Richard Adrianowicz

Richard's interest in traditional music began in the early 70s when he moved to California. He was part of several groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, the best known of which was Out of the Rain. The band was active from 1983 to 1995 and recorded two studio cassettes, "A Common Treasury" and "Song of the Wage Slave." Richard also produced "With the Friends I Love Best," a compilation CD of live concert recordings from Out of the Rain performances.

Richard is one of the regular shanty singers at Hyde Street Pier's monthly shanty sings in San Francisco, held aboard one of the historic sailing ships moored there. In 2002 he released "Time Ashore is Over," a recording of sea shanties and sea songs featuring a chorus of singers from Hyde Street Pier. Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Richard also has a keen interest in songs of the Great Lakes sailors. In addition to being a vocalist, Richard also plays the guitar, tin whistle and fiddle. Richard now sings in a nautical duet with Peter Kasin. In 2005 they released their first album together, "Boldly from the Westward."

Steve Baughman is a Rounder Records recording artist who has released numerous CDs of solo fingerstyle guitar music. He is the author of five books issued by Mel Bay Publications and he appears with Pierre Bensusan and Martin Simpson on the Rounder Celtic Guitar CD/Video series, "The Blarney Pilgrim." Steve enjoys singing even more than playing guitar.

Steve is also the founder of He lives in San Francisco.

Shay Black was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Berkeley in 1995. He is primarily a singer and musician, and has a longtime interest in musical historical perspectives. His repertoire of Irish songs is broad, but also draws from the rich tradition of Liverpool sea music, where he lived for a long period. He is active in the Irish community in the East Bay and performs regularly on the West Coast.

Since arriving in the US he has organized an Irish music and song session at the Starry Plough pub in Berkeley, still running every Sunday night. He has a number of albums to his credit and has guested on many more; he also produced two benefit albums for his agency Parental Stress Service. He tours in the US and Europe with his brothers, Michael and Martin as 'The Black Brothers' and with his sisters, Frances and Mary Black as the eldest sibling of "The Black Family." He has performed with Irish theater group "Wilde Irish" and also with the "California Revels." He also plays tunes with local group "De Dannyboyz," and is a member of "Nauticus," and "Dogwatch," bands that perform maritime music in and around the Bay Area.

Shay trained as a public health nurse and has a day job to keep the wolf from the door; he currently works at Parental Stress Service, a family support agency in Oakland.

Susan Frank
Susan Frank: My parents loved and played/sang folk and traditional music so I grew up singing it. I probably learned much of it in utero.

I love that this music is focused on participation and encourages musical improvisation and learning by doing. I learned to sing harmony (and am still learning) listening during singing sessions and just singing whatever came out—it got more in tune over the years, but no one minded the out of tune parts (or at least they didn't tell me). I love that you never sing these songs the same way twice. This kind of music is best as a group activity (rather than as a performance) and I think it's particularly good at about 3:00 AM after a day or long session of singing when everyone is warmed up and well oiled, so to speak; then the interesting stuff comes out.

I love the history and story fragments in the songs and I think it's great that the stories don't necessarily make sense, just like the lives of people around you. You only learn fragments of the whole story and the rest is up to your imagination.

Intermittently, I try to learn to play other instruments, but so far keep giving up to just sing—it's just more fun since I already know how to do it. I also love to sing classical choral works and early music and sing with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra and their Chamber Group when I have time.

When I'm not singing, I work too much and garden and cook too little. I live in Oakland in a love triangle between me, my boyfriend Banyon and our cat Mia. I recently learned to knit and am starting to become obsessed with it—it might actually cut in on my obsessive reading.

Lani Herrmann

Lani Herrmann is a Hawaiian native who managed to leave home without learning to swim or dance the hula. She has since learned to fiddle and sing.

She first encountered the 'folk revival' at college in Chicago, then helped organize the Folklore Society of Greater Washington (D.C.), and was involved with the Middletown (N.J.) and Fox Hollow (N.Y. State) folk festivals. She appears playing fiddle and singing on a couple of Folk-Legacy recordings made at that time. Currently she is a member of the SF Folk Music Club, and participates regularly in the Starry Plough Irish sessions and the Monday ceili dance band. She plays several instruments, and also has led workshops of rounds-singing at various festivals.

Lani has edited and produced several songbooks, principally for Folk-Legacy — Gordon Bok's and Bill Staines's — as well as one major scholarly Production, Sam Henry's 'Songs of the People' (U. of Georgia Press, 1990), a 700-page edition of Irish songs in English originally published in Ireland between the world wars.

She recently earned her Master's degree in Library and Information Studies from UC Berkeley.

