Raised in the boom of the 1960's folk revival, Pamela Goddard
sang with her father at home, with the church choir, and travelled
up and down the Hudson River soaking up music at the early
Clearwater Picnics. The singers she heard at these
Picnics (now known as the annual Hudson River Revival Festival)
have long since melded into her musical personality.
The chance discovery that her high school library contained
a full collection of Library of Congress field recordings
permanently altered her life and saved her from an adolescence
of heavy metal rock music. She exchanged too many math and science
classes for an exposure to blues, ballads, and chain gang
songs, and set out on a path of seeking out traditional music
wherever she could find it. Recent years have found her exploring
the sound archives at Cornell University and Middlebury College,
and she continues to promote the traditional singing of New York
and New England.
By the 1980's, Pamela was a literature major in college,
studying folk songs in their narrative form while soaking
up local history as a staff member of the Sleepy Hollow
Restorations living history museums. Pamela also
encountered American and English Country Dancing during her
college years, and has become a popular caller/instructor
of both styles of dance.
Pamela emigrated "upstate" in 1989, moving to the Finger Lakes
region of Central New York. Working full-time as the Curator
of Education and Co-Director of a local history museum, she
continued calling dances and singing traditional songs.
In 2000, after nearly twenty years as a museum educator,
Pamela decided to focus on her song and dance interests,
and is now a free-lance writer, country dance caller, and folk singer.
Pamela Goddard has sung at coffeehouses, small festivals,
and historic sites from Staten Island to Rochester, New York,
and from Penobscot Bay in Maine to Ontario. When not singing solo
versions of the traditional songs of North America and Great
Britain, Pamela performs with the eclectic a capella
trio Diamonds in the Rough. In performance, she blends
an intimacy with the music and careful historical scholarship
with light humor, creating an easygoing relationship with her
audience. Much of her repertoire is performed in the pure,
unaccompanied style, and Pamela also accompanies herself on
the mountain dulcimer.