Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fellow Travelers' Advisory from Anne Feeney - JUNE 2006, VOLUME TWO, # 3

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This isn't a typical Fellow Travelers' Advisory... Sure there are fun links and family news and labor news and tour dates, but this month I'm asking for your help.

I'm in the middle of recording and I'm just about out of money for the project. I'm recording some of the most frequently requested songs that I perform and some fabulous new songs - Let Their Heads Roll, Ya Basta!, Defenders of Marriage, My Feet Are Tired, Days of the Theocracy, Lullaby, Cops of the World, Preacher and the Slave, Hallelujah I'm a Bum, Who's the Criminal Here?, Emma Goldman and more... The tracks sound really terrific -- I've been working with terrific local union musicians and I've found a wonderful engineer, Doug Wilkin, to work with just blocks from my house.

But I need your help! I estimate the remaining cost of this production to be slightly more than $18,000.00 - a hopeless number for me to come up with alone... But if 180 of you can come up with $100 it will happen. This is how I financed "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" six years ago and I'm hoping for the same magic this time. So far I've gotten contributions from Charlie Bernhardt, Joel Henderson, David Newby & Kathy McElroy, Steffi Domike, Berk Snow, Jill Weldon Merrill, Dave Thornburgh, Mel Packer and Emily DeFerrari, Jim Gorman, Mark Damron, the IWW, John Ames, Carol Gay, Carol Newman, Rose Feurer, Ed Finkelstein, Dan Callahan, Joey Hartman, Dave Johnson, Helena Worthen, Joe Berry -- so I only need 158 more angels/patrons/sponsors/underwriters/true-believers...but I need you soon!

If you can send me $100 before June 15th I'll be most grateful and I'll gladly put your name in the liner notes. Please send it to:

Anne Feeney
7206 Michigan Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

and include a note as to if/how you'd like to be listed in the liner notes. Thanks so much!

Some incredibly sweet people have written to offer me $10 or $15 -- Thank you so much... but, I'm like you, $10 or $15 I have... It's trying to come up with a huge lump sum up front to produce a new recording that is beyond my reach. I'm looking for those lucky and wonderful and rare people who have $100 to contribute toward a labor culture/social justice project.

If you've got $15 you don't know what to do with, how about buying a CD? They make great and unusual gifts!





JUNE 23-AUGUST 2ND ......




all before the end of September! whew! Get all the details on my Tour Dates page.


If you know someone living in Beirut that you think I should make contact with when I go there in August, please let me know.


My dear and extraordinarily talented friend Chris Chandler brings his dynamic new show featuring New Orleans piano player David Roe to the Friendship House Concert series here. Details are:

Friday, June 9th, 2006 7:30pm
The Chris Chandler and David Roe Show
Friendship House Concerts
RSVP for directions to this house concert: phone: 412.361.6051

Jim and LLouise Altes are the perfect house concert hosts and you'll have a memorable evening ... don't miss it! If I weren't going to the Kerrville Folk Festival for a few days I would surely be there myself!


I'm very excited to report that I will be performing at the Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence, MA this year. It's a festival that I've always wanted to play. Information on this year's festival should be up on their website very soon.


One of the funniest and cleverest sites on the web... The Yes Men do some really creative speaking of truth to power



Tell McDonald's and Chipotle (did you know that McDonald's owns Chipotle???) to Support Fair Wages for Farm Workers

Farm workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald's hamburgers and Chipotle's burritos earn about 45 cents for every 32-pound container of tomatoes they pick, a subpoverty wage that has remained stagnant for almost 30 years.

Although Taco Bell signed an agreement last year with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay an additional one cent per pound for tomatoes it purchases, McDonald's and Chipotle have refused to sign a similar agreement to raise wages in the fields.

Tell McDonald's and Chipotle to support fair wages for farm workers and sign the agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers now.



