Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Dustbowl Revival

Returning from a performance at last years Wintergrass, The Dustbowl Revival will be performing only one set on Saturday night of the festival. The+Dustbowl+Revival+With+A+Lampshade+On+2015

 

With A Lampshade On, the Dustbowl Revival’s fourth album, finally shines a light on the band’s strength as a live act. They formed in L.A.’s bohemian enclave of Venice Beach in late 2007, the result of a hopeful Craigslist ad posted by bandleader Zach Lupetin, a Midwestern transplant who hoped to join together players in the string band and brass band traditions. Since then, one thing has become clear as the group grows more confident in their abilities: Dustbowl does its best work onstage. They’ve played dive bars, saloons and theaters, front porches and festivals. To watch them onstage is to take part in an evolving conversation between an orchestra and audience. The horns blast, the fiddle and mandolin swoon, and the howling vocals — which Lupetin shares with Liz Beebe — rattle off stories about preachers, drinkers, lovers, and holy rollers. The crowd is encouraged to participate, of course…and the crowd often does during With A Lampshade On, whether it’s singing along during the call-and-response verses of 1930s drinking song “Whiskey in the Well” or shouting their approval during Beebe’s bawdy, ballsy original “Doubling Down on You.”

A good chunk of this album was indeed recorded live, with many songs taken from a pair of electric concerts at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and the Troubadour in Los Angeles. The point wasn’t to release a live album, though. It was to capture a group of road warriors in their element, playing not to an audience, but with an audience. Noted L.A. live sound expert Alex Chaloff rigged up to twenty microphones to capture the group from every angle, and the sound is remarkably clean and warm. The album tracks that weren’t curated from those two shows were recorded during live studio sessions in New York, with everyone in the band playing at once. It’s raw, close and sweaty, and you can hear every breath.

 

“It’s just us in a room, stripped down to the essentials and rocking out,” says Lupetin. “We wanted to make an album that unleashed that original joy of American roots music, which is a uniquely high-energy, joyful thing that jazz and folk music have both created.”

With A Lampshade On makes itself at home right at the crossroads of American jazz and folk traditions. Over the last few years, the band has steadily gained recognition while playing festivals and venues across North America and Europe, notably with Lake Street Dive, Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Their video for their new single, “Never Had To Go,” was was shot with a new friend of the band: the legendary actor Dick Van Dyke. While their previous studio albums had more of an old-time feel, this new album has a more funky, soulful, let-loose flavor.

Years ago, the Dustbowl Revival witnessed the Preservation Hall Jazz Band merging with Del McCoury’s seasoned bluegrass troupe from Nashville in a series of concerts. It was like a flashbulb going off. That’s the secret ingredient in the Dustbowl Revival’s sound: the bridge connecting two American genres that grew out of places more similar and entwined than people realize, but have grown apart during the century or so since they first became popular. Preservation Hall and the Grand Ole Opry rarely get mentioned in the same sentence.With A Lampshade On reunites these estranged folk traditions with songs that rely as heavily on bluegrass trombone breaks and jazz mandolin runs as funk fiddle solos and gospel sing-alongs.

That unique middle ground — the place where jazz, folk, gospel and blues all intersect — is where With A Lampshade On shines brightest. With this album, the Dustbowl Revival isn’t just paying tribute to the sounds of decades long sine past. Rather, the band is participating in the evolution of American roots music, tipping a hat to what’s come before while looking ahead to what’s on the horizon.

Guitar/ Vocals  Z. Lupetin,  Vocals/Washboard/Ukulele  Liz Beebe, Mandolin  Daniel Mark, Fiddle  Connor Vance , Trumpet  Matt Rubin ,Trombone  Ulf Bjorlin ,Bass  James Klopfleisch ,Drums  Joshlyn Heffernan

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Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Väsen

Olov Johansson and Mikael Marin started playing together as teenagers around 1980. During the early 1980’s they would regularly visit Curt and Ivar Tallroth and Eric Sahlström, older musicians who lived nearby in the Uppland region, where they would play and learn traditional music from them. In this way they became a link in the living tradition that Swedish folk music has enjoyed through the centuries.

