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Mike Craver
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"Saving the Butcher Bird"

Thanks to a tweet by author Margaret Atwood about an article in CBC Books "Canada Writes" by Bridget Stutchbury, entitled "Saving the Butcher Bird" about the fact that there are fewer than 30 pairs of Loggerhead Shrikes left in the wild in Canada. However, the hopeful news is that this feisty little bird appears to respond well to conservation efforts.


On August 23, 2012 Stephen Wade sold and signed the first two copies of his brand new book The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (Univ. of Illinois Press), one for the Davidson County Public Library, and another to librarian Dick O'Connell.

Over a sixteen years in the writing, The Beautiful Music All Around Us is Stephen's exhaustively researched and entertainingly written 500+ page soulful valentine to 13 Library of Congress field recorded performances and the venerable musicians who bequeathed them, including Bill Stepp, Kelly Pace, Ora Dell Graham, Christine and Katherine Shipp, the Nashville Washboard Band, Vera Hall, Bozie Sturdivant, Pete Steele, Texas Gladden, Luther Strong, Charlie Butler, and Jess Morris. excellent review in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

That ain't all. On September 27, 2012, at 7:30 pm, The Birchmere will present Stephen in a rare, one-time concert marking national publication of The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience and the release of his new album, Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition (Smithsonian Folkways). The concert will be a narrated, multimedia, musical stage performance, featuring Wade, accompanied by yours truly, plus Russ Hooper, Danny Knicely, James Leva, and Zan McLeod. Wade's Banjo Diary cd, much of which will be performed during the concert, takes its inspiration from the very recordings explored in The Beautiful Music All Around Us. (fmi: birchmere.com)
(photo 1: Wade & books; photo 2: Wade autographing library copy, with Kelly Sink and Dick O'Connell)
75 Artful Days of Summer:
listen to Mike Craver’s “Big Tree Lodge”

from his cd Wagoner's Lad


Debra Monk (pictured at right), Richard H. Blake, and many others starred in "If It Only Even Runs A Minute" -- a series about rare songs and behind-the-scenes tales from New York musicals that may not have been fully appreciated the first time around. The June 17th concert at Le Poisson Rouge, featured songs and stories from A Man of No Importance, The Gay Life, Molly, Musical Chairs, Oil City Symphony, Parade, The Prince of Central Park, They’re Playing Our Song, and Violet!

Deb sang "Ohio Afternoon", a song she wrote with Mark Hardwick and me, from OIL CITY SYMPHONY, which incidentally ran for more than a minute. In fact it ran for a year and a half!

Here's a YouTube clip of Deb's part.. She reminisces about S.M.U., and Mark, "Cloggers for Christ" & Pumpboys, and then sits down at the drums to accompany herself on the song.


The Pittsboro Bach Society ("Dedicated to the joy of social music making since 2004") will be presenting Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf's SYMPHONIE CONCERTANTE for viola, double-bass & orchestra; J.S. Bach's FUGUE IN G MANJOR, BMV 577; and Mr. Gnome de Plume's INTRODUCTION AND DEATH-MARCH OF THE INVESTMENT BANKERS -- at the Pittsboro Community House, 65 Thompson Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312 on Sunday April 22, 2012 at 3 PM. FMI 919-545-9019.

The Northwest Illinois Theatre Coalition presents
a new musical comedy by Mike Craver

featuring Emily Evans, Brad Field, Mike Craver, Terrie Miller, Phil Jackman, Josh Ryan, Terri Jackman, Reynold Nolan, Sandy Sweitzer, Jim Frederick, Chuck Hancock, Peter Woodruff and Mary Jo Frederick.

OKLAHOMA HALE & DAMNATION is the fourth installment of the adventures of Fannie Garrettson, Frederick Fosdick, Reverend Mould, Ollie O. Shaughnessy and Dora Hand, following them north from their recent Texas adventure with Sarah Bernhardt, to the Oklahoma Territory where they happen upon Hale, a little one horse town, run by a grieving widow who's being pursued by a crooked railroad agent. Our heroes attempt to ingratiate themselves to the locals by becoming land developers and patent medicine purveyors, with mixed results. Romantic entanglements ensue, with mixed results. Ollie turns to a life of crime, with more mixed results. Deadwood Dan also makes a surprise re-appearance. Fun and adventure follow, stoked by the unlikely catalyst of Drusilla Magrue, a part Irish part Lakota bank teller turned amateur detective. Although our heroes make a valiant attempt to put down roots in Hale, it becomes clear that no town can hold them and they are bound to be moving on, and in the process taking most of Hale with them.

Apr. 27-29, 2012 -- Mighty Richland Players, Orangeville, IL
May 3-4, 2012 -- Backstreet Players, Hanover, IL
May 5-6, 2012 -- Plum River Playhouse, Stockton, IL
May 11-12, 2012 -- Mighty Richland Players, Orangeville, IL

artwerk by whydrawanything

In February I did Oil City Symphony, at Festival Stage in Winston Salem, with Mary Murfitt, Molly Wasserman and Randy Glass. (photo at right of Mary Murfitt and I, out of costume, in our civvies, taken by Mama Kat)

"In this hilarious musical, four alumni of the 60's reunite in their old high school to perform for their favorite music teacher. This production of the award-winning Off-Broadway musical features two of its original cast members/creators. All four performers are impeccable comedic actors, amazing singers, and virtuoso musicians - you have to see it to believe it Presented by Festival Stage of Winston-Salem, a world-class professional theatre, right here in the Triad." ---RHINO TIMES

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