Adults at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts looking for a good laugh — but nothing that’ll make you cover your child’s ears — will enjoy satirical folk singer Deirdre Flint’s work, which she describes as “PG, not R.”
Flint, an elementary school teacher, started writing educational songs so her students could remember things like multiplication facts or history.
“ That led me to writing music for adults, so I kind of got into it accidentally,” she said. “After teaching for a few years, I knew I really wanted to give this folk singing a try, so I moved to Korea for a year and a half and taught college English there, and I saved up enough money to make my first CD, which was called ‘The Shuffleboard Queens.’ ”
Another album, “Then Again,” came not long after, and Flint found her most popular song to be a good-natured take on the sometimes-disappointing aftereffects of puberty, “The Boob Fairy.”
She caught the attention of an all-female band, The Four Bitchin’ Babes, which she still performs with today.
“That band has been in existence for 27 years,” Flint said. “I’ve been in it I think about 10 years, maybe longer. We also sing a kind of comedic, acoustic music and we go around the country doing that. ... It’s four women and we get along really well. ... A band is only as much fun as the people in the band.”
While Flint has performed with The Four Bitchin’ Babes at Arts Fest in the past, she’s also performed many times as a solo artist.
“She appeals to a well-educated audience, and that’s what we have here in State College,” said Rick Bryant, the executive director of Arts Fest. “She’s a delightful woman ... and without fail, she draws a great crowd to the Allen Street stage.”
Flint seems to love the Allen Street stage as much as it loves her.
“(It’s) a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s a great mixed crowd. I’ve been honored to be asked back several times, and it’s certainly one of my favorite shows. I don’t do too many solo shows anymore (I’m more with the band), so it’s great to be able to pull out a full hour set.”
Fans can expect to hear many songs that are exclusive to Flint’s solo shows, and some that aren’t even officially recorded.
“In the band, I pretty much play the same songs, and so I’ve got tons of other songs, and I’ve never made a third CD, so the only people who ever hear these songs are at my solo shows,” Flint said. “I also get to update stuff. For instance I have this song called ‘15 Minutes of Fame,’ where I sing the first three lines, and then the audience has to shout who the person I’m singing about is. So this week I’m updating that with people in the news, though I stay away from politics.”
Nowadays, Flint still fills in as a substitute teacher in Philadelphia when she’s not busy performing, and she’s been working on some parody songs that directly apply to her experiences as an educator.
“I’m writing songs more for teachers, on the piano — like parody songs — about teaching,” she said. “Like instead of ’50 Ways to Lose Your Lover’, it’s ‘50 Ways to Lose Your Tenure’.”
Whatever she pulls out of her metaphorical musical and comedic bag of tricks on Saturday, she guarantees a good time.
“I like to be an entertainer who just basically gives the opportunity for laughter, in an uplifting way,” Flint said.
IF YOU GO
- What: Deirdre Flint
- When: 11:30 a.m. Saturday
- Where: Allen Street stage, downtown State College
- Info: http://www.arts-festival.com