Thursday, December 17, 2009


I just got back from Portland via Spokane, I know it sounds a little odd but I had a lot of folks to see and still didn't have enough time yo visit Brackney in Victoria. I went to Portland Genny's retirement get together at Sister's. Any of you not familiar with Sister's Of The Road please do check out the link to their site. It was a wonderful affair. People filed in all afternoon to spend time with Genny. A few folks sang a tune or two and others spoke about what Genny and Sister's has meant to them over the years.
A couple of days I drove to Spokane to see Sheila. Sheila is Brendan and Morrigan's mother. Sheila found an old journal of dad's from the early seventies that she has been holding onto for me. It has twenty or so songs in it some has went onto record and others not yet finished. My plan is to finish them up and contribute to the journal as time rambles on but leave a few pages blank for my son Brendan not to be confused with my brother Brendan and yes I did name my son after my brother. It was great to see Sheila, I haven't seen her since dad and I road tripped to Spokane in 2001. Back in the late seventies she flew me up to Spokane for a week to visit dad and her before I joined the Marine Core. It was a short week but one I always carry with me. It was probably ten or twelve years before I saw dad again at gig in Dallas. Even though dad and I spent many, many years apart that trip to Spokane burnished us together.
Oh ya did I mention that the last tribute CD "Singing Through The Hard Times" has been nominated for a Grammy. It will be two years in a row that a tribute CD for dad has ha been nominated. My little brother Brendan is going to go to the awards along with the producers, Dan Schatz, Kendall and Jackie Morse. I think you can watch that portion of the awards show on the internet.

I have gathered together a group of folks her in Utah that are going to do a Utah tribute to Utah produced by our good friend Kate Macleod. Kate just finished her own CD " Blooming" that Tim O'Brien in Nashville.
I think we will call it "The Long Memory" I will keep you posted

Monday, September 14, 2009

Check this out

Howdy folks. I got this pic today and thought you might like it. Nice piece of hobo graffiti wouldn't you say. I am happy to announce that my little brother Brendan and I will be traveling to Washington D.C. for a tribute show for dad. The show will be on Oct. 30, I'm not sure where yet but I will keep you posted as details roll in.
I drove down to see Joanna last weekend she's hanging in there. It's always nice to spend time with her. She has a new dog named Zimmerman. He looks like a pint sized Bo (her last dog). I brought home a lot of pictures of dad and have begun the delightful task of scanning them into my computer. There's a lot of good stuff, I will post some as I go them. I think we are going to use some of them for the song book that we are currently working on. I met with the book designer on Saturday so things are moving along. If any of you know any of the folks that helped put the original "Starlight on the Rails" song book together please do send their info along.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I apologize for not posting more often. During the summer months my toil is fairly intense. Most nights blogging is the last thing on my mind, hang in there until winter and i will post more often. There are a few things that I am working on. First of I am working on getting Rosalie a gig here in SLC sometime this fall. If it works out Ben, Gigi and I will open for here. How cool will that be? We are also working on a gig at the U of U on Nov. 19, This one will be a labor show with some folks here in SLC Nov. 19, is the day Joe Hill was executed or more accurately, murdered by the State of Utah after he was convicted of shooting a shop keeper and his son. I also plan to make it up to Spokane some time in December to visit Sheila, Brendan and Morrigan's mom. I haven't had the chance to see her since dad's death. We might do a house concert or something, we'll see. If any of you have ideas on places to visit and folks willing to put together a house concert or two along the way please do let me know as I plan to travel a bit in my off months and visit some of dad's old friends and favorite towns. We are still working on re releasing dad's old song book. I haven't talked to Ken about it lately, I think the slow economy has slowed the project down a bit. But not to worry we will get it done sooner than later.
Thanks again for the posts. I may not update the blog that often but I do think about it and all of the wonderfull folks that send comments.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I hope that everyone is enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon. The Kate Wolf festival went well. It felt a little rough but I've been told folks enjoyed it. We performed Sat. on the Utahpia stage with dad's old friends Mark Ross And Kuddie. It was a good place to start, besides being named after dad it is a small stage with friendly folks. Come to think of it the festival is full of friendly folks. Everyone camps out and you get a nice community vibe. Sunday Gigi, Ben and I played the Revival tent. The Revival tent is one of the last places that dad played. It was a fitting spot to carry on.
Even though I had gone over the stories and songs hundreds of times over the last six months or so it was far more emotional than I though it would be. Know matter how much you prepare and go over things in your mind some things you never have control of. Sure I could have played and sang better but honesty I wouldn't have had the show go any other way. I will always remember the smile on Rosalie's face as she sat in the audience and sang along, it was amazing. a week later I am left with a mixture of emotions. I have the constant urge to play and sing mixed with the back beat of, what am I thinking can I really do this? But what the hell dad always took pride in the fact that all of his children live somewhere on the outskirts of reality. It must be genetic. I do have plans to get out and about some this winter and I hope to get the chance to see some of you along the way.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Hello everyone. It's been awhile I know. Since the last update I have been to Nevada City for the one year deal and traveled to Moab Ut. to rehearse with Ben and Gigi for the Kate Wolf Festival next week. Going back to Nevada City was far more difficult than I thought it would be. Folks say it takes a year after a death to start moving on. That sounds nice but it's really a load of crap. The first place I went upon my arrival was the cemetary to see dad. I just stood there shaking.

