July 20, 1998
photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Peter, Paul and Mary
by Deborah Stone
On August 1, the multiple Grammy award-winning trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, will perform at Ste. Michelle Winery.
It has been almost four decades since Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers made their memorable debut at the Bitter End, a coffee house in New York City's Greenwich Village.
Their music is timeless, full of activism, hope and passionate idealism. It has linked people of multiple generations and continues to attract audiences of all ages.
Mary Travers feels that the trio has achieved its remarkable status by having stayed committed to the spirit of the folk music tradition.
"Folk music seeks to bring people together, to encourage them to treat each other with dignity and to make a community, not divide it," explains Travers.
Peter, Paul and Mary, each on their own and as a group, have devoted themselves to social and political issues over the years. Their music has embodied a spirit of activism and passionate commitment to the struggles for social justice.
In the 60s it was the anti-war and civil rights movements. Today it is gun violence against children, homelessness and the rights and organizational efforts of strawberry pickers in California.
"We have always been involved in issues that deal with human rights, and our hope is that our listeners will be encouraged to work towards a world of fairness," says Travers.
Peter, Paul and Mary divide their time between group and solo performances, playing about forty five dates a year as the trio. Each has a talent that they bring to the group.
According to Travers, Peter is the patient one with a deep commitment to excellence and Noel (Paul) is the calming influence.
Both men are also gifted songwriters.
Commenting on herself, Travers says, "I bring a certain literary standard. I am a voracious reader and take in everything from fine literature to garbage. I also think I bring the ability to be a passionate spark plug and a connector."
The relationship among the three has grown close over the past thirty seven years and Travers describes it as "one of family." She says, "The chemistry has changed, but the synergy has always worked. Singing together is special and unites us."
Recently the trio released a new double CD set entitled "Around the Campfire," which features twenty five classic folk songs.
At their upcoming concert in Woodinville, the group plans to perform several new songs as well as many of their old favorites, including "Blowin' in the Wind," "If I Had a Hammer," "Puff, the Magic Dragon" and "Leavin' on a Jet Plane." Although the group sings these songs time and time again, Travers says they never tire of them.
"We are constantly reinterpreting our music, focusing on the words and their relevancy."
Peter, Paul and Mary are musicians who hold a tremendous heritage. They have shared their music and their messages, and their songs will endure for decades to come.
For ticket information, call (425) 488-3300.