October Old-Time Week 2015 Andrew Carroll June 14, 2016 Join us for a special fall week of workshops and evening activities and stay for the weekend Fiddlers’ Reunion! Autumn in the mountains is the perfect time and place to celebrate West Virginia’s rich heritage. The lineup of classes and teachers for October Old-Time Week 2015 includes… Guest Master Artist: Dave Bing This October marks Dave’s 30th year as part of October Old-TIme Week and we could not be more pleased than to have him with us at Augusta. Dave Bing of Bing Brothers and Gandydancer fame, lives in Roane County, West Virginia. He currently plays and records with The High Ridge Ramblers and has made several solo recordings. Dave is a veteran teacher and musician, with many years of teaching and performing throughout the United States and abroad. He plays a wide variety of West Virginia fiddle and banjo music, from the Hammons Family to bluegrass, and from square dance standards to obscure crooked pieces. Wayne Erbsen: Beginner Old-Time Banjo Class Description: This fun class is open to total beginners and to those who already have their feet wet. We’ll learn to play many great old-time tunes and songs in the rhythmic clawhammer banjo style. By the time the week is over, we will understand many of the secrets of backing up fiddlers and singers and learn some of the tricks of improvising. In addition to learning the clawhammer style, we’ll also touch on playing in an old-time two-finger style. Bring some kind of a recording device and be prepared to have a big time. Wayne Erbsen is a master both old-time and bluegrass music. As a solo performer, he plays clawhammer and bluegrass banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar. His repertoire approaches one thousand songs. He has recorded eighteen solo CDs and has written and published thirty-one instruction and song books. He is President of Native Ground Books & Music www.nativeground.com. Wayne has performed on Sesame Street and his music has appeared in NPR’s Wireless Catalog. He has won numerous prizes at fiddler’s conventions including 1st place clawhammer banjo (Galax, Virginia, 1973) and 1st place senior old-time fiddle (Fiddler’s Grove, NC 2004). In addition to performing, recording and writing, Wayne is an active teacher and he has been on the Appalachian Music faculty at Warren Wilson College since l982. For the past thirty-two years, Wayne has had his own radio show called “Country Roots” on Asheville’s public radio station, WCQS, 88.1 FM. Listen Sunday nights from 7:00 – 9:00 EST at http://www.wcqs.org/ Wayne makes his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Frank Lee: Intermediate Banjo Class Description: The intermediate Old-Time Banjo class will focus on building a solo repertoire and presenting tunes unaccompanied. The class will cover playing in many different tunings as well as ideas on discovering your own tunings for banjo. We will also cover accompanying other instruments and vocals. To benefit from this workshop, participants should be able to play a number of tunes on the banjo smoothly and without too many issues. Students will complete the week with plenty of hand out material to work with. Please bring a recording device. Frank Lee, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, has been studying, performing, and teaching banjo styles for over 35 years. He is a founding member of the critically acclaimed string band, the Freight Hoppers, and is widely known in the old-time/roots music community. His extensive touring schedule has afforded him the opportunity to introduce people to Old-Time banjo around the world. Frank has both an instructional and a performance video available through Homespun. His discography includes 4 self-released titles, 2 albums released by Rounder Records, a number of compilations and appearances as a guest artist on other musician’s projects. He has previously served on staff at Augusta Heritage Center and Swannanoa Gathering, as well as countless other workshops around the country. Dan Gellert: Advanced Banjo Class Description: If you are at all familiar with my music, you know that I pretty much cannot play anything the same way twice. That is the way I teach, too. Come prepared to ask questions, and to get more questions! Bring recordings of your favorite banjo music, or maybe the tune(s) you really want to learn but can’t quite get. I’ll be starting with an emphasis on clawhammer style on fretted banjo (some of the Hammons family’s music will be in there for sure!). Depending on the interests of the class, though, we are liable to wander off just about anywhere in the world of traditional banjo. Dan Gellert has been playing the banjo (and fiddle, and a bunch of other instruments) for over 50 years. He’s taught and performed at a number of major festivals and music camps, among them the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, the Tennessee Banjo Institute, the University of Chicago Folk Festival, the American Banjo Camp, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and the National Folk Festival. The Old-Time Tiki Parlour has recently released a DVD/CD set of his fiddle, banjo, and singing. Michael Ismerio: Beginning Fiddle Class Description: Are you