Skip to main content

Staying Local

We're nearing the end of festival season. Mount Airy, Clifftop and Galax have all come and gone. Yet another year that I've stayed home. One of these days I'll get to one of those bigger events. Meanwhile, I made a brief appearance this weekend at my favorite local festival: Raccoon County.

Our hero jamming with friends.
The Raccoon County Music Festival occurs every August at the Geauga County Century Village Museum in Burton, Ohio. There were a variety of musical acts on two stages, from polka to old-time, as well as some workshops and a square dance at the end of the day.

Throughout the grounds, people toured the historical buildings and played games, while others gathered to play music. With only a couple hours to spare, I tested out my new banjo setup among live victims (other than my wife and dog). It's hard to believe it's been more than two months since I've played my banjo with others.

My local banjo hero, Mark Olitsky, gave a workshop later in the day, but sadly I couldn't stay that long to attend. Hopefully, he'll be hosting another session at the upcoming Kent State Folk Festival (now called the 'Round Town Festival for whatever reason) in September.

This week, there's still more for the old-time music fan in Northeast Ohio, as Frank Fairfield plays the Beachland Tavern tomorrow at 8:30. Admission is $10.

If you keep an eye out, you can find plenty of good banjo times in your our own neck of the woods. Pick a good one.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Highwoods Documentary Not a Lost Cause After All

So, once upon a time, I tried to drum up support for a crowdfunded documentary project about the Highwoods Stringband. I donated money to help out, and more than a year later I provided an update on the slow progress. Last I heard, there was some old footage of the Highwoods they were trying to acquire. It's been three and a half years now that I first heard about the project, and I still haven't received my DVD.

I figured that's the risk you take with these crowdfunded, Kickstarter-type projects. I had all but given up the documentary as a lost cause. Until today. If I managed to convince any of you to help fund the project, I felt it my duty to pass along this update directly from Highwoods mainstay Walt Koken.
"After several delays and setbacks, we, the members of the Highwoods Stringband and Mudthumper Music have procured the vintage footage and photos in cooperation with the original producers and put them into the hands of another videographer, Larry Edelman, in …

Postcards: Vinyl Hunting Tour

Tuesday was a perfect day for a short driving tour to scour record stores for some vinyl. At my third stop, The Vinyl Groove in Bedford, Ohio, I came upon these two albums. The top one is Ed Haley, "Parkersburg Landing" (Rounder 1010), a selection of home recordings made in 1946 and released in 1976. The other is "Galax Va. Old Fiddlers' Convention" (Folkways FA 2435), released in 1964. Together they set me back $11 plus tax. It was a good day.

Master and Apprentice: Banjo Builder Workshop in Historic Peninsula, Ohio

The 191-year-old Peninsula, Ohio, provided the backdrop to a parade of pedestrians making their way from station to station across the bucolic village for Music on the Porches on Saturday.

Inside the close confines of Bronson Church, founded in 1835, a master and apprentice presented a free workshop on the art of instrument building. That master being the renowned banjo builder and artist Doug Unger and his former apprentice Mark Ward.

Unger and Ward began the workshop by playing several old-time tunes, discussing their work and the music, and taking questions from the audience. Unger then invited the spectators to step up to the front to see the instruments.