Alpena Senior Citizens Center is bringing nationally-known folk singer Bill Staines to the community for a concert on March 31. Staines will perform from 6-8 p.m. at the center.
After touring and playing concerts for more than 41 years, Staines continues to perform 175 shows a year and drives close to 70,000 miles getting to them. He is one of the most durable and beloved singers on the folk music scene today.
Staines has 26 recordings to his credit and has written over 300 songs, many of which have been recorded by the likes of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough and Jerry Jeff Walker. His music is sung at campfires and folk music gatherings, in homes and churches, and all around the country. Songs like "All God's Critters," "The Roseville Fair," "Child of Mine" and "River" have become folk music classics.
Composer David Amram once described Bill as "a modern day Stephen Foster. His music will be around a hundred years from now."
On stage, Staines is an intimate, compelling performer, out of the folk scene of the 1960s, encouraging his audience to sing with him on his chorus songs. He will mix in traditional tunes with his own contemporary folk ballads. His humorous tales of life on the road and observations of everyday people provide an entertaining blend of story and song.
"I have always wanted to bring something of value to people with my songs," said Staines. "I think that is important, to try to write beyond myself, to write to the great things that we all experience in our lives."
For him, that is what folk music is all about a music rich in the human experience and spirit.
Staines has recorded two children's albums, "The Happy Wanderer" and "One More River," both of which have won the coveted Parents' Choice Award. His music has appeared in a number of films, including the HBO series, "Deadwood." He has done numerous radio and television appearances and, during its early years, was a frequent performer on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion Show."
Staines has released two songbooks, "If I Were a Word, Then I'd be a Song" published by Folk Legacy and "Music to Me" published by Hal Leonard Corp. An illustrated book of his song, "All God's Critters," was published in 2009 by Simon and Schuster with illustrations by artist Kadir Nelson. His memoir, "The Tour," was released in 2003.
Tickets to the March 31 concert, at $10 each, are available now at the center.