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Genres You Will Love
Folk: Gentle Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist Moods: Mood: Quirky Blues: Finger-Picked Guitar

By Location
United States - Massachusetts United States - Mass. - Boston Sell your music everywhere

Peg Espinola

I was born in New York City before the Second World War, but moved around the country between then and age eighteen, when we returned to the West Side of Manhattan. My family all made music of one sort or another--for awhile we had a band consisting of Dad on the fiddle, Mom on piano, my "special needs" brother on trombone and me on the flute. Neither flute nor piano grabbed hold of me, but first the ukulele, and then the guitar at age fifteen, turned out to be a better fit, especially for accompanying singing. While living in Washington, D.C. I met the then teenaged half-siblings of Pete Seeger--Mike and Peggy--and also their housekeeper Elizabeth Cotton, a fabled ragtime guitar picker. I fell in love with Appalachian music and the blues in those years, and later on I added Odetta, Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez as influences, as well as Latin American music I listened to on records. The songs of the singer-songwriters from the 1960's onward also had an influence on me, particularly the protest songs.
Singing and playing guitar, alone or with others, played an important role in my adult life during and after college and as a social worker, wife and mother in the ensuing decades. But I didn't think to write a song of my own until I was in my 60's, during my second or third year at an adult music camp in New Hampshire. I had come up to SAMW (said camp, sponsored by folk station WUMB) in order to reconnect with my old friend Peggy Seeger, and returned the next year to try to spruce up my guitar playing, performing skills and voice. Finally I took a songwriting course with Bob Franke, who has a rare ability to make songwriters out of almost anybody! My first song was a hit with the class--"The Gardener's Song" on my CD Danish Modern. Buoyed by that success I kept on listening to the voice of inspiration, and pushing it a little with a monthly songwriting circle, more songwriting courses, workshops, etc. Between 2004 and 2017 I managed to write 58 songs, which I have recorded on 4 CDs (all available on CDBaby!). I play a few gigs a year, took 3rd place in a statewide songwriting contest, and have opened for some touring musicians.
Songwriting has given me so much--a community of artists of many kinds, a way to share experiences and ideas with others, an adjunct at times to my passion for progressive politics, a means to put into words--and music--the things that wake me up at three a.m. and won't let me sleep, a way to memorialize the people (and dogs!) who have meant the most to me over the years. My niche has included humorous songs that middle-aged and older folks can relate to--including the experience of being single in mid-life and beyond--as well as my take on experiences we all have nowadays--like the Internet! Some of my songs are serious, too, and some are sad. "Since you asked" (well, everybody does!), the words usually come first--or the idea, really, and then a line or two of the song--but after I have a verse or two, I need to find a melody. After that, the accompaniment. I am 80 now (and still working a little!) and I hope to keep on writing songs right up to the end of my life.

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