Her idea of a good time is sharing music and food with compatible folks. She and her husband Cal have three grown children, all of whom, at last report, are still on speaking terms with them.

"Sylvia Herold is a singer's singer. At home in folk, swing and Celtic genres, her passion is discovering and sharing the tale a song can tell. Her gift is in presenting songs with a clarity that is both honest and uplifting and yet remains refreshingly unvarnished. Her hard work in researching, performing and recording compelling songs for 25 years has earned her accolades from fans and press alike.

In her considerable tenure on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, she has played and toured and with several bands including Cats & Jammers, The Hot Club of San Francisco and Wake the Dead. She is also an accomplished recording artist, having released three solo CDs: Lovely Nancy (2005), A Mockingbird Sings in California ( 2001), and A Bowl of Crystal Tears (1997), all on the Tuxedo Records label, and has appeared on more than 15 albums alongside artists such as Kathy Kallick, Tom Rozum and Laurie Lewis."

Allan MacLeod and Dick Holdstock are singers of traditional music of their Scottish and English homelands. In the 1970's Dick and Allan led sing-along evenings at the old Freight on San Pablo Ave. They have performed together extensively from coast to coast for twenty nine years. Their performances reflect the rapport and polish they have achieved over that long period.
Kim first remembers singing quietly to herself on the long bus ride to school when she was six or seven years old, and thinks she was probably the only ninth grader in her class who asked for (and got) the Dover publication of the complete Francis James Child Ballad omnibus for Christmas. Although not a singer, her mother loved traditional songs and amassed a large collection of recordings during the fifties and sixties. So Kim grew up listening to the folk heroes of those days, as well as (in no special order) performers such as Hedy West, Rory and Alex McEwan, A.L. Lloyd, Jean Redpath, Belle Stewart and her daughters, Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Sarah Grey, Shep Ginandes, John Jacob Niles, the Kossoy Sisters, Sarah Makem, Jean Ritchie, and many others.

Kim studied ethnomusicology at Middlebury College in Vermont, and at the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University. She currently lives in Sonoma, where she designs web sites.

Arlene Immerman
Arlene has been singing all her life. In no particular order, she counts among her musical influences Pete Seeger, Julie Andrews, Cathal McConnell, Bob Copper, Laurie Lewis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. For Arlene there is nothing more moving or spiritual than a roomful of people singing their hearts out. So make sure you sing along.

Peter Kasin

Peter Kasin was born in Oakland and has lived in Berkeley most of his life. He grew up listening to folk music, as he and his sister were taken to Pete Seeger concerts when they were kids, and were bought Folkways records. You know, the usual Berkeley upbringing.

Peter didn't begin singing until the early 90's. His growing interest in sea music led him to forming a musical partnership with Richard Adrianowicz two years ago. They recently released a CD, "Boldly From The Westward," and were performers at the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival, in Mystic, Connecticut in June 2005.

Peter is also a fiddler, and plays in The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers, the instrumental group Nauticus, and occasionally with the contra dance band The Modal Citizens. He also is an amateur photographer, and a lifelong rabid Giants and 49er's fan. His love of traditional music is almost exceeded by his love of Arabic and Asian food.

Doug Olsen [left] has been singing for as long as he can remember. In 1973 he co-founded Oak Ash & Thorn; countless beers later, he's still going strong. He's taught workshops on luck-visitng traditions and shape note singing, and served as Designated Singer for dance camps on both coasts. He also does occasional voice-over and narration work. By day he is a mild-mannered IT Project Manager, by night a Morris Dancer and proud father. Optional accessories include an 8" Telescope and Garage Brewery.

Ed Silberman
In his youth Ed Silberman performed and recorded as a jazz guitarist under the name Wes Montgomery. Since retiring from the jazz life he has become a mainstay at folk music gatherings and song circles throughout the Bay Area. Aside from the kind of singing featured here, he sings Yiddish folk song, does storytelling, and plays harmonica, specializing in fiddle tunes.

He has appeared at countless festivals, schools, synagogues, churches, bars, book stores, private parties, coffeehouses, community centers, and libraries. He takes especial pride in being a Purimshpeiler. For at least fifteen years The Shushan Liberation Front, and The Aquarian Minyan/Kehilla Players have put on Purim shpiels, one-act comedies performed during the Jewish holiday Purim, with Ed contributing as a writer, actor/singer and director.

During his time with The Westwind International Folk Ensemble he sang the solo in the premier season of their "Klezmer Suite."

He is active with The Bay Area Storytelling Festival, The Jewish Music Festival, and KlezCalifornia.

He works as a preschool teacher and an espionage agent. His favorite Scotch is Bowmore, his favorite color purple, and his favorite word "squeegee". He recommends the cheese cake.

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