Max Godfrey and Friends

The Studio


Join Max Godfrey and Friends for a raucous, foot-stomping evening of

worksongs, food, and infectious laughter.  We will learn many songs

traditionally sung by prisoners and field workers as a means of enduring

the hardships of forced labor, but which have been rediscovered by farmers

as tools for making their work more enjoyable.  With simple,

call-and-response structures, these songs can be learned quickly and

require no vocal "skill" whatsoever.  We will start with the simplest songs

and share some more involved worksongs as our lungs warm up.  We will also

share many songs from around the world that American farmers have adapted for use in the fields.  Even if you're not a farmer you're bound to

remember some of these songs and enjoy sharing them with friends.  This

singalong will include a meal prepared by Max and Friends, but singing will

continue throughout the evening.


Short Bio:

Over the past two years, Max Godfrey has been steadily digging through old

field recordings of southern worksongs and teaching them to people in

fields and kitchens, on front porches and streetcorners across the

Northeast and in his home state of Georgia.  He draws upon the songs that

African Americans sang for decades on chain gangs and in farm fields

throughout the 20th century South.  As an apprentice on small farms he has

been exploring the ways in which traditional songs can be used as tools for

strengthening the fabric of local communities.  The singing of worksongs in

the fields again represents an important step towards the restoration of

culture in american agriculture; Max is on tour to share these songs with

as many people as he can this winter.  He has led worksongs the Clearwater

Festival, the Farmer's March on Wall Street, the Georgia Organics

Conference, Sylvester Manor's Plant and Sing festival, and Frolona Fest,

and has helped teach worksong workshops at Young Farmer's Conference and NOFA NY.