from Emily Rush and Julie Vallimont

Exercise your body with Rushfest Workouts—Emily Rush's short exercise videos set to contra dance music!

And exercise (and relax!) your mind with Stars in the Rafters—a pandemic-inspired podcast (like a radio show!) featuring calming music and poetry from our communities, produced by Julie Vallimont. Be sure to check out the special camp episodes!
Image: Artwork by Nicole Singer. Logo design by Julie Vallimont and Alden Robinson.
by Elizabeth DiSavino

Have you heard of Katherine Jackson French? Raise your
hand. No? Katherine Jackson French deserves as prominent
and inspirational a place in the history of Appalachian music as Olive Dame Campbell, Florence Reece, and Jean Ritchie—yet no one knows her name.

Learn about KJF's work and hear her collected version of "Barbara Allen" in this issue's "CDSS Sings."
by Ezra Fischer

George Floyd’s murder and the protests it sparked have forced people to ask themselves important and uncomfortable questions about race and racism. I did some research and decided to write about what I learned. As members of the wider folk music and dance world, I encourage you to work within your own communities to start similar conversations.

Photo: CDSS Archives
by Sarah Gowan

In April 2017, our band Coracree was in Scotland, performing at the Portsoy Haal Music Festival and the Aberdeen Folk Club. On a sunny off-day, we took a side trip to visit the Clootie Well at Munlochy.

Read more about Sarah's pandemic-inspired Clootie Wall (and learn the tune!).
Photo: Sarah Gowan
from Julie Vallimont and Ben Williams

This episode of Contra Pulse features Noah VanNorstrand, whose driving fiddle, feet, and mandolin have been a rhythmic powerhouse behind some of the most popular dance bands of the last decade. Noah and Julie discuss his influences, growing up in a family band, his creative process, and more!

Listen on the Contra Pulse website or wherever you get podcasts.
Photo: Seth Jacobson
by Graham Christian

One of the many provocative dance titles found in the 11th edition of the Playford firm’s Dancing Master is “Czar of Muscovy,” which, owing to the length of its tune, sprawls across two pages late in the volume. What has Moscow—Muscovy—to do with the assembly rooms of Stuart London?

Find out all about it in the return of "Tell Me More."
Image: Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.
Read the full issue online! | As a Flipbook | As a PDF | As Individual Articles

We are proud to announce that David Kaynor of Montague Center, MA, is the 2021 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. David was selected in recognition of more than 50 years of performing and teaching at camps and festivals across the U.S., humbly mentoring an entire generation of contra dance musicians, tirelessly serving as a leader in dance and music communities of Western Massachusetts, generously sharing tune compositions and writings about dance calling, and supporting generations of musicians and dancers in creating warm, inviting, and welcoming communities though music and dance.

With consideration for both David’s health and the unusual times in which we are living, the Board will work with David and friends to determine the best way to celebrate the occasion. More information will be announced via email as plans unfold.
Photos: Doug Plummer

The CDSS store is open for business and shipping again! We'll be sending orders out every Tuesday, so get yours in soon! Some new additions to the store include Anadama's much-anticipated debut album, Way Back When, and Mutually Exclusive Calculated Figures, the 13th volume of Gary Roodman's Calculated Figures series.
Photo: Deborah Payne
During this time of much uncertainty, we are committed to continuing our work fostering connection. If you're not already a CDSS member and currently have the means to join, your support of our work would mean a lot right now. Membership costs as little as $25/year or $5/month. Join here.