The founding members of Newton Family Singers were inspired by the Arlington based Family Folk Chorale, led by Chris Eastburn (who has been kind enough to continue to share musical and organizational advice with us).
I was inspired to join our group because I had a bug in my brain after reading this New York Times article on collective folk singing (using Rise Up Singing). It's not what we do in our official sessions, but the article describes how we want to run our sing-alongs.
WFCR Public Radio in Amherst had an interview late last year with Annie Patterson and Peter Blood (authors of Rise Up) about the origins of their book and folksinging in general. It's an audio piece of just over 6 minutes.