Tom Paxton & The Don Juans
MEL LEHAN HALL AT ST. JAMES i
3214 West 10th Ave, Kitsilano
Accessible All ages
This event has already taken place.
This concert is sponsored by MARSH CANADA LIMITED. This sponsorship is in support of local artists and the Rogue Folk Club, which provides good venues to promote these artists.
Tom Paxton’s career has taken him from his days as a drama student at the University of Oklahoma to thousands of concerts in venues ranging from coffee houses in Greenwich Village to the Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. He has recorded more than fifty albums of his own songs. Hundreds of other artists have recorded his songs, including Bob Dylan; Johnny Cash; Willie Nelson; Dolly Parton; Judy Collins; John Denver; Joan Baez; and Peter, Paul and Mary. He has just turned 80!
Tom Paxton has proven to be one of the most durable of the singer/songwriters to emerge from the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the early '60s. In some ways, he had more in common with the late-'50s generation of folksingers such as Dave Van Ronk (who was 16 months his senior) and even older performers than with the new crop of singer/songwriters with whom he tended to be associated, such as Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs (both of whom were several years his junior). But like Dylan and Ochs, and unlike Van Ronk, Paxton was a songwriter caught up in the left-wing political movements of the time and inspired to compose topical and protest songs. In general, his tended to be more lighthearted than theirs (the musical satirist Tom Lehrer was at least as much of an influence on him as Woody Guthrie), though he could be just as witty and just as harshly critical of his opponents.
Like such mentors as Pete Seeger, and unlike Dylan, he never cared to make much of a transition to the mainstream, never picked up an electric guitar and tried to play rock & roll. (None of his many albums ever reached the Top 100, and he never scored a chart single as a recording artist.) Nor did he burn out in the '70s like Ochs. Instead, he kept on, year in and year out, writing and singing songs that commented, often humorously, on the state of the body politic. He also contributed more than a few love songs, some songs of joyous celebration, and especially later in his career, many children's songs. In fact, his biggest successes as a songwriter, the songs that became hits for others and were covered over and over, proving to be his most valuable copyrights, fit into these respective categories: "The Last Thing on My Mind" (by far his most popular work), "Bottle of Wine," and "The Marvelous Toy." But other artists were also attracted to such socially conscious compositions as "What Did You Learn in School Today?" and "Whose Garden Was This?," as well as reflective, melancholy songs like "Ramblin' Boy" and "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound."
The Don Juans are Jon Vezner and Don Henry. Grammy-winning songwriter Jon Vezner is a tunesmith of rare sensitivity and dry wit. His catalog of songs reads like a songbook itself, interpreted and recorded by some of the greats in the business, such as Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Steve Wariner, the Wiggins, Clay Walker, Diamond Rio, BJ Thomas, Janis Ian, John Mellencamp, Nancy Griffith, and Judy Collins. Don Henry is another Grammy-winning writer whose songs have been recorded by Lonestar, Rosie Flores, the Thompson Brothers Band, Bryan White, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and many more.
80TH BIRTHDAY UPDATE:
Tom participated in two birthday celebration concerts, one near his home in Virginia at the Birchmere on October 27, and the other at the Schimmel Center in NYC on October 28. I flew into NYC for the Sunday night event. It was truly a marvelous event with Tom in all his glory. For a guy turning 80 he was spot on with everything and never lost a lyric. The stage was one joyfest with David Amram, Tom Chapin with his band, Pete & Maura Kennedy, Steve Earle, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, who put the whole thing together and Tom's two current musical traveling companions, the Don Juans (Jon Vezner & Don Henry) It was relaxed and casual, while at the same time completely professional and well-organized. Tom Paxton was one of the influences drawing me into folk radio. He certainly represents our community in the best possible light. I am certain that some of his songs will ultimately enter the folk tradition. His generous and affable personality make him a very special artist and person with whom to spend time. - Rich Warren, Long-time host of WFMT Radio's 'Midnight Special' in Chicago.
QUOTES ABOUT TOM:
“Thirty years ago Tom Paxton taught a generation of traditional folk singers that it was noble to write your own songs, and, like a good guitar, he just gets better with age.” — Guy Clark
“Tom Paxton’s songs are so powerful and lyrical, written from the heart and the conscience, and they reach their mark, our most inner being. He writes stirring songs of social protest and gentle songs of love, each woven together with his personal gift for language. His melodies haunt, his lyrics reverberate. I have sung Tom’s songs for three decades and will go on doing so in the new century, for they are beautiful and timeless, and meant for every age.” - Judy Collins
“Tom Paxton embodies the spirit of folk music in the most beautiful sense. Not just in his song crafting, his work ethic, his politics and his dedication to people’s music, but also in his kind and generous heart. When I first started playing folk festivals, I was all of eighteen, shaved headed and politically outspoken. Many people in the folk community at that time seemed defensive and threatened by me, but I remember Tom was a notable exception. He was nothing but warm, welcoming and supportive to me from the git go. He’s the coolest.” - Ani DiFranco
“Every folk singer I know has either sung a Tom Paxton song, is singing a Tom Paxton song or will soon sing a Tom Paxton song. Now either all the folk singers are wrong, or Tom Paxton is one hell of a songwriter.” - Holly Near
The Rogue Folk Club is pleased to provide great SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES for all our shows. For a nominal cost, individuals or businesses can sponsor any of our shows and reap a number of benefits - free tickets, reserved table, recognition on literature, our web site and at the concerts. For more information simply contact our Sponsorship Director Morris Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that the admission price for this concert includes a $2 Venue Improvement Fee that we are required by the St. James Square to collect from every patron. Starting in September 2016, the proceeds from this temporary fee will be used for construction projects such as ventilation, flooring and washrooms that will make the hall a nicer place for you to visit in the future. If you wish, you can make a secure donation by clicking on the big blue button at the bottom of the page at www.sjcommunitysquare.org. For information on donating by phone or post, please contact the St. James Square office at 604-739-9373.