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Shenandoah, Winterfolk & Gratitude

Mandocello, mandolins and the influence of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address

Let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other…” – This is from the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address which I first learned in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, “Braiding Sweetgrass”. There are lots of versions on the web and here’s a link to one from a great, local project, Legacies, Earth to Table. In it we thank all the life sustaining dimensions of Nature and acknowledge the inherent reciprocity required as we all form parts of one whole. I definitely recommend checking the whole thing out. Our human world could certainly use more of that wisdom.

I start with this because our song of the month, free download is Shenandoah. The Shenandoah named in the famous song was a Haudenosaunee chief. Originally made up by voyageurs, the song was sung as a shanty on boats all over the world in the 19th century. Unlike a number versions of the song, I didn’t want to sing about wanting to take Shenandoah’s daughter away “across the wide Missouri”. When I included it on my new album, “Long Time Travelling”, I was relating to the forces that carry us forward on our journeys and thinking of what could internally anchor us as we cross the many waters of life. So in my imagination Shenandoah’s voice was one that connected me to that ancient wisdom, that is reflected in the Thanksgiving Address

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Also coming up is a performance by Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band at this year’s online Winterfolk. Winterfolk is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary in 2022! The festival runs Feb. 19, 20 & 21 and they have an amazing line-up throughout weekend. Our set is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (details below) It was awesome to play live off the floor with Rosalyn Dennett, Rob McLaren and Gord Mowat for the first time since the pandemic and it was expertly captured by Tim O’Reilly (Soundstill Prod.) and audio engineer extraordinaire, Nik Tjelios.

  • The stream is free, but they do encourage donations to Winterfolk. Viewers need to register here
  • After successful registration, an email will be sent with password, including a link to the stream page. 
Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band to perform for Winterfolk 2022