On The Almanac Trail–A Labor Songs Concert Tour

Rik Palieri and George Mann, July-August 2013

In the summer of 1941, a musical group of labor activists known as “The Almanac Singers” climbed into a midnight blue Buick and blazed a trail across the USA, spreading the gospel of unionism and bringing folk music back to the people. The group, with members Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays & Mill Lampell, created a new kind of topical music, using old folk melodies to tell the stories of the times. They played in union halls, on picket lines, theaters and radio shows, planting seeds wherever they went. The Almanacs’ now almost-mythical journey has become an inspiration for legions of musicians, free thinkers, and gasoline gypsies, and has paved the road for many of today’s singer/songwriters.At the core of it were some of the greatest labor songs ever written, including “Union Maid,” “Talking Union,” and “Which Side Are You On?”

Some seventy years later, with the help and guidance of Pete Seeger and The Woody Guthrie Archives, two modern-day troubadours are following in the footsteps of the old Almanacs. With banjos and guitars and a bag full of union songs, “Totem Pole” Rik Palieri and George Mann are traveling down the road from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, up the west coast and then from Seattle to Duluth, singing at some of the same places and towns, and inviting local musicians to join in, as in the original tour. The Almanac Trail will be like an old-fashioned “Hootenanny”—an evening of history, music and fun for all generations!

Our intention is to make each concert a free concert or “by donation/collection” for a good cause in each city. Unions or labor-affiliated organizations can help by providing a venue, sponsorship funds, in-kind (printing and publicity) services, and accommodations.

On The Almanac Trail–A Labor Songs Concert Tour
Rik Palieri and George Mann, July-August 2013

To find out more about The Almanac Trail, contact:
Rik Palieri rik (802) 482-3185
George Mann george (646) 283-7688

George Mann and Rik Palieri

One thought on “On The Almanac Trail–A Labor Songs Concert Tour

  1. Special Event Foco Nuevo Fri 1 Feb 2013 says:




    Friday February 1
    8.00 p.m.

    Kurilpa Hall
    174 Boundary Street
    West End

    Welcome to 2013! We’re looking forward to another year of great performances by local and visiting musicians, and we’re starting off with a special event; touring musicians from the U.S. who specialise in music by some of the foundation figures in the folk music movement.

    George Mann & Rik Palieri: George Mann sings songs from the last century of labour and social activism, and his own songs are powerful and funny takes on the state of the nation. His concerts are part sing-along, part history lesson, and he can make you shout for joy, send chills down your spine or bring tears to your eyes in the same set. George created and produced the “Hail to the Thief!” anti-Bush CD series, which featured such folk legends as Tom Paxton, Utah Phillips, and Billy Bragg, and his work with veterans, unions and anti-war groups has kept him on the frontlines for 20 years. [website]

    “Totem Pole” Rik Palieri is a talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In a typical performance Rik will “flail” the banjo, stomp out a blues on guitar, spin out a wild and woolly story, pluck out a tune on the mouth bow, play a melody on the Native American flute and end the evening with an original Yodel-sing-a-long. Rik is an occasional writer for Sing Out!, Banjo Newsletter and author of a new book “The Road Is My Mistress, Tales Of A Roustabout Songster.” [website]

    Rik and George will be performing classics of the labour movement, and specifically The Almanac Singers (who included Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Lee Hays), along with plenty of their own songs.

    Combined Unions’ Choir: Formed in 1988, the Combined Unions Choir is the longest ‘Art in Working Life’ project in Australia. They have sung at concerts, protests, May Day, and peace rallies; entertaining people with their repertoire of political, peace and social justice songs. ‘A movement that sings never dies…’ [website]

    Jumping Fences: A more compact line-up of the group will present some their favourite songs in a short but sharp set to welcome our overseas visitors. [website]

    Hope to see you there,

    Lachlan and Sue

    (Next to the West End Library. Click [googlemaps http://maps.google.com.au/maps?rlz=1C1DVCB_enAU344AU344&q=map+174+boundary+street+west+end+queensland+australia&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=174+Boundary+St,+West+End+QLD+4101&gl=au&ei=Oj6vS67VHIuEswPk96X_Cw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CA8Q8gEwAA&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ%5D

    for a map)

    $10 / $7 concession

    Maggie’s delicious cakes and tea and coffee on sale.







    [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=_rJ6TA1UrRo%5D

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