Info for 2019 coming SOON
Alice Gerrard is a singer, fiddler, banjo player, guitarist and songwriter of legendary status, having inspired three generations of musicians, including such notables as Emmylou Harris, Laurie Lewis and Rayna Gellert. She has worked closely with old-time and bluegrass greats such as Hazel Dickens, Tommy Jarrell, Mike Seeger, Luther Davis, Matokie Slaughter, Otis Burris and, more recently, Tom Sauber and Brad Leftwich. Her current band, the Piedmont Melody Makers, also includes Chris Brashear. In 2017, Alice was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon only a handful of women. In 2015, she received a Grammy nomination for her CD “Follow the Music”. Chris grew up in Ozark, Missouri, where he learned to fiddle and to sing in a beautifully clear tenor voice. A veterinarian by trade, he’s also a versatile sideman who has been part of many bands including the Piedmont Melody Makers (with Alice), Robin & Linda Williams’ Fine Band and Perfect Strangers. Chris lives in Amherst MA.
Alice Gerrard & Chris Brashear
Alice and Chris appear at the Freight on Fri. Sept. 28 and will lead a harmony workshop on Sunday Sept 30. Chris will lead a Missouri fiddle workshop on Thurs. evening and a workshop on Ozark Ballad Singing on Sunday. All workshops take place at the Freight. Alice will also participate in the UC Panel discussion on Thurs Sept Sept 27.
Dom Flemons is known as “the American Songster” for his extensive repertoire of songs spanning over 100 years of American folklore and is an expert player on the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, quills, and rhythm bones. A co-founder of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom left the band in 2014 to pursue a solo career and has been touring the world ever since; he’s performed solo at Carnegie Hall, the Museum of African American History, National Cowboy Gathering, Newport Folk Festival and many other places. His newest album, released in 2018, is “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” on Smithsonian Folkways, part of the African American Legacy Recordings series.
Dom Flemons appear at the Freight on Thurs Sept. 27 and will lead a Early American Songster Banjo workshop at the Freight on Friday evening. In addition, he will participate in the UC Panel discussion on Thurs Sept Sept 27.
Bryant & Brown
We are delighted to welcome back old-time music masters Mike Bryant & Paul Brown. The band Bryant and Brown focuses on their playing, with backup by Marcia Bryant and Terri McMurray. Mike and Marcia, from Tennessee, have played for decades at home and at dances, fiddlers’ conventions and festivals. Mike is revered as a fiddler of style, strength and grace, with a repertoire spanning both well-known and obscure tunes. Marcia is widely respected for her guitar and bass playing. Paul and Terri live in North Carolina, and they too have performed both locally and around the U.S. Paul spent many years playing with senior musicians including Mike Seeger, Benton Flippen and Tommy Jarrell and is probably best known as an NPR newscaster (now retired, though he still does special projects for NPR, along with his “Across the Blue Ridge” podcast). Terri is a prize winning banjo player and a fine singer.
Bryant & Brown appear at the Freight on Thurs Sept. 27 and at the Saturday night square dance at Ashkenaz. Paul will lead workshops "Soul of the Banjo" and "Southern Appalachian Fiddle Evolution" on Sunday Sept 30; Mike will lead a Tennessee fiddle workshop on Friday evening. All workshops take place at the Freight.
Down Hill Strugglers
The Down Hill Strugglers are Walker Shepard, fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, voice; Jackson Lynch, fiddle, banjo, guitar, voice; and Eli Smith, banjo, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, Jews harp, pump organ, voice. They are based simultaneously out of Kentucky, Louisiana and New York. The band formed at the home of their mutual friend Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders, where they also met friend and mentor John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers. The Down Hill Strugglers are extending the legacy of the New Lost City Ramblers by bringing archaic sounds into the present and challenging audiences to reject a dystopian future animated by computer-generated rhythms. They take their name from the Greek legend of Sisyphus.
The Down Hill Strugglers appear at the Freight on Fri. Sept. 28. Eli Smith will lead a workshop on Old Time Two Finger Banjo Picking from North Carolina on Sunday Sept 30 and participate in the UC Panel discussion on Thurs Sept Sept 27. Walker Shepard will lead a workshop on Old Time Three Finger Banjo Styles on Thursday evening. Jackson Lynch will lead a workshop on Texas/Arkansas/Mississippi Fiddle on Sunday Sept 30. All workshops take place at the Freight.
