Monday, December 31, 2007

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - JANUARY 2008, VOLUME THREE, #10

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - JANUARY 2008, VOLUME THREE,

I'm sitting in my new office, which is a lovely room, but so full of
piles of things to be sorted that it's a daunting place to be. My
bedroom isn't much better. Instead of tackling the mess, I'm reading
an online book on how to avoid procrastination...

This is the time of year when many of us are taking stock of
ourselves... are we still "on the path"? have we taken a detour?
2008 is taking me on some new journeys. I hope that this new year is
kinder to us all than 2007 was.


I moved in 2007. For those of you who haven't updated your records,
you might want to do that now... the forwarding order will expire
soon --

Anne Feeney
2240 Milligan Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
same phones: 412-241-7664 (home) 412-877-6480 (cell)
same email:


2007 was a fantastic year for me -- full of challenges and obstacles,
but for the most part, all well-met with lots of help from my friends.
For the first time in my life, I was alone at Christmas this year.
My husband went back to Sweden, my son to his wife's family in
California, and my daughter and her boyfriend went to Mexico. I
curled up with Barbara Kingsolver's fabulous "Animal, Vegetable,
Miracle," and Barack Obama's "Dreams from my Father ". This very
unusual vantage point left me as a spectator on the season, with
plenty of time to think. As most Americans are wallowing in stuff
right now, I'm looking for ways to simplify my life. If you haven't
visited this would be a great time to do
it. I'm planning a more sustainable 2008.


My holidays were brightened considerably by the news that the valiant
UAN nurses on strike against Appalachian Regional Health Systems
ratified a good contract that will have them all back to work no
later than March 31, 2008. Keeping the scabs on the payroll isn't my
favorite way of achieving safer staffing levels... I'll look forward
to new from the nurses on how that works out.


These next two months at home would be a great time to finish "Dump
the Bosses Off Your Back" -- my new CD... Many many thanks to the
dozen folks who sent me sponsorship money last month when I asked for
it... Unfortunately, that's not enough to get the project finished,
but it will get me back in the studio for a couple more days. If
you'd like to see your name in the liner notes of my new CD, or if
you'd just like to help me get this album finished and out there,
please send $100 to Anne Feeney, 2240 Milligan Ave, Pittsburgh, PA


2008 is taking me on several new, but still familiar paths... Thanks
to a grant from the Labor Center at Indiana University of
Pennsylvania, I will spend the first couple months of 2008
researching and writing on the life William Patrick Feeney --
immigrant, coal miner, fearless union organizer for the United
Mineworkers of America, one-term legislator in Pennsylvania,
accomplished violinist, labor singer -- and my grandfather.

This means that I *won't* be at the Western Workers' Heritage
Festival -- or anywhere on the left coast -- in January and February,
as I have been for the past 7 years or more.


I'm still hoping to do my Florida tour in early March ... anyone
interested? With the closing of two of my favorite venues -
Fogartyville and the Main St Café -- it's harder to plan a Florida
tour.... Florida -- let me hear from you!!

In early April, I'll be performing in a production of Jerry Starr's
powerful play, "Buried: The Story of the Sago Mine Disaster." I may
be doing another two or three productions of the play as the year
unfolds. There is a great deal of interest in the play these days.


I'm looking forward to the familiarity and welcome of the Regina Polk
Conference for Labor Union Women, Susquehanna Music and Arts Fest,
Labor Notes, Mayday at Botto House, Radio Live!, the Debs Dinner
... as well as the excitement of some new opportunities -- Cleveland,
St. Catherine's, Ontario, and the Association for Humanist Sociology


I hope by now you know that I'm taking three groups of friends on
fabulous music/history/politics and poetry tours of western Ireland
... There are still seats available for you on all three tours,
although August is almost full. I'm very grateful to the folks who
have signed up early for these tours... it's making it possible for
Tom Pigott and me to plan fantastic trips. It's still not too late
to sign up, and the earlier that you do, the easier it is to make
great plans. Email me for more information:

I haven't decided if I'm going to spend the time in between the tours
in Europe or on the left coast. Invitations to a few festivals on one
side of the pond or the other would clinch my decision pretty quickly.


Now more than ever I think it's essential to focus on issues, not
candidates. If we keep the heat on for an immediate end to the war
and for national health care now, we might get both. If we invest
all our energy in trying to decide which candidate has the best of
the lousy plans to phase down the war and tack some hopeless bandaid
on the health care crisis, that's what we'll get....

That's it. No immediate destinations.

Drop me a line and tell me what you're up to.

Happy New Year!

Love and peace


PS - Check out Bill Maher's Dickheads of 2007 --

Friday, November 30, 2007

Attention Pittsburgh Folks - Special Holiday Fundraiser!!!

Right click on this flyer and save it to your computer using the "SAVE AS" choice that will appear. Print it out and post it on your refrigerator! Forward it to your friends. And MOST IMPORTANTLY - bring a new toy, or new clothes, or a gift card, or cash, or a check to KENTUCKY NURSES ASSOCIATION to the Letter Carriers' Hall - Local 84 - at 841 California Avenue on the North Side between 4 and 9 PM on Saturday, December 15th. Make sure that these nurses have a happy holiday season -- they've been on strike for us - holding the line for safe staffing levels and quality patient care. Let's show our appreciation for their courage.

Or contribute online securely by clicking here:

Hope to see you at the Letter Carriers' Hall on the 15th any time after 4PM -- from 7PM-9PM I'll be leading a sing-along of labor tunes and Christmas carols and seasonal songs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - DECEMBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #9

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - DECEMBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #9

IMMEDIATE DESTINATIONS: (details at the end of this post)






Thank you for signing up for my monthly email news - The Fellow Travelers' Advisory. If this was forwarded to you, you can subscribe by going to

Order CDs at
-- the sale on my CDs continues through December 8th...

I'm always looking for work: email me at if you'd like to help set up a concert, or have me play at your college, conference, convention or riot.





On October 1, 2007 750 nurses went on strike against Appalachian Regional Health Systems. The incessant mandatory overtime and chronic understaffing is endangering patients and limiting the nurses' ability to do their jobs properly.

When I played in Charleston, WV in early November, I stopped by the nurses' picket line in Beckley. They're a great group of folks, and determined to stick this out.

Read more here:

You can help by signing this petition:

Or clogging up their scab hotline -- apply for a job... hell apply for several jobs ... if they're getting 10,000 job applications a day it might make it hard for them to find the three creepy lowlife scabs willing to come to WV or KY to break this strike.

I applied for a job as an RN at Beckley ... My name was Ms. Scab E. Scab. I obtained my BS in BackStabbing. I was referred to their site by Benedict Arnold. My references included Satan Himself,, telephone (666) 666-6666

You can amuse yourself filling out the application, and help the striking nurses by making it just a little harder for management to sort through the job applications looking for real scabs.

AND, you can contribute securely online at:

or by check to:

Kentucky Nurses' Association
1400 South First Street
P.O. Box 2616
Louisville, KY 40201-2616



I will almost certainly be doing a benefit concert for the striking nurses at a Pittsburgh location on Saturday, December 15th. It will be a free concert with your generous donations to the strike fund ... food, cash, checks, clothing, toys ... all delivered to the nurses on the 16th in time for Christmas.

Check for the location.

In the meantime, gather up your generous gifts for the striking nurses. If I don't get a location for the concert, I'll come to your house to pick up your gifts and even sing you a song!



Jerry Starr's powerful play, BURIED: The Story of the Sago Mine Disaster, will be produced in Detroit, Chicago and Indiana, PA in 2008. I'm hoping to be a part of all three productions, although my 2008 schedule may make that difficult. I'll *definitely* be doing the music for the Indiana, PA production at the end of March/beginning of April 2008.



Just back from the School of the Americas Watch vigil - as moving and powerful as ever - 25,000 say NO! Not in my name! Close the SOA!! Holly Near, the Indigo Girls and Dennis Kucinich and a fabulous collective of musicians were on hand. I've put some photos by Al Viola on my blog and there's a great slide show at: and
Your holiday gift to
School of the Americas Watch will help to close our terrorist training camp.

