2012 Press Tour / New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
May 19 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Folk Fest 12:00pm
May 20 Princeton, NJ WPRB-FM "Music You Can't Hear on the Radio" 8-9pm www.wprb.com
May 23 Allentown, PA Sing Out! Radio / WDIY-FM
May 25-27 Port Murray, NJ Folk Project Spring Festival
May 27 Philadelphia, PA WXPN-FM "The Folk Show"
May 29 NY/NJ Folk Project TV
June 3 Hackettstown, NJ WNTI-FM "Crow's Nest"
June 4 New York, NY IBPA Awards
“A joyous celebration of folk musicians and their world.” Booklist
There’s never been a book like Scott Alarik’s Revival, and there’s never been a book release like it, either. It is the first novel set entirely in the vibrant modern folk world, and like a good folk song, word has been spreading for months throughout that world. It’s being widely distributed in book stores, and enthusiastically supported by the National Book Network. But it’s also being sold in folk clubs, and tracks of Alarik reading from the novel, set to music by Jake Armerding, are receiving national airplay on folk radio programs. Both globally popular Internet station Folk Alley and WUMB-FM, the nation’s only full-time folk station, selected Revival as their fundraiser premium.
Folk stars everywhere are singing the novel’s praises, including ‘60s superstar Tom Paxton, Catie Curtis, Meg Hutchinson, Ellis Paul, Americana sensation Mary Gauthier, Grammy-winning banjoist Alison Brown, and Maine folk legend Gordon Bok, who called it “Just about the warmest, most nourishing book I’ve read.” “Music lifts us up,” wrote songwriter-activist Si Kahn. “So does Revival.”
In Cambridge, where the novel is set, it’s being embraced as no book in memory. September was officially named “Revival Month in Harvard Square,” connecting the book’s release to an array of events that exemplify the square’s unique mix of hipness and tradition. And now the Harvard Square Business Association has decided to make every September Revival Month. “We love the idea of celebrating this book,” said HSBA director Denise Jillson. “Revival Month is not about reliving the past, but reviving the best traditions and making them part of the present. And that’s what Alarik’s novel is all about.”
Award-winning independent publisher Peter E. Randall created a new imprint, Songsmith, expressly for Revival. The goal for publisher and author is to create a bridge between the folk world and the book trade, so that more books appealing to folk fans can be nurtured.
A book like this needed a unique launch, and fabled Harvard Square coffeehouse Club Passim hosted it. Alarik read from the novel, and swapped songs with folk stars Ellis Paul, Meg Hutchinson, Alastair Moock, and Jake Armerding. This, too, is becoming a tradition, and Passim will host a First Birthday Bash for Revival next September. Asked why he wanted to be part of the Revival show, Ellis Paul said, “Because it’s written by Scott Alarik. He probably knows more about folk music than anybody, and has been a great writer for the Boston Globe and other publications. I don’t think anybody could have written a novel like this better. Reading it, I felt like I was looking into my own life, but in a way that was also everybody’s life.”
Praise for Revival:
“A fascinating introduction to folk music and a joyous celebration of folk musicians and their world.” –– Booklist
“Characters so believable that you want to go hear them in concert.” — Catie Curtis, songwriter
“ A terrific, cathartic, hard-to-put-down read.”
–– Mark Moss, editor, Sing Out! The Folk Music Magazine
“A rich tale with believable characters and hard truths about the folk musician’s life…a great read for both music fans and lovers of fiction.”
–– Ellis Paul, songwriter, author
“A moving story set in the modern trenches of the urban folk music world…beautifully painted. I recommend it very highly.” –– Tom Paxton, songwriter,
“Nobody knows the ins and outs of the non-fiction folk world like Scott Alarik, so it's not surprising he's created a fictional folk world that rings so honest and true. I started rooting for his characters from page one of Revival, and I kept thinking about them long after the book was done. I'm thinking about them still.”
–– Christine Lavin, songwriter, humorist.
“You don’t need to know anything about folk music… to love the story and characters.” –– Matt Smith, manager, Club Passim, Harvard Square
“I recommend you read it….The book is a big hit in the folk world!”
Wanda Fisher, WAMC-FM, Albany, NY
Scott Alarik -- Author Biography
"The finest folk writer in the country." Dar William "One of the best writers in America" Pete Seeger
For the past 25 years, Scott Alarik has been arguably the most prolific and influential folk music writer in the country. He covered folk for the Boston Globe, contributed regularly to public radio, including seven years as correspondent for the national news show Here and Now, and wrote for many national magazines, including Sing Out!, Billboard, and Performing Songwriter. From 1991-97, he was editor and principal writer for the New England Folk Almanac. In 2003, his first book, Deep Community: Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground, was published, prompting the Library Journal to call it “an essential primer to the continuing folk revival.”
Now, Alarik has written Revival, the first novel set entirely in the folk world of the 21st century. Even before publication, the love story was earning raves from Booklist (“A joyous celebration of folk musicians and their world”), and from folk stars like Tom Paxton, Ellis Paul, Catie Curtis, John Gorka, Alison Brown, Mary Gauthier, and Gordon Bok, who called it “just about the warmest, most nourishing book I’ve read.”
Alarik was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and became a folksinger immediately after graduating from high school in 1969. He made his professional debut as a weekend regular at an oh-so-‘60s coffeehouse called Heads Together. He also actively opposed the Vietnam War, joining the Resistance Movement while still in high school by publicly refusing to register for the draft. He was convicted of resisting the draft and served 19 months in federal prison. After his release in 1972, he became a fixture on the national folk circuit, performing regularly on A Prairie Home Companion, releasing three vinyl albums, and appearing at such legendary venues as the Coffeehouse Extemporé in Minneapolis, Somebody Else’s Troubles and Earl of Old Town in Chicago, Caffé Lena in Saratoga Springs, Godfrey Daniels and the Cherry Tree in Pennsylvania, the Speakeasy in Greenwich Village, and the Idler, Old Vienna, Iron Horse, and Club Passim in Massachusetts.
A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor wrote of him, “I’ve rarely seen an audience in such a good mood as when he’s just been there.”
After moving to Boston in 1984, Alarik was invited to write for the Boston Globe and soon became its principal folk music writer, covering that vibrant beat for nearly 25 years. He was the first Boston critic to write about many of today’s biggest folk stars, including Ani DiFranco, Alison Krauss, Solas, Dar Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kate Rusby, Shemekia Copeland, Susan Werner, Eileen Ivers, Vance Gilbert, Catie Curtis, Ellis Paul, Eilen Jewell, Meg Hutchinson, and Crooked Still. Wall Street Journal writer Earle Hitchner calls him “one of America's most astute music critics and chroniclers.”
He is also a popular presenter of talks on folk music topics at colleges, museums, folk societies, and other venues. He was invited to deliver the inaugural Botkin Folklife Lecture at the Library of Congress, and teaches an annual course called “Understanding Folk Music” at McDaniel College’s Common Ground music camp.
Alarik has maintained his performing career, appearing at coffeehouses near his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and releasing two CDs, “-30-” and “All That Is True.” In singing the praises of Revival, Si Kahn wrote, “Scott Alarik has long been one of the wisest and most literate voices on the folk scene, from his articles and books to his own passionate songwriting, storytelling and performances.”