Friends and family of Idaho folksinger Rosalie Sorrels are raising money for a tribute album to honor her work as a musician.
“This album will be a tribute to her and her long career in folk music,” says Rick Ardinger, the Director of the Idaho Humanities Council and friend of Sorrels.
Sorrels spent more than six decades keeping folk music alive. Ardinger says he first saw her perform in the 1970s when he was a student at Idaho State University and she played in a coffeehouse.
“Rosalie spent her life traveling, crisscrossing this country with five children in tow,” Ardinger says. Her kids had an interesting childhood, “while she played in coffeehouses and concert halls all over the country.”
The two became friends later when he moved near Sorrels’ Grimes Creek cabin off Highway 21. She still spends her summers there.
Ardinger says Sorrels has more than 20 albums to her credit, but at 82, is no longer able to perform. Her friends are producing a three-CD album of her songs to celebrate her career. The goal is to raise $25,000 to produce the album and host a tribute concert. Musicians like Loudon Wainwright III, Nanci Griffith and Peter Rowan will perform around 40 of Sorrels’ songs on the CD.
“She’s really going to enjoy this album,” says Ardinger. Friends have set up an IndieGoGo campaign to raise enough to do the studio recordings, produce the CD’s and put together the concert. Ardinger says after the costs are paid for, any extra money will go toward Sorrels’ health care costs.
Ardinger says she’s got a lot of friends.
“She was asked throughout her long career to do so many fundraisers for so many different causes. She was always there for everyone else. So this is an opportunity for people to help her out now.”
He calls her Idaho’s iconic musician. “When you think folk music in Idaho, Rosalie Sorrels is the person you think of.”
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