Illinois' 15th Congressional District race features a physician campaigning for single-payer national health care. Check out his website./

I met him during my swing through Champaign/Urbana last weekend and I was very impressed. His district should be on Colbert's "Better Know a District" -- It's a real gerrymandered mess.

If you don't know about HR 676, John Conyers' Universal Health Care Bill, you should. I'm delighted to report that my member of Congress, Mike Doyle, just signed on as a sponsor.

Check out John Conyers' Health Care page and then look to see if your member of Congress is a sponsor.


BOILERMAKERS 484 LOCKOUT ENDS (see article below this post)

Sunday, June 11th there will be a Hog Roast to honor the sacrifices made during the lockout of the loyal & heroic member/warriors of Boilermakers Local 484

City Park * Hwy 104 * Meredosia, IL - I'm leaving the Kerrville Folk Festival early to be with my locked out brothers and sisters.



Cousin Terry Donovan is 60 years old as of the 23rd of May. Bill Feeney, Jill Weldon Merrill, Mary and Tom Weldon and I got together with Terry to celebrate over dinner. See the photo below this post.

Karen McCahill's daughter Erin Brown is expecting a little brother for Henry - Congratulations!

And rumor has it that Kevin McCahill turned 60 in mid-May -- Happy Birthday, Cuz!

I was delighted to get an email from cousin Joseph McCahill, Jr - a guitar player living in Alexandria, VA with his gorgeous wife Mennelle and son, Nicholas. Welcome to the list, Joseph! I'm hoping to get a chance to hang out with you when I come to Silver Spring for the Great Labor Arts Exchange next month.

Aunt Claire's Birthday is June 4th -- I'm not 100% sure, but I think she's 86 this year... you can send her a card : Claire O'Connor, 325 Magnolia Lake Court, Aiken, SC 29803 ... or give her a call - 803.641.9027

My daughter Amy got home from Guatemala and Mexico today. My son Dan and his fiance Monique Murad left for Beirut this afternoon.


That's it for June! Look for a new CD next month! Yes!!!!

Terry Donovan is 60!

From Left to Right: Tom Weldon, Father Bill Feeney, Anne Feeney, Mary Weldon, Jill Weldon Merrill, Terry (am I really 60?) Donovan

Boilermakers Local 484 Ratifies Contract - The Lockout is Over.....

Thanks to everyone out there who helped these folks last one day longer ... I'll always appreciate your generosity toward them ... and of course, they'll be forever grateful for all the support they received. This is the message I received from Road Warrior Tena Battefeld:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, The Union as a Group, has ratified the company's last offer. We have a contract. Some of us are going back to work, which will be a very different world from what we once knew. Some of us are leaving. Every one of our Union brothers and sisters are very important. We have grown so much closer to each other during the lock-out. We are as strong, as a group, as we have ever been and could ever hope to be. This separation is going to hurt, a lot. God Bless and protect each and every one of you. Did we win?

Anger and feelings of betrayal will fade but never go away. Working for the betrayers and along side the scabs will be an ENORMOUS challenge. We're going to have to suck it up and TRY to get along if we are to succeed. This will be an individual challenge for each of us. Remember in the trials and tribulations to come that you are not alone, we each as individuals will still be a Union and you have brothers and sisters to share the pain. Learn to lean on each other. We still have the numbers and still retain some power in this.

Did we win? Pursuing the NLRB charges, as you heard, could have taken years, with no promise we'd win in the end. Everyone knows the pro-business environment of the present administration. It could be the threat posed by the NLRB to the company had peaked at this point. The company's last offer may have been as good as it was going to get. Maybe. Roll of the dice at this point. We made a decision though and we have to go forward from this point. Hindsight is 20/20 but totally worthless.

