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Messages from Real Folk

From left, Dennis Griffiths, Kim Longmore and Paul Henderson on Old Joes Rock in the Stillaguamish River. The Real Folk trio has released its first CD and they are having a CD release party Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Evergreen Universalist Unitarian Fellowship church, 1607 Fourth St., in Marysville. -
From left, Dennis Griffiths, Kim Longmore and Paul Henderson on Old Joes Rock in the Stillaguamish River. The Real Folk trio has released its first CD and they are having a CD release party Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Evergreen Universalist Unitarian Fellowship church, 1607 Fourth St., in Marysville.
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MARYSVILLE A new north Snohomish County band, Real Folk has released its first CD after a mere 13 months playing together, and they planning to celebrate with a CD release party, open to all, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Evergreen Universalist Unitarian Fellowship church, at 1607 Fourth St., in Marysville.##M{more]##
This trio features Dennis Griffiths, Paul Henderson and Kim Longmore, who discovered one another singing in the choir of EUUF. One of the founders of the Evergreen Coffeehouse music series, Griffiths, and his new collaborators first performed publicly as a trio at Tapestry for TB, a benefit for a nonprofit called Results, at the Evergreen Coffeehouse earlier this year.
This first full collection for each of them features about half of their own original songs and is titled after one of Griffiths song, Stilly River. The other half is a few of their old favorite songs, including What a Wonderful World by Louie Armstrong, Fields of Gold by Sting and Lay Down Your Weary Tune by Bob Dylan.
In the title song, Griffiths reminisces about those good old days when he played in the river at Blue Stilly Park, near Island Crossing. He also writes songs with a global perspective like, Little Blue Dot and humorous, political statements, like in Different Shoes.
Griffiths and Longmore attribute the rapid turnaround of this first CD to Henderson.
He keeps nudging us on, both Griffiths and Longmore agreed during a break from rehearsal last week. The three rehearse weekly in the Pepto Bismo pink and turquoise living room of Hendersons, which he said was painted by his wife long before bright colors became vogue. The room is big enough for a grand piano and his centrally located between Griffiths, who lives in the southwestern corner of Arlington and Longmore who lives in the future growth area of Lake Stevens.
You could call us a message band Henderson said.
He and Longmore generally work together when creating new songs.
One that they are especially proud of, It begins with you, It begins with me, was carried to Washington D.C. by Teresa Rug, the local director of Results after the Tapestry concert last spring. Also on the collection are Lucky and Bridge the Generations with Love.
All three believe strongly that music has the power to bring about positive change in the world.
Music is our tool for making a difference, Henderson said.
I believe that folk music will lead the way to a more peaceful and humane world, said Griffiths, who has been playing acoustic guitar since age 15.
He has explored country, rock and blues and finds elements of all in their new collection.
Griffiths played at Snohomish County clubs with a band named Just Us until he grew tired of inhaling second-hand smoke. Then he started playing outdoor festivals and small gatherings with a bluegrass and swing group called Sagegrass. Thats when he discovered the mandolin. In recent years, he has added his vocal harmony to the groups, Acoustic Detour and Somebodys Mother, of Camano Island. But it was a long drive to the middle of Camano, so he is very happy to discover this new collaboration.
With this new band, Griffiths sees himself returning to his roots that were inspired by the works of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Claudia Schmidt and Tim OBrien.
Originating in Colorado, Paul Henderson started learning to sing and played guitar with his father at age 5. They spent many evenings playing music together and he explored different types of music through high school and college. Besides his father, influences include Peter Paul and Mary, Hank Williams, Carole King, James Taylor, Nora Jones and Bette Midler. His two children are now following in his footsteps. Indeed, his son Zack plays drums on the new CD.
The third component of the trio, Kim Longmore has loved to sing her entire life, which started in Southern Utah.
Ask my mom, she said. I would walk around the house making up songs.
While weeding the garden in the hot son, she imagined herself singing her heart out like Tanya Tucker on a big stage. Longmore played piano and violin as a child, and then took guitar and vocal lessons later in life. She sang in choirs and school musicals making a debut in her fifth-grade Christmas program, singing We Three Kinds to an auditorium full of people.
Singing with Real Folk has been the most incredible musical experience, she said. The creative energy that flows through the three of us makes magic. I think it is safe to say we inspire one another.
She has also been inspired by Wynona, Sarah McLachlan and Janis Joplin.
Most of all, I am inspired by independent musicians who love music and want to make the world a better place. Its really fun to be around people who care, she said.
Real Folk has performed together at the EUUF open mikes, at Wired & Unplugged in Snohomish, and at Zippys Coffeehouse in Everett.
They recorded their first collection of songs right up the street from Hendersons house, at Whiskey Ridge Recording Studio, with Mark Hibbert.
He has great ears, Griffiths said.
Its good to have a producer with good ears, Henderson agreed.
In their effort to make a difference, Real Folk has committed to donation $2 from the sale of each CD toward the Real Folk Foundation, which they have created to support causes that will leave the world a better place.
Their first goal is to fight poverty and disease around the world especially AIDS and TB.
For more information see the Web site at www.realfolk.net.
Admission to the CD release party is by donation to the Evergreen Coffeehouse.

Stilly River
by Dennis Griffiths

I remember those summer afternoons;
Swimmin to the light of the moon
Jumpin off Old Joes Rock
Laughin at the hands on the clock
I used to be so wild and free,
Just like that river that carried me
Oh Stilly River where I long to be,
Cool clear waters just a memory.
From the sides of majestic Big Four
to the green fields of Silvana


It Begins with You,
It Begins with Me

by Kim Longmore and Paul Henderson

I thought by now in this place and this time
that wed no longer see hunger in the eyes of a child
Its time to wake up and do something now and
Yes I see, it begins with you; it begins with me.
That wed have the cure to keep our children alive.
We cant keep waiting, were part of this race.
We cant sit back, we must take our place.
Now is the time
Where every children can live in this time in a world without hunger in a place without fear.
Were part of the reason, were part of this plan.

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