Lil Rev interview on the radio, recorded May 2, 2012.
At the center of the Milwaukee ukulele universe is Lil Rev, whose credits include CDs, song books, countless performances, and now... a book of poetry. Lil Rev talks with Mitch Teich about the state of the ukulele here and his new book, Ukulele Nation. His most recent CD is called The Happiest Way to Be Sad.
Schools and Libraries
Lil' Rev tours extensively throughout the Midwest as a frequent performer at schools, libraries, museums, and health care facilities.
Please check out Rev's Biography to find out more about his musical experience and abilities.
Lil' Rev at Ramona Elementary in Los Angeles, CA.
"Lil' Rev's visit this morning at the Capitola library was amazing, he engaged every person in the room, we didn't want him to stop! The Capitola community will be eagerly waiting for another appearance from Marc."
Youth Services Library Assistant
Santa Cruz City/County Library System
Lil' Rev's Midwestern Harvest
(for school assemblies)
This program is featured in Lil' Rev's all-school assemblies as a showcase for kids to learn about unique Folk Instruments as well as the Music, Labor, and Lore of the Midwest.
Together, we'll sing songs of the people and professions that have served to make the Midwest what it is today. From Great Lakes Sea Shanty's, silly Farming songs, Lumber Jack Lingo, Chicago Blues and impromptu polkas, kids will learn and remember the rich traditions that have contributed to our Midwestern culture.
Note: Expect to sing, dance, clap, tap and laugh your way through a joyous 50 minutes of rich American history in song and dance.
*This program is recommended for K-5th grade levels and may be done as an assembly or in individual classrooms.
*Lil' Rev received his undergraduate degree in Community Education from The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1993. He has been performing for over 15 years and has experience as both a classroom teacher as well as a university lecturer.
Lil' Rev with the President of the Revheads Fan Club ... Adam in Mount Morris, Wisconsin.
"The harmonica class was great! The kids were totally absorbed and, Rev, you are a natural teacher! After school I could hear harmonica humming as the kids waited for their busses. That's what teaching is all about...opening up avenues for kids. The kids who volunteered to perform in class were the "challenged" kids...the ones who seldom perform well academically. What a great direction for them! "
Anacortes School District (WA)
"Your program as we said that day, was the best we had this summer. The way you are able to work with the children and their parents is like a piece of art."
Plymouth Public Library
DeFord Bailey Tunes
Anacortes, WA - 2007
Senior Living Programs - Lil' Rev
Mult-Instrumentalist, Singer, Storyteller, and Historian
The Experience - Lil' Rev has over a dozen years of musical and therapeutic experience.
Rev works with all functioning levels and disabilities including dementia, developmentally disabled & chronically ill.
His program seeks to reach out and connect with all residents from the highly active to the passive/withdrawn individual.
Drawing from a rainbow of styles including dixie-land jazz (standard/pop of the 20's and 30's), blues, folk songs, Irish (Celtic), ethnic (waltzes, reels, jigs, polkas) and original works.
Guitar, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, harmonica, and kazoo.
Though not all at once!
Lil Rev is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and music-historian who teaches and tours nationally, around the continental U.S.
Scraps of Quilting Music: (How Quilters Saved the World)
This heart-warming one man show, features Wisconsin’s Favorite Folk Singer Lil Rev. You’ll find yourself singing along as he weaves a unique tapestry of songs, stories, poems and Quilting Lore, into a spell binding show that delivers a strong dose of good will.
This program is an ode to the millions of quilters worldwide, whose gifts of patience have kept us warm in thick of winter, brought us a little piece of home in the thick of war and showered our daily lives with a love that is unique to all of those men and women who strive to let their stitches tell the story.
Drawing on material from personal interviews with Wisconsin Quilters, Historical Documents and a passion for all things rooted and timeless; Lil Rev sheds light on the magic that is quilting.
Just a few of the subjects that Lil Rev touches on include: The Aids Quilt, quilters of the Old West, Gees Bend, quilts that will be sent to Iraq, as well as the a story of a quilt from the Civil War and how quilts pass on our family histories.
The love and lore that is quilting shines brilliantly in this program for all ages!
While the titles and songs speak to the quilter, the moral of the story for most quilters is ten fold. If we listen we’ll discover a program that entertains us all, while reminding us to slow down, build community, spend time with our family, share our lives stories and learn to make do with what we have. This is the essence of the program ... Scraps of Quilting Music.
Zelpha Hooks is one of the many old time quilters from the Midwest that Lil' Rev has had the opportunity to interview. Zelpha specializes in quilts for babies, that she sends to Native American reservations and shelters for the homeless.
Zelpha resides in Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin.
“You had us all laughing and crying.”
North Shore Quilters Guild
-Common Threads Quilt Guild (2009)
"Lil' Rev's performance Scraps of Quilting Music at the Woodson Art Museum was entertaining, educational, and inspirational. His stories and songs of quilts were a wonderful addition to our exhibition of contemporary quilts. Everyone in attendance left with a greater appreciation of the quilting tradition and a smile on their face."Andy McGivernCurator of ExhibitionsLeigh Yawkey Woodson Art MuseumWausau, WI
Sample Set List:
1) The Quilters Shanty (a song to get everyone singing like a ship of working sailors)
2) Love Is a Quilt (Si Kahn)
3) Use It Up Wear it Out
4) Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party (a classic)
5) This Old Quilt
6) Quilting Lore (jokes & funny sayings)
7) Home on The Range (harmonica) followed by a Poem titled: The Freedom Quilting Bee
8) Grandma’s Patchwork Quilt (written by Larry Penn)
9) The Colors of My Quilt
10) Banjos & Quilts (You Are my Sunshine…)
11) Johnny Comes Marching Home (harmonica) The Soldier’s Quilt (poem)
12) The Red River Bee
13) Needle N Thread (The Quilter’s Square Dance Tune)
14) How Not To Make A Prize Winning Quilt (funny list)
15) The Farewell Song (for Quilters)
Lil' Rev with the North Shore Quilter's Guild
Working with her church, Zelpha donates the majority of her quilts to charitable organizations. Friends and community regularly donate money to support Zelpha's handiwork.
Sample some of the songs from the program:
Colors of My Quilt
Needle N Thread
Freedom Quilting Bee
A PoemThis Old QuiltSoldiers Quilt