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It is mid-November at the ancient Kutscher's Hotel and Resort in the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York. Brian continued, "I was playing a lot of rough-around-the-edges songs that I'd been writing for the young audience at the open mic, so I was nervous about approaching someone as polished as Pat. Katie has just graduated from Towson University with a degree in Mass Communication with a focus in Public Relations, and Pat has just graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance.
They also have a New York City appearance at Makor on July 29th, with three other acts (see below). He'd alternately been banned in one Maryland county and then got invited to perform at the White House. Does the bulk of the arranging for the group, and is the one who can tell when they're accidentally singing parallel fifths with each other. In college he started with a major in Jazz Percussion, but later switched to Classical Voice. For all the sing-alongs prompted by folksingers, few achieve the near-spiritual the way that one did. He then started showing up at the Fast Folk Cafe, where I was house manager, volunteering regularly at shows, working at the sound board and helping with publicity, an early demonstration of his community spirit. A 1993 graduate of Penn State University, at that time he was working as a mechanical engineer. Essentially a non-player until he was 24 years old, growing up he listened to mostly classic rock.
A sign of his tenacity for developing as a songwriter came with his steady attendance at the Monday night song swaps that I held for a period of time. Andy Fox and Denise O'Brien, of the performing duo of Andy and Denise, joined with Erik for a remarkable production job (Andy and Denise are also producing the next We're about 9 CD, Engine). His next CD, God's Poet Now, a tribute to the late Dave Carter, is almost ready for release. Erik will be appearing in New York City at Makor on July 29th with We're About 9, Andy and Denise, and CC Railroad. They also have a New York City appearance at Makor on July 29th, with three other acts (see below).A  It's going to be a long and glorious career arc for this group. Essentially a non-player until he was 24 years old,A  growing up he listened to mostly classic rock.
The gigs stretched through New Jersey and around New York City.A  Following in the tradition of some of the very best folkies, he got himself a weekly gig at a coffeehouse in the heart of Greenwich Village at the corner of Bleecker and Sullivan Streets. Erik (at left) seen here performing as a finalist in the Wildflower Festival Singer-songwriter contest held in Richardson, Texas in May of 2003.
After countless hours of research on and about this breed, here is my version of how this wonderful breed came to be.In the early 1800a€™s Scotsman Bruce McKinsey moved his family moved from the cold damp climates of Northern Scotland to the Grampian Hills of Central Scotland. They were among the 25 acts selected for the Friday afternoon New Artists showcase at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival last year a€” no mean feat.
I 'm cheering for me, too because I've just gotten that explosion in my chest that I get when someone new has walked into my life and lit the fuse to another thrill. Mary's College of Maryland in 1998 ( degree in Music Composition) and, having performed in college, I immediately set to looking for a place to perform in my home area, Ellicott City, MD. Now, after working at day jobs and getting their degrees, they're planning their first long tour, with a whole bunch of festivals thrown in. It's careful about reaching the higher registers, but it reaches everyone in any room he sings in.
I guess that's because, acknowledging his lateness in embracing the role of musician, he sees himself more as a poet and a writer. Rather than report back to the New York City office, Erik decided it was time to make his move. These monthly dispatches chronicling his experiences on the road document both the hardships and hospitality he encounters. In fact, having logged 54,000 miles and over twenty states, for 300 appearances in 2002, he is both the driver and the driven.
In no-nonsense language, it perfectly captures the day-in, day-out struggle of a recovering addict. Now, after working at day jobs and getting theirA  degrees, they're planning their first long tour, with a whole bunch of festivals thrown in. We are about three hours from an ice storm that will knock out all the electricity for the hotel and surrounding region, but we don't know that yet. They asked to perform at our Acoustic Live showcase in front of our booth, and I eagerly added them to our roster.
Aside from being a sharp observer of contemporary life, he cited the recent influence of Pulitzer prize-winning author Russell Banks (called to his attention by Brendan Milburn of Groovelily). At age five, Pat's parents turned him on to American, English, Irish and Scottish folk music.
