The Song Parlor with John Patterson RSS

The Song Parlor is a two-hour bi-weekly program organized around the idea of friends and family gathering in their parlor to share music they really enjoy.


The show features an eclectic mix of tradition-related and contemporary acoustic music.   An old time fiddle tune might be paired with a field recording

or a new song by a contemporary songwriter; a Delta blues set might be followed by a performance from a Chicago boogie woogie piano player from the 1930s or a recent piece from a newly formed and jazz-influenced contradance band; there’s almost always some Celtic or British Isles music and occasionally a bit of world music, a novelty piece, or a cylinder recording that dates from 100 years ago. 


The program is organized in sets that are loosely thematic – there’s lots of seasonal music, we celebrate various holidays, frequently play music that honors the birthdays of notable people, and regularly try to bring together music that comments gently on current issues or notable events and accomplishments from the past.  There are songs about work and play, good times and hard times; we explore the musical legacy of heroes, villains, and fools; sometimes there’s a bit of music explicitly directed at kids (of all ages); we paddle the rivers with voyageurs or steamboat travelers and go out to sea on whaling expeditions; we listen to songs about birds and once in a while we might catch a snippet of an actual bird song.  Quite often the show also features musical previews of upcoming concerts or festivals in the areas where it’s most likely to be heard (at the moment, that means mainly in central Pennsylvania, northern New York, and Vermont).