L.A.S.C. At Art On The Green

By Ronnie Dee

Saturday, June 3, was a beautiful day, perfect for an outdoor concert, and that is just what happened in New Albany, Ind. at the annual Art On the Green fair.

Arts and crafts were displayed and sold on the pleasant grounds of the Floyd County School Administration Building and the afternoon concert provided fairgoers with an entertainment potpourri headed by three L.A.S.C. members. Ronnie Dee (with The Riverfront Ramblers), Hedy Hilburn and Bob Rosenthal performed in conjunction with a mime and music show, a woodwind quintet, a theatrical troupe and strolling musicians. The audience was able to enjoy these proceedings beneath a veritable canopy of shade trees while the sun shone brightly on the musicians in the stage area.

The Riverfront Ramblers led off their set with "A Place in the Choir," Bill Staines' tribute to the animals which seemed quite apropos with birds singing and squirrels scampering around the grounds. They then put some punch into the afternoon air with a series of sea chanties, train songs and Woody Guthrie ballads. The audience roared its approval when Ronnie Dee solemnly dedicated a tune to Captain Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez and then launched the group into "What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?"

The Ramblers ended with Jim Cowles and Ronnie singing Harry Chapin's "Circles" as a poignant salute to departing member Ed Adams who is relocating in Indianapolis this summer. Ed has been a friend of music around this area for many years and has helped Homefront on numerous occasions.

Later in the day, the versatile Hedy Hilburn started her set on guitar with "Santy Ano" and followed that with John Prine's "Sour Grapes," a Hilburn performance must. "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" was then dedicated to Ed Adams, giving him two for the day.

After some urging from the audience Hedy performed her own composition, "I've Been Stood Up More Than I've Been Laid Down," before laying down the guitar and standing up to her hammered dulcimer. She had conducted a workshop on this increasingly popular instrument earlier in the day and this time started out with "The Ash Grove" and "Irish Washerwoman," which Hedy performs with great spontaneity. An Irish medley came next and she ended the set with "Golden Slippers." Just as she struck the last notes, audience and performer were astonished as church bells began pealing all around us, as if in appreciation. Nice finish, Hedy!

This day, however, belonged to Bob Rosenthal. At Art On the Green, Bob did his usual spirited, rollicking, child-oriented show. The kids love songs like "Ship in the Sky," "This Land Is Your Land" and especially "Marching to Pretoria," which gets the audience directly involved. Bob has an uncanny rapport with children and everyone has a good time during his shows.

Later that evening, Bob was to sit in for Dean Bolton at The Breckinridge Inn and he claimed that he was going to "take it easy." He did just that -- for a while. As the crowd grew larger and more enthusiastic, Bob's show became more dynamic. By the third set things were really rolling. It was obvious that he appealed to adults, too, as the audience (including several members of the U.S. Navy band) joined Bob and The Riverfront Ramblers in singing all manner of songs. They danced and double-clapped and gave Bob a rousing standing ovation when he ended the show.

It had been a long time since Bob played a nightclub gig, but it was evident upon his performance that evening that he has retained the magic that has kept him among Louisville's top musical acts for over two decades and earned him the title "1988 Musician of the Year" by the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637.

If any of you budding musicians need some pointers on stage presence, catch Bob Rosenthal some time; you can learn a lot.

The following excerpt is from The Nashville News (Volume 4, No. 3), a bi-monthly newsletter produced by The Songwriters Guild of America, 50 Music Square West, Suite 702, Nashville, TN 37203, by way of the newsletter of the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association.

Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) Southern Regional Director, Ms. Kathy Hyland, and singer/songwriter/SGA member Fred Koller were interviewed by Brad Bussy, Producer of "This Week In Country Music" on SGA's position regarding publishers who charge writers fees for critique. The particular case involved Affiliated Publishers, Inc., a Nashville firm which charges a quarterly fee to critique songs, which, if recorded, entitles API to share 50/50 with the writer.

SGA's advice to a writer is:

"Never pay to have your songs recorded or published. When the publisher gets your song recorded and it generates income, they pay you. There are publishers in Nashville who will listen to your material, there are organizations such as SGA that offer free "critique" for members, there are writers nights at many clubs in Nashville where writers can get exposure for their material, there are numerous workshops held across the country where writers can improve their draft and get professional "feedback" on their material. In addition, through the use of The Sue Brewer Fund of the Songwriters Guild Foundation, writers can apply for free studio time to demo their songs, a free critique of their material and a showcase for those writers receiving a positive critique of their songs. For the same fee that a writer pays to API ($180 per quarter or $600 per year) a writer can make a trip to Nashville, Los Angeles, or New York and make legitimate music contacts, demo their songs and attend workshops if needed."

The show aired on Saturday, March 25, on The Nashville Network.