LIBRARIES ROCK! Sing-Along Tales with a Solid Beat this Tuesday in NH!

LIBRARIES ROCK! Sing-Along Tales with a Solid Beat this Tuesday in NH!

Odds Bodkin’s LIBRARIES ROCK storytelling show.

With a screaming Gibson SG electric guitar and stomp drum, a 12-string acoustic guitar and an African sanza I’ll be performing my three most musical tales at Fuller Public Library in Hillsborough, NH this Tuesday, June 26th 2018 at 6 p.m.

The show is free and fun for all ages. Three different stories with three different sing-along choruses you’ll learn instantly. Bring the kids and enjoy imagination and music together. An African chant. A rock ‘n’ roll version of The Three Little Pigs. And an Irish tale with a rollicking chorus.

Live storytelling with three different, infectious rhythms. Crazy character voices and vocal effects add to the magic!

FREE TO THE PUBLIC

SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS

SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS

Camp Bethel is beautiful and I’m looking forward to spending next weekend in the meadows and hills of Virginia. And, I might add, after the coldest spring in New England that I can recall, in the warmth of the South. I’ve performed at SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS before, but flew in with a single 12-string guitar. This time, though, I’m driving down with two guitars and my Celtic harp, what you might call the full kit of instruments I need in order to widen my choice of tales to offer. Just this morning I’ve been listing which ones the audience might most enjoy. The Elf of Springtime. The Boys and the Frogs. Finn MacCool and the Big Man. Maybe The Storm Breeder, if a scary story works. Although I love playing scores on the 12-strings, the harp really is a kind of musical starship, one that helps me deliver a story to a place no other instrument I know of can. It will be fun to have it with me.

There will be lots of schoolchildren in the audience, and adults, who know well the tradition of storytelling, and I’ll be sharing the stage with Sheila Arnold Jones, Jim May, and Kevin Kling.

So if you know anyone who’d like to hear four storytellers at the top of their games, pass on the word.

 

VIKING LORE FOR EASTER

VIKING LORE FOR EASTER

Oddly enough, as well as for Jesus Christ on the holy day of Easter, there’s a much lesser known resurrection account for Odin, the Allfather god of the Vikings. This coming Easter Sunday I’ll be explaining it while playing my Celtic harp as part of ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, an evening of adult storytelling at the Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, NH.

Harping, lore and two vivid long tales accompanied with 12-string guitar.

The show starts at 7 pm. Hope to see you there!

Tickets are $10, $13 at the door.

 

 

BEOWULF VIKING ADVENTURE MYTH & LORE at 7 p.m. Sunday in Nashua, NH

With Celtic harp and 12-string guitar modern bard Odds Bodkin will perform BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 4th at The Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, NH. Told in modern language, the tale is the storyteller’s version of the oldest-known story in English literature.

Voices for Beowulf, Grendel the Beast and other characters combine to make a feature film for the imagination.

An adult storytelling; not appropriate for children.

Tickets: $10 and $13 at the door.

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE Adult Performance Sunday in NH

BEOWULF by Odds Bodkin: a live performance in an intimate setting.

A two-hour storytelling event for adults Sunday, March 4th at 7:00 p.m. at The Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, New Hampshire. Music on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp. Words in English.

Come and eat, drink strong spirits and enter an imagination dream.

“a consummate storyteller” ––The New York Times

“one of the great voices in American storytelling” ––Wired Magazine

Tickets $10, $13 at the door.

HAUNTED BY THE MUSIC

Mostly the music haunts me. I still recall sitting out on my back porch under the sun umbrella one summer day trying to stitch the heartbreak together. “What can get at this tragic mood?” I kept asking myself, conducting experiments up and down the 12-string’s fingerboard. New chords I’d never played slowly revealed the sculpture-in-the-stone moment, the “ah ha!” release, when I finally said, “Wow. That’s it. That is beautiful. That has the dignity, the elemental loneliness and the magnificence I need.”

