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About the "Old Timely Musicalia"

(Special note for far-flung friends or those who can't make it:
Club Passim's concerts are WEBCAST at http://www.radioboston.com !)


Old time music--roots with the dirt still on them--is the term often used to describe the rich and varied American fiddle, banjo and song traditions that were a primary wellspring of bluegrass and early country music. Recently this music has been riding a fresh wave of new interest, sparked by visibility through the "Oh Brother" movie, album and "Down From the Mountain" tour, as well as the ambassadorship of dedicated touring artists such as fiddler Bruce Molsky.

Old time music--roots with the dirt still on them--is the term often used to describe the rich and varied American fiddle, banjo and song traditions that were a primary wellspring of bluegrass and early
country music. Recently this music has been riding a fresh wave of new interest, sparked by visibility through the "Oh Brother" movie and related astrological phenomena.

In the heart of Harvard Square, Club Passim has kicked off a new venue for old time music in the Boston area. The Old Timely Musicalia series is hosted by local fiddler and roots songwriter Mark Simos. (Check out his two songs on Alison Krauss's latest, New Favorite).

The evening kicks off early with an open jam session (beginners and cloggers welcome), followed by the debut of a new Boston area band playing a blend of traditional and "original traditional" old time music. The As Yet Unnamed house band for the Musicalia nights is fronted by the twin fiddles of Simos and Eric Merrill; other members include Jim Bollman (banjo and assorted "ukelophony"), Jim Reidy (banjo-uke, tenor guitar and vocals), and Howie Tarnower (guitar, mandolin and vocals). Special out-of-town guest on this first night of the series will be clogger (and fiddler) Kristin Andreassen, who dances with Footworks and has toured with Tim O'Brien's The Crossing ensemble. Other surprise guests will be featured throughout the evening, which later becomes an invitational band session that will lure out some of the area's best players and singers.

Come hear the sounds of Harry Smith's "old weird Americana"!

About the Gig:
Club Passim - 47 Palmer Street Cambridge MA 02138
Information/Reservations (617) 492-7679
http://www.clubpassim.org
Delicious Vegetarian Food served
Impressionable Minors May Attend
Cost: $8 members, $10 non-members, $5 "students and starving artists discount"

More About the House Band Members:
Mark Simos is a well-known old time fiddler, songwriter and tunesmith, as well as a respected accompanist for Irish music. (Mark's Clifftop band, the Cliffhangers, took 4th in last summer's Traditional Band contest at Clifftop.) His original songs and fiddle tunes, rooted in traditional forms and modes but with a contemporary sensibility, have been recorded by many bluegrass and acoustic artists including: Alison Krauss and Union Station, the Del McCoury Band, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, and Kate Brislin and Jody Stecher. His first self-released album of original old time style fiddle tunes, Race the River Jordan (voted one of County Sales "5 best old-time albums" of 1995) helped place many of Mark's tunes in circulation among old time and dance musicians. Mark plays often for local contra dances, and runs the Anchor East House Concert series out of his Watertown home. Since jumping into the musical life full time in the past year, he is taking on more local events such as the Musicalia series, as well as teaching songwriting and accompaniment at Passim's Folk Music School.

Eric Merrill, transplanted several years ago from Bloomington, Indiana's traditional music environs, is one of the strongest of the new wave in Boston's hot fiddle music scene, playing out frequently at local dances and sessions. His driving yet crystalline old time fiddling won the prize for 2nd place fiddle at last summer's Clifftop competition.

Jim Bollman is a long-time member of Roustabout, a "geographically challenged" old time band who have brought their motto--"Old Time Music-Better Than It Sounds!"--to national prominence with their highly prized caps and other accessories. Jim Bollman's world-class collection of banjos and banjo-related ephemera forms the main part of a current exhibit at the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, Mass.

Jim Reidy's soaring high tenor vocal sound has graced many of the area's finest old time bands, including the late lamented Chicken Chokers, the Primitive Characters, and his current stint with Twang. He's currently working on making a large collection of old time music '78 records available on the Web at http://honkingduck.com.

Howie Tarnower, at home anywhere in the old time - bluegrass musical spectrum and beyond, has played in countless local bands, including Boston City Limits, the Blue Suede Boppers, and the Poodles among others. He is a frequent threat at the Cantab Lounge's wildly popular Tuesday night bluegrass sessions.

 


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