In 1989, at a music gathering in Røros, Norway, Olov met Roger Tallroth and asked if he would like to try to jam on nyckelharpa and guitar for a bit. Roger declined, intent at that moment on taking a shower. Fortunately, the shower was occupied, so Roger returned with his guitar, and they played for the rest of the day and far into the night. Among the witnesses to this fateful jam session was Olle Paulsson, who thought it was the best music he had ever heard, and made a promise to start a record label if they were willing to be recorded for a CD (and thus Drone Music was born).

The following summer Olov became World Champion of both the modern chromatic and older historical nyckelharpas at the first-ever Nyckelharpa World Championships at Österbybruk, Sweden. The added momentum for the first CD recording, which was entitled “Olov Johansson: Väsen.” Väsen is a Swedish word with many meanings: spirit, noise, a living being, essence among the most prominent. It was originally meant to just be an album title, but soon people were calling to book the band “Väsen” and the name stuck.

Initially some traditionalists (or something else, it wasn’t many at all) in the Swedish folkmusic community showed some resistance to Väsen. While Olov and Mikael were playing fairly straightforward folkmusic duets, Roger’s guitar definitely provided a different twist on Swedish traditional music. Yet it’s exactly the guitar chordings and rhythms that also attracted an entirely new audience, and the band’s popularity gradually grew, along with their international reputation.

In 1994, with two more studio albums under their belt (“Vilda Väsen” on Drone and “Essence” on the French Auvidis/Ethnic label), Väsen were asked to participate on a project of Swedish rock musician Mats Wester called “Nordman,” which featured rock music and lyrics but with arrangements and playing by Väsen. The first Nordman CD was a huge hit in Sweden, and the band embarks on two tours and records a second Nordman CD, playing in front of audiences of up to 25,000 people. On the first Nordman tour they meet drummer André Ferrari and eventually experiment with a drums-and-bass version of Väsen. Ultimately, they settle on André playing hand percussion, and the band officially becomes a quartet in 1996.

In 1997 the quartet goes into the studio and records “Varldens Väsen” (“Whirled” in North America). Tours of Norway, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the United States and Canada follow, as does a Swedish Grammy and two appearances on the national radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” in the U.S. In 1999 the band releases their sixth CD, “Gront.”

Meanwhile the members of the band were getting older, having babies and facing the challenges of being a musician in the modern age. A widespread U.S. tour in September 2001 had to be scrapped after 9/11. Although the tour was rescheduled for 2002, André’s reluctance to tour and economics forced the band to decide to come over as the original trio. The success and pleasure of playing a new set of trio material culminated in new recordings.

Olov Johansson – nyckelharpa

In 1990, Olov became the first world champion of the nyckelharpa. He began to play the nyckelharpa in 1980 as a fourteen-year old, and was named a ‘riksspelman’ (master musician) in 1984. Olov has studied with the legendary Curt Tallroth and Erik Sahlström. He is regarded as one of Sweden’s most prominent nyckelharpa players, and is an inspiration for numerous young performers on the instrument. He is teaching regularly at the Eric Sahlström Institutet.

Apart from his association with Väsen, Olov has also played with groups such as Kronos Quartet, the Nyckelharpa Orchestra, as well as solo performances. He has also recorded and toured with the chart-topping Swedish rock group Nordman, and has played on the albums Early Music (with Kronos Quartet) and his solo project, Storsvarten (released on NorthSide).
See also: www.olovjohansson.se

Mikael Marin – viola

Mikael is a violist who isn’t satisfied with merely playing “second fiddle.” His influences are literally unlimited in their scope, and oscillate between Schöenberg and the Beatles. He became a national fiddler in 1983, and was chosen to play in a world orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein in 1989.

When not performing with Väsen, he composes, produces, and arranges music for artists such as Mikael Samuelsson, Nordman, and Kronos Quartet. He composed (together with Mats Wester) the opening music to the World Police and Fire Games in Stockholm, 1999.

Mikael can be heard on several recordings, for example Nordman (with Nordman), Barfota (with Mikael Samuelsson), Ånon (with Ånon Egeland, released on NorthSide), and Flow my Tears (with The Forge Players).
See also: www.myspace.com/mikaelmarin

Roger Tallroth – 12-string guitar

With his specially tuned guitar (A-D-A-D-A-D), Roger has developed a distinctive sound of his own. In addition to the guitar, he plays the Swedish bouzoki and octave mandolin. Roger received his first guitar when he was thirteen. Since then, he has studied at Sjövik Folkhögskola and Örebro. He has about 50 followers throughout the world using his tuning, a number still growing. He has given numerous seminars around Europe and the US. Roger has performed together with Nordman, Annbjørg Lien, and the Gunnel Mauritzson Group, among other artists, and has also participated in several stage and theater productions.