I was searching for a leitmotif for Beowulf the Viking hero. Having composed them for Odysseus in The Odyssey, David in David and Goliath, young Percival the knight in The Hidden Grail and other of my long-form bardic tales, musically it was a familiar creative process, but not emotionally.

You can get a flavor of Beowulf’s theme at 3:27 in this live recording of the tale.

 

I’ll be performing Beowulf: The Only One twice in the next weeks, and will be playing Beowulf’s theme and others as I do my best to enact him, King Hrothgar, Grendel the Beast and his vengeful monster mother. I still remember how when I recorded this tale live, the music worked. Two women in the audience felt the way I felt. Right there, in the middle of all those people, so loudly I heard it from the stage, they burst into tears.

 

Tickets and information:

Sunday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua, N

Sunday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Grendel’s Den, Cambridge, MA

 

 

With all of the sounds he was able to make, the unique voices of each person, and intricate guitar playing…it was unbelievable.

Martha Taylor, Chair of Classics at Loyola University Maryland, passed this note on to me after an Odyssey performance last September. It was written by a college freshman.

“I didn’t know what to expect and I was completely blown away by the whole thing. The way he told the stories was so captivating! With all of the sounds he was able to make, the unique voices of each person, and intricate guitar playing…it was unbelievable. With all of the sensory details he provided it really was as if I was there, during ancient times, transported to 700 B.C. in the “Belly of the Beast” so to speak.

I absolutely loved his Polyphemus voice, the old man/priest in Apollo’s temple who gave Odysseus the brandy, the men who accompanied him during the travels, the people in the lotus flower scene within the ivy of the sickly-sweet perfumed island–everything! The way he created such a vivid scene made imagining a transcendent and effortless gift.”

I’ll be at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square, February 11th at 5:30 p.m., to tell this tale again, with Celtic harp and 12-string guitar.

Catch some adult storytelling this February. THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST at Grendel’s Den.

Tickets at tables are $15.

“Mythology Brain”–An Embarrassing Public Condition

I must suffer from “mythology brain” I’ve decided. This is an as yet undiagnosed condition, but could soon appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the renowned and ever-changing DSM). Symptoms include a Jungian fascination with myths, love of creating music and a sub-condition I’ve dubbed “dramatosis.”

Dramatosis presents itself not as hearing voices in your head that aren’t yours (a much more serious condition), but rather creating voices that aren’t yours for the benefit of listeners. “Mythology brain” is a strenuous form of public madness and I don’t recommend it to anybody.

Still, if you’d like to see what it looks like up close, I’ll be back at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square this coming February 11th to once again demonstrate the malady. Voices will include Odysseus of Ithaca, father, reluctant warrior, expert liar and all around great guy; enthusiastic drug takers called Lotus Eaters; sundry Ithacan crewmen; sheep and goats; and last but not least, Polyphemus the Cyclops, a giant cannibalistic shepherd who loves his animals but eats humans as they scream in horror. The huge, half-witted basso voice of Polyphemus is especially fun to make because despite the veneer of civility I try to maintain in my quotidian life, he feels the way I feel whenever I’m hungry and grumpy.

All kidding aside, the show is at 5:30 p.m. and seating begins at 5:00.

And there’s music throughout, of course. Celtic harp and 12-string guitar.

THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST/An Adult Storytelling.

Tickets are $15 ($10 for solo chairs) and you can get them here.

 

 

HAULING OUT THE SIX-STRING GUITAR

It’s some of the fastest bluegrass flat-picking I’ve ever done, this music on the 6-string guitar. Haven’t had cause to tell The Phantom Train of Marshall’s Pass in a couple of decades, but since I’m exhuming the corpse of this tale and adding new fictional flesh to it, the music needs to be re-crafted, too.

Been at it for weeks now, since I’m making a live recording of my ghost and horror stories at Grendel’s Den this coming Sunday the 29th, and the Phantom Train is waiting along with the other tales.

