two brothers-in-law. I wasn't sure what to get them, so I made my own. I interviewed their children about the relationships they had with their fathers. I laid the profiles out newspaper style, with photos, and framed the stories as Christmas gifts. It was personal, memorable and heartfelt -- a one-of-a-kind gift that can't be returned or replaced.

I also framed a profile I had written about Scotts Florist and Greenhouse in Saranac Lake and gave it to the owners as a gift. They have it hanging above the cash register for people to read while they wait in line.

WRITER FOR HIRE: Now -- from my writer's studio in Saranac Lake -- you have the opportunity to hire me as your personal writer. I'll write your profile, lay it out newspaper style and frame it. Or hire me to write a profile as a gift for someone else.

I'd love to paint your picture with words in portraits I call "Your Story" profiles. For links to some of my profiles and to learn more, visit the Your Story page.