Roger’s discography includes Nordman (with Nordman), Felefeber, Prisme, Baba Yaga, and Aliens Alive (with Annbjørg Lien), Siluette and Raisu Äut (with the Gunnel Mauritzson Group), The Horse and the Crane by Ale Möller (on NorthSide) and Kat Kombat (Kombat). He also produced the self-titled début album of the group Draupner (on Caprice).
See also: www.myspace.com/rogertallroth

André Ferrari – percussion

André is a creative percussionist who plays an ever-changing array of percussion depending on the occasion. For example, he uses an extremely low-tuned pandeiro as a black grouse pipe. He began to play percussion at the age of nine, and has studied with Olle Landzell. In addition, André is an excellent bass player. He attended Berklee College of Music in the US, and the Royal College of Music, in Stockholm.

André has appeared alongside a long list of the greatest Swedish artists, such as Eva Dahlgren, Anders Glenmark, Tommy Körberg, Jonas Gardell, and many others. When not touring with Väsen, he teaches at Fryshuset in Stockholm, as part of the program for rock musicians. André’s drums can be heard on, among other recordings, Stenmannen (with Eva Dahlgren), Livs levande (with Tommy Körberg), and Ögonblick (with Åsa Schmalenbach).
See also: www.myspace.com/ferrariandre

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Stumptown Swing

Tim Connell (mandolin and voice) and Mike Burdette (guitar) of Rio Con Brio formed Stumptown Swing after nearly a decade of playing pick-up gigs with Portland’s best acoustic string musicians.  They snapped up the hottest upright bass player in town, Keith Brush (Stolen Sweets, Pete Krebs Trio, Blue Cranes) and are proud to feature their long-time friend and collaborator, the absolutely pyrotechnic violinist, Ben Blechman.

Named after their hometown, Portland “Stumptown” Oregon, the quartet is closely associated with the network of Lindy Hop, Balboa and Swing Dance clubs that have made Portland a major center of the Swing Dance revival.  They are in demand as a live band for the almost nightly swing dance events throughout Portland.  In addition to Stumptown’s thumping dance-oriented set, the group frequently performs a concert set featuring a wider variety of tempos and styles, appearing at both jazz and world music festivals.

Stumptown Swing released its debut album in 2014 and has been performing on concert stages and dancehalls throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Tim Connell

A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and a virtuoso mandolinist with over twenty years professional performing experience, Tim Connell has created a sophisticated and original global mandolin style.  Widely regarded as one of the top North American interpreters of Brazilian choro, Tim has also developed his own unique voice for the instrument, described in a recent Mandolin Magazine cover story as “fiery and energetic, soulful and evocative.”

Tim regularly tours Europe and North America in the international mandolin supergroup The Ger Mandolin Orchestra. He has been a featured guest artist at national conventions of the Classical Mandolin Society of America; he has been on staff at the prestigious Mandolin Symposium for several years and performs and teaches all over the country.  Tim has performed with a roster of the greatest living mandolinists, including David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Avi Avital, Caterina Lichtenberg, Don Stiernberg, Rich Del Grosso, Chris Acquvella and many others.

Tim is a restless and prolific bandleader and arranger, sideman and studio musician, currently touring with his Brazilian choro duo Rio Con Brio, 1930’s-era swing quartet Stumptown Swing, world mandolin duo Mando Planet and guitar wizard Eric Skye. In addition, Tim is an integral member of Americana songsters The Old Yellers, currently riding high on their new release “Ten from Town”. In his solo act, Tim shares his career-long exploration of the world’s many musical styles as realized on the mandolin and voice.

