Even at the age of 70, Happy Traum hasn’t slowed down since he and his late brother Artie emerged as one of the most influential acoustic guitar duos of the Greenwich Village folk movement of the 1960’s. Bob Dylan and the Band, John Sebastian and the Lovin Spoonful and the Eagles, among many others, were inspired by the brothers’ mixture of acoustic blues, bluegrass and traditional folk music.
On Wednesday evening as part of the Crandall Public Library 2009 Music Series, Happy Traum sang and played songs by Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Mississippi John Hurt. His own self-penned “Golden Bird,” Brownie McGee’s “The Sporting Life Blues,” and Pete Seeger’s classic “Kisses Sweeter then Wine” were particular standouts, drawing appreciative applause from the Glens Falls audience. Dipping into the Catskill Songbook, Traum’s warm rendition of George Edward’s “Friends and Neighbors,” caputured the timeless spirit of the evening.
With a smile on his face and an acoustic guitar on his knee, Traum’s captivating performance underscored the fact that old folk and blues songs dealing with joblessness, homelessness, poverty, love and politics are still just as relevant today as they were so many years ago.
Up next at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, area favorites Rick Bolton and the Dwyer Sisters roll into the Community Room on Thursday, September 17 for an evening full of folk, blues, rock and original tunes delivered with endearing three part harmonies.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk