Generations Live at the Loft
The Mid-Maine folk foursome Generations - Kathy Sikkema, Larry and Leslie Latour, and Joel Gold - feature a variety of rousing and poignant songs in the style of Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, and Pete Seeger. Their mix of guitar, banjo, and four part harmonies is guaranteed to get you singing and stomping your feet to your old favorites, from 'This Land is Your Land' to 'Irene Goodnight'. Their first album together, Generations: Live At The Loft, is a collection of 20 of these great songs sung and played in a pure and simple style reminiscent of the Almanac Singers and the Weavers. The group has performed a number of concerts for local organizations, and it's cross-generational philosophy and dedication to music of the working people has earned it the role of feature band for the University of Maine's Center on Aging. Meet the Band: KATHLEEN SIKKEMA (KATHY) Music has been Kathleen's main interest since her childhood in Ridgewood, New Jersey. At age 16 she became an established church soloist at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Passaic, NJ and continued in that profession throughout much of the rest of her lifetime. She majored in music at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and studied classical guitar with Rodrigo Riera, a student of Andres Segovia and with Aaron Shearer at Peabody Conservatory. She has performed in opera, oratorio and as a concert artist throughout the East, in Europe and Japan, appearing in such well known halls as Town Hall, Lincoln Center, the United Nations Concert Hall in New York, and the Tchaikowsky Hall in Moscow. In the late '50's Kathleen became interested in folk music - international and of the United States - and was a popular and busy folk festival producer and performer in that field throughout the '60's. Her women's acapella singing group was featured in the New Jersey Tercentenary Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1964, and earned an award from UNICEF, the recipient of all their profits. She has been a music teacher all of her adult life, teaching guitar and other fretted instruments, voice, keyboard, and school music professionally as well as filling organist and music director positions in many different churches and private organizations. In 1968 Kathleen and her four children moved to Maine where she took a position as manager of a music store in Ellsworth for the next 10 years. She continued her musical adventures in Maine performing classical and folk music in many venues including University of Maine in Orono and Farmington, acting as soloist and flamenco guitarist with the Spanish Dance Theatre, as soloist with the Surry Opera Company, and as organist and choral director in various places. At this time Kathleen is still active with the Surry Opera, is Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Ellsworth, Maine, and is involved there in the Performer's Showcase cafe - a coffee house and folk concert project. LESLIE LATOUR Leslie Latour is a singer/songwriter and artist living in Bangor, Me. She grew up in a family of musicians and artists in Bronxville, NY and Hamden, Conn. Raised on the music of Joan Baez, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Pete Seeger, she is equally at home with traditional folk music and the early folk rock of the Beatles, Bee Gees, and Carol King. 'When we were very little, it was all folk music-Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger. Actually, Pete Seeger was my invisible friend-along with six or seven other invisible friends that I used to hold the door open for. They'd come to sing to me. It was funny, because I could really see them. I could imagine that Pete was singing all these songs as I was falling asleep-and all the invisible people singing and playing instruments and stuff like that. I guess the older I get, the more aware I am of how much a part of my life that music was. That was a gift.' Leslie's songs touch the heart and lift the spirit. Her song 'There'll Always Be Me' has become a Generations theme song, and her song 'Making Paper From The Wood' was a gift to the paper mill workers of Maine. She has helped to found and run the Union Street Brick Church open mike coffeehouse. She sings with various musicians in the area, and lives with her husband Larry, son Teddy, and three cats in the yard. As Graham Nash sings, 'A very, very, very nice house.' JOEL GOLD Joel Gold is professor in the Psychology department at the University of Maine, and is also a longtime folk singer and interpreter of traditional folk music. He has been playing his long neck banjo since he was a student at Ohio State University in the '60's. 'I recall that my first exposure to folk music came when I listened over and over to the popular Weavers' 'Tzena, Tzena, Tzena' and 'Irene Goodnight', not knowing that they were folk songs, but loving them. When the music became popular in the late fifties and early sixties, I knew that I had found the music that I loved. I learned to play guitar, and hung out and performed at a local coffee house called the Noble Thought. I recall Peter Yarrow and Judy Collins, both pretty much unknown at the time, playing there. My real exposure to folk music came at Ohio State through my association with a fine banjo player and folk musician named Fred Starner. While there I also met an activist and aspiring young songwriter named Phil Ochs, who at that time sang as part of a folk duo. Phil, of course, went on to a great folk fame. During my time at Ohio State, I performed a great deal at the local coffee house and Sundays at a local bar, and my attachment to folk music has stayed steady and true for over forty-five years. Learning words came easily to me and I have always wanted to perform this wonderful music. Although I've performed individually from time to time, Generations has given me the chance to play and perform this music in a way that I have wished for.' Singing songs in the spirit of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Joel will delight audiences with songs of the sea, songs of protest, and songs of great historical import. LARRY LATOUR Larry Latour has been bringing his own personal brand of contemporary folk music to folk sings and coffeehouses in the Mid-Maine area since moving to Maine in 1985. He writes songs in the traditional folk spirit, singing about family, friendship, struggle, and a few cats thrown in for good measure. His recently released first album, Little by Little, is a collection of twelve of his original works, and is a window into his musical soul. Larry grew up in New York City during the '60's and '70's. Musicians such as Carol King, Gordon Lightfoot, and James Taylor strongly influenced his music, and he spent many hours around college campfires playing their songs. But it was a trip aboard the schooner Harvey Gamage in 1982 that was the greatest influence on his musical life. 'A young Maine schooner captain by the name of Will Gates taught me a wonderful collection of old and new sea chanties and folk songs, introducing me to the music of Maine and the sea, and showing me the way to true folk music. For the first time I wrapped myself around the lyrics of songs, finding a much deeper meaning in the music I'd already been playing.' Little by little Larry and his music evolved together, and it was the Mid-Maine coffeehouse scene in the '90's that encouraged him to begin writing and performing his own music. Larry began working on and refining his songs and performances at a number of wonderfully supportive open mike venues - the Rushin' Turtle coffeehouse in Skowhegan, the Easy Street Café in Pittsfield, the Frozen coffeehouse in Detroit, and the DADGAD coffeehouse in Orono. His album Little by Little contains songs introduced and perfected at those coffeehouses, and expounds on the beauty of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the strange sensation of eating alone in a Restaurant, the rantings of an old protest singer, and the inadequacies of an unhandy husband. Larry has a PhD in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology, and is a faculty member in the University of Maine Department of Computer Science in Orono, Maine. He lives there with his wife Leslie and their three cats. For band contact info, go to larrylatour.com/generations.