"words and music full of poetry and passion" - The Boston Globe
"One of the top underground folkies of the last generation returns to music after completing his MD degree and he seems to be even more in touch with his humanity with this unlikely ode to being a parent and celebrating his offspring. Even if there was still hits radio, this isn’t the kind of stuff that would land on it but the songs are the kind that reside on personal hit parades for long stretches. A solid adult set that really goes above and beyond." -Chris Spector, Midwest Record Review
Hugh Blumenfeld is familiar to devotees of the New Folk songwriting movement of the last 25 years; his work is literate and edgy, moving from robust satire to spellbinding lyric and melodic artistry. The last few years have seem him immersed in medical school on his way to becoming an M.D. practicing family medicine in Hartford, CT; and becoming a father to two boys, Blake and Carson. DAD blends playful, tender songs for young children with pieces exploring parenthood, childhood, and the love that lights the generations. The juxtapositions of mood reflect the complex, thrilling world of the new family. Beautifully packaged and programmed.
Hugh has performed across the U.S., Europe and Israel. He opened the Kerrville Folk Festival in 2000 and closed the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival with Ani DiFranco in 1996. He has played NYC's Bottom Line, D.C.'s Birchmere, Philly's Theatre of Living Arts, and the Kennedy Performance Center's Millenium Stage series. He has opened for Suzanne Vega, John Mayer, Tom Rush, Richie Havens, Dar Williams, Patty Larkin, Arlo Guthrie, Iris Dement and Greg Brown.
Hugh released his first album, The Strong In Spirit, on his own label in 1988. His second collection of songs, Barehanded (1991)was picked up by the New York indie label Prime-CD to become their debut release in 1993, garnering national attention and a spread in Performing Songwriter as one of the top 12 independent projects of the year. Prime-CD put out two more albums, Mozart's Money (1996) and Rocket Science (1998). Hugh recorded Big Red for the Swiss label Brambus Records in 2000 while touring Europe. Mr Jekyll & Dr Hyde, a ragged collection of live recordings and basement tapes of political songs, was originally released through mp3.com where 7 of the songs topped the political humor chart for months with over 70,000 downloads. He wrote and performed Red Angel: The Book of Esau, a one-man musical that takes the ancient bible story of sibling rivalry, deceit and angel-wrestling and turns it on its head.
Born in NYC, Hugh grew up mostly in northern New Jersey. After earning degrees in both Biology and Humanities from M.I.T. and a Masters in English from University of Chicago, Hugh went on to get his doctorate in English at N.Y.U. and taught at N.Y.U., Brooklyn College, Bard College, UConn and finally Eastern Connecticut State University as an assistant professor. Living in Greenwich Village during the early 80's he became very active in the thriving folk scene there, performing at the Speak Easy, Folk City and The Bottom Line, and participating in the legendary weekly Songwriters Exchange. He worked on the Fast Folk Musical Magazine, serving as Associate Editor and Board member from 1986-1991 and again from 1997-99. He recorded songs for the Magazine and is included in Fast Folk: A Community of Songwriters, a compilation issued by Smithsonian Folkways in 2002.
Hugh began working as a musician full time in 1994, touring 100-150 days a year and teaching workshops and artist residencies. The Connecticut Commission on the Arts named him Connecticut's official State Troubadour for 1999 and 2000. He performed often for the Department of Mental Retardation, volunteered as a counselor at the American Cancer Society's Camp Rising Sun, and performed at many memorial services. His interest in music and healing finally led him back to his early interest in medicine. He worked for Hartford Hospital's Integrative Medicine Department and did research on music and premies at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center's NICU before enrolling in medical school in 2003. He is now a doctor and practices family medicine in Hartford.
Hugh maintains The Ballad Tree, a website he originally created as About.com's folk music guide, and writes occasionally for Sing Out! Magazine. In October 2003, he spoke and sang at the 4th annual UNESCO Conference on Human Rights along with Hugh Masekela.
Dr. Blumenfeld on the songs:
1. Welcome to the World The world is a confusing place - welcome anyway.
2. NICU at Nite (The Preemie Song)
Dedicated to all the doctors, nurses and staff in neonatal units who take care of our impossibly small ones.
3. Cradle Song
After 20 years, a couple finally has a reason to fetch the cradle they made for all their siblings' children.
4. Rock You
A rollicking history of the blues from the deep south up to Chicago. Baby should be sleepy by St. Louis and snoring by Kansas City.
5 Sail On Little Sailor
A lullabye sending the sleeper off on the ocean of dreams we all travel. SOLS is being used by a national organization, "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" which connects volunteer photographers with families who have just lost newborns; the song accompanies slide shows created for memories and closure.
6. I Knew A Boy
We have a lot to learn from the children who need the most from us.
7. Daddy I’m Awake
A kid with an agenda - and 7am just isn't gonna leave enough time to get it done.
8. Cry Little Guy
The reverse psychology lullabye - don't ask boys to stop crying - they'll learn that soon enough.
9. Wonder Wonder Why If babies could only tell us what they were thinking.
10. Daddy’s Got You Now A musical embrace, meant to last.
11. Sad Hard Dream A trilogy of small lullaby tunes.
When my mother came to me in a dream, it took us both awhile to realize that's what it was.
13. Sleep Sarah Sleep
The first song I ever wrote. Love songs and lullabies are close companions.
14. Till the Morning A celebration of the baby sleeping through the night.
15. You Gotta Have Coffee Ode to Java.
16. My Little Boy’s Moon
Knowing your child is watching the same moon hundreds of miles away makes the distance easier to bear.