At a recent gig in New Jersey, Brian and Katie performed without him because he was on tour, doing a classical vocal gig. While I thought that his voice could use a little work, I was impressed by the passionate reading he gave the song and told him so. He'd been attending open mics in New Jersey and was spurred on to develop his songwriting by the talent that he saw there. That not-so-clever pun aside, taking into account his amazing progress and his ability to make things happen for others as well as himself, there's no doubt that he is something special.

Erik very recently sat around a campfire next to Dave's partner Tracy Grammer and sang some of the songs from the CD for her and the others there. They asked to perform at our Acoustic Live showcase in front of our booth, and I eagerlyA  added them to our roster. Eventually he was playing uptown at the Dark Star (now The Triad) and in Chelsea at Eureka Joe's.
After spending time together working the sheep in the fields and watching how McKinseya€™s dogs worked the livestock, Alexander eventually acquired a female Scottish Colley from Bruce and named her Flora. Watching him play guitar, it's hard to believe he's only had two years of instruction during high school. At the Fast Folk Cafe, three or four of the most promising players from the open mics would get their own night once a month and play original material in a round-robin set. Back in the late '90's, his voice seemed to constrict when he reached for the higher notes. I liked their tight vocal harmonies and the melodies of their songs were ear catching.A  However, the distractions of the festival had prevented me from getting a clear picture of their talents. At the Fast Folk Cafe, three or four of the most promising players from the open mics would get their own night once a month and play original materialA  in a round-robin set.
I can see where Banks, a master of the depiction of the dysfunctional family, would have an impact on him. A big Michael Hedges fan, he's picked up technique and managed to learn a great deal on his own. He took voice lessons for a year, in 2001, and then hit the road for the aforementioned trek.
Now, fully focused, I saw why they had been selected at both the Falcon Ridge and NERFA showcases over hundreds of other entries.
I can see where Banks, a master of the depiction of the dysfunctional family, would have an impact on him.A A  Brian seems to have a voracious appetite for absorption and expression of the quirks of social alienation.
Suddenly, aside from their crisp vocal and instrumental attack, in the middle of their swirling, rising music, I found myself buffeted by cinematic images. There they were, appearing in town: Steve Forbert, John Gorka, David Wilcox, Chris Smither, Dave Van Ronk, and Catie Curtis.
Here, inside their songs, were people whose lives had broken free of their moorings, who were lost and haunted, like floating asteroids of space junk. There isna€™t any information as to the demise of Alexander, but he was well into his 80's at this time. This pup would come to be known as "Jet", a black pup with a faint line of white up his face, a white chest and socks.
Both theseA lines worked from the head and didn't have the a€?loose eyeda€? working style of the traditional Collies.If you look at the picture of the Basque Sheepherder, taken at the turn of the century, you can see the resemblance of our modern day McNab in the Black and white dog in the back on the right side. Among Scottish flocks he is the pride of Scottish owners, and is valued, both in the Old World and the New, as one of the best aids money can procure. Here even, in far California, there is one ranch, lying high on the breezy mountains and low in the grassy dells, that for years has relied upon the help given by imported collies and their offspring, and it is of the work these bright dogs do that this article is written.For the history of the collie one must look elsewhere than in a brief magazine sketch.
