Jacob's Ladder Winter Weekend 370.
(photo credit: Barry Davis)
The ninth edition of the Jacob’s Ladder Winter Weekend kept the Anglo event’s
fires gently burning and warmed the hearts of the hundreds who
The winter bash is much more low key and intimate than the
annual springtime festival, and therein lies its charm. None personified that
homey ethos more than Irish storyteller and musician Colum Sands. Sands
performed a couple of gigs over the two days, as well as a cozy Saturday morning
session at which he played a song or two but mostly fielded questions from the
members of the highly engaged audience.
Sands is undoubtedly a
storyteller par excellence, and he regaled us with amusing and moving tales of
life in Ireland, and his childhood home life. There was generally a moral to his
stories but they never smacked of preaching – filtered, as they were, through
Sands’ gentle demeanor.
Larry and Mindy are always a popular item at
Jacob’s Ladder and, in the past, have had their festival audiences singing along
and basking in the warm glow of nostalgia with Simon & Garfunkel and The
Beatles programs. This time round we all joyfully sang and grooved to hits of
the Sixties and Seventies, the likes of The Fab Four’s “Here, There and
Everywhere,” Bryan Hyland’s unabashedly farcical “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie
Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and Don McLean’s ever endearing, and protracted,
There were more numbers from those two decades, at the
Bob Dylan and Leonard tribute show with young singer Maya Johanna and
long-serving Jacob’s Ladder performer, guitarist-harmonica player Shai Tochner,
with some extra high energy provided by the irrepressible fiddler Yonatan
The now Stateside-based Miller lived in Israel for over 20 years
and was a member of the legendary The Taverners folk-bluegrass band. Although
somewhat lacking in the depth one can only get from accrued life experience,
Johanna’s vocal delivery was impressive and Miller wowed the audience with a
white hot rendition of the Charlie Daniel Band’s 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down
As usual, Cyrelle Forman-Soffer’s square dance workshop was
unadulterated joy. Roll on the spring festival...