Chris Chandler and I on stage at the SOAWatch Vigil 2007

The Musicians' Collective

2007 was a year of tragic and devastating losses - starting with the murder of brilliant 36 year old Helen Hill in New Orleans last January 4th; Santiago Cruz, FLOC organizer, only 29 years old when he was found murdered in the union office in Monterrey; my friend Jackie Brown, dead at 47 from breast cancer in Jacksonville; my dear friend Berk Snow, dead in a plane crash at 55; my son's childhood best friend, Joel Daniels Walker - dead at 27 here in Pittsburgh; the dynamic young president of United American Nurses, Cheryl Johnson - dead of a brain aneurism at 57 -- The world is diminished by the loss of Molly Ivins, George Becker, Jackie Alper, Pat Jardine and Victor Rabinowitz. And my hometown won't be the same without Ralph Kelly and Leon Swimmer. The tragic, preventable deaths at the Crandall Canyon mines in Utah remind us all to "Mourn the Dead and Fight Like Hell for the Living!"

2007 was also filled with joys. Lots of wonderful new babies to play with, lots of weddings - most notably (for me) the wedding of my son Dan to the brilliant and lovely Monique Murad. This Thanksgiving holiday was the best ever - family, friends, music, games, jokes, food and lots of laughs and hugs. My wonderful daughter Amy is almost a certified massage therapist.

I was blessed with too many wonderful performance opportunities to list (... but the Salt Spring Folk Club will give me lovely memories for a lifetime!).

Still, I am so touched by the kindness, generosity, dedication and hard work of my wonderful presenters and tour mates: Rick Smith, all the NOLSW folks, Celeste Howard and Georgia Pinkel, Inger and Bo in Gothenburg, Charles King, Kathleen Culver and Noel Beasley of the Eugene Debs Foundation, Don Scheiber, my Telus pals in Smedjebacken, Sarah & Tarmo, Shelley Kessler & all the WWLHF folks, Kay and Walter Tillow, Eleanor Walden, Pat Hogan, Michael Goodman & Sharon Sjerven (!), Ken Orchard & Sharon Hazelwood, Al & Dotty Dale & Betsy Pernotto & Bob Marshall, Leon Peek, Lu Mitchell, Danny Yeager, Jenny Brown & Joe Courter, Ward Broderson, Julia Ayres, Alexis, Arlene & Dave, Wendyl, Martha Shunn, Melanie Crawford, Alan Patrusevich, Dale Morris, Jamie and Matt in IA City, Corey Dolgon, Art & Melanie, Dave Johnson, Ron Haldeman, Helena Worthen, Margie Rosenkranz, Terry Irons, Robert Ford, Teresa Allen, Adam & Kris, Brian QTN, my OCF Faire Family, Ken & Janet Bates, Jim Gorman & Joey Hartman, Larry Olds, all my wonderful new friends in Florence, OR, Amy Newell, Maureen and Al Cholger, Maureen Wood, Jim Cook & the NW Labor Arts committee (!), Cecile and Axel Myer, Dan Kenney, Chris in Charleston, Jim & Jenny Barrett, the Anathoth Community folks, Janet Tucker, Julienne and John Oldfield, Liz Long, Polly Grubb, Alex, Paul Kotheimer, Rosanne Barker, Julius Margolin, David Rovics, Evan Greer and Chris Chandler. (I'm sure I missed some folks I'm going to kick myself over, but it's a start!)

SEASONAL JOKE (From Karen Newman)

Two Santas from rival department stores walk into a bar and get into a fight. Fortunately, a comma and a period are in the same bar. They get together and separate the two Clauses.



The Irish tours are filling up fast. I've got room for six more folks in June, five more in August, and still sixteen more folks for the Sept/Oct tour (when the airfares should be lower). I've set up Google discussion groups for folks on the tour, and we're busy planning our adventures, making reading lists and more. It's not too late to join us. We'll need $750 by December 20th to hold your spot, and the balance eight weeks before departure.

After some preliminary investigation, it doesn't appear likely that I'll be able to arrange any "group discount" with the airlines. So you should start looking into air fares to Ireland. I hope the dollar gets stronger soon... although it's sure making this tour even more of a bargain now!!! Nine days in Ireland with all accommodations, all ground transportation, all breakfasts, three dinners, and admission to most group events only $1750. (This does NOT include airfare to Shannon, Ireland where each tour begins).

We'll have the best of the West - the best scenery, the best music, and many opportunities to learn about Irish history, politics, poetry and more! Send me an email if you'd like more information.



My CD sale at CDBaby continues through December 8th. Take advantage of my seasonal sale!!

Northland Poster Collective
carries a fabulous inventory of union made posters, tee shirts and so much more!

A great source for activist books and more is Burned Books Publishing -- check out my friend John Storhm's fine selection of hard-to-find books!

I've still got a couple music boxes that play "The Internationale" left... $40

Powell's Books is a superior source of books and more. Use this link and the ILWU local that represents Powell's workers will benefit!

It's still not too late to give a special someone a unique gift - credit in the liner notes of my new CD!! For $100 I'll list your name, or your sweetheart's name, or the name of someone you admire in my forthcoming CD "Dump the Bosses off Your Back." I've got 41 of the 62 sponsors I need to finish this CD. Send a check for $100 to ANNE FEENEY, 2240 Milligan Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

If you want to use a credit card, email me at and I'll tell you how to do that.

is more than a guide to union made goods... the facts & stats box in the bottom left corner is a goldmine of useful information

and remember -- this season is NOT about the gifts... spend time with friends - do something unexpected and wonderful for someone else. Thanks for staying in touch with me... I hope to see you in 2008!

Happy holidays and much love




Thursday, November 29th, 2007 12:00 PM
CODE RED RALLY!! Appalachian Regional Health Care RNs Fighting Back
ARH Headquarters
2285 Executive Drive
Lexington, KY
Price: free
Exit 110 off I-75

Saturday, December 1st, 2007 7:30 PM
The Syracuse Peace Council presents Anne Feeney with Colleen Kattau
Pebble Hill Church
5299 Jamesville Road
DeWitt, NY
(315) 475-6251
Price: $1-=20 suggested
Colleen is a fabulously talented singer and songwriter in both English and Spanish. This will be a wonderful evening.

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 7:00 PM
Truth and Artichokes: A Fabulous Tribute Concert for Jackie Alper!
Eighth Step at Proctors
432 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 434-1703
Price: $tba
This concert will benefit the Eighth Step and features Ronnie Gilbert, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen and many more special guests. I'm ecstatic to have this opportunity to honor the memory of my friend, Jackie Alper, and to benefit the Eighth Step.

Saturday, December 15th, 2007 4:00 PM
Support Striking RNs at Appalachian Regional Health
Pittsburgh, PA
Price: donation
Drop off new toys, food, cash, checks, new clothing -- From 7 - 9 PM we'll have a sing-along of union songs, carols and more.

Checks to: Kentucky Nurses' Association

Sunday, December 16th, 2007 10:00 AM
Caravan to ARH Picket Line
I'm driving down to Beckley or Lexington or Louisville (I'll know soon) with whatever we collect on the 15th... does anyone want to come along?

Friday, February 22nd, 2008 8:00 PM
Four Shillings Short and Anne Feeney in Concert
Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church
416 W North Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $15 suggested
If you missed the first concert, you won't want to miss this one! And if you came to the last 4ss concert you'll be spreading the word, I'm sure.. what fun!!

also coming to Pittsburgh in February - THE PRINCE MYSHKINS!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival: Workers Unite With Art!

In addition to the music schedule below, the Festival featured labor art (including my husband, Julie Leonardsson's); panel discussions, workshops, films (including John Sayles' MATEWAN)... a FANTASTIC DAY.. Thanks to Wes Brain for the photos!

Here are some Photos:

Susan Lewis and Janet Stecher - "Rebel Voices" - sing with me

Saturday, November 10th

Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival: Workers Unite With Art!
Portland State University
Cramer Hall Room 053
Portland, OR
Price: free!!!

[Schedule as of 11/01/07]
Music Stage - PSU's Cramer Hall - Room 053 (Basement level):

1:00 PM - Native American Ceremony

2:00 PM - M.C. introduces, Festival Coordinator Jim Cook, who introduces the other members of the Coordinating Committee.

2:05 PM - Jimmy Kelly (Santa Cruz) - Founder of the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival (1987)

2:15 PM - General Strike Band

2:30 PM - The Joe Hillbillies

2:45 PM - George Mann (New York City)

3:00 PM - Film: "A Union Man - The Life and Work of Julius Margolin"

4:00 PM - Melinda Pittman

4:45 PM - Citizens Band (Olympia)

Grace Cox of Citizens' Band and I join Rebel Voices

5:20 PM - Mic Crenshaw

6:15 PM - Judy O'Connor - NW Oregon Labor Council, Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Others - KBOO Radio, PNLHA, others

6:30 PM -The AFTRA Radio Players Presents - A Stage Reading of Studs Terkel's "American Dreams"

6:50 PM - Rebel Voices (Seattle)

7:30 PM -The AFTRA Radio Players Presents - A Stage Reading of Studs Terkel's "American Dreams"

7:50 PM - Dick Weissman - Folk Legend / Musician for the Oil, Chemical, Atomic Workers Union

8:20 PM - Anne Feeney - "The Best Labor Singer in North America" ---- Utah Phillips

9:00 PM - Finale

Solidarity forever!

