Despite the snow and sleet falling from the sky on Sunday, a packed house of folk music enthusiasts, performers and friends of Gene Shay filled the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church to celebrate the legendary folk DJ’s 80th birthday. The concert, which featured big names like Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Tony Trischka and David Bromberg, was a benefit show for Sing Out! Magazine.
Shay retired from the XPN airwaves in early February – see photos from his final show here – in order to focus on other projects and organizations he’s been involved with over the years. As a long time board member of Sing Out!, this benefit fell into that category, and he showed up to the even decked out in a Willie Wonka-esque purple top had and scarf, jovial as ever. Below, check out a gallery of photos from the event shot by folk scene photographer Jayne Toohey.
Full Frontal Folk performs from the stage (alter) of the First Unitarian Church sanctuary.
Dueling acoustic guitars from David Bromberg (left) and Tom Rush.
Kim and Reggie Harris onstage at the Gene Shay tribute.
Julie Gold and XPN’s Michaela Majoun backstage at the tribute.
David Bromberg and Christine Lavin backstage at the tribute.
A lively collaboration breaks out when Kim and Reggie Harris perform with Janis Ian.
Christine Lavin and Don White perform.
A playful moment between Julie Gold and Tom Rush.
Choreography in a number from Christine Lavin and the New Age Sensitive Men.
Christine Lavin dances with Gene Shay.
Michaela Majoun hugs Gene Shay.
Gene Shay and his Folk Show producer Ian Zolitor.
Julie Gold performs.
A set from Tom Rush.
Tom Paxton and Janis Ian in the audience.
Gene Shay with David Baskin of Sing Out! Magazine and singer Lisabeth Weber.
Tony Trischka dazzles with his nimble banjo playing.
Tom Paxton performs.
Jay Ansill, Lisabeth Weber and Janis Ian onstage.
Kenny Ulansey plays his tenor saxophone.
The man of the hour, Gene Shay.
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