What shines through most clearly in all of Staines's varied facets, though, is his deep faith in the power of the music he plays to connect and uplift people. That is what his peripatetic life seems to be about. He loves constantly exploring and learning about our country, the land, the rivers, the mountains, the small towns and big cities, and, above all, the people. His gifts, in both senses of the word, are the performances and lovingly crafted songs that reflect who he's met and what he's seen and experienced. His recently published memoir The Tour is filled with stories of those friendships and experiences. It is in equal parts a fascinating personal story and a vivid record of the folk music scene in this country from the 1960s to today.
Bill Staines returns to the Ark on Friday, March 23.
[Review published March 2007]