A. Heather Wood

(cartoon by John Trotta)
Arielle Heather Wood
(cartoon by Jonathan Xavier Coudrille)

Who are you?

In no particular order, I'm English (born in Sheffield, West Riding (well, it was then), Yorkshire, UK), an Aries (Leo rising, moon in Scorpio), and female. I became an American citizen in 2003.

What do you do?

The short answer is "bunches of stuff."
The long answer is I sing. (see gig list) * I write songs. * I invent recipes. * I write articles. * I write books. * I compile directories. * I write short stories. * I write verse. * I assemble websites

I sing.

Mainly English traditional folk songs, ballads, sea shanties. See upcoming appearances. From 1965-1969 as The Young Tradition with Peter Bellamy and Royston Wood (both currently dead). Odd times from 1976 – 1980 as No Relation with Royston Wood (we were indeed no relation, which confused the hell out of lots of people). From 1984 – 1986 as Crossover with Andy Wallace. And from 1992 – 2005 as Poor Old Horse with Tom Gibney and David Jones. Poor Old Horse appeared at the 1996 Mystic Sea Music Festival and at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. I sang with David Kleiman and Ken Schatz as TradMore at the New Bedford Summerfest. Also solo.

As a member of the New York Packet, I'll be singing sea songs around South Street Seaport from time to time.

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Oberlin 1968 Oberlin 1968
30 September 2013 saw the release by Fledg'ling Records of a live Young Tradition concert recorded at Oberlin College, Ohio in 1968. Track List (pdf format). Read all about it from Fledg'ling; a review from fRoots (pdf format); a review from Songlines (pdf format); reviews in Spectrum Culture; Folk Radio UK; and Huffington Post; and a contemporary account from The Oberlin Review (pdf format).

The album was voted Number One in the Reissues and Compliations category of the fRoots Critics Poll 2013.

Poor Old Horse recorded The Curate's Egg, which may be available eventually from Smithsonian Folkways.

The 1995 release (it was recorded in 1969) Young Tradition CD, The Holly Bears The Crown, made the Folk Roots 1995 readers' poll at Best Reissue #7. Even though it isn't, strictly speaking, a reissue.

BGO Records (UK) has released a two-CD set containing all of The Young Tradition, So Cheerfully Round, Chicken on a Raft, and Galleries.

Castle Communications in England has re-released the first two Young Tradition albums on CD. This made the Folk Roots 1996 readers' poll at Best Reissue #5. [Note: see Discography. The first American album was a compliation from those first two UK albums.] A second CD, comprising Galleries, plus the EP of sea shanties (which I wanted to call "Just Add Water" but the lads wouldn't let me), plus most of No Relation, the album that Royston and I did, has also been released in England.

Some of the above recordings are available from me, see the Order Form and Discography.

Rhino Records has released a three-CD set called Troubadours of British Folk, the first volume of which runs from Lonnie Donnegan through Ewan MacColl, Bert Lloyd, The Watersons, Bert Jansch, Shirley & Dolly Collins, the Dransfields, and more to Fairport Convention, Donovan, and Steeleye Span, 20 tracks in all. There's even a Young Tradition track, "The Lyke-Wake Dirge." Liner notes are by Karl Dallas, with contributions by many of the artists. All in all, an excellent compilation by Sam Epstein & Ted Myers.

YT tracks also appear on the two Electric Muse compilations.

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Upcoming appearances
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I write songs.

Not very often. Some of them get recorded.

A Plea for Order * The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered At All and A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End (both based on hints given by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld books) * Foolish, Incredibly Foolish * It's Always the Right Time for Love

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I invent recipes.

Chocolate Magic (otherwise known as Heatherian Chocolate Gloop, or HCG).
Mushrooms and Chestnut Puree.
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I write articles.

Usually on folk music topics, for such publications as Broadside (USA), The Clinton Coordinator (USA), Folk Review (UK), Folk News (UK). Folk Roots (UK), Melody Maker (UK)..
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I write books.

101 Marvelous Money-Making Ideas for Kids came out from Tor Books in 1995. Here's a sample: Your First Day.
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I compile directories.

The third edition of the Grass Roots International Folk Resource Directory (co-edited with Leslie Berman) came out from Tor Books in 1993. The second edition of The Beer Directory came out from Storey Publishing in 1995.
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I write short stories.

"Programmed for Pleasure" was published in Club International (UK), under the pen-name of Wendy Allinder.
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I write verse.

(Note, not poetry. Not really.) The Affair appeared in Men Only (UK) in 1975. Heaven was my Christmas card for 1993. To All My Friends . . .. (Oh, and a couple of efforts in my school magazine, but they hardly count.)
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I assemble websites

(Please don't take this one as an example! I'm working on it. Honest)
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What work do you do?

Currently I act as bookkeeper for Leslie Berman Law Firm, Matthew J. Nolfo & Associates, LITMA, The Long Is;and Traditional Music Association, and Stages on the Sound. I'm a director of the annual TradMaD Camp.