A whole year can you belive it, I can't. Joanna is doing well and it was nice to see Brendan and Morrigan. We are scatterd about so,so we don't get a chance to see each other that often. We sat around with a few close friends , told stories and stuffed our faces with barbecued chicken.

I am now focused on Next weekend and the Kate Wolf festival. Bobette and I will drive down on Thursday to see Joanna before heading to Laytonville. Rehearsal went well. It was the first time we had all played together in fact it was the first time Ben had met Gigi. A good friend of ours bought a place in Moab that is void of furniture so it was a great place to jam. All weekend we jammed, hiked around and jammed. It's a bummer that none of us live in the same city let alone the same state.
But things are coming along.
Her is the line up of songs that we are going to do

Daddy What's a Train
Eddie's Song
Going Away
Aces,Straight and Flushes
Carolina Pines - Kate's song
Green Rolling Hills of West Virgina
I Think of You
Long Gone - A song that I wrote for dad
Trumpet Vine _ Kate's song
If I Could Be The Rain - Maybe
and assorted stories and memories

If any of you come please do stop by and say hi.
If there is internet at the site I will post next weekend

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Hello, I trust that everybody had a good May Day. Our local May Day event had to postponed due to rain. We worked all week on building a boss pinata for the little ones to take a whack at so we were a little bummed when the rain settled in. We'll give it a go next weekend.

Gigi Love and I did a house concert last night here in Salt Lake. Actually it was mostly Gigi. She did here thing and then we did a few songs together. We sang Aces Straights and Flushes, Daddy What's a Train, The Green Rolling Hills of West Virgina and she closed with Going Away. She of course was perfect, for me it was the first time to play and sing in front of folks. Needles to say I was a little shaky but I got through it and folks were very encouraging. It was a small gathering of thirty or so at our friends John and Tamrika's house. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and Gigi made enough cash to cover her coming up from Durango to rehearse with me for a couple of days and go over things for the Kate wolf Festival in June. Gigi, Ben and I are going to do our Bums on the Plush thing on Sunday at the festival and Dad's old friends Mark Ross, Kuddie and my little brother Brendan are going to do a tribute for dad on Saturday. As far as the music I think it's coming along and with the help of good friends I'm starting to get the hang of it. I will post some pics of the May Day event next week.
Take care.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Here are some pics from the Portland show from my brother Nick.
Ben Pearl in on my right, Mark Ross is on my left and my little brother Brendan is next to Mark on the banjo.

I have been busy working and helping with plans for the May Day rally on May 2ND. I am going to build a bosses pinata for the little kids to take a whack at.

Things are going well. My friend Gigi is going to come into town from Durango next weekend to rehearse for the Kate wolf festival in June. I hope to see some of you there.

Ken Sanders and I are still working on republishing the original Starlight on the Rails song book. Hopefully it will be out this summer. I think we are going to print some special edition leather bound copies complete with photos inside. I will keep you posted.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Howdy Folks,
Check out this link Matt sent me from the
My friend Gigi Love came into town for a couple of days to jam and hang out. Gigi is one of the Bums on the Plush on the run to the Kate wolf festival in June. That brings up another subject. I have had a few e-mails about using the name Bums on the Plush. The name comes from a poem dad would recite from time to time, I will post it on the side of the blog page. II gave this name a great deal of thought and kept coming back to the time dad and I were traveling up to the North West.
several years back. We stayed over night at the Ashland Springs Hotel in of course Ashland OR. The hotel is a nice piece of work. It was built in 1925 and has been beautifully restored and much more upscale than most places we would stay. After dinner we sat in the lobby next to the fireplace, cocktail in hand, soaking it all in. Dad went on and on about how nice the hotel was and how he was going to go to High Tea the next day at which point I turned to him and asked "so how does it feel to be a bum on the plush" he smiled and laughed.

Please understand I mean no disrespect. In fact I feel the name is quite the opposite. Please do feel free to post your thoughts I am sincerely interested in the opinion of other folks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I received this from Herb's family and thought I would pass it along.

Herbert Morris Schneider, born April 24, 1921, died February 14, 2009 after a short illness.