The UNION makes us strong!!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - NOVEMBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #8

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - NOVEMBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #8


Charleston, WV
Portland, OR
Atlanta, GA
Fort Benning, GA
Schenectady, NY

details at the end of this newsletter

to unsubscribe, scroll to the end of this newsletter and click on the link.

to buy CDs, visit


This is a great time of year to take stock of all the things we have to be grateful for... I'm so grateful to have you in my life... your interest, your activism and your support of my music mean so very much to me. I'm grateful for the work that I have... I hope you'll get some time with friends and family over the Thanksgiving weekend.
















My September newsletter noted with sorrow the death of my longtime Albany/Schenectady area host Jackie Alper. Jackie's "Mostly Folk" aired on WRPI for many many years and she was an extraordinary person... which is why so many luminaries will come to be part of this concert to honor her: SONG FOR JACKIE

The Eighth Step at Proctors will host a tribute concert for Jackie Alper - featuring yours truly AND Ronnie Gilbert, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen and many many more special and wonderful musical guests! If you're within 200 miles of Schenectady you'll want to get tickets immediately for this concert... scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd at 7PM

Proceeds benefit the Eighth Step.

Dump the Bosses Off Your Back -- You Can Help!

Part of the reason that Dump the Bosses Off Your Back has been so long in coming is because so far I only have 30 sponsors for this recording, instead of my usual 200... Check to see if your name is on the donors' list below. If not, please, please, consider being an 'executive producer/angel/enabler' of this new CD - $100 gets your name (or the name of someone else of your choice... now there's an unusual holiday gift...) into the liner notes of my CD.

If you can, please send $100 to:

Anne Feeney
2240 Milligan Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

If you can't, don't sweat it. Consider buying one of my CDs for a friend... that'll help too. Still, there must be 170 people left on this list who can spare $100 to help me out here.....

(If you sent me $100 for "If I Can't Dance," thank you thank you & please disregard this message.)

Here is the list of my angels-to-date - If I forgot anyone, please let me know, ASAP!!!

Amy Newell, Kay Magill, Jeanine Malito, Jack O' Malley, Rosemary Trump, Rosanna Lane, Candice Carter, Stan Swart, Joel Henderson, Rich Shriver, Shelley Kessler, Tom Herman and Jo Miller, Rose Feurer, Pat Bennett, Berk Snow, Jeanne Clark & Tim Sullivan, Michele Samuels. Courtney Derwinski, Dexter Arnold, Corliss Olson, Charlene Torok Cannon, Martha Shunn, Michael Ruscigno, David Newby, Jan Boyd, Jim Tremmel, Millie B, Sue Vilbrandt, Noel Beasley, Ron Berlin

The new CD will include:

Preacher and the Slave (Pie in the Sky)
Dump the Bosses Off Your Back
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
Brave New Christmas
Ya Basta!

plus my three new ones:
You Will Answer
How Much for the Life of a Miner?
How Long?

plus these favorites from my cassettes:

No Man's Land
Here's to You Rounders
Whatever Ya Say, Say Nothing


Special Discounts at CDBaby, this month only!

For November only I have discounted all my CDs at CDBaby for gift-givers... (if you buy more than one)... Please visit ....


Music Boxes & DVDs

While supplies last, I have a small quantity of those darling hand-cranked Swedish music boxes that play "The Internationale." Too cool. The perfect holiday gift for the leftie who abhors commercialism. $40 while supplies last. Send check to Anne Feeney, 2240 Milligan Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

And, I have a small quantity of the "This is What Democracy Looks Like" DVD in stock. This latest edition includes recent interview with Noam Chomsky and Vandana Shiva. $20 by check to Anne Feeney, 2240 Milligan Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

If you want to pay by credit card or Paypal, email me...


Ireland 2008

The Ireland trips for 2008 are going to be fantastic. I can only take 20 people at a time. I've got 13 signed up for June, 11 signed up for August and 5 signed up for September/October ... If you're interested in touring the west of Ireland with me in 2008, drop me a line - - and I'll send you all the details. This is a wonderful opportunity to see the "real Ireland." Music, politics, poetry, history, scenery ... and, of course, Guinness...

You're all welcome!

The Revolt of the Skeleton Crew

After months of dwindling staff due to attrition and layoffs, Heartland Human Services in Effingham, IL was finally down to a real skeleton crew.

Thirty five workers were doing the work of 70 by the time they finally said, "Enough is enough," and went on strike.

These thirty five AFSCME members (Local 3494) have been on strike since July 2nd - almost four months without a paycheck ... The board at Heart(less) (In)human Services is ignoring the recommendations of its own chief negotiator and its attorney ... cruelly prolonging the strike. These workers deliver mental health services to inpatients and outpatients in Illinois.

Evan Greer and I helped to raise $800 for the strikers while we were in the midwest. The 100 delegates at the AFSCME education conference I played at last weekend donated $125 to the strike fund. Can't you help by sending a donation - how about $35??? - to:

615 S. Second St.
P.O. Box 2328
Springfield, IL 62705 is the email address of the employer...
The Board Members are:

Roger Marshall President
Jeff Bloemker Vice President
Pat Green Secretary/Treasurer
Deborah Mahon Director
Debra Owen Director
John Perry Director
George Westjohn Director
Terri Phillips Director

Email them all at and tell them "Enough is Enough!" Time to return to the bargaining table with promises of adequate staffing, livable wages and security and dignity on the job!



Julius Margolin Tribute Concert

The Julius Margolin Tribute show was a smashing success... The lovely auditorium at 1199 - the Health and Hospital Workers' Union of New York was a perfect setting for an inspiring show. Julius was in great form and sang a couple songs with George Mann. He was very touched by the turnout and the music. We raised about $1800 for a scholarship fund to help young trade union activists attend the Great Labor Arts Exchange and the Western Workers' Labor Heritage Festival.


Northwest 2008

I'm trying to decide whether or not to tour the Northwest in Jan/Feb of 2008. My new CD should be ready by then, and there's a good chance that my summer tour to the Northwest will be very very short this year. Does anyone know of anything going on in the NW (or the great Canadian SW) in Jan/Feb 2008?


Family News

November 6 - Kimberly Sever's birthday phatchick(@)

November 12 - Julie Leonardsson picasso77750(@)

Turkey Day plans...

Julie and I will host Amy Berlin and Jesse Dalton, Dan Berlin & Monique Murad, Ron Berlin, Kate Feeney, Kimberly Anne Sever, Bill Feeney and Tod Faller for Thanksgiving dinner.

And in Aiken, Aunt Claire will get to enjoy all seven of her grandchildren and all three great-grandchildren ... Olivia Grefenstette from Chicago, Charlie Warren from Greenville, SC, and newest great-grandchild Marlo Mary of Denver.

San Diego Cousins Dodge the Wildfires

My cousins Jim & Mardy McCahill and Peggy and John Duncan (parents of Connor & triplets Emma, Colin and Tara) live in the "voluntary" evacuation area of the San Diego wildfires. You can imagine the bedlam which ensued when Peggy and John had to uproot the two year old triplets and big brother Connor to new surroundings. At last report, alll are safely back at home.

Hole in One for Birdman

On Wednesday, October 17, my Maryland cousins Kevin (Birdman) McCahill his brother Denny (Yo Daddy) were playing an afternoon round at The Timbers at Troy golf course, in Elkridge, MD. This is an outstanding course, and a very difficult challenge, as witnessed by the Slope Index of 134 from the blue tees, which they were playing that day. The fifth hole is a par three requiring the tee shot to carry over an expanse of open natural wetlands, which extend right up to the heavily trapped green. The course considers this to be their signature hole, and has a picture of it on the front of the scorecard.

It is an exceptionally beautiful and demanding par three.

Denny hit first, and produced a pretty good shot, that hit on the left side of the green, and then bounced into one of the many sand-traps surrounding the hole. Kevin then stepped up, and with a classically smooth swing, launched a high flying seven iron that, after a sweet and delicate draw, landed three feet in front of the pin, took one bounce, and rolled smoothly into the center of the cup! Yeaaaaaay! Hooray for Kevin! A lifetime goal achieved, in the most elegant fashion. Kevin turned after watching the shot go in, and with an incredulous look on his face, rushed across the tee to embrace his cheering brother in exultation.