It’s the story of Edward Malloy, the guilt-ridden engineer who drives his passenger train over the Great Divide in Colorado. Long ago, drunk at a switch in Pennsylvania, he let a train take the wrong rails in a snowstorm. A hundred souls died. Now he’s the engineer, and he’s seeing things during his night run, things no man should see.

Come enjoy this hellaciously entertaining story, along with others, at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA. Seating begins at 5 pm. Grab yourself a stiff drink and some spooky specialty menu items and prepare to be creeped out. At least I’ll do my best.

 

Heartpounders: Halloween Tales of Horror

Sunday October 29th at 5 pm at Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

Tickets are $15 tables and $10 at the bar.

FUN SPOOKY TALES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES at The Burren in Somerville, MA

The Burren is a fine music venue, and since Tom Bianchi’s kids grew up listening to my stories (he books shows there), he’s invited me to perform this October 21st, Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Having worked with kid audiences for decades, I know they’re sensitive to good and bad, even good and evil, but are much too sensitive for truly frightening stories. Like the rest of us, they love to be just a little scared, but not so much that they have bad dreams afterwards. And so for this Halloween season, I’ve created a new storytelling show just for them and their parents.

FUN SPOOKY TALES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES features three tales, one based on The Banshee Train, a children’s book I wrote, one from Danny Kaye’s Around the World Storybook, and the last a galloping Italian fairytale with a witch who is roundly defeated by magical helpers who aid a little boy on a quest.

The Banshee Train, with a flat-picked country score on guitar, tells of a trainload of people saved by a banshee in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Kids learn all about steam trains in the process. The guitar playing is worth the price of admission, I’ll bet.

The Stranger at the Dance is a French Canadian story about a girl who almost disappears when Old Scratch, the devil, shows up at a barn dance. Because he’s well-dressed and handsome and she doesn’t know who he is, she dances with him. Luckily she’s saved by her fiancée and the village priest, and the devil is thrown out. It’s performed with a beautiful score on Celtic harp.

The Little Shepherd is a rollicking participatory adventure about a boy cursed by a witch never to grow an inch until he finds a mysterious fairy inside a singing apple. Wild vocal effects, hilarious character voices including tiny fairies and a fun participatory score on 12-string guitar makes this a slightly spooky, but mostly delightful tale, a great way to end this show of child-safe Halloween stories.

Hope to see you there. Please let friends with young kids know about this unique performance!

Tickets are $10 in advance, $14 at the door available here.

 

 

 

BACK TO THE CEMETERY: Heartpounders Horror Tales on Friday the 13th

Is it an old haunted inn? It looks that way. Abandoned for years, it sat overgrown and neglected, a hulking eyesore on Main Street in Bradford, New Hampshire, my town. Weeds grew. The old sign faded. I drove by it every day.

But then a group of young people in town had a dream. Now its ground floor is a thriving locavore food heaven, filled with organic produce and meats, ice creams and locally-made specialty items.

Today when I drive by it’s the Sweet Beet Market, and even bigger dreams surround it. A bakery. A new arts venue. A commercial kitchen for food artisans. On weekends, the parking lot is filled with cars. Folks eat freshly made breakfasts, cooked up on the wraparound veranda as families sit at picnic tables. At this time of year, artfully piled pumpkins have turned the place orange. The old inn has come alive.

To help with this Kearsarge Food Hub project, I’m donating the scariest show in my repertory this coming Friday the 13th at 8 pm, an outdoor event with jack-o-lanterns glowing, under the big tent. HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror is an adult evening of stories. No kids, please. Mini-horror movies for the mind’s eye, these tales have entertained audiences from Lincoln Center in New York to the National Storytelling Festival. Each with driving music on 12-string guitars, Celtic harp, and other instruments, plus lots of creepy character voices and sounds, they’re unnerving and fun. The show is two hours.

Hot cider. Good hot food. On a cool October evening beneath the waning moon, these stories will come to life, or horrible death (agh!!!) depending on how you like it.

If you know folks in New Hampshire, please let them know. Nothing like this anywhere else in the Granite State.

Tickets are $10, $12 at the door.

Check it out on Facebook.