Sausage Grinder, from Los Angeles, combines the sounds of fiddle and banjo breakdowns with the country blues, topped off with a touch of ragtime and hillbilly jazz. The members of the band are David Bragger, fiddle, mandolin, banjo; Susan Platz, fiddle, banjo, washboard, vocals; Chris Berry, guitar, banjo, vocals; and Timothy Riley, jug, washboard, jaw harp, saw, bagpipes, mouth harp, mandolin, guitar, vocals. David is the proprietor of the Tiki Parlour label, which issues recordings and videos of old-time music, and has recorded an album of old-time fiddle duets with Susan, some of which will be included in Sausage Grinder’s concert set.
Sausage Grinder will appear at the Freight on Thurs Sept. 27. David Bragger & Susan Platz will lead a workshop on Fiddle Duet with Bowing and Chris Berry will teach The Banjo of Dock Boggs on Saturday afternoon at the Freight.
Dos Valley Trio
Dos Valley Trio features Terry Barrett and Harry Liedstrand’s uncanny evocation of the late Kenny Hall’s unique mandolin and fiddle stylings. Harry met Kenny in 1967, touring and recording with him in the Sweets Mill String Band for many years. Terry met Kenny in 1975; in 1983, they were awarded a Maestro/Apprentice grant from the California Arts Council. Terry toured and recorded with Kenny in the Long Haul String Band, living in Ireland, visiting the Balfa family in Louisiana, and playing in countless hillbilly bars and beer joints throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Cindy, born in Fresno, has played guitar with the Mt. Diablo String Band and the Liedstrand Family Band. Harry and Cindy live in the Diablo Valley of northern California; Terry lives in the San Joaquin Valley of central California.
Dos Valley Trio appears at the Freight on Fri. Sept. 28, and Terry Barrett will lead a workshop Your Mandolin's Inner Banjo on Sunday Sept 30.
Hotdish is a square dance band of far-flung old-time players who live in New Orleans, Durham, Minneapolis, Asheville and Johnson City. Fiddler Aaron Olwell took first place fiddle at Clifftop and plays many styles of music including Irish and New Orleans-style jazz, on fiddle, flute and clarinet. Fiddler Sonya Badigian helps run Slippery-Hill.com, the internet’s best resource for old-time source recordings. Aaron Tacke has played with the Bootlickers and currently is in Steam Machine and the country band Hello Heartache. Ryan Nickerson specializes in early styles of old-time backup guitar and country blues. Bassist Nokosee Fields was born and raised in Stillwater, OK, and tours with the Americana band Western Centuries and the old-time band Steam Machine. He has taught fiddle at Augusta Heritage Center (WV) and was inspired by his Native American heritage to teach fiddle in Native villages in Alaska, as part of a project aimed at reinvigorating indigenous musical traditions.
Hotdish will play at the Saturday night square dance at Ashkenaz. Nokosee Fields will lead a Beginning Fiddle on Thursday, and Sonya Badigian will lead another Beginning Fiddle workshop on Friday; both workshops take place at the Freight.
Perennial favorites at the Strawberry Music Festival, Marley’s Ghost celebrates their 30th anniversary this year. This genre-hopping band consists of singer/multi-instrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wilcox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr., Jerry Fletcher and Bob Nichols; their instruments include guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, accordion, keyboard, bass and drums. Occasionally Ed will break out the Scottish bagpipes but for the BOTMC, they’ll focus on dance music in the western swing and honky-tonk vein, with some rhythm and blues thrown into the mix. You might even hear an Uncle Dave Macon song reinvented as a reggae rave!
Marley's Ghost will open the Saturday night dance at Ashkenaz with a honky-tonk set.
Karen Celia Heil is best known as a superb accompanist and instructor; the BOTMC is pleased to present her as a featured performer, accompanied by Maxine Gerber and others. Karen performs, tours and records with the Bucking Mules (two-time trad band champions at the Appalachian String Band Festival, aka Clifftop) and KC & the Moonshine Band. She is the guitarist of choice for many of the greatest old-time musicians active today, including Bruce Molsky, Mike Bryant, Kirk Sutphin, Eddie Bond, Rafe Stefanini, Paul Brown and others.
Karen Celia Heil
Karen Celia Heil & friends will be playing at the Wednesday night welcome party at the Niebyl Proctor Library.
