Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List

Portland Folkmusic Society

Happy Thanksgiving - Five Things I’m Thankful For

Music is a big part of my life, and I thought I would get personal and talk about five FolkMusic things that I’m thankful for. If you have your own list of things you are thankful for, send them to me, and I’ll be happy to put them on this site. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

Pete Seeger.I got into folk music when I was a teenager, and when I was about 16, Pete Seeger came to Norfolk Virginia. I went to hear him and he blew me away, especially with the way he got the audience to sing along on just about every song.
Inside Llewelyn Davis.This marvelous movie by the Coen Brothers is more or less based on the life of Dave van Ronk, and shows the New York folk scene of the 1960’s. I know enough about the time and place to know that it is a wonderfully accurate depiction, and the movie is funny, sad, has great music and super performances. Oscar Isaac is much better in this than in Star Wars.
Fields Ward. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we were dreaming of names, and I was driving around Southern Virginia doing survey research, and found myself in Galax, which is approximately the traditional music capital of the Universe. I remembered an Alan Lorax recording I used to listen to, where Lomax identifies the singer as “Fields Ward of Galax Virginia”. Long story short, we ended up giving our daughter the middle name of Fields.
Flip Breskin talking about singing as a birthright. A lot of you know Flip as a singer and songwriter. She is adamant that the commercialism of music has helped lead some people to think they “can’t sing”. Flip disagrees: everyone can sing. This realization has made a big difference in the way I perform - in fact, I tend not to perform, but to lead people in song
Watching people improve at song circles. I’ve been going to PFS song circles enough to watch the wonderful way that some people have gotten better and better at singing and playing, going from beginner to really pretty good! Song Circles are a safe place for that to happen, and I think creating that space is one of the great gifts of PFS.

That’s my list. What’s yours? — Paul Rippey, website editor

PFS Board Elections and Annual Meeting

Members, you should have gotten an email inviting you to consider being a candidate for the PFS Board of Directors. It's fun, challenging, and satisfying. 
And, mark your calendar for January 18, 2020 - our annual meeting.

Singtime Registrations

IMG_1448_696712711.JPGRegistration for the Singtime Frolics will begin on January 1. There is already a lot of interest, and we think this is going to be a great year, with Beth Wood as the guest artist. 

Honey Whiskey Trio Workshop

Before their excellent concert on Friday night, the Honey Whiskey Trio offered a workshop for about thirty people. We had a chance to practice some close harmony singing and body percussion. Thanks to the HWT for their energy and the openness with which they share what they know. It was great!

December Song Circle

The annual December Song Circle shows the variety of musical traditions and styles of PFS members. It's a safe bet that there will be traditional Christmas songs, satirical Christmas songs, seasonal songs from other traditions, plus a sprinkling of cowboy ballads, Beatles songs, and Hank Williams. Who know? All good. 

As always, song circles are a great place to bring friends - they don't have to be members. 

Elsewhere on the site

Check out the Events menu to find about Concerts, Song Circles and other PFS events. This week's concerts are on the right of this page, but there is much more on the Events Calendar, the most complete interactive listing of folk events in the Portland area. 

Not a member? It's easy to Join PFS.

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Do you have events that should be posted here? Let us know. Write to

Since 1976, Portland FolkMusic Society has been active preserving, presenting and promoting folk music and arts in the greater Portland Oregon area. PFS sponsors song circles, concerts, workshops and retreats, and helps its members and the whole community pass the word around about folk music events, from old time ballads to sea shanties, from 60’s protest folk to contemporary singer-songwriters.

PFS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. 

Portland Folkmusic Society
P.O. Box 1448
Portland, OR 97207-1448

clef spacer
  Comments, questions, about this site? Write to