As if by magic, the beer cart girl showed up as they reached the green, and Kevin immediately bought his first (of many, I expect) round of drinks in celebration of his exploit. The young lady was astounded to receive a five dollar tip just for handing out three beers, but she soon discovered why, and ended up helping with the celebration.

Thanks to Yo Daddy for the exciting account, which I adapted for this month's Family News.



Saturday, November 3rd, 2007 8:00 PM
Anne Feeney in Concert
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
520 Kanawha Blvd W
Charleston, WV
Price: $7-12 suggested

Friday, November 9th, 2007 1:00 PM
Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival Retreat
Bonneville Hot Springs
Portland, OR
This festival is sponsored by the NW Oregon Labor Council and others.

Saturday, November 10th, 2007 1:00 PM-9PM
Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival
with Dick Weissman, Rebel Voices, Citizens' Band, George Mann & Julius Margolin, Mic Krenshaw, Robert Johnson & a dramatic reading of Studs Terkel's work by AFTRA Members. Plus Art/Murals/Oral Histories & More!
for more information: 503-703-1693
Portland State University
Portland, OR

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 7:00 PM
Benefit Concert for SOAW
Eyedrum Gallery
290 MLK Drive, SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
Price: $5-25 sliding
with a very distinguished cast ... don't miss it!

Friday, November 16th, 2007 12:00 PM
SOAWatch Vigil
School of the Americas
Fort Benning, GA

Saturday, November 17th, 2007 8:00 PM
SOAWatch Vigil
School of the Americas
Fort Benning, GA

Sunday, November 18th, 2007 12:00 PM
SOAWatch Vigil
School of the Americas
Fort Benning, GA

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 7:00 PM
Song for Jackie:
A Fabulous Tribute Concert for Jackie Alper!
Eighth Step at Proctors
432 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 434-1703
Price: $tba
This concert will benefit the Eighth Step and features Ronnie Gilbert, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Steve and Cindy Gillette and many more special guests. I'm ecstatic to have this opportunity to honor the memory of my friend, Jackie Alper, and to benefit the Eighth Step.

Please check with the venue to confirm times, etc. Information is continuously updated at

If this was forwarded to you, you can subscribe at


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It took me ten years to do it... but I finally spoke out about the conduct of the Pittsburgh Musicians' Union officers and board...

It's more than ten years since I served as President of the Pittsburgh Musicians' Union. Tonight (October 1, 2007) I attended our union meeting. Even with a free dinner as part of the deal there were only 30 people there counting the board and officers. The main news item under discussion at the meeting was the recent sale of our building. During the "Good and Welfare" section of our union meeting I made the following remarks. One of the members wrote "blah blah blah" on a napkin while I was speaking and passed it around his table to the great amusement of his table-mates. Otherwise my remarks were met with stony silence. The member who preceded me waxed rhapsodic for quite a while about the 'glory days' of our union, when we maintained a segregrated after-hours club for white musicians. To be fair to that member, that wasn't why he was fondly reminiscing about the club... it's just a facet of that era that has no real significance for him, and has been forgotten. (That club was closed when the white local was merged with the African-American local. The local's white members preferred to close the club rather than risk having their wives drink out of glasses used by African Americans -- and that is not the descriptor used by the member who told me that story.)

Tonight I am very sad. I’ve tried not to suffer each time I’ve watched the slow destruction of the union that I love so much and worked so hard to build. The concessionary contracts and orchestra cuts have made me sick. Our union has lost one paid officer’s position, one paid staff position, a third of our membership, and now our building.

I insisted, with the numbers to back it up, that we, as a union, could simply not afford the ½% dues giveback to the symphony in 1998. The $50,000+ annual revenue loss was destined to destroy our union. Sadly, there are many people in this union who are very pleased to see our local stripped down to complete ineffectiveness...several of them on the Financial Advisory Committee. To add insult to injury, the PSO turned right around and gave back far more than that to the Symphony management -- without a strike, without a struggle.

Come back to a happier time with me, though…


I remember when this local was on the verge of being expelled from the Federation because we had not updated our bylaws in twenty years. Herb Osgood drafted a set of bylaws nearly identical to the old ones and assumed that the membership meeting would adopt them without debate. How surprised he was when I rose with an amendment. The first amendment I proposed was changing the very first words of the first page - our name – from THE PITTSBURGH MUSICAL SOCIETY to the PITTSBURGH MUSICIANS’ UNION. To Herb’s astonishment, I was able to get enough members to agree with my position that the name of our union was changed that night. And that was just the beginning. I had a list of proposed amendments designed to give us, the members, more say in the affairs of our union. Other members agreed. Over the course of that meeting and a second special membership meeting our membership was alive with democratic fervor … debates, amendments, proposals… so many of our members engaged in trying to make the union better.

At that point I believed that it might be possible to make our union a driving force in our city’s cultural life. I believed that with enough energy and dedication that I could inspire us to be better … to put our legacy of racism, pettiness and selfishness behind us and build a thriving, vital union …

Still, no one was more surprised than I was when I found out I had won the election in 1997. I know that the 66 percent of you who split your votes evenly between Bill Marzsalek and Marty Bernstein would have gladly taken either of them and you certainly did NOT want me. But I believed that my hard work and dedication and love for this union could win you over. I was so wrong.

If you had only believed in and supported my ideas today our members would have a credit union, the best retail outlet for local music in Pittsburgh, a music services contract that would allow every member to get pension payments on every engagement, a useful, interactive website that would have created jobs for our members, a really useful membership directory, strong collective bargaining agreements protecting our bargaining units, a vibrant presence in the arts scene in our city, strong relationships with our elected representatives and with other unions, and, most importantly, lots of active new members.

Virtually every accomplishment of my administration has been demolished, destroyed and undone by my successors. When I look back on my two years of service to you, I still ache from the endless backbiting, harassment, humiliation, indignities and nastiness to which I was subjected. The constant anonymous hatemail, endless attempts to thwart any progress, the racist and sexist remarks and behaviors that sickened me. But the most frustrating thing of all was watching our Board consistently vote against our union’s self-interest just to spite me.

Let’s look at our building, for example:

Some of you will remember that during my administration I established a strong working relationship with our sister union, AFTRA … the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. They saw the advantages of having two arts unions in the same building. They offered us $85,000 ten years ago for a one third interest in the building. They were only interested in using our unoccupied third floor. We would certainly be way ahead of the game if we had accepted their offer. If we had made the $15,000 of desperately needed repairs and upgrades and banked the remaining $70,000 – and had a partner to share 1/3 of the operating expenses of the building for the past ten years, we probably would not have had to move. And if we chose to move, we could have gotten significantly more money for a well maintained building.

The board voted down their offer.

Here’s another classic example:

At one point in my administration my state representative, Ron Cowell, was poised to present a bill similar to the SONG bill (State of Nevada Grants), which matches MPTF money with state funds – This bill would have DOUBLED the money available to musicians statewide for MPTF engagements. I put this information in the newsletter. Did any of you call your representatives then to get them to sign on to this bill?

I had garnered the endorsement and support of the Allegheny County Labor Council for this project, and several local unions. The Fund was of course very enthusiastic about this initiative. I presented the legislation at the Penn-Del-Mar conference and followed it up with a letter to every AFM officer statewide.

Weeks later I got ONE call from one of our AFM officers in the central part of Pennsylvania after my statewide mailing. He told me that I might as well forget it. In addition to his AFM office, this brother was a lobbyist for PSEA. He told me that in all his years in office he had NEVER been able to motivate AFM officers to participate in any legislative activity… even when it benefited them directly. I couldn’t believe him.

Later that same day, George Clewer, who was serving on our executive board dropped in to say hi. I asked him if he had called his state legislator yet to enlist his support for this legislation. He said that was too busy. I asked him how the @#!% he could justify taking a fee for serving on our executive board if he was too busy to call his representative about a matter of this much importance to our members.

George’s response came several months later in the form of a scurrilous eve-of-the-election campaign letter sent out to all of you criticizing me for being unladylike and using foul language with him.

The bill went nowhere and I would say the future existence of the Fund is very doubtful.

Among the indignities and harassment let me single out for your consideration:

* The executive board ordered the most extensive and EXPENSIVE audit in our union’s history during my administration. They paid a certified public accountant to, among other things, comb through every phone call made from our local union to see if I was calling my husband in Sweden on the Union’s phone. I wasn’t. The biggest discrepancy uncovered in the audit was that there was no receipt in the till for the half keg of beer our members drank at the Union picnic.

