frets & refrains counselors
Spend a week with like-minded folk, singing, strumming, writing, reflecting, and philosophizing on the possibilities of music. Added to this sympathetic environment, we have some of the finest musicians available to share their experience and insight, and a fantastic body of attendees, who never cease to amaze with their enthusiasm, breadth of knowledge, and development.
Richard Thompson is a critically acclaimed guitarist, singer, and songwriter, with a unique style and vision.
Richard grew up in London, the son of a music-loving policeman father and a Vera Lynn sound-alike mother. His early musical taste was shaped by Django, Jimmy Shand, and Jerry Lee on the family gramophone. His early school band featured Hugh Cornwell (of the Stranglers), before he co-founded Fairport Convention as a teenager. He then had a ten year collaboration with his ex-wife Linda Thompson before a highly successful solo career that has resulted in more than 40 records, numerous film and television scores, and over 400 songs. Selections from his critically acclaimed catalogue have been recorded by Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Los Lobos, REM, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss, and countless others, earning him both the British Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting at the Americana Awards in both Nashville and London as well as the BBC.
As a guitar player, Thompson is a musician’s musician. Wildly innovative on both electric or acoustic guitars, his distinctive style incorporates a wide range of influences, from traditional British and Celtic styles to jazz, rockabilly, and more. He has been recognized with the Orville H Gibson Best Acoustic Guitarist Award, the MOJO Les Paul Award, plus Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time list. He was honoured by the Queen of England with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to music, and by the University of Aberdeen with an Honorary Doctorate.
On the Americanarama Tour, Bob Dylan himself played Thompson’s song ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning.’ His most recent CD, ‘Still’, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, reached #6 on the UK charts….just ahead of Taylor Swift! Volume 2 of ‘Acoustic Classics,’ along with a third installment in the series, ‘Acoustic Rarities,’ is available now.
(aka camp mom)
Nancy Covey is used to helping musicians away from home! Aside from being Camp Mom she is actual mom to Jack Thompson, stepmom to Teddy and stepgranny to Zak. Prior to camp, she works all year organizing Frets & Refrains, setting class schedules and making sure campers have enough free/fun time too! During camp Nancy will be your welcoming emcee and is always on hand to help with any questions so you can enjoy your week in the mountains.
Nancy was Concert Director at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica when she booked Richard Thompson’s first USA solo tour back in 1981. These seminal gigs brought RT to the greater attention of American audiences and also led to their decades long personal partnership. During Nancy’s stint at McCabes she met and worked with most of the major folk, jazz, celtic, blues and Americana musicians, including many F&R teachers. As well as producing major concerts and music festivals, Nancy runs her own company, Festival Tours International. Her “un tours” (not for tourists!) specialize in traditional music and cultures of the countries they visit. Past tours include Spain, Zimbabwe, Sardinia & Corsica, Ireland, England & Scotland and more! Her annual Louisiana Music Tour (April 27-May 3, 2018 ) to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival includes a personally curated tour of the Cajun Country where trip members are invited into the homes of Louisiana’s top musicians. All her tours give trip members a real “insider’s”experience of the music, people and culture of the places they visit. Recently Nancy has been a pioneer in leading People to People music tours to Cuba. Upcoming trips include Louisiana, Brittany and South Africa. www.festival-tours.com
Patty Griffin is a Grammy-Award winning artist who has achieved great acclaim for her songwriting as well as her powerful voice. Her first two albums, "Living With Ghosts" and "Flaming Red" are considered seminal albums in the singer-songwriter genre, while "Children Running Though" won Best Album and led to her being named Best Artist at the 2007 Americana Music Awards. She won the Grammy for "Downtown Church," her 2010 gospel album. Her songs have been covered by a myriad of artists including Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez and Bette Midler.
Very much in the traditions of American transcendental writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, and mystical poets like Rumi and Rainer Maria Rilke, Patty Griffin grounds her themes of love and mystery in the experience and rhythms of the everyday, the stuff of life. "Servant Of Love" takes on big ideas, but does so in the vernacular of folk tales, blues cants and jazz gestures. Griffin’s characteristic expressive vocals - equal measures passion and poignancy - and her potent songwriting blur the lines between the personal, the spiritual and the political. These songs move and persuade while they dive deep.
We are thrilled to welcome Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Patty Griffin who will be teaching morning and afternoon classes.
Teddy Thompson is an acclaimed singer-songwriter with a career that has consistently garnered critical praise. NPR proclaims that he’s “the musical equivalent of an arrow to the heart,” while The New York Times calls his work “beautifully finessed.” Teddy released his first, self- titled album in 2000.
