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Folk artists remember Pete Seeger at Clearwater Festival

FOLK artists gathered at the Clearwater Festival on the bank of the Hudson River this weekend to mark the first anniversary of Pete Seeger’s death.

Tom Paxton, Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Dar Williams and others played sets focusing on the music of the Seeger-linked Weavers and Almanac Singers and particular themes such as songs written for the Republican side in the war against fascism in Spain.

Expanding beyond the strictly folk genre, Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Thompson, the Mavericks, Norah Jones and Josh Ritter were among the headliners at the two-day festival that drew around 25,000 people.

“It’s up to us to pass the music on as he intended,” Tom Chapin sang in a verse written for the occasion.

The legendary folk singer began hosting folk picnics in the 1960s to fund a boat to traverse the Hudson and highlight environmental issues.

These informal fundraising concerts became the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival in 1978.

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