* The board refused any expense for renovations on my office – I brought in my own office furniture and computer and had to put duct tape over the holes in the carpet in my office to keep visitors from getting killed. My successors immediately remodeled the office space and bought new furniture and window treatments.

* One evening my van was vandalized in the union parking lot while I was out meeting with a band I was trying to organize. My valuable items were still inside the vehicle. But my receipts and vehicle maintenance records were scattered all over Forbes Avenue. The windows in the van shattered… my van was filled with broken glass. Every panel in the van bashed in by someone wielding a bag of rocks. A few months later my brake lines were cut. Luckily I discovered it when I was heading uphill and not down. Still I kept thinking that if I worked harder, if I demonstrated results, that the board would come to respect some of my ideas.

* A finished, printed issue of our monthly newsletter was cancelled by the executive board. The executive board then gave Bill Marzsalek complete control over our union’s newsletter and I was not permitted to write for, or even see, the newsletter until it was printed. The executive board authorized using our dues money to print uncontradicted management drivel from Steve Libman on the front page of our newsletter.

* I left office with over $8,000 of unreimbursed expenses on behalf of this local … expenses that were completely appropriate and within the scope of my authority.

I’m proud of what I achieved as president of this local.

During my administration we posted a membership gain.

We had a budget surplus both years. We helped the Service Employees International Union to organize the workers at the Blood Bank up the street. They gave us a beautiful conference table to express their gratitude. (It was the only piece of furniture the union acquired during my administration.)

If you pay your dues or health insurance over the phone by Visa, you can thank me.

It was my administration that finally got our business records out of leather ledgers and into computers, thanks to the talents and dedication of Cecelia Mallamo, a brilliant and dedicated young woman.

Cecelia also brought a new level professionalism and quality to our office, and especially to our newsletter. During the months that I took the minutes at executive board meetings, Cecilia’s newsletters truly informed our members of what was going on at board meetings.

Cecelia was literally driven out of the union by the gross insensitivity and disgusting behavior of our Board and one of our officers.

I am so proud of the Women’s History Month banquet that I organized to honor the women life members of our local.

I am proud of the high quality recording seminar that I organized and offered to our members.

I am proud when I see musicians wearing DEMAND LIVE MUSIC tee shirts, which I bought for our local.

I’m proud of returning the union picnic tradition to our members, and live music to our meetings.

I am proud that our local hosted productions by New Horizons theater in our hall.

I am so proud to have brought Mary Ellen Hayden to this local. I remain humbled and filled with admiration at her dedication, her joyful and generous spirit, and the countless hours she spent organizing new members on behalf of this local for the ridiculous and insulting stipend of $200 a month. The woman that our Executive Board regularly humiliated and chastised and eventually fired for her so-called incompetence is now the executive director of Pittsburgh ACORN.

I am proud of negotiating the deal for our union to provide MPTF co-sponsorship to Citiparks and County Parks concerts. This not only elevated our union’s position and presence in the community and attracted many new members, but also, for the first time, provided rain-or-shine payments to all musicians involved.

I am extremely proud of the CLO contract that I negotiated… getting substantial wage increases, a union security clause and numerous other benefits previously unknown to that orchestra.

I’m proud of the local limited pressings agreement that I drafted.

I’m proud of organizing an informational picket line that got Al Dowe and Etta Cox paid when some creep tried to cancel them at the last minute.

I’m proud of suing several defaulting employers and getting our members paid.

I’m proud of the results on the grievances that I handled.

This union is so dysfunctional and crazy that I don’t know if anyone could make it better.

Crazy as it seems, I’m offering these words to you tonight because it’s still not too late to save this union. If the members of this union committed to support a progressive and competent president and board, this union could still grow. There are more musicians than ever trying to establish careers in Pittsburgh. They need and deserve a real union. None of you will say it, but I will: You never had a more competent, hardworking or devoted president. I don’t know if you’ll be able to find another one, but I wish you luck.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory -OCTOBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #7

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - OCTOBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #7


Cincinnati, OH
Lexington, KY
Louisville, KY
Terre Haute, IN
De Kalb, IL
Champaign, IL
Milwaukee, WI
Madison, WI
Luck, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Lake City, MN
Winona, MN
Iowa City, IA
Grinnell, IA
Lafayette, IN

and then

New York, NY
Erie, PA
Indiana, PA
Split Rock, PA
Charleston, WV
Portland, OR
Atlanta, GA
Fort Benning, GA

If you know anyone who lives in any of these places, please tell them about the shows -- and if YOU live in any of these places... I hope to see you at the show!

(specific details at the end of this post, and continuously updating at

Welcome to the October issue of the Fellow Travelers' Advisory, my once-a-month update to enthusiasts of progressive music, news and opinion.

Thanks for staying in touch with me, and in many cases, presenting me, hosting me in your home, buying my CDs, coming to my shows, sending me cool photos... You make my life and my work possible. I hope you'll forward this widely and reply with some news of your own.

October is a many-miles-month, most of them with my wonderful pal from Riotfolk, Evan Greer. If you live in the midwest, keep your eye out for us in the next few weeks. And check out Evan's website or myspace page

and at my myspace page you can get a sneak preview of my recording of one of Evan's songs (Ya Basta!) that will be on my new CD "Dump the Bosses Off Your Back," (if I ever get the money to finish it.)

Thanks for reading!

Love and solidarity



National Health Care NOW!!


If someone forwarded this to you, you can subscribe at - If you don't want to receive this newsletter anymore, unsubscribe information appears at the end of this newsletter, or just reply and put "unsubscribe" in the header

You can buy all my cds at

You can also digitally download all my stuff at Apple I-Tunes and most other online services.


Come to Ireland with me!


The tourdates are set...

Tour Number 1 *** June 10 - 19

Tour Number 2 *** Aug 15 - 24

Tour Number 3 *** Sept 30 - October 9

and the seats are filling fast! I'd love to show you the wonderful west coast of Ireland in 2008. My partner, Tom Piggott and I promise you the best scenery, the best music ... a chance to see the very best of Ireland. Tom has been conducting these fabulous tours of Ireland for many years, and together we'll give you the experience of a lifetime!

The $1750 cost of the tour INCLUDES all accommodations (usually small hotels), breakfasts, ground transportation (in a comfy tourbus), three evening meals and admission to numerous points of interest, as well as stipends for our poets, historians and musicians.

The $1750 does NOT include your transportation to Ireland, the other evening meals, lunches, snacks, pints of Guinness (optional, but highly recommended!), tips, etc.

After my tour of Ireland in September of 2006, I can attest that this is a terrific bargain for what you'll get... and you folks on my mailing list are incredibly cool... I can't wait to introduce you to each other!

These will be tours focusing on Irish music, poetry, politics and history. We'll have a ball. I can only take 20 people on each tour. If you'd like more information, reply to this newsletter and request all the details...



Thanks to my friend Jerry Tucker for his astute analysis of what's going on at GM. I have borrowed liberally from an article he wrote here:

I'm sad to see that the UAW will probably place the future health care protection of hundreds of thousands of UAW retired members under a union run Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, or VEBA. It's a landmark concession to shift the burden of risk to the retired workers and their families and release General Motors from its commitment to the full and perpetual coverage of healthcare for the workers who built the wealth of the corporation in the first place.

That a VEBA can be dangerous is well documented. My retired UAW friends covered by a VEBA at Caterpillar can painfully vouch for that. Their VEBA went bust and they now have thousands of dollars in unanticipated out-of-pocket costs per year for reduced health care protection.

VEBA’s allow the companies to wash their hands of retiree health care. If things don’t go according to ‘plan’, it will be the UNION who has to tell retirees to drain their life savings to pay for medical care. It goes against everything a union is supposed to stand for.

The Big 3 clamor to relieve themselves of the cost of retiree health care may be applauded by Wall Street and the investor class, but unions have a different responsibility and a different constituency. By going the VEBA route the parties will have missed a historic opportunity to inject their significant political clout in the growing push for a national health care system in this country patterned after the Canadian ‘Medicare for All’ system. That’s a system that each company acknowledges has leveled the competitiveness playing field for them there.

From the start, this round of negotiations was projected by the media to be about what autoworkers could do—meaning give up—to help the domestic auto manufacturers out of the ‘competitiveness’ hole they’d dug themselves into. Yet GM showed a profit last quarter of $891 million as reported July 31, 2007 in Market Watch and their stock is soaring. There are a number of worker concessions in the tentative agreement which unfairly penalize workers and their families for management’s design failures.

