Back To The Future – A Band Called Honalee. A tribute to Peter, Paul and Mary

By Christine Wiese

The latter half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of poets and performers who sought to influence both the music and politics of their era. A Band Called Honalee, billed as a tribute to Peter, Paul, and Mary, appeared at The Clausen Center in Holstein last week in an attempt to bring their message front and center again.

The group is young with all the best attributes of youth – enthusiasm, zest for life, and the desire to make the world a better place. They don’t sing the old songs just to jog fond memories (although they do) but to prod their audiences to work together to effect a change in the universal ethos. The songs they chose to perform were derived from the likes of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and The Weavers – all harbingers and participants in the great folk revolution. Without this foundation we may not have had Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, et al. We may not have had “For Loving Me”, “Both Sides Now” or “Blowin’ in the Wind”.

As one of the band members said, “We love these songs, these artists, these song writers.”. Listening to them again is like enjoying an Indian Summer afternoon walking through a golden shower of autumn leaves “feeling groovy”.

That was part of it. The other part was a cold stiff wind engendered by the Viet Nam war. “Times They Are-A Changing”, “Great Mandula”, and “If I Had My Way” spoke of weightier matters. The young back then were clamoring against war and pleading for peace. Those voices are being heard again today and need to be heeded. Unless we can understand the past we will be unable to figure out the future.

We need to be inspired by groups like A Band Called Honalee. Through them and others like them we may finally be able to come together and forge a world were love reigns and justice prevails. To quote Albert Einstein, “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”.

There is no artifice or clever stratagem connected with this ensemble. They are honest, genuine, and extremely likable. Their talent is prodigious. Those in the audience that night felt an instant camaraderie with those on the stage. One person was heard to say during intermission, “This is one show I hate to see end.”.
A Band Called Honalee offered both entertainment and enlightenment. We couldn’t have asked for anything more except maybe more of the same.