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Fri. Sept. 20 at Freight & Salvage

Honey Babe Blues (with Doc Watson)

How Bob Dylan got Maria playing her fiddle again

Maria Muldaur

& Her Old Timey Pals

Maria Muldaur was an old-time fiddler long before her hit with "Midnight at the Oasis."  Raised in the bohemian community of Greenwich Village in New York City, Maria was at the epicenter of the 1960’s folk music movement. She befriended guitarist Doc Watson and old time fiddler Gaither Carlton (Doc’s father-in-law) on their first trip to New York, and subsequently paid several visits to them at their home in Deep Gap NC, where Maria learned many of Gaither’s rare tunes directly from the master himself. Bob Dylan acknowledged the deep roots and unaffected approach of Maria’s fiddling when he said “I like that rustic way you play.”


During the folk revival’s golden era, Maria had the opportunity to learn directly from renowned roots singers  Mississippi John Hurt, Clarence Ashley, Sippie Wallace and Victoria Spivey, who mentored her in the fine points of performing and singing the blues. She came to national attention with the legendary Jim Kweskin Jug Band, recording numerous LPs and appearing on national TV and at major folk festivals including Newport.


Maria’s BOTMC set will include old-time and blues songs and the tunes she learned from Gaither Carlton, with stories about her journey though the world of folk music. She’ll be backed by Suzy Thompson (fiddle and guitar); Eric Thompson (guitar and mandolin); Candy Goldman (banjo); Karen Celia Heil (guitar); and Allegra Thompson (bass).

Top Photo:  Brennan Lashever

Bottom Photo (from the 1960s):  David Gahr

OnliesWithNokoseeOriginal B&W2 copy.JPG

Fri. Sept. 20   Freight & Salvage

Sat. Sept. 21   Ashkenaz


Sami (fiddle)

Leo (banjo)

Viv & Riley (singing)

Nokosee (fiddle)

The Onlies

with Nokosee Fields

The Onlies are a young group of old friends who perform together in a stringband. They grew up playing fiddles, guitars, and banjos in their hometowns of Seattle, WA and Lexington, VA. With their latest self-titled recording, the band digs deep into performances of traditional american popular (old time) music. The music moves with a pulsating drive, sharp arrangements, and rich vibration — it resounds with the present. 


The Onlies are: Sami BramanRiley CalcagnoVivian Leva, and Leo Shannon. At the BOTMC, they'll be joined by frequent collaborator Nokosee Fields. Their latest release (THE ONLIES) is their fourth full-length record, though it will be their first one as a quartet since joining with Leva in 2017. The band, all still in their twenties, won first place at the Clifftop Appalachian Stringband Festival in 2017, has toured the US extensively, and has performed and collaborated with Bruce Molsky, Elvis Costello, Tatiana Hargreaves, Foghorn Stringband, The Bee Eaters, John Herrmann & Meredith McIntosh, and Darol Anger, among others. Their newest record is produced by Caleb Klauder (Foghorn Stringband, Caleb Klauder Country Band), and features Nokosee Fields (Western Centuries, Steam Machine) on bass. It is a committed engagement with the histories and futures of old time fiddle music. 


Wed. Sept. 18    Ashkenaz

Thurs. Sept. 19   Freight & Salvage

Banjo workshop: Fri. Sept. 20

Cedric Watson

One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, banjo player & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.

Originally from San Felipe, TX (population 868), Cedric made his first appearance at the age of 19 at the Zydeco Jam at The Big Easy in Houston, TX. Two years later, he moved to south Louisiana, immersing himself in French music and language.  Cedric has performed French music in 17 countries and on 7 full-length albums with various groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard and J.B. Adams, and with his own group, Bijou Creole.

With an apparently bottomless repertoire of songs at his fingertips, Cedric plays everything from forgotten Creole melodies and obscure Dennis McGee reels to more modern Cajun and Zydeco songs, even occasionally throwing in a bluegrass fiddle tune or an old string band number. He is also a prolific songwriter, writing almost all of his songs on his double row Hohner accordion. Cedric’s songs channel his diverse ancestry (African, French, Native American and Spanish) to create his own brand of sounds.