It's a sad day for working people if this turns out to be the "best" that UAW members at GM can get.



My three weeks in Sweden were so great... I had some terrific gigs... It's unbelievable, but little Smedjebacken where I live in Sweden is now host to a fabulous performance space and restaurant... Cafe Tellus, run by Anna and Ziggy and Madeleine, would be cool in Seattle, but to find it out in the Swedish countryside is awesome.

They got great publicity for the gigs... links and photos at

The Johann Ahlbeck Days in Smedjebacken are spent honoring artists whose work is in the tradition of labor artist Johann Ahlbeck. The art show at Gamla Meken featured Julie's work along with several other very talented visual artists. Troubadour Fred Lane, a very engaging and talented Brit living in Sweden for the past 35 years, provided the entertainment. I was invited to sing a couple songs from BURIED.

I returned again to perform at the wonderful labor education center at Brunnsvik ... Jonathan Byrd's fabulous "Telephone" song was a huge hit there, and everywhere on the tour. I can't wait to sing it for you when I get to your neighborhood.

My visit to the Waldorf school - Johannaskolan - in Orebro put me in touch with an ex-pat from Nevada City ... Bill Herold... Like me, it's love crazy love that's brought Bill to Sweden and he and his sambo (that's the Swedish word for your domestic partner, pronounced SAHM-boo) Linda are expecting a baby this month. My old NJ pal Dan Rosenblum's sister-in-law teaches at Johannaskolan... She was sick the night of the show, but I met her husband Frank... It's a small world, all right.

I played at a demonstration against privatization in Stockholm, where about 10,000 people assembled in Segels Torg ... Sweden gets more like the US every day... this huge demonstration, one of the biggest in years in Stockholm, got about 2 square inches of coverage n page 12 of the major Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter - and that included a picture!

It's hard to pick a favorite gig on any tour, but the Gothenburg show was amazing. Well over 100 people gathered to hear me and the Labor Chorus in concert, raising funds for a school for disabled Palestinian children's school in Gaza. We raised almost $2500 ... sang lots of great songs ... and the next day our hosts, Bosse and Inger, took me and Julie sailing on the Gothenburg archipelago with their friends Anders and Vera. To sweeten things, my dear friend Gerd Berlev came up from Copenhagen for the show. She and her husband will come with me on the June trip to Ireland.

Gothenburg photos:

All in all it was a great tour of Sweden. Julie comes to me now on October 20th... I can't wait.


NATIONAL HEALTH CARE NOW!! - HR 676 - accept no substitutes...

(All you lucky Swedes, Danes, Canadians and... well, the rest of the industrialized world... can skip this section...)

It's so depressing to see Clinton, Obama and Edwards all trying to cobble some crazy health care scheme that allows the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry to retain their obscene profits, and no doubt opens the door to even larger profits and lousier health care for us. Our government should be concerned with delivering quality health care to us, and prosecuting the gouging, profiteering and unscrupulous practices of big insurance and big pharma - not trying to make 'partners' out of them.

The only sensible thing for the US to do is to expand Medicare coverage to all Americans... (and get rid of the recently enacted stupid drug plan that put billions into the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry and left our parents and grandparents bewildered and out-of-pocket!)

HR676 is the legislation that will deliver quality health care to all Americans. Check out this video by the folks exposing Schwarzenegger's latest health care fiasco:

and get a copy of my "National Health Care Now!!" song at

and here's a great article about health care by Rose Ann De Moro of the California Nurses Association:



The Orionid Meteor Shower

The annual Orionid Meteor Shower will provide another fine display of celestial fireworks for skywatchers during the early morning hours of October 21st. The window of opportunity for having a dark sky in which to see these “shooting stars” occurs soon after the 9-day-old Moon goes down around 1:30 a.m. EDT and before the Sun comes up. So plan to head to bed early the night before and set your alarm accordingly; losing some sleep to get up in the wee hours for a meteor watch will definitely be well worth it!

Given clear skies on the morning of October 21st, observers will be treated to one of the year’s most reliable displays of shooting stars — the Orionids. Peak activity occurs around 5 a.m. EDT, with as many as 25 meteors an hour being visible under good conditions. While not one of the richer showers, it’s radiant (the point from which the meteors appear to “shoot”) is located in a glorious part of the heavens — that of magnificent Orion! The actual point lies between Betelgeuse in the Hunter’s shoulder and (this year) nearby Mars, with both sentries glowing a brilliant ruddy-orange in hue.

Observing shooting stars is basically a naked-eye activity in order to canvass as large an area of sky as possible. Meteors are typically best-seen some distance from the radiant itself, so facing in its direction and looking overhead gives the best results. (And reclining on a lawn chair certainly helps while doing so!) However, use of your binoculars from Edmund Scientific is also encouraged for following the fascinating drifting “smoke” trails (or trains) left by many of the brighter meteors. The Orionids are known for being very swift and for leaving trains behind them, so having a quick reaction-time is a real asset here!

At moonset on the 21st, Orion will already be high in the southeast and meteoric activity will increase throughout the early morning as the radiant continues to rise higher in the sky. But there’s also another more significant factor at play here. During the evening hours we’re on the side of the Earth “facing away” from the direction the meteors are coming and they have to “catch up” to us. But after midnight we’re turned into the direction of the radiant, causing the meteors to slam into the atmosphere at much higher speeds — resulting in many more of them being seen, and those that are seen to generally be brighter and more spectacular. So observing the Orionids in the early hours of the morning is doubly justified this year, with waiting for the Moon to set and for peak activity to occur before the Sun comes up.

As a point of interest, meteor showers result from our “Spaceship Earth” circling the Sun and running into streams of debris each year left behind by various comets in their orbits. In the case of the Orionids, their source is perhaps the most famous of all such objects — none other than Halley’s Comet itself!

–James Mullaney
Former assistant editor at Sky & Telescope magazine and author of five books on stargazing


This month's belly laugh is a photo posted on my blog.. here's the link



October birthdays -
6th - Dan Berlin (28), Maureen Metcalfe, Jennifer McCahill

8th - Casey Horne (13!)

16th - Bill Feeney, Jill Weldon Merrill, Steve Merrill

Mary Grefenstette turned 60 on September 11th and her husband helped her to celebrate by flying her to Paris to meet him! How romantic!

Karen McCahill is now an official East coaster... She's settled into Brooklyn to be close to her three adorable grandsons!

Monique Murad is back from her summer of study in Damascus. She's job hunting now.

Sara Seder Berlin, devoted grandma to my kids, died on September 22nd after a year of declining health. She was 87 and much loved.


It was so much fun to reconnect with my "best friend of 1955," Janet Whitfield. The Whitfields lived next door to us from 1953-1955, then moved to San Diego. While I was performing there last August, I took a chance and looked for her in the phone book, and after 52 years we met for dinner along with her sister Carol.

When I got back to Pittsburgh, I found some great photos of us, which I've posted on my blog.

Jackie Alper

My friend and mentor Jackie Alper died on September 6th at the age of 86. Her "Mostly Folk" show aired for more than 25 years on WRPI was legendary in the Albany/Schenectady area and beyond. She was my frequent host in the area when I was on tour. She was a great gal and a cherished friend.

As her health declined dear friends in the area made extraordinary efforts to help Jackie keep her independence. Finally she relocated to a nursing home in western Massachusetts near her daughter Jaye.

There will be a memorial concert in her honor in December.



Friday, September 28th, 2007 6:00 PM
PA Labor History Society Awards Dinner
Letter Carriers' Hall
California Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $40
Mike Stout and I will be receiving the Mother Jones Award at this year's annual PALHS gathering.

Concert with Anne Feeney and Mike Stout
Sassie Marie's (former James St Tavern)
James & Foreland
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $10
I'll be doing the first half of the evening at this exciting new venue...