ready to take your first steps into the world of Old time fiddling? Well let’s get you started on the right path. This class will focus on giving the beginning fiddler the necessary groundwork to play both halves of Old Time Music, the Melody and the Rhythm. There will be a heavy emphasis on pointing out and demystify the half of old time fiddling that often gets neglected: the bowing hand, while familiarizing the beginning student with proper left-hand technique. Bowing movements or rhythms will be broken down, and then played in the context of a simple melody. This class is taught by ear. Bring a recording device. Michael Ismerio began playing old-time music in 1997 in Portland, Oregon, a tiny music scene at the time that would evolve into one of the most active in the country. He was a member of two prominent west coast stringbands, The Dickel Brothers, and The Government Issue Orchestra, and founder of the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering. Since 2000, he has made yearly pilgrimages to the southern Appalachian mountains to visit and learn from older fiddlers such as Clyde Davenport, Joe Thompson, and Charlie Acuff. In 2010, he moved to Indiana to study with Brad Leftwich, a master fiddler and teacher who greatly informed his teaching and led Michael to develop a unique bowing-centric teaching style that is resonating with many new players. Michael has taught, performed, and called square dances all over the country including four years at The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Port Townsend, Wa, The Swannanoa Gathering, Swannanoa, NC, The Nimble Fingers Bluegrass and Old Time Workshop, Sorrento, BC, The Appalachian Stringband Festival, Clifftop, WV, and the Dare To Be Square dance callers gatherings. He has performed internationally in Mexico, Canada, The Netherlands, Ireland, and two trips to China. www.michaelismerio.com David Bass: Intermediate Fiddle Class Description: The purpose of this intermediate class is to provide each student with the materials and tools to progress in his or her playing and study of traditional Appalachian fiddle styles. The class will be tailored to each student’s own pace and needs. Bowings and rhythm play a key role in old time fiddling. We will break down common bowing patterns and also look at how to adapt your bow to unique fiddle tunes, crooked tunes, and syncopated phrases. I will demonstrate how to use technology in new ways to study and practice old music. We will have fun with sound stations, video editing, drum machines, and exploring content on the web. I hope to send students home with a year’s worth of material and ideas, so bring recording devices and/or storage for tunes and video. David Bass is a power house fiddler originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He began playing classical violin at the age of 8, but discovered his true calling for old time music in his teens when he met Pete and Bobby Smacula of Goose Acres. David has a passion for grabbing audiences and shaking them up in a wide range of venues–from New York subway platforms to the main stage at festivals including Merlefest, Telluride, and countless others, audiences will find Dave Bass flat-foot dancing and tearing it up in the name of giving folks a rocking good time. David was a founding member of the group The Freight Hoppers. He toured extensively with them in the United States, Canada, and England. David also toured with the Forge Mountain Diggers in Sweden. He currently plays Rowdy Square Dances with the Five Points Rounders in Durham, NC, where he lives with his family. Jimmy Triplett: Advanced Fiddle Class Description: In this class, we’ll focus on some of the essential elements of old-style Appalachian fiddling, including bowing and phrasing to achieve a traditional sound, and we’ll explore a number of different tunings. The tunes will come from the repertoires of Central West Virginia fiddlers, including Melvin Wine, Ernie Carpenter, and the Hammons family. The class is especially designed for intermediate to advanced fiddlers, but advanced-beginners should also feel comfortable following along. Jimmy Triplett plays traditional Appalachian fiddle tunes learned from rare field recordings and visits with older musicians throughout West Virginia. Now a botanist in Alabama, Jimmy worked for several years at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins. In 2001 he co-produced a two-CD compilation of the fiddling of Ernie Carpenter, and in 2004 he co-produced the CD-Rom/DVD “One More Time: The Life and Music of Melvin Wine.” He has become an in-demand fiddle teacher. In his workshops, in addition to sharing tunes and their stories, he emphasizes bowings and ornamentation that capture the simple beauty and graceful rhythm of old-style Appalachian fiddling. Lois Hornbostel: Old-Time Music Repertoire for Dulcimers Class Description: OLD-TIME MUSIC Repertoire If you have your basic playing skills, this class will teach you to recognize and play along on tunes with other musicians. The class will include traditional tunes from West Virginia and Southwest Virginia, along with playing styles (both noter and chord-melody) to play with authenticity. We will include playing chord back-up and