The Folk Lore Society of Greater Washington kicked off its new season in a most gentle fashion last night at Gaston Hall. The celebrants were Gordon Bok, Anne Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett, exponents of a quiet folk style that looks toward the future as much as toward the past.
The three took turns, but most frequently worked in tandem, with themselves and with the audience. Bok's cello-like bass, Muir's evocative contralto and Trickett's honest tenor combined gorgeously on the traditional a cappella ballad "Yarrow," rising to each unison like an introverted water ripple from a thrown stone.
Frequently joined by the audience on choruses, the three singers reached one peak on Alan Bell's "Windmills," an elegiac song that captured the cyclical powers of seasons, the grandeur of nature and the perpetual values of tradition. Often there was no distance between performers and the audience, a rare quality at most concerts but one consistent with the esthetic of true folk music.
Whether singing children's songs, Russian hymns. Irish tunes or their own originals. Bok, Muir and Trickett swept the audience down an enchanted path of folk legacies colored by guitars, flute, harp, and hammered dulcimer and most decidedly by the glorious simplicity of the unaffected human voice raised in celebration and renewal.