YELLOW SPRINGS — Hootenanny is a word that brings to mind visions of folk singers, instruments and community, and the Yellow Springs Hootenanny is a group that combines those things together every month.
The group meets every month at the Coretta Scott King Center for the purpose of making music. The group was started by three neighbors in Yellow Springs who just wanted to have some fun. The YS Hootenanny team consists of Chris Murphy, Linda Rudawski and Paula Hurwritz.
“We were getting together to play music anyway, so we thought it would be nice to include others. We’re all neighbors, and it was really Linda’s dream to get this thing together,” Murphy said.
And get together they did. The first event back in January was attended by 60 people. The group found that there were lots of other people who also wanted to play.
“We were freaked out by the turnout at the first event. Now about 20 come to each event. One challenge in Yellow Springs is finding a suitable venue. There’s so much competition because it’s such an active community,” Murphy said.
The group focuses on mainly folk music, which is wear the name comes from. Hootenanny means “celebration” or “party” and is commonly thought of as a jam session. The group’s musical influences include Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Peter, Paul and Mary, and James Taylor.
Anyone is welcome to attend the events. Murphy described the get-togethers as very family-friendly as well as free. The group does ask that only unplugged instruments and human voices be used at the events. The goal is to celebrate the Americana, folksy-side of music.
There are different types of people that come to the events, but most of them are from Yellow Springs. Murphy said that some people do come from all around including Dayton. He also said the group is a way for many people to look back fondly on their youth.
“There’s a couple of kinds of people that come. There’s a group of people who remember singing folk songs as college students. It’s nostalgic. They’re really into what the songs are about. There’s a certain core of people who are really serious about folk music. Others don’t care what they sing. I just think it’s fun to play with others. Other folks come just to listen. Sometimes we’ll get them to join in, but it’s nice to just sit and chill out for awhile,” said Murphy.
The next YS Hootenanny will be held Saturday, Dec.7 at the Coretta Scott King Center at Antioch College. The group will be playing from 6-9 p.m. or it might go a little longer. January will be the group’s one-year anniversary and a celebration will be in order.
“Maybe we’ll get a cake or something. But we welcome everyone and we are just about having fun,” Murphy said.
The group can be found on Facebook and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.