Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Rock Lit' Returns to Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House

Chestertown, MD — It will be a weekend of rock journalism and rock tunesmithing at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House, which presents "Rock Lit: Sound Opinions" with rock critics/radio hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot on Friday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m., and "Rock Lit: The Art & Craft of Song," a workshop with singer-songwriter Paul Weinfield, on Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Rose O'Neill Literary House's inaugural "Rock Lit" offering came last November as part of "Literature of the Fact," a special series of lectures on the diverse varieties of the art of nonfiction. This weekend, the subject matter ranges from how to write music to how to write about music.

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is "Sound Opinions," the world's only rock'n'roll talk show. Based in Chicago, "Sound Opinions" is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nation.

They are the top music critics and dedicated competitors at Chicago's two daily newspapers, the Chicago Sun-Times (DeRogatis) and the Chicago Tribune (Kot). Every week, "Sound Opinions" fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from cutting-edge underground rock and hip-hop, to classic rock, R&B, electronica, worldbeat and other genres.

DeRogatis and Kot are also both critically acclaimed authors who write for some of the nation's most prestigious rock magazines, including Rolling Stone, Spin and Vibe. Their April 3 presentation at the Rose O'Neill Literary House is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, April 4, "Rock Lit" shifts gears from journalism to songcraft, as up-and-coming performer Paul Weinfield leads a workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weinfield is gaining a following via Tam Lin Music, a catchall name for songs written and performed by this singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His songs have been compared to those of David Byrne, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley.

Weinfield was born in New York City to a poet father and a composer mother. He started combining words and music at a young age: by 9 he had taught himself guitar and by 11 was writing songs. After leaving home he spent many years as a student of religions, traveling through India and the Middle East.

In 2005, Weinfield began actively performing in New York City's downtown folk scene under the name Tam Lin Music (after the Scottish ballad made famous by the band Fairport Convention), a moniker that comprises Weinfield's singing, songwriting and guitar playing with a revolving group of eclectic musicians. Tam Lin Music infuses a more traditional singer-songwriter aesthetic with jazz-inflected improvisation and electronic loops and beats.

Some basic guitar skills are required of attendees to Weinfield's workshop; for registration and more information, email

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