Many wise dogs have journeyed far by land and sea to race over the rugged hills after the nimble sheep, which in these mountain wilds give fleet defiance to the would-be-gatherer. No one but a real Scotch shepherd can train these dogs to the perfection they attain among Scottish flocks under constant supervision. Descended from long generations of workers the puppies take actively to business, and practice amusing tactics of herding on the farm poultry while still too young to be initiated into the graver cares of life; and at first sight of a band of sheep will usually make some move that denotes the shepherd strain. Literally is it true of the collie, Ye cannot serve two masters ; his allegiance must be given to but one, or the valuable animal becomes worthless for the work that nature and training have given him to do. The breeze is sweet with bloom, and the sunlight falls, a flood of golden glory, over the lavish green of April meadow, as we take the upward trail, a woodland path that rises steeply under the shadow of the Peak, giving but glimpses of the valley home below, and winding through still shadows in the absolute silence of Natures own domains. Higher we go, and onward, past an old stone cabin, a picturesque bit of ruin in the lap of spring. As we come out from the woods with the Peak still above us, send a swift glance northward, where Sanhedrim and the northern mountains still are capped in glittering snow, rising sharply from green valleys to the sunny sky, their sparkling peaks the only hint of winter in all this summerland. Off he dashes up the hill, makes a wide circle past a dozen ewes, and as they bolt up hill heads them, turns, and deftly drives them down. Their lambs lie asleep in the warm sun or frolic together on the hillside, bright bits of movement white against the green.
A motion of the hand directs the alert dogs, and they join the two bands and send them steadily along the trail.
Two ewes and a lamb go running to the side.Here, Pete!The dog dashes quickly across a little hill, the bright drops sparkling on his black coat as he passes the sheep and turns them. Circling in front again, the dog overtakes, turns them, follows, and turns again, and patiently works them along till his troublesome charges are safely among their fellows. If sent to hurry the little flock, he dashes at the hindmost, barking his orders.Here the master whistles Fred to the right.
Nothing is visible to him, but off scurries the obedient dog, barking frantically, circles, and stops. Off he dashes, perhaps fifty feet or so ahead, and dropping to the ground with nose between his paws, he waits till the flock is close upon him ; then he springs up and trots ahead again, and once more quietly waits their coming.Fred!
The master walks away, and Fred, understanding perfectly that he must keep the flock, swiftly circles round them and brings them to a halt. Here, alone, he holds them, keeping them closely together while Peter and the master gather the other side of the hill, and return two hours later to find the sheep quietly grazing and Fred lying as quietly watching them.Two ewes wander a little too far.

Scarcely rising to his feet, the dog slips quietly through the grass beside them, and they turn and slowly rejoin the band, cropping as they go. Fred trots quietly around his charges, sees that all are safe, then drops down again, watching them ceaselessly with shining eyes, and not a ewe or lamb is missing when the returning master adds his flock.Steadily we climb, through the golden afternoon. Occasionally shy deer peer through the brush, the warm air is sweet with the breath of bloom, and a distant eagle screams as he sweeps in stately circles over the Peak.
The flocks number in the hundreds as we finally reach the summit, where we are met by the shepherd and Tweed, with another band. In go the dogs, and send the sheep briskly down the trail, while Peter, circling far behind of his own accord, often brings in a stray ewe that has slyly dropped out.Yonder is a place where the whole band broke away years ago, and never have forgotten it, but neither have the dogs.
With a fierce challenge the collies vigorously meet the flying band, and force them back to the trail more roughly than we have seen them do yet, in punishment, perhaps, for their presumption and past sins. She has bolted away several times, and given Peter much trouble to bring her in ; but his Scotch is up, as she dashes away again. He springs in before her, and with a dexterous hoist of his body sends her tumbling end over end, which is his own cure for these troublesome bolters, and was never known to fail. As if shot from a cannon, the ewe bangs against him, and over goes Tweed, howling rolling over and over, down the steep hillside, all four feet kicking at once, in angry protest as they come uppermost ; and his chap-fallen expression, as he struggles to his feet and slinks away, shows that Tweed is both a sadder and a wiser dog. Though all are trained alike in a general way, two collies differ as widely in characteristic methods of work as two men,each possessing a distinct individuality of his own.Ah! After much hard running the flock is finally under control, but a bunch of lambs has become separated in the confusion, and after circling helplessly, stampedes in wild disorder. Peter tries his wise best to work the foolish little things back, vainly attempting to head them off.but they jump over him, halfa-dozen in succession, ears and tails flapping wildly as they clear his broad back. While the master separates the sheep, let us sit on this sunny hillside and watch the collies as they circle round the running lambs.
