Folk music subject of museum concert

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Courtesy photo | Singer and historian Hank Cramer will perform Pacific Northwest folk songs in concert Wednesday at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center.

MOSES LAKE — The folk music of the Pacific Northwest will be the topic of a concert and lecture Wednesday at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center. “Hank Cramer: Our Songs, Our Stories,” is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Moses Lake Civic Center Auditorium.

Admission is free. Cramer's concert is the finale of the museum's fall Salon Series, lectures by regional residents on topics of regional interest.

Cramer said his concert “will consist entirely of folk songs from the Pacific Northwest. Some of the songs will be traditional (100-plus years old), some were written by friends of mine, and a couple will be my own originals.” Crarmer said he wanted to use the music “to paint a picture of the land we live in.”

Cramer has been performing concerts and giving lectures at the museum for many years, he said. “I first started performing for them when they were still at their old location,” he wrote. (The museum was located at the corner of West Third Avenue and Beech Street prior to moving into the Moses Lake Civic Center.) “They've had me back annually since.”

Cramer is a historian as well as a musician and he's especially interested in the history of the American and Canadian West, he said. His lectures and concerts include the music of the trip west and of the cowboys and ranchers, farmers, miners and loggers that followed the pioneers.

The emigrants that came West on the Oregon Trail sang the songs of the places they left behind, and they made up new songs that told the stories of the trip. The people that followed also brought their traditional music, and added more songs to reflect their new circumstances.

Cramer has studied sailing and sea chanties, the music of the miner's trade, and Irish music. (He's been a miner, sailor and cowboy, according to his website.)

Cramer has performed concerts and given history lectures throughout the West. He's a resident of Winthrop in the Methow Valley.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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