Marlene McCall – 2016


Marlene McCall has been a member of the SFFMC since 2005, its treasurer since 2007, and was director of the SF Free Folk Festival from 2011 to 2014.

Marlene McCall is an avid believer in the power of participatory music to bring people together. An enthusiastic singer with eclectic tastes, she sings traditional British & American songs (especially ballads), rock & roll, jazz standards, 50s-60s-70s pop, folk and acoustic music.


In Harmony’s Way Song Session

In Harmony’s Way started with a group of Bay Area folk musicians who love to sing chorus songs. It has grown into twice-monthly singing sessions in Berkeley, as well as occasional festival workshops like this one! Come sing chorus songs, drinking songs, gospel songs, sea shanties, camp songs, silly songs, sad songs, or anything else with a chorus or refrain so people can sing along. Marlene won’t be teaching, lecturing, or doing anything with much structure, except going in a circle so as many people as possible can take a turn. Attendees are going to sit around and sing for a glorious hour of harmony, laughter, chorus songs, and good company. Each person can lead a song, request a song, or just sing along with the songs of others.

If you are interested in coming to sing with us at our regular In Harmony’s Way sessions, they are held the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Friday of every month, from 8:00-11:00 p.m., at 1606 Bonita Ave. in Berkeley.

Songs of Kate Wolf
with Don Murdoch

Despite its brevity, the musical presence of Kate Wolf, beloved Northern California folk singer and songwriter, had a significant impact on the folk music scene, and many musicians continue to cover her songs. Born in San Francisco, she started her music career in the band Wildwood Flower before recording for ten records as a solo artist. Her best-known compositions include Here in California, Across the Great Divide, the Redtail Hawk, and Give Yourself to Love.

Her songs tell stories about the ebb and flow of life. They’re not flashy or exciting, but they’re filled with keen observations, comfort, wisdom, and independence. Looking at life through the eyes of a poet, she describes people, human sentiment, and the rural life of her native Northern California.

She died in 1986, at age 44, after a long battle with leukemia.

Don and Marlene will lead a song circle of Kate Wolf songs. The format will be based on the same general rules employed at many folk club events – that is, going around the circle and giving each person a chance to either lead or request a Kate Wolf song. Anyone who loves Kate’s songs, singer or instrumentalist, is encouraged to come.