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MOO Music Gathering

November 5-6, 2021

We have a great slate of Featured Performers and workshops lined-up, with the inimitable Anne Hills and Joel Mabus bringing their special brands of musical magic to the Gathering. 

Anne Hills.jpg

Anne Hills is one of the most beloved voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for her live performances, her unique solo and collaborative recording projects, and her overall artistry and benefit work. Whether she is singing her own songs accompanied with her guitar, banjo, or simply a Tibetan bell, she puts her whole heart and soul into the moment. The AllMusic Guide says, “A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary music’s premiere vocalists … Her knack for writing heartfelt songs [has] brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.” and Tom Paxton says, “Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic, and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”

Vintage Voice - Long Live Singing!   11:30 AM-1:30 PM CDT



Why do some people sing well into their 70s and 80s and others develop vocal polyps, chronic hoarseness and stop singing altogether? Judy Collins is 81, Willie Nelson, 87, Tony Bennett is 94 and Kris Kristofferson just retired, at 85 years old. 


Singing is athletic, using mostly unseen muscles and cartilage in the throat, ears and abdomen that need to be kept flexible and strong. This workshop reviews tools and information to keep your voice healthy and sound your very best whether you’re singing in front of 10,000 festival attendees or for your great-grandchild. 



Writing Simply, Simply Writing            4:30-6:30 PM CDT          


Beginning a lyric on a blank page or humming a fresh new melody is easier when you bring your imagination and playfulness.  A song can be written with only one chord, to the beat of your heart or added to the sound of marching feet (“You ain't got no friends on the left, you're right ...”). And often, play songs last the longest, composed in-the-moment and ingrained in our memories because of their usefulness, their joyful simplicity. Lullabies are a perfect example, with the oldest known lullaby surviving 5,000 years of use. So, let's get writing!

This workshop will explore ways to simply write by writing simply without judgement or expertise. Whether you play an instrument or just tap your toes, bring your love of play with you.

Ann Hills Website

Anne Hills - "Follow That Road"

Joel Mabus.jpg

Joel Mabus may be called a singer-songwriter, but he doesn't sound like one.  He's the son of a 1930's old time fiddle champ and a banjo-pickin' farm girl.  His performing career began in college during the Vietnam era, where he studied anthropology and literature by day and played coffeehouses by night. One critic writes, "Joel Mabus knows his way around the English language and American culture just as well as he knows his way around a fretboard.”  Born in 1953 in the southern Illinois town of Belleville, Joel has recorded 27 solo albums of original and traditional music since his recording career started in 1978.  Joel's latest CD is 2019's Time & Truth  a return to songwriting both topical & timeless. Among his awards: inducted into the Detroit Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2000, the inaugural Lantern Bearer Award presented by Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FAI) in 2006.   A one-off in the folk world, Mabus defies any easy pigeon-hole.  His palette ranges from mountain banjo to jazz guitar -- from sensitive introspection to wicked satire.  He's both picker & poet, and from coast to coast over the past 40 years this Midwesterner has brought audiences to their feet, wanting more.

The Big Little Ukulele      9:00-11:00 AM CDT

In this workshop we will look at how to make the little ukulele sound a just little bigger.  Our focus is on chords in this two-hour class.  I have found that on a four-string instrument, I really don’t want to waste a string by duplicating a note.  I always look for chords that give a different note for each string.  But isn’t that hard to do? A finger buster?  Not necessarily.  In this class we will learn to play 4-note chords with only one or two fingers (ok, maybe three) of the left hand.  Amazingly, most uke chord books don’t show you many of these great sounding chords that are so easy to make!  We will delve into two songs from the Great American Songbook, both from the 1920’s and fun to sing and play:  “Sweet Sue,” and “My Blue Heaven.”   Arranged in the keys of C and G.  The 4-note chords lend an authentically jazzy feel to these songs from the early jazz era.  We’ll use standard ukulele tuning, and address strumming technique as well.  No need to read music – songs sheets show the beats, the chords, and diagrams of each chord. 


A Visit with the Blues         2:00-4:00 PM CDT                            


Blues music can be a whole world unto itself.  We’ll spend an hour and a half there.   We’ll learn a few great blues songs, both familiar and lesser known.  With these we will practice the rhythm, scales and “feel” of the blues.  And chords!  Majors, minors, and sevenths are about all you need.  We’ll use a guitar to guide us and learn how to improvise melodies on a single string while others play the chords. But we’ll also visit the blues on other folk instruments:  harmonica, mandolin, ukulele and even autoharp!  Yes, it can be done!   And of course, we will be singing, too.   No need to read music.  Song sheets with words and chords will be provided.

Joel Mabus Website

Joel Mabus - "Anybody's Moon"




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