In 2002, Thompson played a key role in drawing his mother out of a 17-year musical retirement to record her landmark disc Fashionably Late, which he played on and co-produced. Thompson also toured as part of Rosanne Cash’s band before signing with Verve. Soon after, Thompson released his much lauded 2006 sophomore album Separate Ways, which demonstrated how much his songwriting, performing and record-making skills had evolved since his debut. It was followed in 2007 by Up Front & Down Low, a collection of personally charged readings of classic American country songs that demonstrated Thompson's increased assurance as a performer and interpreter. In 2008, Thompson released the upbeat and highly acclaimed, A Piece of What You Need, which was declared “one of this year’s best” by The Guardian and debuted at #9 in the UK’s pop charts. A fifth studio effort, Bella, was released February 2011 to much acclaim and led to touring the world with Elton John among other things.
In 2014 Thompson gathered his musical clan to release Family, one of the folk records of the year which garnered a multi-page, in depth piece from The New York Times magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/magazine/teddy-thompsons-folk-rock-family-reunion.html
In 2016 Teddy released Little Windows, a record of original duets with singer Kelly Jones. The album was recorded live to tape and features an all-star band of backing musicians. Teddy also produced Dori Freeman’s debut album which was hailed by The New York Times as one of the year’s best https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/07/arts/music/new-albums-from-infamous-stringdusters-trixie-whitley-and-others.html?_r=0
2017 sees the release of the long-awaited Shelby Lynn & Allsion Moorer duets record produced by Thompson. Not Dark Yet released in August.
Dobro, steel guitar and lap steel player Cindy Cashdollar’s career has taken some surprising twists and turns that have led her to work with many leading artists in various genres; including Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Rod Stewart, Albert Lee, Asleep At The Wheel, Marcia Ball, Jorma Kaukonen, Leon Redbone, BeauSoleil, Daniel Lanois, Redd Volkaert, & Peter Rowan.
Cindy’s unerring ability to perfectly complement a song or step out with a tasteful, imaginative, and exciting solo – and to do it in so many musical genres – has made her one of the most in-demand musicians on the American roots music scene. Her debut CD, “Slide Show”, features guest artists comprising a Who’s Who from the landscape of Roots & Americana music.
A five time Grammy winner with Asleep At The Wheel, Cindy was also inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame in 2011 (the first female to be inducted), and the Texas Music Hall Of Fame in 2012. The Americana Music Association nominated her in the category of Instrumentalist Of The Year in 2016.
And, in answer to her most frequently asked question, yes, Cashdollar is a real name.
Tony McManus hails from Paisley, Scotland, and currently lives in Canada. He is considered one of the leading exponents of Celtic fingerstyle acoustic guitar. He has worked with the Celtic Fiddle festival, made duo albums with Alasdair Fraser and Beppe Gambetta, accompanied singers Kate Rusby and Dougie MacLean, piper Gordon Duncan and has played Bach at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art sharing the bill with John Mc Laughlin. He has recorded six albums of his own to date, and has featured on dozens more. Paul Reed Smith Guitars honoured him with his own signature model.
Happy Traum’s decades-long involvement in traditional and contemporary folk music has brought him recognition as a performer, writer, editor, teacher, recording artist and first-rate fingerstyle guitarist. He was a student of blues guitar legend Brownie McGhee, who was a major influence on his guitar style. An active participant in the legendary Greenwich Village folk scene, Happy made his recording debut in 1963 with Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Gil Turner and others, and later recorded three duets with Dylan on his Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 album. He has since played in concerts, clubs and festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan, both solo and with his late brother, Artie Traum. He has released numerous CDs and has performed and/or recorded with Dylan, Levon Helm, John Sebastian, Larry Campbell, Chris Smither, Maria Muldaur, Eric Andersen, Rory Block, Allen Ginsberg and many other major figures in the folk music world.
As one of America’s best-known guitar instructors, Happy has taught at major guitar camps, clinics and workshops throughout the country. He is the author of more than a dozen best-selling guitar instruction books and has written numerous articles for leading music publications. As the co-owner (with Jane Traum) of Homespun Tapes, Happy has produced more than 500 music lessons on DVDs, books and CDs with some of the world’s top artists.
Sloan Wainwright is a singer and a songwriter of rare power and subtlety serving up doses of the real and the mysterious in a soaring, soulful contralto. Singing with the extended McGarrigle-Wainwright family, Sloan has rocked the house from Carnegie Hall to London’s Royal Albert Hall,
and has released seven memorable records since her self-titled debut in 1994. She brings the same energy to her work as a solo artist, melding the best of pop, folk, jazz, and blues to create a unique, soulful hybrid. Sloan has been playing clubs, concerts, and festivals coast to coast for two decades, triggering tears, hoots and hollers with deeply personal lyrics that connect life’s mysterious dots.
A born storyteller and poet, Sloan started writing songs when she was 10. “Sitting at the piano and making up songs was my playground – a very safe place, magical and mystical. I surprised myself with what was in my head and how it all fit together.”
For the last 22 years, she has been sharing that process with students, spreading the gospel of personal expression and lyrical reinvention. Sloan’s open-hearted approach to singing, songwriting and letting loose has made her a treasured presence at a host of prestigious workshops, including The Swannanoa Gathering, Summersongs, Summer Acoustic Music Week, Winter Acoustic Weekend, Cape Cod Songwriters Retreat, Moab Folk Camp, and last year’s Frets and Refrains Guitar & Songwriting Camp. She is thrilled to be returning to Frets and Refrains again this summer, to share her love of song and story.
From folk and folk-rock to the improvisional jazz scene in London, to Welsh rock and reggae, to modern dance sound tracks, to alt pop and world music, London born Simon Tassano has been involved with the making, recording, mixing and production of music for many years.
He has been working with Richard Thompson for 30 plus years, both live and in the studio. His expertise in mixing and preparing live recordings for commercial release was employed on Thompson’s grammy nominated Dream Attic. He has also had a long collaboration with didjeridu master Stephen Kent, working together through Lights In a Fat City (the original didjeridu based combo of the London Rave scene in the mid/late 80’s who released the seminal LP “Somewhere”), Trance Mission (San Francisco based “4th World” band), dance pieces, and many solo projects as producer and engineer.
For several years he was one of the few non Welsh-speaking engineers and producers working at Sian Studio in North Wales, working with Geraint Jarmen, Rhiannon Tomas, Endalf Emlyn, Myfyr Issac among others. He is now based in Austin, TX. Working in the digital domain but employing tube outboard equipment for processing and summing, Simon produces quality recordings of the highest standard.
Bobby Eichorn is a producer, studio engineer, songwriter, guitar builder and, most importantly, musician. As Jack of all trades he has been involved with Richard Thompson’s various projects (RT Band, RT Trio, 1000 Years, Cabaret of Souls) for the past two decades as Stage Manager, Instrument Tech as well as additional guitar or bass player when needed.
Aside from Richard, Bobby has worked with many other musicians including Carly Simon, Bon Jovi, Ian Hunter, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Jon Lord, Ben Taylor, and Hall & Oats just to name a few.
Bobby also composes and produces his own music available at:
CD Baby http://cdbaby.com/cd/bobbyicon
Jack proudly played bass on the 2015 Thompson family album and recorded a CD with Henry Kaiser. He also played on and coordinated a musical project recorded in Havana with US and Cuban musicians. Now living in Seattle, Jack plays in various musical projects ranging from jazz to death metal as well as designing merch and albums for local Seattle projects such as the Naked Giants.
Jack is a keen naturalist and zoologist so he is your “go to” man if you need help with identifying any of the wildlife at camp – as well as help finding classes, answering questions about the camp, cats, your instrument or if you need some solid bass for your new songs at the Open Mic – so feel free to ask him anything!
Jack is in charge of the F&R merchandise store as well as being the coordinator of the F&R Open Mic, along with Bobby Eichorn and Zak Hobbs. Jack will be your MC at Open Mic in the Roadhouse and is also the DJ host of the phenomenal old-school Dance Party on our final night at Frets & Refrains!
Singer-songwriter, guitarist, London born Zak Hobbs is the grandson of Richard and Linda Thompson, and nephew to Teddy and Jack. In 2015, Zak featured on his family’s collaborative album, called Thompson. Zak is also the multi-instrumentalist for the BBC Folk Award winning band, “The Rails.” He has also toured with Teddy Thompson and Sunny Ozell.
Zak is an advanced student of Richard’s Hybrid picking technique, a specialty he has been successfully teaching for the last 6 years. Zak will be holding an informal Guitar Circle at Frets & Refrains that will cover the basic techniques of hybrid picking and interpretations of RT’s guitar music as well as being available for one on one sessions.
In the evenings Zak helps host the Open Mic and is available if you need guitar accompaniment for your song.
Selena Reynolds teaches yoga at Shakti Yoga Studios in Woodstock and Saugerties, Woodstock Yoga Center, and Menla Mountain Retreat Center. She is certified at both the 200 and 500 hour levels and maintains a dedicated personal practice as she continues to study all aspects of yoga. She finds that the practice of yoga teaches her to stay balanced, open, and joyous as she strives to act with love, joy and, optimism in every situation. Her teaching style is exploratory and playful, incorporating both vinyasa flow and held postures with detailed breath and alignment instruction to help students develop stronger connection within themselves through movement and concentration. Selena’s Yoga For Musicians classes at Full Moon are accessible for ALL levels, including beginners. They will help you to release tension from both body and mind and empower your creative self!
Annaliese Moyer Tassano is a professional photographer specializing in capturing the performing arts. She will again be documenting all of Frets and Refrains in 2017. All images will be available for participants to view and/or purchase following the camp – by far some of the best photos at Camp have been taken by Annaliese (as you can see in this website)!
Richard Thompson fans will have seen her work on the covers of the Live at Celtic Connections DVD, Richard’s 2012 Record Store Day single, on the pages of Dream Attic’s packaging, and on numerous leads for No Depression. Her work has also been seen in Rolling Stone and Billboard, and her fine art work has received awards from Photomedia Center, Creative Quarterly, Ex Arte Equinus, and Spectrum.