No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Michael Barrett

Marc Blitzstein’s No For An Answer will be featured on the Nov. 19 NYFOS concert at Merkin Hall. Steve Blier and I had our very first collaboration at Tully Hall in a Blitzstein celebration about 35 years ago. It cemented my friendship with Steve, and helped us see a lot of things about songs concerts […]




 |  Michael Barrett

This week I’ve been sharing music of Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein in anticipation of our November 19 performance of No For An Answer (Blitzstein) and Silverlake (Weill). Perhaps the most important playwright for both of these composers was Bertolt Brecht. Brecht and Weill had a tumultuous relationship that yielded several successful shows and much […]




 |  Michael Barrett

On Nov. 19,  NYFOS will be presenting a concert version of Kurt Weill’s Der Silbersee (Silverlake) at Merkin Hall in NYC. Weill is an adopted New Yorker, having emigrated in 1935. His music had been banned by the Nazis. His early theater works, The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of Mahagony were considered […]




 |  Michael Barrett

We are gearing up for a concert performance of Marc Blitzstein’s No For An Answer on Nov. 19 at Merkin Concert Hall.  No For An Answer came together in 1941 and had a very short run over a few weekends at what is now City Center. No For An Answer was Blitzstein’s follow-up to his […]




 |  Michael Barrett

Just a month ago at the Moab Music Festival we opened the season with a program about war. The original inspiration came from John Brancy and Peter Dugan who toured extensively with a beautiful program celebrating the centenary of the end of WW 1 (the armistice). I borrowed a few of their ideas and included […]




 |  Michael Barrett

I’m ending this weeks posts where I started with Rhiannon Giddens. I’m drawn to this voice. It’s honest, and vulnerable and strong at the same time. I’m shedding some of my musical snobbery thanks to her. Simplicity can be a beautiful thing. I don’t need all my music to be complicated to satisfy my musical […]




 |  Michael Barrett

Today’s post isn’t so much about one song. It’s really about a musical force of Nature – Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She is brand new to me. But she seems too forceful, too full of musical life to ignore. A voice made of power and muscle and devotion. She came out of the gospel tradition which […]




 |  Michael Barrett

Tom Waits has got to be one of the most original balladeers alive. His raspy voice doesn’t pretend to be anything except for the experienced and world weary vehicle for his poetry. I find his music amazing in how his songs capture something that feels so specific. I can’t really put my finger on it. […]




 |  Michael Barrett

I started talking yesterday about Country Music. As I said, I’m really not down with classifications. A good song is a good song. It tells you something about yourself, or at a minimum shows you another epoch or slice of humanity in a way you can understand. Ideally one that touches your heart. Here is […]




 |  Michael Barrett

NO SONG IS SAFE FROM US. That’s a slogan we invented soon after we started NYFOS nearly 32 years ago. We’ve had some musical and lyrical adventures that have taken us to places we didn’t even know existed, and we have been blessed by the treasure trove of songs we’ve discovered. Sometimes there are great […]