Sunday, September 30th, 2007 10:30 AM
Music for UU Service
Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church
416 W North Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
KikiPMA(@) is my contact for this.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 8:00 PM
Music for Troublemakers with Anne Feeney and Joe Jencks
Off the Avenue Studios
1546 Knowlton St
Cincinnati, OH
Price: $10-20 suggested

Thursday, October 4th, 2007 8:00 PM
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth present Anne Feeney In Concert
Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade
Lexington, KY

Price: $10-20 suggested

Friday, October 5th, 2007 8:00 PM
Anne Feeney in Concert with John Gage!
Central Presbyterian Church
4th St & Kentucky Ave
Louisville, KY
Price: $8-20 suggested
Walter and Kay Tillow are organizing this show, which benefits Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare and PNHP-KY

Saturday, October 6th, 2007 2:00 PM
Anti-War Demonstration
Court House
Terre Haute, IN
Cathy McGuire is the contact

Saturday, October 6th, 2007 6:00 PM
The Annual Eugene V Debs Award Dinner Honoring Barbara Ehrenreich
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN

Sunday, October 7th, 2007 7:00 PM
Anne Feeney in Concert with special guest Evan Greer
Unitarian Church
158 N Fourth St
DeKalb, IL 60115
Price: $10-20 suggested
dan kenney is the contact dkenney53(@)

Monday, October 8th, 2007 8:00 PM
Jobs with Justice presents Anne Feeney & The Ornery Duffers
Independent Media Center
Champaign, IL
Price: $10-20 suggested
as always, no one is turned away for lack of funds - Evan Greer will be joining the Ornery Duffers as a special treat!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 7:00 PM
Anne Feeney and Evan Greer in Concert with special guests The Prince Myshkins
Hubbard Park Lodge
3565 North Morris Boulevard
Milwaukee, WI
Price: $10-20 suggested

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 8:00 PM
Thistle presents
Madison, WI
call 412.877.6480 to find out if this happens

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 7:30 PM
Anne Feeney and Evan Greer in Concert
Cafe Wren
596 State Rd 35
Luck, WI 54853
Price: $5-15
we'll be passing the hat for the Anathoth Education center fund -- check out their website and bring a generous donation for this wonderful community doing such great work in Wisconsin...

Friday, October 12th, 2007 8:00 PM
Anne Feeney House Concert with special guest Evan Greer
Larry Olds' House
3322 15th Ave S (upstairs)
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Price: $10-20 suggested
email Larry at larryolds(@) to reserve a seat. We'll be passing the hat for School of the Americas Watch to help finance transportation for the MN delegation... bring your checkbook!

Saturday, October 13th, 2007 7:00 PM
Anne Feeney in Concert with Evan Greer!
The Art Center
228 East Fifth Street
Winona, MN 55987
Price: $5-15 suggested
alex is the contact

Sunday, October 14th, 2007 2:00 PM
Folk Forum Concert - Anne Feeney with Evan Greer!
Oak Center
Route 1, Box 52BB
Lake City, MN 55041
Price: $15 suggested

Monday, October 15th, 2007 8:30 PM
Grinnell College SGA Concerts Committee presents Anne Feeney and Evan Greer in Concert
Bob's Underground Cafe at Grinnell College
6th Ave & East St
Grinnell, IA
Price: free, all ages, public welcome
Bob's Underground Cafe is located in the basement of Main Hall which is
at the corner of 6th Ave & East St.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 6:00 PM
Anne Feeney with special guest Evan Greer
401 S. GILBERT ST (at Court Street)
Iowa City, IA
Price: $10-20 sliding scale
No one is ever turned way for lack of funds, of course.
Email: and jamie
Uptown Bill's is in downtown Iowa City. It's a nonprofit "mall" owned and operated by people with disabilities.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007 7:00 PM
Anne Feeney with special guest Evan Greer
IBEW Local 668
Lafayette, IN
(765)742-9077 - extension: 231

Friday, October 19th, 2007 8:00 PM
All for One: A Concert to Celebrate the Life and Work of Julius Margolin
Local 1199 SEIU Auditorium
310 W 43rd St
New York, NY
Price: $12-20 suggested
The concert will feature Julius Margolin (health permitting) and George Mann, Elise Bryant, emma's revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O.), Anne Feeney,
Jon Fromer, Evan Greer, Francisco Herrera, the New York City Labor Chorus. This concert will pay tribute to and celebrate Julius's life as an activist and unionist. Proceeds will go to a scholarship fund being set up to help bring young unionists to the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange and the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. Doors open and reception at 7 PM; concert at 8 PM. The hall is located between 8th and 9th Avenues, just one block from Port Authority building and the A, C, E train stop at 42nd St.

Thursday, October 25th, 2007 10:30 AM
The Industrial North: The Future of Jobs, Productivity and Community
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA

Thursday, October 25th, 2007 6:00 PM
Erie Crawford Labor Council
Erie, PA
Roseanne Barker

Friday, October 26th, 2007 6:00 PM
AFSCME District 86 Conference
Split Rock Resort
Lake Harmony, PA
Liz Long, Education Director
AFSCME Council 13, AFL-CIO
4031 Executive Park Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17111
1 - 7170 561-7066 is the contact

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007 8:00 PM
Anne Feeney in Concert
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
520 Kanawha Blvd W
Charleston, WV
Price: $7-12 suggested

Friday, November 9th, 2007 1:00 PM
Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival Retreat
Bonneville Hot Springs
Portland, OR
This festival is sponsored by the NW Oregon Labor Council and others. More details soon. Jim Cook of General Strike is co-ordinating it

Saturday, November 10th, 2007 12:00 PM
Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival
Portland State University
Portland, OR

Sunday, November 11th, 2007 8:00 PM
Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival Retreat
Bonneville Hot Springs

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 8:00 PM
Benefit Concert for SOAW
Eyedrum Gallery
290 MLK Drive, SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
with a distinguished cast ... more details soon.

Friday, November 16th - Sunday November 18th, 2007
SOAWatch Vigil
School of the Americas
Fort Benning, GA


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Photos from the Fall 2007 Tour of Sweden

sailing on the Gothenburg archipelago with Anders, Vera, Bosse and Inger

Singing "War on the Workers," "Who's the Criminal?" and "The Internationale" with the labor chorus in Gothenburg

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Next Door Neighbors 1955

Left to Right: back, Florence Moser, Carol Whitfield, front, me, Carole McCracken and Janet Whitfield

I've gotta wonder why Florence was wearing the bathing cap.. that pool can't be more than 4 inches deep... but on those hot August days in Pittsburgh, anything wet was a blessed relief.

Janet Whitfield and I in her back yard in 1955

Shortly after this photo was taken, Janet and Carol (and their sister Judy) moved to San Diego. I imagined them going to Disneyland every day after school. I hadn't seen or heard from them since then, but on a lark, looked up Whitfield in the San Diego phone book while I was out doing BURIED.

To my amazement, the J Whitfield in the phone book was my friend Janet. She, Carol and I had dinner that evening (although none of us remembered to take a camera!)

I went home from San Diego and found these photos. ahhhhh... memories.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Cool articles in Swedish newspapers!

I'm performing this evening at a very sweet new arts space in Smedjebacken. TellUs is a coffeehouse-restaurant-cultural club that is presenting me tonight. We had a sold-out house before these very nice articles appeared.

The photographers took these photos of me and Julie at the press conference yesterday. Autumn has already arrived in Smedjebacken, but it was still nice enough to be outdoors yesterday afternoon. I'm looking forward to tonight's show.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


My friend Hilary Chiz of USW took this photo of me and her mother - Bertha K. Luks, from Birmingham, Alabama (the "Pittsburgh of the South"). Her mom is much older than she looks and just amazing. She stood there serenely in the blistering heat through over an hour of speeches....

The photo shows us standing on the newly-dedicated Phillip Murrray Bridge. Phil Murray and my granddad, William Patrick Feeney, were contemporaries. Murray emigrated to the US from Scotland the same year that my granddad set sail from England. They both worked the mines. They both became organizers. Phil Murray formed the Steelworkers' Organizing Committee, and became the first President of the United Steelworkers of America.

My grandfather served one term in the Pennsylvania legislature (1908-1910), where he introduced the first mine safety bill in America. The law didn't pass during his term in office, but was subsequently reintroduced in every session until it passed in the 1930s. The governor of Pennsylvania invited my granddad to the signing of that piece of legislation and gave him the pen.

Phil Murray and my grandfather were lead organizers during the Great Steel Strike of 1919. I have a picture of the two of them and Mother Jones waiting to address a rally.

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Anne Feeney's Fellow Travelers' Advisory - SEPTEMBER 2007, VOLUME THREE, #6

Thanks for checking out my blog, coming to my shows & buying my recordings (and in many cases, hosting me at your home, forwarding this email to your friends, telling me about upcoming conferences, conventions and riots in your area)!!! I could not do this without you. You can have the Fellow Travelers' Advisory delivered to your inbox each month by visiting signing up!

If you're looking for my CDs, I recommend CDBABY

Love and Solidarity Forever this Labor Day 2007,



IMMEDIATE DESTINATIONS: (details continually updating at my website )

SWEDEN - Smedjebacken, Orebro, Stockholm, Brunsviik, Gothenburg




This morning I will join thousands of Pittsburgh labor folks and march in the Labor Day Parade. We frequently hear people say things like, "There was a time when unions were relevant and important, but now they are no longer needed."

