Parlor in the Round @AFF Wendy Williamson Auditorium. January 17, 2019. Doors at 6PM, show 7 - 9:30.

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Chris Beiri Alaska Dispatch News

“The audience roared and cackled with laughter between the verses.”

It’s hard for me to imagine the Anchorage music scene without PITR, but that may not be true for all AFF members. If you’re asking, “what’s Parlor in the Round?” here’s an introduction…

The Mountain State has its Stage and the Tiny Desk, its Concerts. This concert season Alaskans will gather at Parlor In The Round. For this special edition of PITR, special guest artist John Craigie will be joined by Anchorage artists Michael Howard and Mary Schallert. Who better than Mary, a mainstay of the festival since its inception, to introduce PITR to the members of AFF?

Kevin Worrell hosts this dinner theater, drawing out the strength and vulnerability of each artist while holding the crowd closely throughout the performance.

Borrowing from the guitar pull tradition of porches and campfires, songwriters from all walks of Alaskan life (and some beyond) will trade songs and stories as they are inspired by each other.

After the intermission, tradition is cast aside as the musicians dive into collaborations, jocular inventions and premeditated musings all based on written submissions from the audience.

Expect to lean in and laugh out loud at the Parlor.

John Craigie #KeepItWarm2018

Renowned for his eloquent Americana style, engaging live shows, and off-the-cuff clever observations, John Craigie carries on the legacy of classic singer-songwriters, while blazing a trail of his own.
“It’s about transparency,” he explains. “The storytelling enables listeners to relate. Really good music doesn’t make you feel good; it makes you feel like you’re not alone.”
When Craigie plays, it’s one of those special shows that can make you laugh and cry in the same song. It’s a musical journey that can’t be denied.

“…the lovechild of John Prine and Mitch Hedberg with a vagabond troubadour edge.”

- The Stranger

“The record opens with the shanty-like Dylan-meets-Prine number “Virgin Guitar,” which displays Craigie’s talent for understated singing coupled with poetic lyrics.”

- The Portland Tribune

“You can be sure I’ll be on the lookout for anything he does from now on.”

- No Depression

“Craigie’s latest, “I Am California,” is haunting, poetic, and just how a longing for California should sound. Draped in nostalgia and covered in memories, Craigie paints a beautiful homage to the Golden State, with the assistance of singer Gregory Alan Isakov.”

- Impose Magazine

See Craigie in Alaska in 2019:

Jan 15 • Anchorage • Church of Love
Jan 16 • Seward • Resurrect Art Coffee House
Jan 17 • Anchorage • Parlor in the Round @AFF!!!!
Jan 18 • Kodiak • Parlor in the Round
Jan 19 • Kodiak • Songwriting Workshop
Jan 20 • Ketchikan • North Tongass Community

Mary Schallert has attended and participated in every Anchorage Folk Festival since the very first and has served as a board member off and on since then. She designed the original workshop program from which today's version evolved. Mary is the Director and founder of the Alaska City Folk Arts camp, which meets in the summer and teaches kids 8 - 17 how to play folk music, serve as emcees, run sound, dance and jam. Many of the youth that participate in the Festival are also Alaska City Folk Arts alumni. Many went on to become music teachers, make their own camps, write their own songs, or start their own bands.

Mary currently has a private studio where she teaches folk and classical music to all ages and is the orchestra and strings director at the Anchorage Waldorf School. She also co-directs the Society Of Strings, an over 18 orchestra with Kathryn Hoffer of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra.

At first glance, the word association of “Alaska” and “punk rock” might seem like something out of a cunning psychological method, but for singer-songwriter Michael Howard, they represent elemental forces that have helped form his creative voice. “I grew up playing in punk bands around Anchorage, putting on shows at rec centers and such,” he says. In many ways, he fits in among a generation of ex-punk rockers and now happens to be a songwriter. As such, Howard is, in a way, an outsider.
Born and raised amid the long winter nights and extended summer days of the Last Frontier, Howard knows what it is to be removed, living on the edge of civilization. Being formed as an adolescent by punk’s do-it-yourself ethic, he is an explorer and an inventor, creatively speaking. After many dark Alaskan winters touring the rest of the State and long Arctic summers as a community organizer and activist, Michael Howard’s unique perspective has come to fruition in his latest album, GASOLINE DREAM, a collection of poetic Americana born from life on the road.
Like many prophets and dream interpreters of history, Michael Howard originates and speaks from the edge of society. With Gasoline Dream he’s created a surreal listening experience like a vivid dream that might be hard to interpret, but leaves you pondering it for time to come.