Get Adobe Flash player

Join the Young Stracke All-Stars Recording Session!

Let us Greet notecard

In celebration of the band’s 10th Anniversary we’re recording the song Keep on the Sunny Side. We’re inviting all of our musical friends to join us on the recording.

Keep on the Sunny Side Recording Session
Sunday, February 25
Szold Hall at OTS, 4545 N. Lincoln Ave.
  • If you learn to play it, bring your instrument! If can’t quite play it yet, we hope that you’ll bring your instrument anyway and add your voice to the recording.  Links to the lyrics, chords and standard notation are included.  
  • Singers are very welcome and encouraged! We want everyone we know on the recording!
  • Visit for a video of us performing the song at The Grove Festival in October of 2018.


Keep on the Sunny Side lyrics and chords

Keep on the Sunny Side – notation

Listen to the first verse and chorus

Listen to the melody of the chorus

Don’t hesitate to write to Jason, the director of the group, if you have any questions.  You can reach him at

“It will help us every day.  It will brighten all our ways, if we keep on the sunny side of life.”

“Take advantage of opportunities give to you.” – Discussion with Paul Natkin

Photo by Paul Natkin

Photo by Paul Natkin

“I wrote a little two line note to Keith Richard’s manager . . . ”

That is the way that Paul Natkin describes eventually becoming the tour photographer for the Rolling Stones.

There is an exhibit of some of Paul’s work up at the Old Town School of Folk Music this spring, and Mr. Natkin graciously sat down with the Young Stracke All-Stars to discuss getting into photography, his love of music and a life spent taking photos of his music heros.

A few take-away thoughts from the discussion are:

  • “Take advantage of any opportunity given to you.”
  • Create your own opportunities by reaching out to people.  “Out of a hundred asks, I get 90 rejections.  But those 10 times people say yes, those are really great.”
  • “Keep your promises.”
  • Choose a career doing what you love.

Thank you so much, Mr. Natkin!  You left us feeling very inspired!

20170603_153130 (1)IMG_3579 IMG_3590 IMG_5996


The Lake Travis Fiddlers

Two days ago, we played with Lake Travis Fiddlers (who were pretty awesome) at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Armitage. They rode a bus all the way from Austin, Texas, and we are glad they did, because they were really great. The whole occasion was amazing and I’m very glad I was able to be there!

The gig was really fun and very enjoyable. We played Clap Your Hands/The Happy Farmer, The Koputus Polka, Ambilkan Bulan Bu, “The Party Song”/Kemo Kimo, and I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas. After that they played a couple of theirs, including their version of Old Joe Clark which was completely awesome. After that, we all played some Old Joe Clark together, and if I can say so myself, that was also pretty awesome. Afterwards there was a lot of hanging around and jamming together. Before we parted they gave us copies of their album and we gave them copies of ours (which by the way, if you haven’t got one and are interested in getting one click on “Music” at the top of the page and check it out, and feel free to get one). I’m very glad I was there, everything about it was great!!!

We don’t have any gigs for a couple weeks, but we hope to see you at our next one, whenever that may be (check our page whenever possible, or follow us to keep updated on that sort of stuff). Enjoy your winter break, and don’t forget to play or listen to some music whenever you get the chance! Happy Holidays!!! :~D

-Nolan :~D

A Note of Thanks and a Free Recording

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since the band and so many friends and family gathered in Szold Hall of the Old Town School of Folk Music to record Simple Gifts. It was a beautiful morning and we remain so thankful for everyone that supported this band this year.

To celebrate the completion of 2015 we are offering our recording of the song Simple Gifts as a free download. We give it to you and hope that you learn to sing the song and then pass it along to others.

Our complete album, It was a Dream, is only available in physical copies. The album contains artwork from a songbook published by Win Stracke and essays from Bob Riesman and Jason McInnes, and a remembrance of Win Stracke by her friend Ella Jenkins. Contact Jason at to receive your copy.