Paper Wings is Emily Mann and Wilhemina Frankzerda. Using fiddles, banjo, guitar and their voices, they weave traditional Appalachian sounds into their original material, showing their deep love of old-time music. Their accomplishments include winning the National Twin Fiddle Championship and performing on the Grand Opry (Wilhemina) and touring with Spencer & Rains, the Crooked Jades, and Darol Anger’s Furies (Emily). Paper Wings’ second CD is due out in 2019.
Paper Wings will be playing at the Wednesday night welcome party at the Niebyl Proctor Library.
Hook N Line
Hook N Line made their debut at the CBA Fathers Day Festival in 2017. Fiddler Thomas Angell grew up surrounded by old-time music and has performed at the LA Old Time Social and Portland Old Time Gathering. Guitarist and singer Chris Miller fell in love with old-time music while attending Warren Wilson College, in Swannanoa, North Carolina. He is a luthier and lives in Sonoma. Banjo player Drew Congdon, from the foothills of the Sierras, taught himself guitar and clawhammer banjo, later learning three finger banjo from Bill Evans. He teaches banjo at his local music shop and moonlights as a helicopter paramedic when he’s not playing tunes.
Hook N Line will be playing at the Wednesday night welcome party at the Niebyl Proctor Library.
Skillet Licorice is led by fiddler Elise Engelberg and guitarist Matt Knoth, with Allegra Thompson, Julay Brooks, Katy Harris and Erik Pearson. Their repertoire includes fiddle breakdowns, ragtime and waltzes. Elise is a Kentucky native who has recorded with the Crooked Jades and The Mercury Dimes and has toured with the Stairwell Sisters. A devoted Suzuki violin teacher, she has worked with young children for over 25 years. Matt hails from San Jose where he grew up playing bluegrass music. He has shared the stage with Peter Rowan, Danny Elfman and Chris Thile.
Skillet Licorice will play for the Sunday afternoon family dance at Ashkenaz, and Elise will lead a children's fiddle workshop at the Freight at 1pm on Saturday afternoon.
Maggie Lind fell in love with old-time banjo and square dance music as a teenager and discovered her passion for making music with children and families. In her group classes for adults and as a Music Together teacher she inspires people to make musical community a part of their daily lives, something she believes is our human birthright. Outside of the classroom, Maggie enjoys calling and playing for square dances and delighting children and families with playful old-time tunes and songs.
Maggie will be playing a concert for kids and parents at the Berkeley Public Library on Saturday morning.
We are honored to welcome renowned dance caller Larry Edelman to the BOTMC. For more than 40 years, he has been delighting both novice and veteran dancers with his humor, enthusiasm, skillful teaching, knowledge of dance history and colorful calling. Larry has called hundreds of dances at camps throughout the U.S. and in Europe, including the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan, Augusta, Pinewoods, Lady of the Lake, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp and many more. He’s also a musician, a video producer (currently working on a film about the Highwoods String Band) and a scholar of dance. Since moving to Colorado, he has been studying and collecting traditional music and dances from the southwest and has produced a documentary of the older-generation singer and fiddler, Eva Nuanez.
Larry will be calling the Saturday night dance and the Sunday afternoon family dance, both at Ashkenaz. He will also be leading a free callers workshop at Ashkenaz on Saturday at 5pm
Jordan Ruyle is one of the founders of the twice-monthly Friday square dances at the Niebyl Procter Library in Oakland and is an accomplished clawhammer banjo player and fiddler. He has called dances up and down the West Coast, including CBA Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival (Grass Valley), Dare To Be Square, Portland Old Time Gathering, LA Old Time Social, Oakland Museum, Autry Museum, New L.A. Folk Festival and San Francisco Old Time & Bluegrass Festival.
Jordan will be calling the Saturday night dance at Ashkenaz.
Rina Rossi & AJ Srubas
Rina and AJ played at the BOTMC in 2015 with the Bootlickers and we’re happy to welcome them back. Rina has taught dance workshops and called square dances from West Virginia to California to Germany. She danced with the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers for eight years and calls dances regularly in Minneapolis. AJ has played concerts and dances and taught fiddle workshops across the U.S. Some of his current bands are the New Riverside Ramblers (Cajun) and Hello Heartache (country.) Rina and AJ play with Aaron Tacke and Nokosee Fields in the old-time band Steam Machine.
Rina will lead a Couple Dancing workshop at Ashkenaz on Saturday, right before Marley Ghost's honky tonk set. AJ will be one of the jam leaders in the Ashkenaz back room during the Saturday night dance.