“We don’t want to forget that one of the biggest contributions to our culture, music and heritage was made by the Native Americans. I find that the old Zydeco rhythms sound like a mix of African and Native American ceremonial rhythms. This mélange very possibly came about through the intermingling of the Native American population and the Maroons.” – Cedric Watson

Thurs. Sept. 19    Freight & Salvage


Sat. Sept. 21        Ashkenaz


WORKSHOPS:   Freight & Salvage

Rhys (fiddle)

Cleek (fiddle)

John (banjo)


Formed in 2010 to compete in the traditional string band contest at Clifftop, they took the name Bigfoot from Rhys Jones’ swollen foot at the time, and they also took first place! The band members are Rhys Jones & Cleek Schrey on fiddles, John Herrmann on banjo, Susie Goehring on guitar and Meredith McIntosh on bass. Everyone but Cleek sings. 
John Herrmann: Best known as a banjo player, John is also an expert guitarist, bassist and fiddler. He has played with many notable bands such as the Henrie Brothers, Ralph Blizzard, One Eyed Dog, the Wandering Ramblers and Songs from the Mountains. He and his partner Meredith McIntosh have been part of the Midnight Mockingbirds, Ida Red and the Rockinghams.
Meredith McIntosh: With a degree in music education and a great love for old-time music, Meredith plays fiddle, guitar, bass, flute and piano. She has performed with Ida Red, the Heartbeats, Balfa Toujours, The Rockinghams, and The New Southern Ramblers (with John Herrmann, Gordy Hinners and Phil Jamison). She lives in Asheville NC where she is a certified massage therapist and teacher of The Alexander Technique.
Rhys Jones:  Born in Chicago, he began his fiddling in the fertile environment of the Chicago Barn Dance Company. Soon after, his family moved to southern West Virginia where he learnt from the older generation of fiddlers, including Ernie Carpenter, Melvin Wine and Wilson Douglas. Rhys has won both fiddle and band contests at The Appalachian String Band Festival (Clifftop) and has played for concerts, dances, workshops and festivals across the United States and Europe.
Cleek Schrey:  Cleek Schrey is a fiddler and composer from Virginia, now based in NYC. The journal Sound Post has noted that Cleek “possesses a rare combination of traits: deep respect for traditional music and the people who make it, and an unbounded curiosity about new directions for sound.”
Susie Goerhing: has been playing old-time fiddle and guitar and singing Appalachian ballads and Carter Family songs since the late 1970s when she first joined forces with long time musical partners Jeff and Rick Goerhing. This musical trio formed the core of the Red Mules, an old-time string band that performed at festivals, music and dance camps, square dances and social gatherings throughout the 1980s and 90s. Susie has also performed and recorded with Rayna Gellert.

Photo: Mike Melnyk

Weds. Sept. 18    Ashkenaz

WORKSHOP:  Freight & Salvage

Thurs. Sept. 19

Ed Poullard

Ed Poullard is regarded as the most significant Creole fiddler of his generation. Born in Eunice, Louisiana in 1952, the Poullard family relocated to east Texas in search of better work when Ed was still a baby.  The Poullard family was rich in musicians on both sides. Ed’s father, John Poullard Sr., three uncles and Ed’s late brother, Danny Poullard, all played accordion and Ed’s grandfather was a fiddler.
Ed learned the music by watching his father; his first instruments were drums, guitar and accordion. When he began to play his grandfather’s fiddle, he embarked upon a long apprenticeship with legendary Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot.  Ed has played with Jesse Legé, Lawrence Ardoin, Preston Frank, his late brother Danny Poullard, and many others. He has recorded numerous albums, including several on the Arhoolie label.

Ed worked as a cabinet builder for many years. Danny Poullard was the first to suggest to Ed that he combine his two interests by building accordions and now there’s a long waiting list to get one of these prized hand-crafted custom instruments!

Sat. Sept. 21     Civic Center Park

Sun. Sept. 22    Ashkenaz

WORKSHOPS:     Freight & Salvage

Ukulele (Marcy)

Guitar (Cathy)

Banjo (Cathy)

Harmony Singing (Cathy & Marcy)

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Two-time Grammy Award Winners, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are master musicians with a career spanning over 35 years. Their repertoire spans from old-time string band to contemporary folk, including some original gems, Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the guitar, five-string banjo, ukulele, mandolin, cello-banjo, and more.

Cathy & Marcy have worked with Pete Seeger, Patsy Montana, Bruce Molsky, Jake Blount, Rachel Eddy, Ola Belle Reed, Riders in the Sky, and a wide range of musical luminaries. They have entertained the Queen of Thailand, been keynote singers for the AFL-CIO, appeared on the "Today Show" and on National Public Radio.  Cathy & Marcy advocate in Washington D.C. for unions, health care for children, and the rights and livelihoods of artists.