Please listen to our song and share it with those you love. Please sing, dance, take long walks and enjoy your time with loved ones this holiday season. We hope to make some music with you very soon.

The Young Stracke All-Stars

Aloha Center Fun!

Recently, the Stracke’s had the chance to go to an ukulele workshop with the famous Lanialoha. We had the chance to work out our uke muscles, and learn techniques on improvising, meaning we all had a chance to solo! We learned the song, “Drop Baby Drop,” a Jawaiian song; Jamaican and Hawaiian mixed. The Aloha Center was such a cool, and creative space!

Check out the Aloha Center and join the Uke Nation!
Mahalo Lani for the amazing experience!



Thinking About the Album, Feeling Grateful

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 8.53.56 PMHi everyone! It’s Zelda, and this is my first post on the blog,I hope you like it!

Anyway, I listened to the album at home for the first time tonight. We listened to it as a group and after we recorded each song, but this was the first time I had a chance to think about each song and the memories that came with it. For example, The Happy Farmer (my favorite song on the album!) reminds me of marching around our practice room, led by Quin and her fiddle.

Listening to each different song makes me feel grateful, too. Kopotus Polka makes me feel grateful for our wonderful guest fiddlers like Maria, Olivia, and Keelee. It Was a Dream makes me feel grateful for role models like Mark Dvorak. Listening to the album at all makes me feel grateful for John Abbey and Kingsize Studios!

When my CD player came to the last song on the album, Simple Gifts, I immediately felt so lucky to be a part of this community. Every single person who has graced the halls of any of the three OTSFM buildings is an inspiration, role model, and incredibly talented musician.

I have never been part of such a kind, funny, talented, and loving community than this. I’ve met my best friends through Strackes, and one of my most inspiring teachers, Jason.

So, in closing, I’m very glad that I listened to to the album tonight. It makes me glad that I’m friends with Xochil, Simon, Quin, Nicole, Kelsi, Kendra, Uma, Nathaniel, Nolan and Jason. On stage we try to stay focused, but behind the scenes we’re all selfies, giggles, and inside jokes. Most of all, though, I feel lucky to be able to play music and learn from all of you. Thank you for supporting us along the way. We love you.


“‘Tis a gift to be loving, ’tis the best gift of all, like a warm spring rain brings beauty when it falls. When we use this gift, we may come to believe, it is better to give than it is to receive”

Simple Gifts


-Zelda <3 :)



What’s New In Our Repertoire?

Last Sunday at Stracke band practice, we worked on a new song we are hoping to add to the Stracke repertoire of songs! Well, who remembers Ramiro who played the seashells, drums, and other unique collection of instruments? Yep, we are hoping to play one of his songs at our upcoming gig, the Album Release Party. (Yay!) The song is called, “Four Houses.” Another song that the Stracke’s are prepping to play soon is called, “Ambilkan Bulan Bu,” brought to the band by Simon and his mom! Anyway, the band is really looking forward to playing these songs! We hope you can come to our next gig to hear the sounds of our album and more!!!

Pete Seeger’s Birthday

Today I went to a Correintes concert (which was really good) and they played “This Land Is Your Land” in Spanish and English. That got me thinking about Pete Seeger since it was a song he contributed a bunch to, and I realized (thanks to my dad) it was his birthday today!  At most of the “Young Stracke All-Stars” gigs we play a version of “Old Joe Clark” by Pete called “Clap Your Hands” (which is our album coming out June 7th).

2014-01-28-PeteSeegerPete Seeger was a marvelous musician, a stupendous songwriter, a superb singer, an ecstatic environmentalist, and much more. He was born in Patterson, New York. Pete Seeger became one of the “Almanac Singers” and met Woody Guthrie (the person who wrote “This Land Is Your Land”), another great musician. He invented the long-neck banjo. He has made many contributions to folk music. Pete Seeger has highly influenced folk music, and I hope everyone can can celebrate him and his birthday today!