Featured Performer: Bett Padgett
Bett Padgett’s unique guitar techniques and tunings put her in a class all her own. She is not limited to guitar and one will often find her frailing an old-time claw-hammer banjo, or on plucking a mandolin, or striking a piano or harp . Her musical interests are a blend of Celtic, Old-time, New Age, Folk, even rock and it is reflected in her sound. Bett’s thoughtful and carefully crafted songs shine through with a vision of a world we want to live in. Although Bett musically provides a safe and welcoming space for us, she also writes consequential songs for the times. Bett includes songs that reflect personal and political well-being and also speaks to political and social issues with with humor and brave honesty. In addition to sharing her thoughts on these serious topics she enjoys writing about her dogs, the joys (and frustrations) of raising children, aging parents, the closeness of family and good friends.
A North Carolina native, she became enamored by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its plight with the encroaching ocean in the 1990’s. It lead to a song which then lead to an entire CD entitled “Hatteras: if a Lighthouse Could Speak”, her third album, which received widespread acclaim in 1999 when the tower was relocated one-half mile inland. Bett is a prolific songwriter. Her lyrical interpretations of life through her music show that she is keenly observant of the world around us. Her songs have an honest but positive message and leave the listener with a sense of optimism.
She is known for her contributions to live music and to the community. Until Covid she hosted the Little Lake Hill House Concert Series. Beginning in 2000 she brought musicians from around the globe to entertain audiences in the central part of North Carolina.
She was booking chair for Triangle Folk Music Society (now defunct) and a founding member of the North Carolina Songwriters’ Co-op. Until it closed, she visited Love Wins Ministries, a day shelter for people living with homelessness. There, she and friends served breakfast to people who are less fortunate. In 2016 she engaged the students at Enloe High School’s audio-visual department in creating a music video about the Christmas Cookie Cutters that she and her mother used when she was a child. Now she gathers friends ages 10-70+ to bake Christmas cookies for families at Ronald McDonald House in Durham each December using the same cookie molds.
Since 1978 Bett has been sought after as a music teacher in Raleigh, NC. She taught guitar at North Carolina State University for 29 years and continues to teach in her private studio. Her students enjoy learning not only guitar, but mandolin, banjo, ukulele as well as theory and composition.
Featured Performer: Robin Schaffer & The Bland
Robin Schaffer’s music is about family, friends, good times, hard times, fun times, social justice, and goofing off. She’s a top-notch songwriter who first made her place in the folk music world by producing the Folk Project Acoustic Getaway and a wide range of concerts, workshops, and music parties out of “The Schafferosa,” a home she shares happily with family, friends, musicians of all genre, and her husband Mark. The Bland is Todd Dennison, John Hone, Joel Glassman, and Mark Schaffer – a bunch of ordinary white guys who, besides being barely visible, happen to love making great music and backing up their unique and dynamic leader.
This is a fundraiser for Ukrainian Relief!
Featured Performer: Pat Wictor
Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. Since then he has made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that honor – and subvert – rural blues and gospel traditions. For seven years he toured as one third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, garnering critical acclaim, two #1 CDs on the Folk DJ charts, and a continent-spanning tour schedule. Wictor’s newest recording is a duo album titled Counterpoise, a collaboration with jazz vocalist Deborah Latz. The two first sang together at a vocal improvisation workshop led by Bobby McFerrin. His most recent solo release, This is Absolutely Real: Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs, reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts and was nominated for Best Tribute Album by the Independent Music Awards.
American by birth, Pat’s early years were spent abroad and in East Texas, which gave him an outsider’s perspective, and set him on a journey to understanding America through music. Pat took a convoluted path to folk music, winding his way through rock, heavy metal, jazz, and free improvisation. He tried guitar, bass, saxophone and quitting music entirely before returning to guitar, and teaching himself lap slide guitar. He ran a songwriters circle in New York City for 13 years, mentoring and influencing dozens of songwriters. He is sought after as a collaborator, sideman and session musician, with over 60 recording credits to date, and a music educator with a wide range of workshops on songwriting, guitar techniques, vocal improvisation, body percussion, and more.
Honors include wiiner, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase; finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest, Folk Alliance Emerging Artist of the Year nominaee and Independent Music Awards Gospel Song of the Year nominee.
“If you can make it to only one concert this year, let it be a show by Brooklyn’s own Pat Wictor, who plays heart-felt blues-based roots music like the only begotten son of Bonnie Raitt (same red hair!) and Chris Smither. And unlike blues interpreters who have seen too many stormy Mondays with hellhounds on their trail, Pat is also an excellent songwriter whose new/old compositions will send you on a journey through the old Dock Boggs and Son House 78s.
-Jim Motavalli, WPKN, Bridgeport, CT