The duo has toured worldwide with recent performances at Merlefest, Wintergrass, Denver Ukefest, and Kate Wolf Music Festival. Cathy & Marcy earned GRAMMY Awards for their recordings "cELLAbration: a Tribute to Ella Jenkins': and "Bon Appetit!: Musical Food Fun". Their CD's "Postcards" and "Banjo Talkin111 were GRAMMY finalists in the BestTraditional Folk Album category. Cathy & Marcy live in Silver Spring, Maryland and Lansing, North Carolina.

Photo: Irene Young

Black Banjo & Fiddle Fellows

Darcy Ford-James is a violinist and educator with more than two decades as a public school strings teacher. Darcey is co-founder of Stockton Soul, a nonprofit Soul Orchestra dedicated to educating, empowering, and inspiring audiences through the performance of Black Music.

Joe Zavaan Johnson is a multi-instrumentalist, arts educator, and Black music researcher currently pursuing a Ethnomusicology at Indiana University-Bloomington. His research puts the Black banjo reclamation movement into conversation with critical constructions of race, place, belonging, gender, and sexuality.

Patrice Strahan is a lifelong musician who cultivated her love for music singing in church choirs and playing in bands. Her music practice is driven by her passion for communal music at the intersection of land stewardship/kinship and engaged spiritual social justice. 

Photo: Snap Jackson

The Black Banjo & Fiddle Fellowship 

A collaboration between the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music and the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, the BBFF project aims to repatriate old-time music in African American communities and illuminate the Black experience in creating old-time music.

During the two-year paid fellowship program, fellows become proficient in old-time banjo and fiddle playing and deepen their knowledge of African American banjo and fiddle playing, through the guidance and support of Teaching Artist mentors (including Earl White, Jake Blount, Dom Flemons and others).  To help repair the historical and cultural ruptures that erased the Black origins of banjo and fiddle music, and to ensure that this tradition is sustained in Black communities, the fellows are trained to become teachers,  ensuring that the music can be passed down from generation to generation. 

Fri. Sept. 20     Freight & Salvage

Thurs. Sept. 19    Freight & Salvage


Clogging (Evie)    Ashkenaz

Clean Heat

Clean Heat is the duo of Evie Ladin & Lila Goehring. Banjo player, singer, songwriter, percussive-dancer, choreographer and square-dance caller - Evie Ladin has been a fan of classic country since Lila was born. Family friends forever, the two have near-sister harmonies they’ve been delighting in since Lila arrived in the Bay Area to attend Mills College, sharing common taste in repertoire, and the experience of growing up in a deeply skilled old time music and dance community. Evie has been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Lincoln Center, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to Celtic Connections, and has taken home ribbons from Mt Airy, NC Fiddler’s Convention, and the Appalachian Stringband Festival, Clifftop, WV. A prolific songwriter, Evie tours with Keith Terry and her Evie Ladin Band from her home base in Oakland. Lila Goehring grew up immersed in old time country music and has sung with luminaries in the field like Ginny Hawker, Val Mindel and her own mother Susie Goehring, who will be appearing at the BOTMC with the band Bigfoot. Lila  is a writer and editor based in San Francisco.

Sat. Sept. 21   Ashkenaz


Sat. Sept. 21     Starry Plough


The Propagators are experts in playing fiddle tunes that make you want to get up and dance! With Michelle Yu on fiddle, Evie Ladin on banjo, Rowan McCallister on guitar, and Keith Terry on Bass, The Propagators bring together four of the Bay Area’s finest old-time musicians.

Wed. Sept. 18    Ashkenaz

Honky-Tonk & Cajun-Creole Dance

Marley's Ghost

This Seattle-based band has been a perennial favorite at the Strawberry Music Festival for decades and we are delighted to welcome them back to the BOTMC where they’ll delve deep into their honky-tonk and country & western material, with three strong vocalists, pedal steel playing that screams “country” and a rocking rhythm section. 


Marley’s Ghost is composed of singer/multi-instrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wilcox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr., Jerry Fletcher, and Bob Nichols.  Vocalist Wheetman plays bass, rhythm guitar, fiddle, harmonica, banjo, Dobro, and lap steel. Wilcox, who holds a law degree from Stanford, sings and plays mandolin and rhythm guitar. Columbus, OH, native Phelan sings and plays lead guitar, fiddle, Dobro and bassl. Littlefield sings and plays mostly pedal steel. Jerry Fletcher sings and plays keyboards and accordion and Bob Nichols plays drums.

