Students at Lewiston-Auburn College will host the “First Androscoggin Labor Folk Festival” at the college Saturday, April 3. The event will feature performers Andy Cohen, Dale Robin Lockman and Lex Romane.

This is a class project for the course “Labor, Literature, and the Arts,” with instructor Barry Rodrigue, Ph.D. The course explores ways in which working people’s lives have been portrayed in fiction, poetry, visual arts and music. “We also examine the unique impact of labor unions, rural worker’s organizations and other labor support associations on the cultural life of North America,” said Rodrigue.

“This festival is a natural and exciting outgrowth of what we have been studying in the course'” he said.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. with an open-mike session of poetry, songs, jokes and stories. A contradance (with beginners and experts welcome) will be held from 3 to 4:30. Romane and Lockman will then provide entertainment from 4:30 to 6:00, followed by a potluck supper. The day’s festivities will be capped by folksinger and bluesman Andy Cohen from 7 to 9 p.m.

Cohen is known for good old, honest, down-to-earth, licks-filled acoustic blues. He learned from some of the greats, including Jim Brewer, Pink Andersen, Honeyboy Edwards, Rev. Dan Smith and Daniel Womack.

Proficient on the six- and 12-string guitars, he also is a talented player of fiddle, five-string banjo, piano, mandolin and autoharp. He’s also the only performing dolceolist, according to a spokesman. Great-grandfather to the casio, the dolceola is a chord zither with a keyboard from the early 1900s. It’s played like a piano and sounds similar to a harpsichord. Cohen’s repertoire includes old-time string band music, gospel, Celtic fiddle tunes, country songs, piano rags, Southern mountain music and English music hall material.

Robin Lockman is a member of the folk trio Mom’s Home Cookin’ as well as a solo singer. She plays guitar, banjo and Appalachian dulcimer. Her musical delight is uncovering forgotten songs, old and new. She brings her audiences songs of love, work and laughter.

Romane is known as half of the jazz/blues band Lex & Joe’s Blueswing. A talented jazz and blues guitarist, his musical roots are in the folk tradition, which he’s returned to with his solo recording “Diggin’ Dusty Diamonds.” His performances are known for his full, clean guitar sound and gutsy, expressive singing style. His original songs tap into the soul of the workingman and reflect the struggles and challenges of the common man with humor, depth and insight.

The folk festival will be at L-A College, 51 Westminster St. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and should feel free to come at any time, organizers said.

Attendees will be asked to pay an admission of $5, with children under 12 admitted free. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the college bookstore or from students in the class. Tickets will also be available at the door. Anyone interested in the potluck supper is asked to contact Barry Rodrigue at 753-6574 or [email protected] for more information.


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