They never bark at them as they would at old sheep, but merely follow and slowly check them by degrees. The little things are both obstinate and foolish, and at first pay no attention to the quiet collies that trot patiently round and round, quietly gather them together, and at last stop their wilr1 run. Slowly, and with marvelous patience they are turned, jumping over each other, then over the dogs, and it seems a hopeless task even to attempt to take them the half-mile to the corral, but in a couple of hours time Fred and Peter come slowly up to the gate with them, not a lamb hurt or missing, and their first acquaintance made with these gentle protectors and friends.
Peter is a favorite, bright even beyond the ordinary collie, his first appearance in the field showing a canine reason.
Then he suddenly spied a huge rock; straight for it he went, and springing into sight upon its top, he stood a moment, one paw uplifted, ears up and nose a-quiver, a pretty picture, gave two quick glances, and was down and with the sheep again, and quietly drove them straight across the field to the hidden gate.
Often, till he learned the hills, did he leave the sheep,, and on some high point literally take his bearings, to return to his charge and take them down the better way, justifying his masters assertion that surely the line between reason and instinct is closely drawn in the Scotch collie.
He was a ready match for a certain obstinate old ram, that always fought the dogs and delayed their work ; till at last when sent for the flock Peter went first for this old enemy, and there, nose to nose, both heads bobbing excitedly, he would angrily bark and growl, till the conquered ram at last would make a sudden bolt, and the victorious Peter calmly gather in the flock. A most conscientious dog, his work was done faithfully and well till years disabled him; but Fred, more alert to praise, did best were strangers present, when he abounded in bright ways and brilliant work, done with a comically conscious air of superior excellence. The young man pondered a little, then to the country saddler he went and ordered made from his description little leather shoes. He took to them kindly, like the wise dog he was, wore them gratefully, and after a long days run through flying seed, off would come the shoes, leaving his feet sound and well. Meekly he would let his shoes be donned, regarding his master quizzically the while, and wear them complacently enough in view, but let him be sent for sheep a little out of sight, a little delay would be noticed, then out from behind some bushy clump or sheltering rock Fred would gayly emerge, with many gambols to divert the eye. Clyde closely resembles Fred, whose days are past; and till the present puppy, tiny Tweed, grows to working age, Clyde is the mainstay of the gathering.
Help fulfills his name on other portions of the large range ; but either are true types of the working collie, willing and faithful helpers till years disable them. Either one is sent for sheep entirely out of sight in a large field, and patiently hunts till he finds them, then brings them in alone ; and Gyps mother, Bessie, brings in the entire flock from her owners small range just as readily as from the field. They brought with them their stock dogs, the Fox Shepard, the origin not known, but have survived in Scotland for centuries.
McNab returned to the Grampian Hills in Scotland for the sole purpose of getting some of the dogs he was used to working. He brought Peter back with him, leaving Fred to have his training completed, and he was later sent to America.
These two dogs were bred to select Shepard females of the Spanish origin, which were brought to this country by the Basque sheepherders, and that cross was called the McNab Shepherds because Mr.
He named this pup Jet he was black with a faint white line up his face, a white chest and a small amount of white on his feet. Some of these dogs will have a wider strip up the face (Bentley Stripe) and a ring around the neck, there are also instances of pups with brown on their face and legs but will still be mostly black. Alexander McNab and his family raised sheep in Scotland, but longed for a warmer climate and enticed by the news of the West, set out across the Atlantic to America. McNab was not satisfied with the type of working dogs he found locally, and in 1885 he returned to Scotland for the sole purpose of importing the type of dog(s) he had been accustomed to working with.
It was said that these two male dogs were bred to female dogs of Spanish origin, which were brought to this country by the Basque sheep herders.
I have searched (and continue to search) to find out the type of dog the Basque may have brought with them to California, and my findings were contradicting.

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