Mike Burdette

Mike Burdette has been performing Brazilian choro and gypsy jazz guitar for the past seven years with many of Portland’s best, including Tim Connell, Jason Okamoto, David Stassens, and Joseph Appel. His pursuit of excellence in these styles has led him to study with many of today’s leading players, including Mike Marshall and Choro Famoso, Dudu Maia, Douglas Lora, and Don Stiernberg. He also builds and repairs instruments for many of Portland’s finest players at Portland Fretworks, and pickers throughout the Northwest enjoy playing on frets he has installed. He lives in rural Newberg, Oregon, with his beautiful wife, Katherine, his chickens, and his honeybees.

Ben Blechman

Ben Blechman with a fiddle in his hands is a man on fire.  Possessed of flawless classical technique and an endless imagination, Ben is a master of improvisation and groove.

He has played with the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra with Roy Hargrove and Terrence Blanchard, and various other symphonies, string quartets and opera companies. Ben played extensively with the Hot Club of San Francisco (filling in for Evan Price).   Since that time, Ben has played with various bands including, Frizz, Hot Club Pacific, Route5, Water Bear, the Djangophiles, Clambake, Vagabond Opera, and the 12th Ave Hot Club.

Keith Brush

Everyone’s favorite bassist….
A veteran of venerable Portland bands such as Pete Krebs and the Portland Playboys, the Blue Cranes, and the Stolen Sweets, Keith Brush is in constant demand as one of Portland’s top bassists, and Stumptown Swing is thrilled to have their long-time friend and collaborator on board.  Swing dancers are known to high-five each other when they see him enter the room with his bass because they know he will keep the dance floor thumping.

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The DownTown Mountain Boys

The DownTown Mountain Boys based in Seattle, Washington, is the Pacific Northwest’s most exciting and accomplished bluegrass band. Veteran bluegrassers and recording artists Terry Enyeart (bass, lead and harmony vocals), Dave Keenan (banjo, fiddle, lead and harmony vocals), Don Share (guitar, lead and harmony vocals), Tom Moran (Mandolin) and Paul Elliott (fiddle), seen for years in such popular Northwest bands as Ranch Romance, Rural Delivery, Rainy Pass, and Who’s Driving?, have come together in a match made in musical heaven. Take three-part harmonies that send shivers up your spine, add dazzling instrumental firepower, and you have the sound of The DownTown Mountain Boys.

Paul’s fiddle playing has the kind of explosive energy that grabs you and doesn’t let go. One of the most versatile, accomplished, and respected fiddle players on the West coast, he has performed with The Good Old Persons, John Reischman, Michelle Shocked, Alison Brown, Buell Neidlinger, and others. His recording credits span film, television, and radio, and a long list of recordings including Scott Nygaard’s No Hurry on the Rounder label. Paul is also a talented composer and arranger (he wrote the title track of both of the band’s recordings) and a gifted music teacher.  Finally, Paul is a gifted sound engineer and music producer.  In addition to many other projects, he recorded and mixed The DownTown Mountain Boys two recordings: Big Darlin’ (2007) and Heartland (2014

Don is a bluegrass groove-master, and his exquisite and powerful sense of rhythm helps define the band’s sound. He is an accomplished lead singer and a harmony singing ace. Don was a founding member of the popular bluegrass bands Who’s Driving?, and Rainy Pass, and also currently performs with the folk and country band, The Debutones. Don has taught harmony singing and guitar, and a

ppears on an instructional harmony singing series with Sue Thompson and Keith Little.

Hard-driving banjo and sweet lead and harmony vocals make Dave an ear-catching

part of the band’s sound. He has been exciting and delighting audiences for years as a member of popular touring bands Ranch Romanc

e, Jo Miller and Her Burly Roughnecks, and M

iles and Karina Dave’s incredible versatility as an i

nstrumentalist also allows the band to feature twin fiddles in its repertoire.  Dave is a gifted songwriter (he wrote two of the tracks on our first recording) and popular music instructor.  He also serves as the band’s ha

ir styling consultant and occasional hair donor.

Terry is a vocal virtuoso and a highly acclaimed bluegrass and country singer. His powerful, soulful voice is the centerpiece of The DownTown Mountain Boys. When Terry sings, people listen! Terry has perfo

rmed in numerous Northwest bands, including Rural Delivery, and Brother’s Keeper.  In addition to playing bass, Terry is an accomplished mandolinist and guitarist, and he has taught music (guitar, mandolin, bass, and voice) for many years. Terry has just released a collection of songs from his long musical career entitled “MyLife Compilated”.

