Michael Smith writes:

Here's what's been happening to me as of St. Pat's Day 2003...

I did a recording with Steve Gillette, Cindy Mangsen and Anne Hills. The name of the group is FourTold and we're going to be at some folk festivals as a quartet this summer. The CD is coming out on Appleseed (www.appleseedrec.com).

My wife Barbara Barrow did a sold out show at the Old Town School of Folk Music (www.oldtownschool.org) a couple weeks ago. It was The Grapes of Wrath--A Folk Opera, which Barbara and I had organized and written over the past ten years or so. This was some of the music from the Steppenwolf production with much added. This was Barbara's idea, and she and her group (Linda M. Smith, Al Ehrich, Colby Maddon and Chris Walz) got two standing ovations.

Jamie O'Reilly (www.jamieoreilly.com) and I and Anne Hills (www.annehills.com) and Paul Amandes did Scarlet Confessions at Victory Gardens Theater (www.victorygardens.org) in Chicago, for whom I am now working on, that is, writing a musical version of Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. Frank Galati has promised to direct it. He directed The Grapes of Wrath.

Tom Russell (www.tomrussell.com) recorded a lovely version of "The Dutchman". The album is called Modern Art.

My best friend from Passaic Valley Regional High School, Dave Jeffreys, became the grandfather of twin girls. Dave's mom, who has been elected the nicest person in the world, is also a twin.

John McDermott (www.johnmcdermott.com) has been doing "Crazy Mary" a lot on PBS, usually during their fundraising programs.

Weavermania! (www.artistsofnote.com/weavermania) did a show with Pete Seeger and we played some Weavers' tunes together. An unforgettable experience. Pete was very nice to us and personified energy in every way.

I got a note from the folks at WUMB (www.wumb.org) [Folk Radio from University of Massachusetts Boston] that I was in their top 100 folk performers from a listeners' poll. I must attribute this to Dick Pleasants, who has certainly given my music a lot of support over the years.

As they say in Detroit when you've had a wonderful time and you don't want to leave: Ok bye.

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