Our Staff

Ralph Varn - Video & Editing
Ella Varn - Blogger
Ameila Burns - Photographer


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Anna Coogan & J D Foster
"Help Yourself"

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Anna and JD came over to the Ithaca Records Studio to work
on a couple of new songs they are planning for a new CD.
In a couple of weeks they have booked time at Electric Wilburland
with Will Russell. JD discribe's himself as a bassist , guitarist, record producer, mixer, singer , songwriter... at your service and Anna Coogan
is wonderful singer songwriter that has toured in Europe and the
United States and writes and plays with many other different artists.
What they did, here in the garage, was amazing!
You be the judge.

-Ralph Varn-

Hardin Burns -
"Earthquake, Hurricane, Flood"

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Andrew Hardin and Jeannie Burns have formed an acoustic duo known as Hardin Burns. Their debut CD "Lounge" was released in June 2012 and has gotten substantial airplay in the US and abroad. Hardin Burns has already performed live in Texas, New York, Florida,and California, and plan to tour more extensively in 2013. Guitarist Andrew Hardin touredand recorded with Tom Russell for 25 years, and Jeannie Burns has performed with The
Burns Sisters on eight albums, years of live performances, and recently on two tours as back-up vocalists for Arlo Guthrie. "Lounge" features nine new original songs and one great cover of George Harrison's "Beware of Darkness." Influences include folk, r&b, and 60s pop. Live, the duo features Andrew Hardin's fantastic acoustic guitar playing, and Jeannie's bluesy, evocative vocal stylings.

-Ella Varn-



Arlo Guthrie
"Alabama Bound" Leadbelly

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Like his father, Woody Guthrie, Guthrie often sings songs of protest against social injustice. He collaborated with poet Adrian Mitchell to tell the story of Chilean folk singer and activist Víctor Jara in song. He regularly performed with folk musician Pete Seeger, one of his father's longtime partners. Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who had lived for two years in the Guthries' home before Arlo left for boarding school, had absorbed Woody's style perhaps better than anyone; Arlo has been said to have credited Elliott for passing it along to him.[citation needed] In 1991, Guthrie bought the church that had served as Alice and Ray Brock's former home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and converted it to the Guthrie Center, an interfaith meeting place that serves people of all religions. The center provides weekly free lunches in the community and support for families living with HIV/AIDS as well as other life-threatening illnesses. It also hosts a summertime concert series and Guthrie does six or seven fund raising shows there every year. There are several annual events such as the Walk-A-Thon to Cure Huntington's Disease and a "Thanksgiving Dinner That Can't Be Beat" for families, friends, doctors and scientists who live and work with Huntington's disease.


Jude Johnstone
"New York Morning" by Jude Jonstone

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The track New York Morning sums up Jude Johnstone in a single line from the song, "Music and lyrics are all I need," while the title and the entire song speaks to the influences that are a part of her creativity. The track Never Been the Same has Jude's vocals digging deep into her blues roots with a deep and soulful sound.
One of the things I love about Jude's songs are that they are easy to relate to, either from a personal perspective, or from a life perspective; she has a vast understanding of the elements and what makes people 'tick'.
Jude's arrangements on Blue Light show a completely new perspective of this talented singer/songwriter/arranger/producer; her style is getting tighter while at the same time providing the space to let the music speak for itself.


Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns
"Doin' My Time" by Jimmy Skinner

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Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns
"Reelin' Down" by Dan Hicks

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Jodi Martin
"Criminal" by Jodi Martin & Arlo Guthrie
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"Criminal" by Jodi Martin and Arlo Guthrie
Ithaca Records on Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nothing is worse than destroying Mother Earth, and "Criminal" by Jodi Martin and Arlo Guthrie gives a nice kick in the butt to those who aren't listening!

Jodi was born and raised in Australia, and she was lucky enough to open for Arlo when he toured there. They have completed 3 tours together and Jodi has openly stated that he has been an amazing influence on her. She takes his astounding ability to tell stories and write amazing songs very seriously, and it inspired her to write and become a better musician.Who could ask for a better job? Not only do you get to tour around the country, write amazing songs, and hang out with awesome people, you get to do it with Arlo Guthrie!
This song was performed at an anti-fracking benefit to really get the point across about fracking and how terrible it is. This song sends a shockingly great message and asks, "when did mother mature become the criminal?"

Remember to always love the Earth, and when you need to send out the message, send out this song, it's a great one!

Apple iTunes


-Ella Varn-


Joe Crookston
"Wandering Shepherd"

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"Wandering Shepherd" by Joe Crookston
Ithaca Records on Wednesday, August 18, 2011

"Wandering Shepherd" by Joe Crookston is the perfect song to start off the audience on a good note. Nothing too serious or too exciting (you save that for later) but nothing slow to lose the crowd.
Joe makes a great point to play a song that draws in the crowd, yet shows off his vocal abilities so the audience knows what they're in for. Joe's amazing guitar skills will be better presented later in the show (even though the guitar in this song is great), but with this song, it's all about the voice.
Of course Joe warms up the crowd with a little humor, and then dives right into the magic. There are many interpretations you can put into this song. A Wandering Shepherd could be you, coming to see the show and he's saying "take a rest and listen", you could also apply it to something going on in your life, and take the lyrics as "you may feel lonely, but you are not alone, rest for the night, and everything will be ok".
That's the best thing a song can give you; Words of advice in a deep and meaningful way, especially since it touches everybody.
As with the rest of Joe's songs, they tell a great story. Some are funny stories, some are very deep and meaningful, either way, Joe has a song for everyone to enjoy.


