All Spirit of Rasputin’s live events are cancelled until further notice. However, our weekly sessions continue via Zoom: the Monday night Open Stage and theTuesday night Folk-Along Jam.

We are now publishing notices of online or broadcast musical events of interest to our audience right here on our home page. To send us a notice of your event go here.

Wychwood Sings the Roots of Resistance Part 2

The Log Drive Café
Saturday, July 11 at 7:30 pm EST
Free though tips accepted at ko-fi.com/logdrivecafe

The Log Drive Café presents Wychwood singing The Roots of Resistance Part 2, livestreamed from the Nectar Centre in New Edinburgh. This is the second of two concerts exploring the traditional roots of protest songs. 

Folksingers like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Pete Seeger often laid their topical lyrics over traditional songs, but these roots are often lost on us today. For example, when Florence Reece scribbled the lyrics of “Which Side Are You On?” on a calendar after anti-union thugs terrorized her family in 1931, her fierce lyrics were nourished by the traditional song that provided the song’s melody – “Jackie Munro,” which told the tale of a cross-dressing woman who went to war to save her lover.

This concert is about redrawing these connections – and reintroducing traditional songs that that don’t need any updating to serve as powerful protests, like “Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier.”

Marc Audet’s weekly folk live stream

Every Thursday evening, with a few exceptions, at 8:00 pm
Broadcast from the Facebook page of singer-songwriter Marc Audet.

The show includes a mix of covers of folk artists like John Prine and David Francey as well as Marc’s own songs. He writes about the heritage of the Ottawa Valley, featuring stories of settlement and industrialization and the ways of the past. More information at http://www.marcaudetmusic.com.

An update from Susan Sweeney Hermon President, Spirit of Rasputin’s

April 22, 2020

Well, isolation continues, but the music goes on, across balconies, in home studios and in Zoom jams.  COVID songs are being composed everywhere, these days possibly even by the birds!

With time on their hands, people are now tackling the long list of books they would someday read, recipes they would someday try and music they would someday learn, while closets and cupboards have never been so clean.

My ‘someday project’ has been to sort out 40 years of family photos from old albums. Every available flat surface in my house has been forced to hold little piles of photos, until shots of the same subject get weeded out mercilessly, thereby reducing my bulky photo albums from 23 down to nine.
Musically, my main activity has been to video myself singing “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with harp or guitar accompaniment for my grandkids. When one or more of them get antsy I get a FaceTime call with requests for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” so they can dance and burn off steam.

Thanks to Jay Kassirer‘s initiative, SoR is keeping Monday’s Open Stage alive, with Alan Sandeman hosting as always. Marilyn Stratton-Zimmer is also carrying on as host of the Tuesday Folk Jam. Click on the links for details. Curse COVID but bless technology! 
Stay well and stay away!

The New Not-Normal

March 22, 2020

by Susan Sweeney Hermon
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s

These days I need to get near a river to watch the ice floes rush with the current toward Spring.  Places in my childhood had logs floating down rivers at this time of year. I need to hear the cacophony of Canada geese coming back, making a commotion as they circle overhead and decide where to touch down on home soil. 

I need to find normal. And I do, as I walk along the Rideau River. Normal red-winged blackbirds hollering. Normal goldfinches, robins and cardinals all performing Spring courting repertoire. 

Tricycles and scooters have emerged from basements and little kids are in brightly coloured rain boots, splashing in puddles of course.  Someone in the neighbourhood got the idea of getting kids, forced home from schools, to draw and cut out shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day and display them in their windows. Then kids could go outside on a treasure hunt and count how many shamrocks they spotted in the ‘hood. The idea has been expanded to funny faces, flowers and Easter eggs. Something to keep school kids busy while ‘social distancing’.

We all know these are not normal times. Households, neighbourhoods, cities and entire countries are shut down. There is no traffic. No planes overhead. Cars are parked in people’s driveways as they work from home. The only happy creatures are dogs, for whom life is a bowl full of cherries, with their people now at home and completely available to take them out for walks.

In these not normal times we’ll need to dig deep into ourselves to find strength, reassurance, comfort, and hope for better days to come. Many of us have creative minds that can serve up lines of poetry or song lyrics to warm the heart, tickle our funny bones or set worry aside for a while.

I miss the lovely people and the wonderful variety of music that has been part of my life at the Whispers Open Stage Monday nights. Keep the music alive and take good care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Sending good thoughts and wishes to you.


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