tips on playing in different keys. Examples of music: Angelina Baker, Elk River Blues, Sandy Boys, Sally Ann, Hangman’s Reel, John Brown’s Dream, Sugar Hill. Bring a DAD tuned mountain dulcimer, a dulcimer capo, and an audio recording device. Lois will have some loaners tuned in Galax, VA tuning that you can borrow. The Dulcimer Players News cited Lois as one of the most influential mountain dulcimer performer-teachers in the country. She became part of the traditional music “chain” learning direct from old-time musicians in the Southeast, Irish musicians in New York, and Cajun musicians in Louisiana. Many of her students have become shiny new links in that chain. Lois’s ability to play old-time tunes has been recognized with dulcimer championships at the fiddle conventions in Galax, Mt. Airy, Elk Creek, Sparta, and Fiddlers Grove. She and her dulcimer are also part of the “Crescent Moon Rounders,” who have been runner-up old-time band at Fiddlers. Lois has organized university-level dulcimer camps at ASU, Swannanoa, WCU and Dulcimerville, and is the author of six music books published by Mel Bay. www.DulcimerMusic.Net Ehukai Teves: Mountain Dulcimer – Playing in 8 Keys without Re-Tuning for Beyond Beginner thru Advanced players Class Description: Mountain Dulcimer – Playing in 8 Keys without Re-Tuning Beyond Beginner thru Advanced players. Ehukai devised a chording system that enables mountain dulcimer players to play I, IV and V chords and simple melody leads in standard DAD tuning in the keys of D, E, F#, G, A Maj. and minor, B, C natural, and C#. This system lets you do this without re-tuning, using a capo, or having to look at your hands while you play. It’s especially helpful if you want to jam with other instruments or want to play in keys that are the most comfortable for your own vocal range. Ehukai (pron. A-hoo-kai) comes from a family of traditional Hawaiian musicians. Among the instruments he plays are electric bass, ukulele, guitar, mountain dulcimer, Chapman Stick, and he is known for his powerful vocals. In Hawaii, Ehukai earned a B.A. in Music Theory and Voice at the University of Hawaii, and performed with the likes of Keola and Kapono Beamer and Moses Kahumoku. Ehukai founded the popular “To the Max” band and has written over 300 songs, among them a HOKU award winner. He discovered the mountain dulcimer a few years ago, using it to accompany old-time, Hawaiian and Celtic music in his “Jolley Rogues” band. He met and was coached by Jean Ritchie and performs many of her songs. Touring with mountain dulcimer player Lois Hornbostel, Ehukai won 1st place in the dulcimer competitions at Union Grove (twice), Fiddlers Grove, and this year at the Sparta and Ashe County, NC fiddle conventions. www.DulcimerMusic.Net Reeb Willms: Intermediate Guitar Class Description: We will work on providing rock-solid, clear, confident rhythm guitar in old time and country styles with specific attention to backing up a singer, or fiddler. Some things we will discuss and practice are: the boom-chuck, the importance of dynamics, using fills and bass lines to accent the melody, and some basic stylistic rhythm options. We will explore alternate chord voicings using the capo. The simple art of listening to the singer and/or the instruments around you will help you feel the beat, change the feel of the beat, swell and release the energy of the rhythm to give dynamics, shape, and power. We will discuss the guitar player’s role, and how it interacts with other instruments. This is how we get in the pocket, and drive the rhythm! We will also talk about different rhythm “feels” on the guitar, how to push the beat, or groove it out without actually slowing or speeding up. We will practice these concepts in class by learning some songs to accompany. And we will learn and practice how to hear chord changes, especially in old time fiddle tunes. Prerequisites: Students should come with a guitar, tuned and ready of course, as well as a capo, and a should be comfortable playing with a flatpick, and changing between basic chord shapes. Please also bring paper, a writing utensil, and a recording device if you want to record. Reeb Willms hails from the high desert plateau of Central Washington and the small wheat farming town of Waterville. Music was always a part of her childhood, whether listening to music on the radio, or playing the piano. Her father and uncles are musical, and she was always encouraged to join in as they sang old country songs at family gatherings. Reeb didn’t start singing publicly and playing the guitar until her early twenties in Bellingham, WA where she lived for many years. Things took off from there as she began to meet other musicians with whom she formed bands and lasting friendships. She fell in love with old time and bluegrass music, and loves to play rhythm guitar to back up fiddle tunes and songs. Today she teaches guitar and singing workshops from time to time; and sings, plays, and tours the globe with the Foghorn Stringband, and the Caleb Klauder Country Band. Caleb Klauder: Advanced Mandolin Class Description: My main goal is to help students discover the joys of melody playing. Class will be taught aurally and there will be no sheet music or tab so please