This sounds like fun! Wish I could be there!
Book Release Music Bash for Revival: A Folk Music Novel
with author Scott Alarik, Ellis Paul, Meg Hutchinson, Alastair Moock, and Jake Armerding.
Sponsored by Club Passim and Harvard Book Store.
Where: Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge
When: Thursday, September 15, 8 p.m. Free reception and signing beforeand after the show.
Tickets: $20. 617-492-7679, http://www.clubpassim.org
There’s never been a book like Scott Alarik’s Revival, and there’s never been a book release like it, either. The first novel set in Boston’s vibrant modern folk scene, which Booklist praised as “a joyous celebration of folk musicians and their world,” is being embraced as no local book in memory. The Harvard Square Business Association officially named September “Revival Month in Harvard Square,” connecting the book’s release to an array of events that exemplify Cambridge’s unique mix of hipness and tradition, innovation and renewal.
Revival Month includes the return of Vermont’s Bread & Puppet Theater to Cambridge Common; Alarik’s Sept. 8 outdoor concert and official book launch at Passim on the 15th; the 3rd annual Urban Agricultural Fair on the 18th, for which Passim hosts an outdoor concert, followed by Revels RiverSing celebration; an old-fashioned folk hootenanny at Cambridge Center for Adult Education Sept. 25; winding up with the HONK! Parade and 33rd Annual Oktoberfest, also featuring a Passim outdoor concert. Alarik will be part of all these events.
Harvard Square has never done this for a book before, says HSBA director Denise Jillson. “When I read the novel, the connection was immediate. All these events come together under that theme of revival. It’s a month of living traditions, bringing the community together and
celebrating things we share, from community gardening to welcoming autumn with RiverSing, to folk music and Oktoberfest. It’s not about reliving the past, but reviving the best traditions and making them part of the present. And that’s what this novel is all about.”
To fans all over the world, Ellis Paul embodies the Boston songwriter, with his literate mix of urban hipness and folk roots. Asked why he wanted to be part of the Revival release show, he answered bluntly, “Because it’s written by Scott Alarik. He probably knows more about folk music than anybody, and has been a great writer for the Boston Globe and other publications. I don’t think anybody could have written a novel like this better. Reading it, I felt like I was looking into my own life, but in a way that was also everybody’s life.”
Asked if he thought a music club like Passim was an odd venue for a novel release, Paul laughed. “It’s sort of like returning to the scene of the crime,” he said. “The core of the novel happens in Cambridge, and Passim is probably the most prestigious folk club in the country.
Plus, a coffeehouse is always filled with readers. Folk fans are people who read a lot of books.”
Alarik is also a veteran folk performer, of whom Garrison Keillor wrote, “I have rarely seen an audience in such a good mood as when he’s just been there.” He will be hosting at all the Revival Month activities, tying them together with samples from his new novel, a song here or there, and his lifetime of knowledge about folk music’s past, present, and future.
“We love the idea of celebrating this book,” says Jillson. “The whole month is about the revival of tradition and community and renewal. That’s the common thread that runs through all these September events. And I see all those same threads running through Alarik’s novel.”