The 11th Annual Benefit Concert

Each January WFMA sponsors a exciting evening of folk music, bringing together a unique mixture of both well-known and lesser known folk performers. It is a wonderful opportunity to see and hear your favorite folk performers as well as become aquainted with new ones. The 1996 concert was one of the best ever. The performers (and special activites) were, in the order of their appearance:

Picture of Eddie from Ohio opened the show with three energetic songs, "Imagine Me", "The Bridge", and the gospel-tinged "Operator" that beautifully showcased their rhythmic and percussive acoustic stlye.
dazzled the crowd again this year with phenomenal twin guitar work and Maura's vocals on "River of Fallen Stars", the title song of their first album, and "Life is Strange", the title song of their upcoming second effort. Picture of Pete & Maura
Picture of Bill Danoff took advantage of the fine musical talent present that evening to present a varied selection of music. Accompanied by and (pictured at left) he sang his wonderful composition, "Potter's Wheel". He also performed a very funny song called "You Gotta Love the Irish" and brought 's Mike Auldridge on stage for "Take Me Home, Country Roads", which Bill and Taffy Nivert wrote with John Denver here in Washington in 1971.
who have performed at all WFMA Benefit Concerts, delighted the audience with their combination of John Denver's "Dreamland Express" and the Everly Brothers' "All I Have to do is Dream". They also performed "Runnaway", with their accompianist , Philip Cary Bloch, performing the instrumental break on the fiddle.
accompanying herself on the harp and sounding a bit like Shawn Colvin, was one of the surprise hits of the evening. Her songs included "Water Hole", from her first album, and "Time". Picture of Dee Carstensen
The 1996 WFMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to for his continued contribution to folk music for over 50 years, Presenting the award to Oscar was Jean Ritchie, his longtime friend and singing partner.

the man of a thousand songs and a million stories, delighted the crowd again this year with examples of how his old pal, Woody Guthrie created his memorable songs, and also included a song called "Socks Lament", about the problems of being the White House cat -- sung from the cat's point of view.
were perhaps the biggest hit of the concert. This was their first public appearance in the Washington area, and they wasted no time in poking fun at liberals, conservatives, and folk music itself in a stunning set of original satirical songs. "Folk music is the music of the people, but its good anyway" was a typical observation, as was the line that "folk fans wear turttlenecks instead of washing regularly" and that "folk music in our hands will suffer for years to come". Picture of the Foremen
Picture of the Highwaymen Getting the second half of the concert of to a great start were (from right to left) Steve Trott, Steve Butts, Dave Fisher, and Bob Burnet. The highlight of their set was a two song medley of "Michael" and "It's a Long Way Down from Number One".
enchanted the audience with a song called "My Dad's Yard", about a father who never threw anything away, and a very clever song called "Oops, I'm Sorry".
Picture of Chesapeake kept the audience's attention with their crisp version of Ian Tyson's "Summer Wages" and a very different arrangement of "Columbus Stockade", featuring Mike Auldridge on steel Guitar.
Carolyn Hester presented the 1995 Kate Wolf Award to by saying: "It's really exciting to be here... Kate Wolf is the guardian angel of folk singers, folk singer/songwriters. I hate even to call this the Kate Wolf Memorial Award. Her music still lives on and of course is forever associated with Kate for recording "Across the Great Divide"... I know that Kate was someone who empowered women as has done so, so often.... Would you please help me make welcome Miss ." Picture of Carolyn Hester and Nanci Griffith
Picture of Carolyn Hester and Nanci Griffith In accepting the award, Nanci said: "Kate was introspective and ... diving really into the insides of all of us while diving into herself... I myself have always hidden behind fiction, and Kate never did that. She just simply gave us her heart."
Picture of Schooner Fare closed the concert in fine form with a mixture of their soft ballads and their more energetic songs, including "Portland Town" and "Calgary".
Picture of Finale

The evening came to a end with all the performers on stage for a rousing rendition of "The Midnight Special", followed by one of Kate Wolf's most popular songs, "Give Yourself to Love".

Photo of CD Cover A CD containing highlights of the 11th Annual WFMA Benefit Concert is now available. The price is $15.