Sunday, September 17 at 7:30PM
Phil Ochs wrote over 100 songs during his far too brief 35 years on earth. He was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and distinctive voice. The politicians always seem to hold up their end, and Phil’s lyrics are as relevant today as they were when they were written in the 1960’s and 1970’s. To keep Phil’s music alive, groups of performers led by Phil’s sister Sonny Ochs have gotten together to perform his beloved songs ever since 1983. This Phil Ochs Song Night features outstanding musicians Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, Reggie Harris, and Tom Prasada-Rao and will be hosted by Sonny Ochs. Phil Ochs loved a cause, and this concert has one. Proceeds will benefit Family Promise North Shore Boston, an interfaith hospitality network that provides shelter, meals, job support and case management for homeless families. First Congregational Church of Rockport is a Family Promise host church.
Originally from Richmond, VA, Greg Greenway moved to Boston for its rich folk music tradition and has become one of its most unique and superlative emissaries. Greenway is one of those difficult-to-categorize performers who has found a home in the modern acoustic genre. His collaboration with Joe Jencks and Pat Wictor as Brother Sun has taken him all over North America for the last five years. “Some Part of the Truth” their second CD was the number one CD on the Folk DJ list for the year 2013, and their third CD “Weights and Wings”, was the number one CD for 2016.
Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. He has since made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that incorporate – and subvert – rural blues and gospel traditions. An American by birth, Pat’s early years were spent in Venezuela, Holland, Norway, England, and East Texas. His time abroad gave him the perspective of a world citizen, and set him on a journey to understanding America through music. He is a second member of Brother Sun.
A well-traveled performer, lecturer and cultural ambassador, Reggie Harris has earned wide acclaimed and respect from peers and audiences alike throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and around the world. He combines spirituals and roots music, historic inspiration, and moving original songs, often in the themes of unity and social justice. Known for over 40 years as one-half of the eminently prominent duo, Kim & Reggie Harris, Reggie continues to criss-cross the country, carrying the message of joy, unity, tolerance and peace through the powerful medium of live music.
Tom Prasada-Rao is a musician’s musician – an unassuming presence on the folk scene since the early nineties. His voice belies his musicianship and his extraordinary songs. From Rishi’s Garden with its homage to Ravi Shankar to the groove of Sleeping Beauty , Tom’s music is melodic, ambitious, and reverent. From headlining major festivals 15 years ago, to the relative obscurity of a recording studio, Tom continued to mature as an artist. That work blossomed into an impressive resume of producing credits as well as songs covered by other artists.
Sonny Ochs has been involved in the folk music scene since the early 1980s. Starting out as a DJ on WFMU in New Jersey, she joined the People’s Music Network and Hudson River Sloop Singers shortly thereafter. She was a DJ on WRPI in Troy, NY for 18 years and is now on WIOX, a local radio station closer to home. She has produced concerts in her neighborhood since she first moved to the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains in 1986. She has been active on many levels with the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance since its inception. She volunteers at many folk festivals and conferences in many capacities. Sonny is a tireless advocate and supporter of contemporary folk musicians.