bring a recording device. I will teach traditional “fiddle tunes” and focus on the nuances of picking, as related to old time fiddle bowing. I will demonstrate some options for rhythm and backup playing and talk about pick use and tone. Students should have a good feel for the keys of G and A. As the class progresses I will introduce tunes in the keys C, D, and F. In this class we will be learning tunes at a quicker pace than in the beginning class and focus on tempos relevant to dance music. I will share a few tunes that showcase some different regional styles of old time music. We will explore songs and some appropriate backup, for playing with singers, incorporating blues and harmony around the melody. We will focus on right hand technique and share ways to get more sound, and better tone from your mandolin. Caleb Klauder hales from the Great Pacific Northwest and has been playing mandolin in the traditional styles of old time and bluegrass for 20 years. He performs with the Foghorn Stringband and you can also hear him when he fronts his own country honky-tonk band. Calebʼs powerful mandolin style most closely resembles old time fiddle playing and has elements of clawhammer banjo rhythms as well. Being a fiddler, singer, and guitar player, as well as a mandolinist, he has a well rounded sense of traditional music and its nuances. As a teacher Caleb puts focus on the importance of melody and rhythm in support of the fiddle tune and or the song. His teaching style is by ear without the use of sheet music or tablature which allows the student to settle fully into the sound of the music without distractions. Adam Smith: Washtub Bass Class Description: Washtub bass. Those words sends shivers down the spines of some fiddlers, as the metal contraptions are well known jam busters. Learn how not to be (or only minimally) ostracized by the old time community. Learn how to pluck a washtub in ways to compliment a jam, regardless of playing style. We’ll dabble with rhythm and intonation to figure out what best fits your needs. We’ll experiment with different types of strings and other things to help improve tone and playing, like how different surfaces change your tone and ways to mic the tub for stage playing. It certainly helps if you’ve played bass or washtub before but it’s not necessary as there’s no notation, just all playing by ear and feeling. Please do bring your own washtub bass if you have one, but we’ll also spend a class each making the most classic of designs (the ol’ pulled stick attached to string attached to tub) but discussing different designs as well. Strangely, Adam likes to fly a quarter of the circumference of the Earth and camp in the woods several times a year just to pluck a string attached to a washtub. Known throughout fiddler conventions as “that guy what can intonate on that there tub”, Adam yearns to play them fast tunes like he first heard Janice Birchfield do onstage with the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers at the Johnson County Old Time Fiddlers Convention, the same stage on which he would later win a blue ribbon for bass. Aiming to change the rusted reputation the instrument has received, thump by thump he preaches the Word of the Warshtub, the Gospel of the Gutbucket. Enrica McMillon: Broomsedge Basketry Class Description: Coiled baskets have been made in many cultures around the world since prehistoric times – coiled basketry was one of the very first crafts developed by humankind. In this class we will use broomsedge to learn to make these beautiful and sculptural baskets. Students will learn how to prepare the materials and be taught the skills to make a basket design of their choice. This class is open to students with all levels of experience. Basic materials: $35. Enrica McMillon, a native of Randolph County, WV, grew up in the tiny Swiss village of Helvetia and has worked with many different forms of fiber arts since her early childhood. She learned spinning from her grandmother when she was seven and hasn’t stopped since. Not content with basic spinning, she has expanded her knowledge and skills at every opportunity and uses many different spinning techniques and fibers to create yarns suitable for various applications. She uses her yarns for weaving, knitting, crochet, lacemaking and more. When not spinning, she may be found engaged in a more recent passion: needle felting wool sculptures. She is a long-time member of the Mountain Weavers Guild and her fiber works have won awards at various art shows. Deborah Posey: Staff Musician Ben Townsend: Staff Musician Since growing up in Romney, WV, Ben Townsend has studied the music extensively on both banjo and fiddle. As a member of The Fox Hunt and Old Sledge, and now as a solo performer, Ben has traveled across the country and around the world spreading his take on West Virginia old-time music. He has shared the stage with acts varying from Ralph Stanley to the Henry Girls of County Donegal, Ireland to the Taiko drummers of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Ben recently returned from a cycle tour from West Virginia to California collecting old-time tunes and stories for several upcoming projects. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.