Herb was a member of the Merchant Marine, starting as a wiper-oiler in World War II and retiring as chief engineer of the SS Coronado, an oil tanker. He maintained a lifetime interest in machinery and engines of all sorts, from tiny models to the Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C, the world’s largest ship engine. His work at sea took him to ports all over the world, from Alaska to Bangla Desh to Brazil to Marseilles. He was always a stalwart union member.

When his children were young, he worked at a variety of machinist jobs ashore for eighteen years. Once he took his family for a year on a kibbutz in Israel.

When he returned to sea in 1968, it took a Supreme Court decision to get him on a ship. He was denied a Coast Guard security pass for political reasons. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which found that the Coast Guard had exceeded its authority in investigating Herb’s or any other seaman’s beliefs and opinions. This action brought to an end almost twenty years of Coast Guard blacklisting.

Herb had a lifelong interest in archaeology. He talked of driving a tractor with an archaeologist in attendance during his year on the kibbutz, turning up potshards as he plowed. In the early 1970s he spent over a year as mechanic in charge at the Ozette archaeological dig on the coast of the Olympic Peninsula, maintaining all the pumps and machinery on site. He was the only person there who did not have at least a college degree, but maintained that he was much better paid than any of the graduate students.

He enjoyed traveling with his wife of over 50 years, Shirley McDevitt Schneider. They made numerous trips to Israel and to Europe as well as travels to the Panama Canal and to Asia.

After retirement he worked for many years as a volunteer on Sandy Bradley’s Potluck radio show, forming friendships with Sandy Bradley, the Canote brothers, and Utah Phillips among many others. He helped to organize a retirees’ local in his union, the Marine Engineers Benefit Association (MEBA). He also became active in Volunteers to Outdoor Washington , helping to build and maintain the Iron Goat Trail on Stevens Pass. He led a very active life, hiking and exploring by car up to within days of his death.

Herbert was the son of Felix Schneider and Emma Solomon Schneider Tarshis of Seattle and was predeceased by his wife Shirley. He is survived by his companion, Connie Phelps of Seattle, his sister, Ann Pincus of Sonoma CA, his children Franz Schneider of Hollister CA, Maggie Kadet of Spokane, Wolfe Schneider of Buckley WA, and Reba Schneider of Seattle, as well as seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nephews and cousins.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I guess I might ass well let everyone in on a project that has been rattling around in my mind for awhile now. I have been trying to figure out away to keep dad's work and songs going forward and also get the chance to meet so many of dad's old friends that are strewn about the country. So, I have come up with " Bums on the Plush " a kind of one man co-op with the idea that were ever I am I could play some of the small old places dad played with some of his old friends. It would be my own sort of roving tribute to dad. Why Bums on the Plush you may ask. Well in a way we are all bums on the plush in that we benefit everyday from the work and labor of those who went before us. Trust me I know that I get the chance to do the things I do because of who my dad was and I have no grand allusions of storming the world just busking my way around for a few weeks next winter, getting a taste of the road and meeting some of you in person.

But first things first.

Now being green as corn I know that I have a lot of work to do before I am ready for such road trip. If you would like I will keep the blog updated as I go through the next few months getting ready for the Kate Wolf Festival in June. I have to be honest,I have know idea if this is something I can do let alone be good at and I have know idea where this train is headed. But as long as folks are kind enough to give me the opportunity to test the waters I know that it would be regretful not to try. So there you have it. Please do keep in touch along the way. All of the kind words and support from everyone truly are the foundation for my next adventure.
For more information, contact Anna Kapechuk or Susan Tanner
at Righteous Babe Records – phone 716-852-8020 /
label website:
Album release date: February 24, 2009

Folksingers Honor Bruce “Utah” Phillips with New Double CD

In his life, Utah Phillips was many things – soldier, hobo, activist, pacifist, union organizer, storyteller, songwriter. He was an oral historian who documented the events of the working class and turned them into stories and songs. And in the folk tradition, he passed them on to others.

On February 24, Righteous Babe Records continues that tradition with Singing Through The Hard Times, a two-CD set that celebrates the music that Utah sang and loved. Included are performances from Emmylou Harris and Mary Black, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, John McCutcheon, Rosalie Sorrels, Gordon Bok, Ani DiFranco, Magpie, Jean Ritchie and many others – folksingers whose music springs from the same rich vein of the people’s history that Phillips chronicled throughout his life.

Of the thirty-nine songs on the album, all but ten are brand new recordings, and many of the older recordings are rare. While most of the songs were written by Phillips, some, like “Dump The Bosses Off Your Back” (sung by fellow songwriter and labor organizer Si Kahn) are folksongs relevant to Phillips’ life and passions. A few have never been recorded before, including the title track, which Utah wrote in 2003 for his local Peace Center in Grass Valley, California. The song’s lyrics, about facing hard times together, ring strongly in the face of current events:

And when the war clouds gather it’s so easy to get angry
And just as hard not to be afraid
But you know in your own heart no matter what happens,
You just can’t turn your back and walk away.

