Scott performs for Fredonia Community Club

Published 4:55 pm Monday, June 24, 2019

FREDONIA — On Saturday evening, the Fredonia Community Club and Fredonia Heritage Association hosted an evening of song with Massachusetts singer-songwriter and Fredonia friend, Jim Scott. In spite of threatening weather, a good-sized crowd gathered inside the Fredonia Community House to hear the legendary singer/songwriter perform and to sing along with many of the favorite tunes he sang. Scott was in the area as part of his Southern tour, which also includes performances in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Scott is a performer with decades of experience in many genres. He has a wide repertoire mixing old favorites and more current songs with his own music.

Jim Scott’s enchanting manner and conviction moved folk legend Pete Seeger to call him “Some kind of magician.” Jim played with the Paul Winter Consort for many years, sang their signature song “Common Ground” and was co-composer of their celebrated “Missa Gaia/Earth Mass.”

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Highlights of the one-man performance included Scott’s version of “Turn, Turn, Turn,” written by his good friend Pete Seeger in the late 1950s, and a medley of well-known songs such as “Route 66,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Silhouettes on the Shade,” “Since I Fell for You” and the Sam Cooke classic “You Send Me.”

The crowd joined in on the choruses of each song, and Scott smiled in appreciation that they knew the classic songs and could singalong without a hitch.

In introducing another well-known Sam Cooke song, “What a Wonderful World,” Scott said that he grew up two doors down from a high school where his dad was a math teacher. “Yeah, and I had to be in his class,” he said to some laughter.

Two of the best-known melodies Scott has written have South American themes. The crowd joined in and sang along with him in “In a Circle of Friends and a Circle of Sound” and “The Rainforest Song.”

Scott said that he’d learned from kids about rainforests and their four layers – emergent, canopy, understory and forest floor – and set it to song.

“It all comes together,” he said. “I had not known that before.”

“All our voices blend when we touch common ground,” he sang in a Circle of Friends, ending with some really impressive guitar play.

As the crowd sang the “Rain come down… Rain come down…” chorus in the Rainforest Song, Scott sang such lyrics as “Let the rain feed the thirsty ground.”

“The audience participation was great,” said Judy Collins, a Fredonia resident who attended the concert. “Jim has a way of building community with his singing for memories, love and just fun.”