I've done freelancing at what I term "Muddle Management" — sorting out accounts and clutter, cataloging books and CDs, etc. I occasionally work with Heritage Muse, Previously, I have worked for International Design Associates Ltd., Candidates on Demand, The New York Times, Morgan Stanley, Union Bank of Switzerland and with Sheldon Landwehr, who had a regular dining and travel column in the New York Post. I was assistant to Tom Doherty, President and Publisher, and have been a consulting editor for Tor Books. I spent many years with ABC Leisure Magazines (High Fidelity, Musical America, Compute!, Modern Photography) in editorial, production, and circulation. I was Marketing Manager for Eventide, Inc. and Communications Manager for Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

In assorted previous years I was the Executive Director of the Tcherepnin Society, Press Officer and Editorial Assistant for the Audio Engineering Society at several of their New York exhibitions, and Administrator of SHAPE (UK), an organization that put artists to work in institutions and also was a trail-blazer for artists with disabilities. I was an Officer Cadet in the (now defunct) Women's Royal Army Corps (UK) for 97 days. This is where I learned to drive a tank. I've worked as a kennelmaid, with cocker spaniels, maltese, and (my favorite) salukis. I've worked in restaurants (as silver-service waitress, dishwasher, vegetable preparer, and cook), offices (everything), and on a factory assembly line. I was Chief Tester for Robuk Tape Recorders, Invoice Clerk for Dolly Day Dresses, and Stock Control Clerk for Pang Chemical Vulcanisers. I ran the electrical counter at my local Woolworth's (remember Woolworth's?) in the days when there were two different voltages and 10 different kinds of electrical plugs (this in England). My first ever job was a paper route.
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What else do you do?

I'm the Treasurer and Program Chair of the Folk Music Society of New York, Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the SETI League, and President of my co-op board.
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Where do you live?

Currently, I live in a railroad apartment in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. At various times in my life I have lived in London, Brighton (Sussex), Parkstone (Dorset), Sticklepath (Devon), and Wickham Market (Suffolk).
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What are your marketable skills?

  • I'm familiar with computers: Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Commodore Pet, and Osborne. I'm learning to work with Macs. Generally, computers like me (it's mutual)
  • Word processing systems (Word, Wordstar, WordPerfect, Xywrite, Multimate)
  • Desktop publishing (Adobe InDesign)
  • Image Editing (Photoshop)
  • Databases (Access, DBase, Paradox, PCFile, Personal Pearl, Progress)
  • Typesetting systems (ATEX). I started with typesetting in the the hot lead era
  • Accounting Software (Quickbooks)
  • Spreadsheets (Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, QuattroPro, VP Planner, Visicalc)
I'm fairly competent with HTML, PDF, Photoshop, PowerPoint, and Visio. Some BASIC programming. Typing, speedwriting, telex, telephone switchboard. Printed circuit board assembly, soldering, harness-wiring. Excellent command of English, some French and German. A little Latin. Editing, copy-editing, proofreading, copy-writing. Ad design and layout, type specification, paste-up and mechanicals. I hold an American Red Cross certificate in CPR/AED and First Aid. I have a current driver's license, and can also drive a tank.
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What is your educational background?

I hold a U.K. General Certificate of Education in nine subjects at Ordinary level (English Language, English Literature, Latin, French, German, Mathematics, History, Geography, Biology), three at Advanced Level (English, French, German). One year of college, at University College, London (BA Hons in Philosophy & Economics). I have two whole credits towards an American degree (in Basic Mechanicals and Paste-Up) from Parsons School of Design.
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What are your hobbies?

Reading (science fiction, fantasy, and Regency romances); stamp collecting; knitting; sewing; embroidery; crochet; English crossword puzzles; jigsaw puzzles; playing Minesweeper; Scrabble® (with Ultimate Substitution variations); chess (which I play as a game of chance); darts; table tennis; horseback riding; cooking (preferably for large, congenial gatherings); collecting cookbooks and books on food history; attending science fiction conventions (especially the World Fantasy Convention) and folk festivals; surfing the net.
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What are your ambitions?

  1. To visit all the countries that were ever part of the British Empire (using the list from Sporcle.com, which does stretch things a bit ...). Click on "Give Up" to see the list. So far, I have made it to America, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, China, England, France, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Vietnam, and Wales.
  2. To eat my way around the world. Countries eaten in so far: Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cambodia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Majorca, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the USA, and Vietnam.
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What are your favorite things?

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Anything else?

  • I was a Girl Guide for many years. I am a member of The Kipling Society and a currently lapsed member of MENSA and SFFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America)and Folk Alliance. I'm an unqualified member of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).
  • I'm a member of the Gallon Club, having been a blood donor since 1970, and an apheresis donor since 1989. Not allowed to donate any more — having spent time in England, I might have mad cow disease . . .
  • I am never ill.
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Well, enough about me (not really: this site is a work in progress, more T/K), now what about you? Take the Keirsey Personality Test. (I'm an ENTP.)
If you would like, you can send me an email.