-Ella Varn

Mac Benford
"Down South Blues" - from Dock Boggs

Mac BenfordPress on Image above to Play Live Music Video

"Down South Blues" from Dock Boggs
by Ithaca Records on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 4:51pm

Mac Benford is a "leading figure in the preservation and performance of traditional Appalachian music". I'm sure you can guess that Appalachian music is the traditional music from Appalachia, but most don't know that it is derived from various European and African influences, including English ballads and Irish and Scottish tradition music (especially fiddle music). It was first recorded in the 1920's, which made Appalachian musicians a key influence on the early development of old-tmie music, country music, and bluegrass. Appalachian musicians were also a very important part of the American Folk music revivial of the 1960's. Bet you didn't know all that, did you? Appalachian music is what some might consider "simple" music. There's not a lot of hullabaloo in the background, just good ol' banjos, fiddles, and guitar.

Mac is someone that try to keep this very old tradition alive, and boy is he good at it! He's been playing Appalachian music around Ithaca, and other parts of the country for more than 40 years. In the song "Down South Blues", he sings about a time when up North was lookin' pretty good to some folks, so a traveler get's there, and realizes he misses his good ol' down South roots. It's a great song, fun to listen to, and a fun story to tell! Mac has a ton of these great songs and plays all over the country! If you want to hear music with some real roots, listen to Mac Benford!

If you DO want to hear more from Mac, go to his website - www.macbenford.com or check him out on facebook/ithacarecords ! Happy Listening!

-Ella Varn


Arlo Guthrie
with The Burns Sisters

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"Comin Into Los Angeles" written by Arlo Guthrie
by Ithaca Records on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 10:02am

All of Arlo Guthrie's songs tell a story, and "Coming Into Los Angeles" is no different.
It was recorded in 1969 on the album "Running Down The Road" and with lyrics like "Bringin' in a couple of keys/ Don't touch my bags if you please, mister customs man" it is very reminiscent of the late 60's into the 70's.
Now, we all know what the song is about, but the underlying message is what makes this song even more amazing.
It's not just about bringing in keys from Mexico, it's about the uprising of a culture. This song was performed at Woodstock in 1969, who WOULDN'T love this?! It's exactly what everyone wanted to hear! The defiance of government, "The Hippie Movement, it was a time for people to do what they wanted, and no one was going to stop them. This song, in fewer words with a catchier tune, says just that.
Arlo has always been a fabulous story teller, with his lyrics, and on stage. I've seen him live twice, when he was on tour with The Burns Sisters and he will draw you in with the very first song, and leave you wanting so much more. If you haven't seen Arlo live, it's an absolute must! Bring your kids, bring you grandkids! The first time I saw him, I was 17 and I thought I would be bored to tears and by the end of the show, I wanted to go and see him again and again! Seriously, go see him! you will not be disappointed.

-Ella Varn-

Joe Crookston with Peter Glanville

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Red Rooster in the Mash Pile....getting drunk!
by Ithaca Records on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 11:43am

What's better than hearing a great story, and hearing a well written and lyrically captivating song all at the same time? we agree that nothings better. We also agree, that Joe Crookston takes this style to a whole new level.

"[Joe] was as a finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, and received a year-long songwriting grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to travel throughout New York State, interview local residents, and write songs based on his experiences" and along his travels, he met a man named Walt. Walt told Joe a story about the 1929-1930 prohibition, when just about everyone (including Walt's neighbor) had a whiskey still. According to Walt, the roosters would get into fermented mash, and that folks, is how you get yourself a drunk rooster. That's also how Joe Crookston gives you the totally entertaining, magically vivid song, "Red Rooster".

The detail and imagery Joe creates with his words, not only in the actual story, but with the song are compelling, and leave the audience entertained and full of joy. His rapport with the audience accompanied with his the fantastic guitar playing makes him seem almost magical up on stage. He's fabulously intense and will drawn you in, make you wanting more. I catch myself randomly humming his songs throughout the day, not even realizing that he has made that deep of an impression on me until I catch myself, it's wonderful!

If you haven't seen him perform, you really should, and you'll be very glad that you did. It is an experience you will never forget, and I can promise, you will go see him again.

-Ella Varn-


Mac Benford
"How Can A Poor Man Stand Such
Times And Live" by Blind Alfred Reed

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Joe Crookston
"Freddy The Falcon"

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Andrew Hardin and Jeannie Burns
"Keep Havin This Dream"

Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns 
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Andrew Hardin, Joel Guzman
& Sarah Fox

"Reelin Down" by Dan Hicks

Andrew Hardin, Sarah Fox, Joel Guzman 
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"Padre Prays For Rain"

Andrew Hardin, Joel Guzman, Sarah Fox 
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"Rio De Tenampa"

Andrew Hardin, Joel Guzman, Sarah Fox 
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Tune Core Music Distribution of Your Own Music 

"Workin On A Building"

Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns 
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Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns 
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"Mystery Train II"

Andrew Hardin & Jeannie Burns Press on Image above to Play Live Music Video