I guess they say that because we all make a comfortable wage, work in safe workplaces, have generous vacation and family leave benefits, secure generous pension packages, real job security and comprehensive, quality health insurance benefits for ourselves and our families ... Oh, wait!! Most of us don't have ANY of those things!!!! Maybe we still need unions....

Consider the following...

Every 23 minutes a worker in the US is fired for engaging in union activity. Are the firings legal? NO. Do bosses continue to get away with it? YES Why? Because there are no real penalties for illegal firing of workers.

Every year approximately 6000 workers are killed outright on their jobs... like the Sago Miners, the Crandall Canyon Miners ... or like Eleazar Torres Gomez...

Eleazar Torres Gomez, a CINTAS employee, was working in the Tulsa laundry’s automated washroom. He was caught on a conveyor and dragged into an industrial dryer—where he was trapped in temperatures up to 300 degrees for at least 20 minutes. He died on the scene of trauma and thermal injuries. Cintas CEO Scott Farmer issued a press release blaming Mr. Torres Gomez for his own death soon after the fatality.

You can read the full story at:

Although OSHA is currently proposing a record fine of $2.78 Million against CINTAS, it is unlikely that CINTAS will ever pay even a fraction of that figure.

And every year the Department of Labor acknowledges that approximately 60,000 (SIXTY THOUSAND) American workers die from going to work... In addition to the 6000 killed outright, another 54,000 die from work related cancers, from asbestosis, silicosis, black lung, brown lung ...

Organized labor is leading the fight for safe workplaces, protecting social security, family and medical leave, medicare, immigrants' rights ... for an end to child labor, prison labor, sexual harassment, discrimination ...

And as the corporate WAR ON THE WORKERS progresses, we see our standard of living decline. Now, more than ever...




This year the PA Labor History Society is hosting its annual gathering in Pittsburgh. On September 28th my colleague and union brother MIKE STOUT and I will be presented with the MOTHER JONES award from the society.

I'm thrilled to be recognized by PALHS, which does such terrific work in keeping labor history alive and visible in Pennsylvania. Please support their work by sending a $25 contribution to:

PALHS c/o Cindy Spielman
IUP Labor Center
9 Keith Hall, 390 Pratt Dr
Indiana, PA 15705

Your name will be included in this year's commemorative program, and you'll receive a copy of the program. Please send your contribution before September 15th to insure inclusion in the program.


BURIED: The Story of the Sago Mine Disaster

Jerry Starr's wonderful play has really taken shape. Dale Morris directed a wonderful reading of the play featuring a terrific cast. The four shows in San Diego were well received and we're looking forward to productions in Boston, Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco in 2008. If you'd like to see the play, drop me a line and Jerry and I will help you to organize a production in your town.

Here's a link to a review of the show..

And I want to add what a thrill it was to perform and co-present a workshop at the USW Health, Safety and Environment Conference in Dearborn last month. I learned so much. This weeklong educational event also included a truly inspiring speech from USW President Leo Girard calling for clean technologies and our right to a job that leaves the environment better for our children and grandchildren.

Former USW Director Dave Foster's BLUE/GREEN alliance with the Sierra Club represents a promising development ... Labor partnering with environmentalists is the way to a more secure future for us all.



The tourdates are set...

Tour Number 1 *** June 10 - 19

Tour Number 2 *** Aug 15 - 24

Tour Number 3 *** Sept 30 - October 9

and the seats are filling fast! I'd love to show you the wonderful west coast of Ireland in 2008. My partner, Tom Piggott and I promise you the best scenery, the best music ... a chance to see the very best of Ireland. Tom has been conducting these fabulous tours of Ireland for many years, and together we'll give you the experience of a lifetime!

These will be tours focusing on Irish music, poetry, politics and history. We'll have a ball. I can only take 20 people on each tour. If you'd like more information, reply to this newsletter and request all the details.



Joel Walker was one of the smartest and dearest little boys I ever new. He and my son, Daniel, were inseparable for many years. Joel's sister, Rebecca, and my daughter, Amy, are very close friends. I hadn't seen Joel for a few years, but I heard he had graduated from the Pittsburgh Culinary Institute and was a great chef. I was stunned and saddened to learn that Joel was found dead in his home on August 20th.

Joel's mom, Phoebe, and step-dad Hank, his brother Ben, and sisters Rebecca and Allegra, and Joel's father, Mark could all use your prayers, good wishes and words of consolation. The family is particularly hoping for reminiscences of time spent with Joel.

If you knew Joel, or if you've experienced this kind of senseless and devastating loss, perhaps you can take a minute to extend your sympathy here:



Happy Birthdays August 31- my stepson Jonas Engstrom (26) and September 1st to my beautiful daughter Amy! Amy celebrated her 26th birthday at the Kerrville Folk Festival's "Little Folk" Wine and Music Festival.

Happy September 11th birthday to Mary O'Connor Grefenstette.

Happy September 25th birthday to my friend Mary Kerchner

Congratulations to cousin Erin Grefenstette Henninger and proud papa Mark Henninger on the arrival of daughter Marlo Mary ... a real beauty!

Cousins Mary and Tom Weldon are taking the inland passage cruise to Alaska ... what fun!

I spent 10 days at the end of last month in Guatemala with my son, Daniel. He and a group of law students from Georgetown went there to investigate the impact on Guatemalan society from our massive deportations of Guatemalan youth.

Many of these young deportees are gang members, some are just suspected gang members -- some have lived in the US for most of their lives and are returned with no money, no family and no fluency in Spanish.

Dan's group interviewed many gang members, many inmates at a maximum security prison, officials from the Department of Homeland security, Guatemalan police, and representatives of groups trying to ameliorate their transition back into Guatemalan society. Their findings will be very important, and I think, newsworthy.

I'm filled with admiration for Dan and all the dedicated young people who accompanied him on this fact-finding mission.

At the conclusion of their work, Dan and I returned to his Peace Corps site in Tejutla, which is in the high mountains of western Guatemala. It was a joy to see how happy the folks Dan worked with there were to see him return to Tejutla. The generosity of the Guatemalan people is touching.

I'm hoping my cousins send me some photos of ...
the triplets' second birthday, our vacation adventures in the Outer Banks, and lovely Ms. Marlo ... whaddya say, cousins??

SATURDAY LIGHT BRIGADE - Award Winning Public Radio for Kids & Adults

On Saturday I did a Labor Day themed performance in the beautiful new broadcast studios of the Saturday Light Brigade. I've been a fan of this show since it went on the air in 1978, and have guested many times over the years. The show has at least five station affiliates and streams live. Their shows are archived online, too.

Broadcasting from Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, The Saturday Light Brigade is a radio program featuring acoustic music and family fun. Broadcast since 1978, it is one of the longest-running public radio programs in the United. States. Quality music, on-air telephone calls from kids and adults, innovative participatory puzzles and games, and interesting guests have made The Saturday Light Brigade a family radio tradition for tens of thousands of people. Kids listen with adults, adults listen with kids, and everyone has fun listening to the radio together!

check out -- maybe you can bring this high quality family programming to your town, too!


The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is offering a new and exciting academic program: homemaking!

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation's largest Southern Baptist seminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles.

It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hour concentration in homemaking. The program is only open to women.

Of course it is. Coursework for the program includes nutrition and meal preparation, textile design and classes on "the value of a child" and the "biblical model for the home and family."

Seminary President Paige Patterson says "We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God's word for the home and the family...If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed."

I always thought nations were destroyed by war, famine or disease. Little did I know it was actually women taking classes in anything other than ironing that determines the demise of a country.

By the way, Patterson is known in Southern Baptist circles for issuing a statement saying that women shouldn't be pastors and that they should "graciously submit" to their husbands. (How one "graciously submits" is another question. Would I smile and thank him for the great honor of doing his laundry?)

Earlier this year, a former professor filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the school and Patterson--she says she was fired from her tenure-track position because she was a woman. Perhaps she didn't graciously submit. Silly girl. In fact, Patterson's wife is the only woman faculty member in Southwestern's theology school. Shocking.

Though, of course, this isn't just about Patterson. Plenty of folks at the school are behind the move to instill traditional gender roles in their students. Terri Stovall, dean of women's programs at Southwestern, said "Whether a woman works outside or strictly in the home, her first priority is her family and home...We just really want to step up and provide some of these skills." Yeah, way to step up. I'm sure women graduates will look back on their years at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and be ever-so-grateful that they spent half of their college education learning how to knit booties.