DMB, 2009, High Resolution

Sweet tremolo on a ballad, soulful Monroe-style blues licks, or a lightening-fast instrumental– Tom’s playing keeps you on the edge of your seat. Tom has that rare gift of being innovative without ever losing touch with his pure bluegrass roots. He is author of Mandolin Magazine’s  bluegrass column and a key force in the revival of the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra. Tom also teaches a bluegrass class at Shoreline Community College in Seattle. A librarian by profession, Tom insists on filing our set lists according to the Dewey decimal system.

 

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Seldom Scene

The Seldom Scene will be performing at Wintergrass 2016 with a new member. Rickie Simpkins. Here is the info on founding member Ben Eldridge’s retirement from the band.

 

Ben Eldridge Retires From The Seldom Scene, Rickie Simpkins Joins The Band

The Seldom Scene announces that founding member Ben Eldridge has retired after nearly 45 years with the Grammy-nominated band. Eldridge is the last original member of the popular bluegrass quintet, but the band will continue to perform, with Rickie Simpkins on banjo and fiddle.

“It was a very hard decision to make, but I’ve been wanting to stop for a while,” Eldridge said. “I’m 77, I don’t like traveling much anymore and I’m not playing that well. My left hand is going south on me.”

He shared his decision with band mates Lou Reid, Dudley Connell, Fred Travers and Ronnie Simpkins – Rickie’s brother – at a recent show in Virginia, where he visited with the band but didn’t play. His final performance was New Year’s Eve at the Birchmere Music Hall in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, joining the band on stage at the end of night.

The Seldom Scene started performing gigs in 1971, after playing together at informal jam sessions in Eldridge’s basement. The band quickly became a local favorite, then developed a national following for bringing the drive of bluegrass to music from outside the genre, including folk and rock and roll.

Eldridge and other members of the original Seldom Scene lineup are members of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame.

“It’s the end of an era,” Travers said. “We’ll miss Ben immensely.”

Added Reid, “It’s really hard for all of us. Ben has been one of my idols since before I joined the Scene. We all love Ben Eldridge.”

Connell has always admired Eldridge’s playing, but gained new respect for him during his absence from the stage in recent months. “I’ve watched great banjo players struggle as they tried to capture what I now consider to be Ben’s genius,” he said. “I mentioned this to Ben last week, and he told me he just played what came naturally to him. That’s the magic and pure genius of Ben’s playing. To him, it was easy.”

Turnover is rare for the Scene. The last personnel change came when co-founder John Duffey died in 1996, and Reid rejoined the band for his second stint. Travers, Connell and Ronnie Simpkins all joined the band on the same day in late 1995 and made their debut on New Year’s Eve that year at the Birchmere. In what is perhaps a fitting bit of irony, their 20th anniversary of joining was Eldridge’s last official show.

To a man, Eldridge and the four remaining members are excited to have Rickie Simpkins join them. But no one is more excited than Ronnie Simpkins, who last played regularly with his brother when they were part of the Tony Rice Unit.

“It’s really difficult for all of us to see Ben leave the Scene,” he said. “Not only is he one of the most innovative banjo players on the planet, he’s been the heart and soul of the band. While I’m really sad to see Ben go, I’m very excited to share the stage again with my brother. Whatever he comes up with, it’s going to be magical.”

In addition to Tony Rice, Rickie Simpkins regularly toured with Emmylou Harris. With both of those bands off the road, he’s looking forward to getting back to playing regularly.

“I’m just honored and thrilled and beside myself,” he said. “I’ve been putting a lot of time in trying to get these songs in my head.”

Fans who hear the new iteration of the band are in for some surprises. The Scene has never had a regular fiddle player and now it is getting one of the best in the business. But he’s also accomplished on the banjo and can sing lead, baritone and tenor.

“All of us in the band are truly excited to have Rickie on board,” Travers said. “It adds a whole new dimension.”

And while the remaining members are understandably saddened by Eldridge’s decision, they get to say goodbye this time without having to attend a funeral, as was the case when Duffey died unexpectedly 19 years ago.

“This is fun because we get to say thank you and tell Ben we love him to his face,” Travers said.