Pedal steel player Ed Littlefield served a five-year apprenticeship during the 1970s with Lance Romance, a six-piece, country-western band that traveled to a new bar every week all over the Pacific Northwest. “Later, we got down to four nights a week, playing three, one-hour sets with half-hour breaks for 'attitude adjustment.' We played up-tempo, truck driving hillbilly barroom music for working-class folks - loggers and cowboys - in bars, saloons, roadhouses, and honkytonks. In the Northwest, cowboys and loggers are pretty much the same guys with different hats and boots - one ropes cows, the other logs. Both are known to drink, use quaint language, and chew snoose. And all of them like working outdoors.”


The band began in 1986,  when Danny Wheetman was invited by his friend Ed Littlefield Jr. to work on a solo effort in Littlefield's studio in Arlington, WA. Jon Wilcox and Mike Phelan came up from California to help out. While working on the solo effort, the three began recording the tracks for what would become the Marley's Ghost debut album Haunting Melodies.  More than three decades and a dozen albums from that initial spark, they’re still playing together with the same passion, purpose and chemistry that inspired them early on.

Susan Michaels

Sat. Sept. 21      Ashkenaz

Sun. Sept. 22     Ashkenaz

Susan Michaels has been calling old-time square dances, family dances, and community dances for more than 35 years, including her hometown “chicken coop” square dance on Vashon Island in Washington. She believes it is her calling in life to teach people how to hold hands in a circle and move to music. She loves all kinds of choreography, specializing in traditional Appalachian dances with drive and flow that hold on to the roots of community dance while taking off in new directions. Susan's  special brand of dry quirky humor helps kids, newcomers, 2 left-footers, and shy persons blossom through dance.

Susan has called dances at festivals and camps throughout the U.S. including the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention (CA), Dare2BSquare West (Oakland, Seattle, Portland) the Alaska Folk Festival, Pinewoods American and Family Weeks (MA), Lady of the Lake June and Family Weeks (ID), Mentone (AL), Chehallis (BC),  Louisville Square (KY), Moosejaw (MN) Mountain Madness (TN), and John C. Campbell Folk School (NC).


Sat. Sept. 21     Ashkenaz

JAM (with Rowan McCallister):

Sun. Sept. 22     Ohlone Park

Robin Fischer

Robin Fischer loves calling for both new and experienced dancers. She calls square dances in the traditional style - no  formal lessons, no levels, no prerecorded music, just a live band and emphasis on everyone having a good time. As a fiddler, she understands the music from the inside out!


Robin has called  community dances up and down the West Coast, from San Diego to Portland; and children's dances at FiddleKids Camp, Camp Augusta, and the Oakland Museum of CA. She has called at festivals including the CBA Father’s Day Festival, Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, Los Angeles Old Time Social, and Parkfield Bluegrass Festival.

Wed. Sept. 18      Ashkenaz

(with Cedric Watson & Ed Poullard

Fri. Sept. 20         Freight & Salvage

(with Maria Muldaur)


 Thompsonia combines Eric & Suzy Thompson’s deep devotion to old-time, Cajun, acoustic blues and bluegrass with daughter Allegra’s fresh perspective, creating feel-good music that richochets between the rowdy and the sentimental, with an abundance of groove and a bit of a quirky edge.
This year at the BOTMC, Thompsonia will back up Ed Poullard and Cedric Watson at the Cajun dance, and also will be among Maria Muldaur’s Old Timey Pals. The Cajun dance will be a reunion of sorts; Eric & Suzy played for nearly 20 years with Ed’s older brother, Danny Poullard, in the California Cajun Orchestra, with two award-winning albums on Arhoolie. Allegra’s middle name is Danielle, named for Danny.  Eric & Suzy have performed and/or recorded with many other notable Cajun musicians including Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, Joel Savoy and Jesse Lege, Steve Riley, Mike Doucet, etc. 
Eric and Suzy Thompson have performed and recorded in collaborations with David Grisman, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Mac Benford, Geoff Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, Del Rey and Dave Alvin, to name just a few. Bands have included Any Old Time, Black Mountain Boys, California Cajun Orchestra, Blue Flame String Band and many others. Allegra Thompson plays bass with the Cajun bands Midnite Ramblers and (with Eric & Suzy) the Aux Cajunals. She hosts the long-running Pig in a Pen radio show on KPFA-FM, which airs every other Sunday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.  Allegra is also a co-host of the "Bluegrass Signal" radio show, which airs on KALW-FM, Saturdays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Suzy Thompson is an Artistic Director Emeritus of Festival of American Fiddle Tunes (the others are Dirk Powell and Joel Savoy) and is the Director of the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention.

Photo: Irene Young

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