Did we win? We have a decent severance for those who won't walk beside us into this den of lions...well maybe den of jackals. The pay rate is back up from the lowest offer. Insurance is changed to the company WE chose. We have caps on increases. I don't like everything else in the contract but I never have. A contract is a combination of what we want and what they want. That's just the way it works. Life's rarely fair. We have fought an enormous fight against a very powerful adversary. We fought them to a standstill and actually pushed them back a few steps. We were helped by so many good people. We stand now at the end of our battle, panting and sweating in the bloodstained sand. Nearly a year from the start, we have a contract agreed to by a majority of our people. Celanese did NOT get all they wanted despite all their money, their subversion of the law or their political influence. We have, as I've said, a long hard fight inside the plant and we all still have the anger and emotional pain to deal with, but not alone. Stand strong...Stand Tall...We WON!!!

This was a message written by one of our brothers and he stated it the way it is, pretty well. I just want to send you all a copy and to let you know how grateful we will always be to all of you. Right at this moment I can’t really tell you how I feel because I don’t know myself. I do want everyone to know that we are still having the June 11 Hog roast and we still wish for everyone to attend if you can.

Believe me some good did come out of this year, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people like yourselves and others. We have to keep standing together and keep fighting these greedy bastard corporations before they destroy each and everyone of us.

IN SOLIDARITY your sister

Tena Battefeld IBB Local 484

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fellow Travelers' Advisory from Anne Feeney - MAY 2006, VOLUME TWO, # 2

Haledon, NJ
Pittsburgh, PA
Detroit, MI
Chicago, IL
Champaign, IL

and then TX (maybe), Washington, DC, and the great left coast summer tour with Dave Lippman.... we could still use some help with a couple dates... any ideas for the 4th of July in southern Oregon? how about the 30th of June or July 1st (my birthday...) near Portland... how about Wed July 26th near Sacramento? and the last four days of July are still wide open on the left coast... check it out & make some suggestions... and if you'd be willing to put up some of our very very cool summer tour posters at one of the towns along our route, email me and i'll send some to you.


CDs at



Happy MayDay!
April Adventures
The New CD
Organic Bouquets for Mothers' Day
Colbert KOs the Bush Administration
Family News
Tour Dates


Subscribe to receive the Fellow Travelers' Advisory every month --


It's May Day - the real Labor Day... all around the world people will sing The Internationale... and while most people in the US couldn't hum the tune, we'll be singing it in Haledon New Jersey at the Botto House National Labor Museum. I'm writing this month's Fellow Travelers' Advisory from Chicago-- less than 5 files from Waldheim Cemetery where the Haymarket Martyrs are buried.

I'm glad that this month is a little more tranquilo than April - I don't think I've ever had a busier and more exciting month. I'll spend most of May at conferences and in the studio recording a bunch of songs that have already become audience favorites. After I get the new recording off to the duplicator, I hope to end the month in Texas, but I'm still not sure. If you've got some work for me in Austin or Houston or San Antonio, let me know.



April was way too action-packed to describe in what I promise to keep short monthly newsletter. So many of you wrote to say how much you liked my Florida tour diary ( that I promise to have the April tour diary up on the same site soon. Many many thanks to my fabulous hosts in San Diego - Carolyn and Joel Henderson -- in Madison, Sue Vilbrandt and Willy Lanier -- in Toronto Jonathan and Sara Marlowe and in Portland, OR -- Connie and Kenny Cohen



I postponed the new recording until my guitar is out of the hospital (soon, very soon, I hope....). I'll be going back into the studio in mid-May. A very talented engineer has opened up a great studio within walking distance of my house and I intend to start recording there on May 8th. If you can send me $100 to help underwrite the considerable costs of producing a new CD, I'd be extremely grateful. Send it to me at 7206 Michigan Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 - and let me know if you'd like to have your name in the THANK YOU section of the CD liner notes.



This year send Mom an organic bouquet. The floral industry is laden with pesticides and unsustainable agricultural practices, as well as worker abuses. Now you don't need to inflict pain on the planet or other workers when you send Mom some flowers...
Check out:



This is where you can watch Stephen Colbert do a brilliant and hilarious job of taking the Bush administration to the woodshed as W and Laura sit less than 10 feet away at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. This aired on CSPAN last night and I watched it with my wonderful friends Sue Vilbrandt and Willy Lanier. This is truly MUST SEE TV!!!