And this goodbye isn’t necessarily forever. Eldridge said he’s likely to turn up now and again for special reunion shows, joining founding members John Starling and Tom Gray and current members of the Scene.

Credit:  David Morris

http://www.seldomscene.com

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Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Petunia and The Vipers

 

Petunia & The Vipers thrive on the challenge of adding Latin rhythms to a country blues tune, or gypsy flavouring to a rockabilly standard. Petunia defies convention and yet there is some conservancy to his music. His honest, cut to the heart songwriting and multi-syllabic narratives would leave a lesser singer tongue-tied and breathless. I know, I’ve tried it. One of the many themes running through Petunia’s lyrics relates to living life on one’s own terms – fearlessly and without regret.

 

Petunia – ACOUSTIC guitar, VOCALS, sometimes Yodeler, occasional Trumpeter.

Spending the early part of his career playing on every major street corner, subway station and park bench in Canada (and NY city), picking, grinning and singing for his living, Petunia has been a regular on the Canadian touring circuit for many years now…he has a unique, surreal style all of his own…his live performances have been likened to an Avant-Country night club scene from a David Lynch movie.

Growing up in rural Ste.-Dorothee, Laval, (Quebec) seems like an obvious connection for a sometimes country blue yodeler. Picture shady creeks with fallen tree bridges, and secret hiding spots. Part wanderer, part musician he’s been on the road for full years at a stretch at times…sometimes propelled by nothing more than his outstretched thumb alongside of the trans-canada highway. Maybe you’ve passed him by yourself? He has laid his hat and made his home in many, many spots along the way as befits a wandering troubadour…his traveling libido has led him to secure bands of musicians spanning across three continents. He has played with literally hundreds, and maybe thousands of musicians (personal highlights from recent west coast tours include Phil Alvin, Exene Cervenka, Wanda Jackson). Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby. A hillbilly baby that yodeled…or Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s hobo junction.

Petunia’s music grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. His singing ranges from the most delicate you’ve ever heard to the most powerful, often within a single song. With a piercing gaze, he will look into the collective soul of the audience, and launch into some high and lonesome vocals that conjure up the ghost of Jimmie Rodgers. Not content with mesmerizing the crowd, his tapping boot will propel the band into a snarling fire and brimstone rave-up as a wave of frantic jitterbuggers compete for space on the hardwood dance floor…hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show. Though he has a huge repertoire of music to draw from, fans continue to cry out for the Petunia originals. He is a Canadian treasure that will soon join the pantheon of legendary performers from north of the 49th.

Members of The Vipers:Petunia

Stephen Nikleva – Electric GUITAR. Stephen Nikleva is a musician’s musician who’s lifted any band he’s been involved to the next musical level with his superb playing and arranging. Stephen has graced an eclectic mix of bands from the hardcore hillbilly rockabilly of Ray Condo to the real deal Romanian Gypsy music of Vancouver’s Lache Cercel, to pop folk star Sarah Mclachlan.
Teaming up with Petunia gains Stephen the opportunity to blend all these styles into Petunia’s unique blend of traditional and original music. Stephen and Jimmy were well described in the Vancouver Western Swing newsletter as the ‘Twin guitar heart of the late Ray Condo’s band’ and are carrying that spirit on with Petunia and the Vipers.

Jimmy Roy – a veteran LAPSTEEL GUITAR player, with years of playing professionally behind him. Formerly with Ray Condo & The Ricochets, he then put in years of touring and recording with Big Sandy. Prior to all that he led the much-loved Jimmy Roy’s 5 Star Hillbillies, which had a heavy influence on the European rockabilly and country scenes in the late 1980s, particularly with respect to a revival of interest in the steel guitar. With a unique and beautiful voice on the lap steel, his playing, instantly recognizable, is admired around the world. Ray Condo used to refer to JR as ‘the scholar of the hillbilly sound’, referring to JR’s lifelong interest in country, rockabilly and western swing music. He goes far enough back that he would spend his allowance buying 78s of Johnny Horton.

Marc L’Esperance – DRUMS & backing HARMONY VOCALS. From Jazz to Rockabilly to Folk to Blues, he’s the fella with the groovy sticks and brushes that makes this band really swing. His Great Grandfather was a fiddling champion back in New Brunswick, and Marc’s been known to bring out the violin now and then himself. His playing began with a Hohner harmonica at age 5, teaching himself old-time classics like Turkey In The Straw and Oh Susannah. Marc is well known for producing and engineering, and is proud of his award winning work in the recording studio with Ray Condo, Nomeansno, The Twisters, Veda Hille, Paul Pigat, Linda McRae, Headwater and many others.

