By Dominique Wald
After a three-year absence, American folk singer Hank Cramer is back for Music Across the Palouse, a program by the Whitman County Library and Neill Public Library that blends music with history.
Music Across the Palouse consists of three different shows today through Saturday at 11 locations, including Pullman, Colfax and Albion.
The show options range from “The Seven Tongues of Flame,” which focuses on Ireland’s Easter Rebellion of 1916, “Through A Soldier’s Eyes,” in which Cramer will portray his great-grandfather who was a Civil War veteran, and, finally, a family concert that features an acoustic blend of folk and country music and focuses on the historical events that created the music.
Cramer spent the past three years working for Washington State Emergency Management and responded to disasters like the mudslide in Oso and the massive wildfire that struck the state this past summer. Now that he has a chance to return to his music, Cramer said he is looking forward to performing.
“I love history and I love music. I love taking experiences from the written word of one generation and sharing them with another,” Cramer said.
Cramer has plenty of his own experiences to share. To pay for college, Cramer spent time as an underground copper miner in Arizona. He also served in the military and did a tour in Afghanistan, and he now spends his time as somewhat of a rancher and cowboy.
“Through those experiences, I’ve got songs to share,” Cramer said. “I can really take the spirit of the songs, and I know what I’m talking about.”
Cramer said he pulls inspiration from his father, who loved to sing, and his grandmother, who was an Irish immigrant.
Those attending the shows are welcomed to sing along, and Cramer said he always takes time to teach the chorus beforehand for those who are unfamiliar with the songs. He also leaves time at the end of the show to answer questions from the audience.
“I’m always surprised when people tell me stories or experiences that can be related to the music,” Cramer said. “I’m there to try and teach but I’m always astonished at how much I learn.”
A complete schedule of programs can be found online at http://bit.ly/1xzGwGF .
If you go
What: Music Across the Palouse, featuring American folk singer Hank Cramer
- Ireland’s Easter Rebellion of 1916 : 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. John Library; 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Palouse Library; 10:30 a.m. Friday at Colfax School; 11 a.m. Saturday at Oakesdale Library
- Wilson Cramer’s Civil War: 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Tekoa Grade School; 8:30 a.m. Friday at Colton Library
- Family Concert: 6:30 p.m. Friday at Endicott Library; 3 p.m. Saturday at Albion Library