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Pamela Goddard and Kitchen Chair

Traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic

Pamela Goddard is an Ithaca-based singer who breathes new life into traditional songs. Whether singing in the pure, a cappella style or accompanying herself on mountain dulcimer, Goddard's rich alto voice and passionate interpretations link the old songs and ballads to the present.

Goddard will be performing as part of the Folkus Project "Second Saturday" concert series at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Westcott Community Center at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Westcott Street in Syracuse.

In her performances she blends musical intimacy with light humor, creating an easygoing relationship with her audience. An avid collector of traditional tunes for many years, Goddard has a repertoire of exquisitely rendered songs that span two continents and reach across the centuries. She has sung at coffeehouses, music festivals and historic sites throughout New York and the mid-Atlantic states and Canada.

For this concert Goddard will be accompanied by Kitchen Chair, with Jennifer Dotson on fiddle and Gail Blake on guitar. They also hail from the rich musical ground of Ithaca and supported her on her recent debut CD, As Time Draws Near. Winner of the 2006 Ithaca Journal Jimmy Award for Best Folk CD, it includes well-known traditional songs from Kentucky, Tennessee and the southern mountains, as well as less familiar melodies from New England and New York state.

Reaching back to Anglo/Celtic sources, Goddard continues the oral musical tradition, passing on the heritage and folklore of songs from North America and Great Britain. Drawing on careful historical scholarship and research, Goddard fashions fresh versions of familiar tunes. A turning point in her life was the discovery of numerous versions of the plaintive ballad "Barbara Allen." The song captured her imagination and she combined the different versions on her CD. If the song has lasted a couple hundred years, she says, there's something really compelling about it. Through her deep love for these traditional melodies, voices long dead sing again.

Admission to Saturday's show is $10; $8 for WCC members. For reservations call the Westcott Community Center at 478-8634. The Second Saturday Concert Series is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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