Hudson Valley Sally is Terry Colliton, Johnny Fisher, Jenny Murphy, Laurie Siegel, and Dave Tarlo...
Terry grew up in Maryland and one of her first musical memories was singing Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera." When she was 11, she joined her Church's folk choir and has been singing everything from Handel’s “Messiah” to “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore” ever since. As a high school student, Terry volunteered to do community outreach with the homeless in Washington, D.C. and she began to understand social and racial inequity.
After moving to New York, she joined the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus, where she is particularly excited to pursue her interest in social activism through music. She currently enjoys experimenting with alto harmonies and learning to play a bass guitar. As Walkabout's music director for the last five years, Terry has coordinated and participated in appearances on the Grammy winning Pete Seeger at 89, Walkabout's sold out anniversary concert with Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez Seeger, and the PBS broadcast of the Peter Yarrow Holiday special featuring Keb Mo, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Terry’s current interests include seeking equal rights for the LGBTQ community.
Johnny has been active in performing, writing, and cataloging activist music since first being inspired by Pete Seeger in 1953, and he's been writing original songs since the 1970s. Johnny's song 'I've Got A Dream' appears in both English and Spanish in the latest CD of Mario Casartelli, Paraguay's leading progressive political cartoonist, poet, and songwriter. His songs have also been recorded by Work 'o the Weavers, James Durst, and the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus.
Johnny contributed vocals and rhythm guitar to several tracks of Pete Seeger's Grammy-winning album, Pete Seeger At 89. He has been an active member of the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus for the past 25 years, serving as Music Coordinator for 14 of them.
Johnny's mother was a union organizer in the 1930's and his father was a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War - so John grew up in an activist family surrounded by activist music. Starting as a teenager, he learned activist songs at peace rallies, sit-ins, picket lines, and in jail after being arrested at demonstrations. The family tradition continues - Johnny's wife Dena has served as the Executive Director of Seeds of Peace, and of the Dos Pueblos sister city project with Tipitapa, Nicaruagua. Dena recently returned from a stint in the Peace Corps in Belize. Johnny's niece Emi (Hudson Valley Sally's oficial photographer!) was recently arrested in the Occupy Wall Street march over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Jenny debuted as a singer to rave reviews when a local weekly praised the performance of a then 3 year old Jenny's rendition of "Bloody Mary" Most of her early repertoire were songs from the records of her Irish and Cape Breton heritage and the hymns she was assigned to lead in the Catholic school she attended, but she credits the Ed Sullivan Show for exposing her to the Broadway songs and the Motown music that would be her passion in her tween years.
As she matured the connection between music and activism called to her, and songs of struggle in every genre were added. Classic vocal training optimized her 3 octave range and allowed her to grow as a strong interpretive artist. Undefined by any single genre as a singer, she has performed master works at Lincoln Center and People's songs on subway platforms. She appears on the grammy winning Pete Seeger at 89, regularly as lead singer for The BluesMothers, as a solo singer songwriter, and as a song leader with The Walkabout Clearwater Chorus.
Raised in a musical family, Laurie made her stage debut at age 3 performing a piano piece in her music teacher/grandfather’s annual student recital. Laurie and her brother, Peter began singing together as a folk duo in their early teens. Nurtured by the Hudson River folk community, the two began performing at local festivals, rallies and events. Living in Albany during the 90’s, Laurie and Peter, were involved with the Eighth Step Coffee House, hosting a Wednesday open stage night there from 1993 until 1997. In 1992, while working aboard the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the brother and sister team met fellow crew member, Creek Iversen, and the Harmonious Hogchokers was formed. The trio performed regionally throughout the 1990's.
Over the past decade, Laurie has been involved with a variety of musical projects. True to her Hudson Valley folk and activist roots, Laurie is a devoted member of the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus. Aside from lending her solo vocals, and guitar and keyboard accompaniment, Laurie probably most stands out as the chorus’ star (only) bodhran player. She was a contributing vocalist on Pete Seeger’s Grammy-winning CD, Pete Seeger at 89.
As a solo performer, Laurie’s style is eclectic. Her original compositions mirror her strong folk roots but have many additional influences. The soundtrack of popular music that has informed her life spans the history of recorded music (and before!) Unable to commit to any one genre, Laurie has been known to throw into her act a swingy jazz standard, Joni Mitchell cover or a traditional Celtic tune for variety. She is passionate in her process of continuously learning new music, and you never know what she might come up with.
Dave, who hails from Montreal, Quebec, was already leading his camp in the daily hootenanies when he was 12 years old. Since moving to New York in 1972, this folksinger, guitarist and song leader has used his powerful baritone voice to inspire people and lead songs at numerous political and environmental rallies and events. David has been a member and song leader of the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus for 25 years, and was the musical director for it’s two CDs. Dave performed as a lead singer and chorus member on Pete Seeger’s Grammy-winning album Pete Seeger At 89.
Dave is a founding member (with Caryl Towner and David Bernz) of Stone Soup. The group was created after Pete Seeger invited a group of musicians to sing with him at a mass rally of striking New York Daily News workers in 1990. They sounded so good that Pete suggested they stick together as a group. Stone Soup went on to perform at concerts and many more union and activist events, and produced the highly regarded CD River of Life.