Here are a couple Colbert quips:

"I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

"When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday - no matter what happened Tuesday."

And turning his attention to the White House correspondents themselves, Colbert says:

"Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know--fiction."



My almost-daughter, Monique Murad, received a fabulous fellowship to go study in Beirut this summer. My son Dan will go with her. I hope to go visit them.

My San Diego adventures included a visit to my cousin Peggy McCahill Duncan. Peggy is the extraordinary mom of four year old Connor and 9 month old triplets Emma, Colin and Tara. They are all completely charming children and suffice it to say that there are *not* enough hours in the day for anyone to keep up with them.

My cousin Mardy McCahill is a family physician and psychiatrist who has developed, secured funding for and implemented a terrific program that, in cooperation with local churches, delivers health care to uninsured people via a $700,000 mobile doctor's office that travels all around San Diego. What a gal!

And her husband Jim is grandpa to these triplets. He provides meals-on-wheels for the triplets on an almost daily basis. (He's a fabulous cook, but I think it may be impairing his Boggle skills -- I whomped him on my too-brief visit with this wonderful branch of my extended family.)

My daughter Amy is a real globetrotter this month. She got back from Hawaii in time to meet me in Portland and drive me and my dear friend Connie Cohen up to Olympia for my show there. We stopped at the fabulous Olympus Spa in Tacoma and steeped like teabags for hours in their many pools. Then Amy closed up her apartment and headed to Oaxaca for a month. I hope to catch up with her in Texas at the end of May.

Unfortunately cousin Bill won't be able to officiate at the baptism of Kathleen and Ross's latest addition - Rosalie - in New Orleans on May 7th -- it's First Holy Communion at Immaculate Conception Parish where he's the pastor. But Kay and Tony Mumphrey are back in New Orleans.

And in Manhattan, cousin Erin McCahill is awaiting the birth of her second son in August - mazel tov!

Cousin Kevin McCahill turns 60 this month - my sister Kathleen turns 53 on May 3rd (she has a mutual birthday with Pete Seeger!).

Mary and Tom Weldon celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a family gala at daughter Jill's (& husband Steve Merrill's) beautiful house in Murrysville, PA. The family films and photos are now available on DVD.


THE DATES............

Monday, May 1st, 2006 7:00 PM
May Day at Botto House
Botto House American Labor Museum
83 Norwood St
Haledon, NJ
Price: free
with the Solidarity Singers, Chris Chandler & David Roe, George Mann & Julius Margolin and more .... come celebrate May Day at the birthplace of the Paterson Silk Strike!

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006 7:00 PM
CD Release Party for DC Fitzgerald and Bob Beach
Club Cafe
56-58 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
I'll be opening this show, so don't be late!! This will be lots of fun.

May 5th-7th
Labor Notes
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Dearborn, MI

May 17th-20th
Regina Polk Conference for Union Women
Pheasant Run Resort
St Charles, IL

Saturday, May 20th, 2006 8:00 PM
Benefit Concert for Boilermakers' Local 484
Channing Murray Foundation
Matthews & Oregon
Champaign, IL
this concert will be with Darrin Drda's wonderful band "The Theory of Everything." it will be great!

Coming up in June and July - the great left coast Triple Trouble summer tour with Dave Lippman and his sinister-but-hilarious alter ego George Shrub, the singing CIA agent

.... we could still use some help with a couple dates... any ideas for the 4th of July in southern Oregon?

how about the 30th of June or July 1st (my birthday...) near Portland...

how about Wed July 26th near Sacramento?

and the last four days of July are still wide open on the left coast... check it out & make some suggestions...

and if you'd be willing to put up some of our very very cool summer tour posters at one of the towns along our route, email me and i'll send some to you.