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Happy Sideman Me! Old Songs Festival next weekend June 24-26, 2022

I hope you are all free next weekend, as I am going to play with the legend himself, REGGIE HARRIS at the Old Songs Festival in Altamont, NY!!!

This will be my very first time attending this outdoor fest, and the first time since the Covid 19 outbreak I’ll be attending ANY festival, anywhere! You?

I first heard of this wonderful three-day festival when my girl, Heather Pierson was playing there a few years ago, and although she does some traditional material, of course, Heather is Heather, and so the word “Old” kind of threw me, but she assured me that although the emphasis is on traditional music, they lovingly embrace new music as well.

Which is one of the reasons playing with Reggie Harris is so wonderful. He is so deeply in touch with traditions of music that came up from his ancestors, yet writes new and exciting music that both hearkens to, and builds on these traditions. He also can rock out a bit!

I am super grateful for this opportunity to play (and sing) with someone whose music I respect and doggonnit, just like and enjoy as a listener. He’s a brilliant guitarist. Something I missed the first few times I heard him because I was listening so intently t his gorgeous baritone and the words, man, the words.

He does a concert theme called “Deeper Than The Skin” with his “brother from another mother” Greg Greenway (formerly of Brother Sun) where he reveals an intimate story of how and where he found his roots in America’s original sin of slavery. The beautiful song that rose from meeting his current formerly-plantation family member on the soil where his forebears worked and died is just beautiful, chilling, and a lesson in forgiveness and love that has so much to teach all of us.

Okay, so that’s a huge run-on sentence. But I don’t know how else to get such enormous ideas into words, so forgive me.

Here’s a tidbit from Reggie’s website:

“Uniquely committed to “music as a community building vehicle,” Reggie’s music shares insightful perspectives on issues of life, history, education and human rights. In the spirit of his mentors, Pete Seeger and Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, (founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Reggie is a master songleader who loves to help people discover that they can make a difference at any age, wherever they may live. ”

Anyway, I am excited to be performing on-stage, and in workshop performances with such a giant in American Folk.

Okay, you say, that’s nice, but is it enough reason for me to go to the whole festiva/

lOther giants will be performing there as well. It truly is amazing….

How about John McCutcheon

joe Jencks

Beppe Gambetta (I opened for him at Ethical Brew once, fantastic!)

Andy Cohen (winner of SO many awards, and a legend himself)

Better together: Sally Rogers, Howie Bursen & Claudia Schmidt


Roy Book Binder

Scott Ainslie

Magpie with Rolly Brown

Other acts that will be performing and leading workshops at this festival will be:

John Doyle & Mick McAuley • Hubby Jenkins • Sheila Kay Adams with Donna Ray Norton & Melanie Rice Penland• The Vox Hunters • Bourque Émissaires • É.T.É • Jim Lloyd & Addie Levy • Dennis Stroughmatt & L’Esprit Creole • Matthew Byrne • Sam Gleaves & Deborah Payne • Bethany Yarrow • Copley Street • Joseph & James Bruchac • Ustad Shafaat Khan • Great Gambian Griots • Heard •John Kirk & Trish Miller • Cloud Ten • Petrichord • Jamcrackers • John Roberts • Stefan Amidon • George Wilson & Selma Kaplan • Colleen Cleveland• Chris Koldewey • John Dickson • Jake Thomas • Ron Gordon • Fern Bradley • Ted Crane • The Great Groove Band • Roger the Jester • and more!

Plus, there’ll be opportunities for you to sing as well, and jams occuring all over the place. Plus, an instrument exchange!!!

Concerts on the mainstage (ours is Saturday night) are scheduled as follows

Festival Hours:

Friday: 2 pm–1 am

Saturday: 9 am–1 am

Sunday: 9 am–7 pm

3 Main Stage Concerts

Friday: 6:30 – 11 pm

Saturday: 6:30 – 11 pm

Sunday: 3:30 – 7 pm

Friday Classes

& Sessions

3 – 6 pm

Saturday &

Sunday Daytime

9:30 am – 6 pm


Musical Sessions

Participatory Jam Sessions

Instrument Learn-Hows

Dancing on a

Wooden Floor


Community &

Family Dances

Singing in Harmony

Shape Note & Sacred Harp Sing with Stefan Amidonk

Gospel Sing

Choral Workshop

Ballad Singing

Fun for the Whole Family

Great Groove Band for kids, most instruments welcome

Children’s Activity Area and Family Stage

Roger the Jester

Artisan Way





Clothing, and more

Instrument Exchange

Bring your unused instrument and buy one you’ll use.

Go to for more info and tickets.


Love to you, Diane


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