WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT "HAD A DOG:"
“Had a Dog is a remarkable CD. Alan has mastered not only the technical aspects of old-time music, but the aesthetics as well… would make a worthy addition to any old-time collection.” -- Newsletter of the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc.
MORE ABOUT THIS CD
On “HAD A DOG,” Alan performs some well-known as well as some less common songs and tunes from the United States' southern mountains. He sings, plays banjo and guitar, and, on one selection, even concertina in a fiddle, concertina and guitar instrumental. Several musicians, including a few former and current members of the Chelsea String Band, join him. Featured are Julianne Carney – fiddle; Julia Friend – vocals; Michaela Hamilton – guitar; Bob Malenky – guitar; Dorothy Moore – fiddle; Robbie Wedeen – vocals, guitar.
ALAN FRIEND'S BACKGROUND
ALAN FRIEND has been playing banjo, guitar and concertina, and singing traditional songs from America and the British Isles for many years. He is a member of the New York City-based old-time band "The Chelsea String Band" and the contra dance band "The Contrapolitans." He was a founding member of the former old-time band “Steal the Donut” and the traditional singing group "Buttermilk Channel." Alan has performed in concert solo and with numerous bands and singing groups at festivals such as the New Jersey Folk Festival, West Virginia’s Pipestem Festival, the Park Slope Old-Time/ Bluegrass Jamboree, the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), the Northeast Music Art and Dance Festival (NOMAD), the Kings County Opry and the Eisteddfod-NY Festival of Traditional Music. He has also played at coffee houses and clubs from Montreal to Washington, D.C., on local radio stations and at numerous community events. Alan gives banjo, traditional ballad and old-time string band workshops as well. His recently released CD, “Had a Dog,” features songs and old-time tunes from the southern mountains, with guests on fiddle, guitar and harmony vocals. Alan is an Executive Board member and past President of the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc., also known as the New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
TRADITIONAL BALLADS: Alan presents traditional ballads from the United States and the British Isles. He accompanies some on the banjo, guitar or concertina, and sings others a cappella.
CLAWHAMMER BANJO: This is a hands-on old-time clawhammer banjo workshop for beginning and intermediate players. Alan starts with the basics and adds various techniques such as the hammer-on, pull-off, slide and drop-thumb. Old-time tunes using these techniques are taught both by ear and with tablature.
OLD-TIME JAM: Alan leads an old-time jam session. The primary purpose of this "ensemble" instrumental activity is to have fun. Participants are encouraged to actively listen to one another in order to create a great old-time band sound. Particular attention is paid to tempo and instrumental blend. Mostly standard tunes are played, starting at a slow tempo and playing up to speed as the participants become comfortable with the tune. More advanced tunes are chosen for sessions with more experienced participants.