So hand in hand together we help each other carry
The light of peace within us every day
And if we can learn to live it – to walk and talk and give it
That world of peace won’t be so far away

We are singing through the hard times, singing through the hard times,
Working for the good times to come.

The project itself started as a way to help Utah through his own hard times. Last year, folksinger Dan Schatz spoke with fellow musicians Kendall and Jacqui Morse at a musicians’ gathering about putting together a CD to help Phillips defray medical expenses. Phillips had been ill for some time when the project began, and died in May of 2008. “It was a blow to lose Utah,” said Schatz. “It gave the project a wistful feeling, knowing that he would never hear the final result of so much love, or hold the CDs in his own hands. We do know that he was very pleased and excited about what was going on. It meant a lot to him that his songs would continue to live for years to come.”

All purchases of Singing Through the Hard Times continue the folk tradition of creating community through music. All proceeds from sales of Singing Through the Hard Times directly benefit Utah’s family.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Sorry for the slow updates, as soon as the show was over I could tell that I was no longer going to be able put off getting sick. I spent most of last week on Brendan's sofa sleeping and nursing some sort of chest cold. Finally on Thursday I felt well enough to make a dash for home so I could spend the next three days on my own sofa. Thankfully today I feel much better. I do recall if dad got sick on the road usually it was at Winterfolk.

As for the show and other news.
The show went well. The entire show was a tribute show for dad so it was the perfect place to try something on stage. When I first heard that we were going to close the show so Rosalie could get ready to head of to the Grammies I was a little concerned but in reality it turned out to be the perfect spot for us. The plan was for me to take the stage first, tell a short story about dad and I getting back together and set up the rest of the set. After Tom introduction I took the stage but the sound guys weren't ready yet so instead of just sitting there with dead air I took my camera out of my vest pocket and snapped a picture of the audience. Tom looked a little confused when the flash went off while he was still trying prolong the intro.

It worked out well though it gave me a way to ease in to the set with a quick laugh.
I though best to be honest with the audience so after the opening story I explained that "I am neither a singer nor a musician but that were always two things that dad wanted to see me do. One was to be arrested the other was to perform on stage" The I introduced the rest rest of the guys. My Little brother Brendan(played the Banjo), Mark Ross (played Guitar and Dobro) and my good friend from Davis Ben Pearl also played guitar. We did " Daddy What's a Train " for the first song. I elected to just sing since having only been practicing by myself I am not used to playing with more instruments so it made it easier ( some what )for me to keep time. I know most folks would recommend against closing a show in front 650 plus folks for the first time to sing in public but to me it felt like the right time and place and I think we pulled it off. For me that simply means I remembered all the words and didn't get arrested by the music police although if I had it would have covered the other part of dad's want list all in one night. Next Brendan played and sang " ships Gonna Sail" one of dad's newer songs. It was amazing dad would have been proud. After that I sang a song that I wrote for dad several years ago Called " Long Gone " I was a little rough and not exactly like we rehearsed it but I guess that's why one has to hearse be fore you can rehearse. We close the set with Dad's long time old friend "Smokestack" Mark Ross telling a couple of stories and singing "Hallelujah I'm A Bum" followed by the "Hymn Song". All in all I think it went well and looking back I don't think that I was nervous. After working and thinking about it for so long I was both excited to finally get to do it and glad to get it over with.
So what's next you may ask. Well it looks like Cloud Moss is going to let us come down to the Kate Wolf Festival in June and do a tribute set for dad. I"ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Headed to Winterfolk

I'm headed to Portland today to meet up with Little Bro. Brendan, Mark Ross and Ben Pearl at Winterfolk. It will be the first time that I've been back in Portland since 2004. Dad and I used to go up there every year for Winterfolk until his heart condition took over the road managing duties. It will be nice to see everyone again. We were originally going to close the first set ( the spot dad always played ) but since Rosalie's new CD " Strangers in Another Country" was nominated for a Grammy she is going to close the first set so she can fly out early and we are going to close the show. Hardly what I was planning on for my first gig but what the hell. As I used to say while hurling my self down the ski slopes, go big or go home. wright?
Please do check out the Sisters web site it is one the many places that held a very special place in dad's heart. when we drove up he always made sure we left early enough to get to the Sisters cafe for lunch. He loved to sit and talk with every and anyone. I gotta hit the road I'm going to Marks place in Eugene for a couple of days to rehearse. I will post more with some pics later in the week.
I have posted some links on the right side of the page for Winterfolk.
Take Care