The Gustavian Weekly

Folk singer performs St. Peter Halloween | The Gustavian Weekly

By Kim Krulish Staff Writer | October 31, 2014 | Variety

Costumes are encouraged for those attending this performance.

Costumes are encouraged for those attending this performance.

A Halloween Party fit for musicians and music lovers alike. American folk musician and singer- songwriter Bill Staines will be performing at the St. Peter Arts Center on Friday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.

Staines is from New England, where he began his professional career at Cambridge in the early 1960s. A few years later, he was making national tours. In 1975, Staines won the National Yodeling Championship at the Kerrville Folk Festival. He has appeared on Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion, and The Good Evening Show. Staines performs around 200 times a year.

The doors will open at 7 p.m. for a preshow reception with refreshments provided by Patrick’s and Morgan Creek Vineyards. The music will start at 7:30 p.m. There is a cover charge of
$15 payable at the door, but seating is limited. Since the show is on Halloween, people are encouraged to attend dressed in costume or as a folk singer themselves. The Arts Center will present the winning costume with a gift.

Staines has recorded 22 of his own albums, 15 of which were still in print as of 2005. His songs have also been recorded by many other artists and have been published in four songbooks, If I Were a Word, Then I’d Be a Song; River; Music to Me: The Songs of Bill Staines, and All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir. Staines’ memoir, The Tour: A Life Between the Lines, was published in 2004.

“Any new song that can live comfortably beside the well-worn songs of folk tradition has a good chance of surviving the test of time,” Charles “Sandy” Paton of Folk Legacy Records said. “Such, we believe, are the songs of Bill Staines.”

Staines, who is left-handed, plays a right-handed guitar upside-down, with the bass strings on the bottom. Due to unique way of holding and playing the instrument, he has developed his own fingerings and picking style.

“He’s a poet with insight about a world that many of us let pass by,” The Record Roundup said. “He is a storyteller with a gift for transporting the listener into the body of his songs.

Staines lives in Rollinsford, New Hampshire with his wife Karen son Bowen, and cocker spaniel Andy, who was featured on the cover of his album Old Dogs. Staines’ son is alo pursuing a career as a folk singer.

-Kim Krulish