Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:46

Bill Staines comes to Oswego`s Music Hall

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Bill Staines comes to Oswego`s Music Hall Larry Marcus photo

Anyone not familiar with Bill Staines' music is in for a special treat at the Oswego Music Hall Saturday, Dec. 7th at 8:00 p.m. Those who have heard Bill sing on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion or HBO's series Deadwood will know this is a concert not to miss.

     "Bill Staines is one of our very best folk and country singer/songwriters. He's a New Englander who dreams of open plains and vast, Western skies, and damn his soul, he writes better cowboy songs than anybody in the Southwest." - The Houston Post

     Singing mostly his own songs, Bill has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving over 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and--as one reviewer wrote, he "has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic."

     For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at folk song festivals, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses, from California & British Columbia to Texas & Minnesota, and throughout the North East. His music is a slice of Americana, reflecting places and people he's known, from adventurers of the Yukon and on-the-road truckers to various everyday workers that make up this vast land of ours.

     Bill's songs are the enduring sort and have appeared in many song books, including grade school music books, campfire songbooks, and even church hymnals. He is one of the very few songwriters to have eight songs published in the classic collection, Rise up Singing. Composer David Amram recently described Bill as "a modern day Stephen Foster . . . his songs will be around 100 years from now." Stain's music has also been used in films, such as Off and Running, with Cyndi Lauper, and The Return of the Secaucus Seven, directed by John Sayles.

     A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the 1960's and quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that Staines was "simply Boston's best performer," he has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now in his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

     To date, Bill has recorded 26 albums; The Happy Wanderer and One More River were winners of the prestigious Parents' Choice Award, taking a gold medal and silver medal respectively. His songs have been recorded by many artists including Peter, Paul, and Mary, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, The Highwaymen, Mason Williams, Grandpa Jones, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nanci Griffith and others.

     You can preview Bill Staines' music on various websites, and then join the Music Hall concert Dec. 7th for the incomparable experience of live music performed where everyone gets a good seat. The venue is the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake Street, Oswego. The atmosphere is intimate with candle-lit tables surrounding a small stage. Desserts, snacks, popcorn and beverages are available for purchase.

     Tickets can be purchased on-line at or at the River's End bookstore, 19 West Bridge Street in Oswego.  Holders of tickets purchased before 1 pm on the day of the concert will have preferred seating.  After 1 pm, seating will be general admission.  Ticket prices for this event are $14 if purchased in advance and $16 at the door.   Children 12 and under are half-price; under 5 is free.

     For the best deal-- lowest ticket prices and prime seating-- Season Passes and All-Season Passes are available and may be purchased at any show.  For information contact Membership Secretary, Carol Forrest at 343-2988.

     The Oswego Music Hall's next concert, Jan. 11th, will feature the core members of the old Tanglefoot band newly re-connected as RPR (Rob Ritchie, Al Parrish, Steve Ritchie), a vigorous, multi-faceted folk/roots band.

     The Music Hall has been run entirely by volunteers from its inception over 36 years ago.  Volunteers earn admission to shows through different tasks.  Music Hall concerts are made possible in part with funding by the NYS Council on the Arts.  For more information call 315-342-1733 or access the Music Hall website:

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