Turn-of-the-Century Christmas at the Hennepin Library

The Hennepin branch of the Putnam County Library system will be hosting a Christmas Ship Concert performed by folk singer and songwriter Lee Murdock at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19. The Christmas Ship Concert highlights the turn-of-the-century tradition of carrying Christmas trees to ports on the lower Great Lakes. 

“I’ve been doing a program for quite a few years of songs they used to sing around the holidays. It started 20 years ago with songs and stories from the Rouse Simmons, which was one of the ships that carried the trees,” said Murdock. “Some of the songs have a definite holiday feel to them, but it’s not just your ‘White Christmas’ or ‘Jingle Bells.’ It’s a little bit different.”

Murdock performs on six- and 12-string guitars and tailors his show to fit the general age group of a show.

“If we have a lot of really small children, then I’m probably not going to be as historically descriptive, and we’ll do a lot more traditional songs,” he said. “But I’ve seen some people at shows in their 30s and 40s who first saw my show when they were 7 or 8. It’s really a show for everyone.”

Murdock’s musical influences span 15 generations, combining ragtime, Irish, blues and folk styles with his storytelling. He has researched music from American history, especially the songs of the upper Midwest. In addition to these, Murdock plays his own original compositions and the work of songwriters such as Shel Silverstein and Woody Guthrie.

People who attend are encouraged to sing along with Murdock on songs they find familiar. Refreshments will be available. For more information, call the library at 815-925-7020.

Source: Putnam County Record