Andy Hurlbut (Andrea Rae Hurlbut)
July 10, 1953 – August 26, 2022
The Arizona music community is saddened by the loss of a wonderful lady, songwriter, singer, musician and friend. She was sometimes referred to as the “Angel of Folk Music in Arizona.”
Andy performed both solo and as a member of the Artichoke Sisters Trio and the Improbable Quartet. She believed in the importance of supporting grassroots efforts to promote folk music and never missed an opportunity to encourage young musicians. She was a mentor to many who went on to become successful folk singers and musicians.
Andy was also a part of an informal group called “Trail Dust” that wrote songs about the West and helped keep the culture alive.
Andy was a member of the organizing committees for the Glendale Folk & Heritage Festival and the Annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering. She spent many, many hours and shared her valuable expertise when volunteering for both events.
Andy was past president of the Arizona Pickers & Grinners Society and was editor of the Pickers & Grinners newsletter.
Watch an interview with Andy Hurlbut where she discusses her journey to songwriting and performs her original song “Corner Cafe.”
Watch Andy Hurlbut performing her original song “Little Egypt,” co-written by Lon Austin.
Bob Frank (Robert Landis Frank)
February 26, 1944 – July 18, 2019
The Ballad Tree area of the 2020 Songwriters' Gathering was named in honor of Bob Frank.
Bob Frank was an American musician, singer/songwriter and composer. His debut self-titled record was issued on Vanguard Records in 1972 to critical acclaim and is a collectors’ item that was reissued on Light in the Attic in 2014. He recorded and toured with Memphis singer/songwriter John Murry, shared a stage with Gus Cannon, Jimmy Driftwood, Lightning Hopkins, Tim Buckley and Townes Van Zandt, and was a paid songwriter for Tree Publishing. He lived in El Sobrante, California.
Frank's 20th century version of the late Middle English classic, "A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode" (Child Ballad #117), released on Bowstring Records in 2001, received rave reviews from English professors, music critics, historians, actors, college professors, school teachers and Oxford dons.
Though not widely known, Frank's songs have earned wide critical acclaim. Jim Dickinson, a producer for Big Star and a Memphis music legend, called Frank "the greatest songwriter you never heard." In Rolling Stone, Senior Editor David Fricke called Frank's debut "beautifully stark" and compared him to Warren Zevon. Frank's collaboration with singer/songwriter John Murry on 2006 LP World Without End was praised in the Village Voice, Uncut, Rolling Stone, The Irish Times and The Independent UK. His songs have been recorded by Jim Dickinson, Chris LeDoux, Gary McMahan, and others.
February 26, 1943 -October 19, 2015
The 20th Annual Songwriters Gathering was held in memory of Arizona Songwriters Association member and Songwriters Gathering planning committee member, Gavan Wieser.
Gavan Wieser was a singer/songwriter who played bass in the world’s oldest punk band, One Foot in the Grave. He served on the board for Fiddler’s Dream Coffeehouse acoustic music showcase. He originated and hosted the long running second Tuesday Songs in Progress workshop for the Arizona Songwriters Association.