Patrick Metzger – Upright BASS. Patrick is an outstanding musician who tours and records with several groups, most notably the popular Vancouver bands Headwater and The Leah Abramson Singers. He brings a solid swinging sound to his playing that instantly propels people onto the dance floor.

Sam Shoichet – Upright BASS. Sam is the consummate professional who is at home with many styles of music, and indeed, thrives on diversity. From Romanian swing to rockabilly, blues, jazz and Afro-beat, Sam can be found gigging around Vancouver most of the week, and occasionally on tour with The Vipers. Sam can be heard on most of the tracks of the new Petunia & The Vipers self-titled album.

James Lillico – Upright BASS. Young James has made quite a name for himself in just a short few years of playing around Vancouver. He grew up in a family steeped in musical tradition with bluegrass and old time country music infused in his blood. Bass player of choice with numerous outfits in town, he had his bass signed in appreciation by Sleepy LaBeef after backing him in his appearance at The Yale on a last minute call. He plays with an honesty and mature ease that belie his youth.

Wintergrass 2016 Film Presentation-The Winding Stream

There is a stream that courses through American roots music. Its source is in the Appalachian foothills in a place called Maces Springs, Virginia. It was there that A.P. Carter, his wife Sara and his sister-in-law Maybelle began their careers as three of the earliest stars of country music. From their earliest days as Victor recording artists to their international success via the phenomenon of Border Radio, the Original Carter Family made their mark on the history of American recorded music…These three didn’t just play the music emerging from their hill country upbringing. They helped invent it. A.P. was both song collector and composer, crafting and arranging snippets of ancient, musty melodies into commercial American popular music. Maybelle took the then-underplayed guitar and made it into the cornerstone of country instrumentation that we know today. And Sara became the first well-known woman’s voice in country music, stamping it with the eerie Gothic quality we find in so much of the country canon.

The stream these three created has turned into a rushing river and has moved through several generations of musicians, both inside their family and without. There would be no Folk Revival of the ’60s without the Carters, no country–rock bands of the ’70s, and no alt-country hipsters of our present era. The Carters crossed styles, crossed genres, crossed generations. And yet, the Carters suffered periods of obscurity, with AP and Sara divorcing and – despite trying to keep the act alive – all three going their separate ways. AP died never fully realizing the impact he had on American music. Sara moved to California vowing to live a quiet life with her new husband, AP’s cousin Coy. Maybelle, fiercely devoted to music, struggled to envision what the next step would be.

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The Carter story might have ended there. But it didn’t. No one would have guessed that a young man, who, at first blush, seemed more renegade than reverent adherent, would be the one to lift up the Carter legacy. That man was Johnny Cash, and his love for the Carter music dated back to nights as a boy in Dyess, Arkansas listening to the Carter Family perform on the air (at that point featuring the next generation of Carters, including little June Carter), their melodies blasting across the Mexican border into his bedside radio. It was a wonderful twist of fate when Cash, as a Sun Records artist, first met Mother Maybelle and her girls, the Carter Sisters and vowed to June that “I’m gonna marry you someday.”

The Winding Stream – a 90–minute documentary shot in High Definition – tells these stories and others through narrator–less interviews; this saga is punctuated with studio performances by celebrated roots music practitioners like Johnny and June Carter Cash, George Jones, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson and others. The film’s goal is to illuminate the foundation–forming history of this multi–generational musical family. Country music would not be what is without them.

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….A Film By Beth Harrington

Beth Harrington is an award-winning independent producer, director and writer, born in Boston and transplanted to the Pacific Northwest. Making media professionally since 1977; she most often focuses on work that explores American history, music and culture.

Harrington’s independent production Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly, a music documentary about the pioneering women of rock and roll, was honored with a 2003 Grammy nomination and has been seen on public television and at film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. This and other work reflects a long-standing love of music. In a previous lifetime, she was a rock & roll singer, most noted for her years as a member of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers on the Warner Brothers Sire Records label.