Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

Event Preview: Lake Erie Folk Fest, Feb. 25

We've had a bit of a warm-up recently in Northeast Ohio. What better way to enjoy unseasonably nice weather than to hit up a music festival? If you're in the area, you're in luck. The second annual Lake Erie Folk Fest is Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Shore Cultural Center in Euclid, Ohio.

Among the free workshops, mini concerts, kids' activities, open jamming and the Grand Finale Concert, attendees will find plenty of old-time and banjo-centric fun.

Mark Olitsky will host two clawhammer banjo workshops, one for beginners and one for intermediate and advanced players. If you're a bluegrasser, don't worry. Paul Kovac will host host a pair of workshops to wet your appetite.

Dave Rice, Christina Tanczos and Joel Specht will host an old-time jam in what was once an orchestra practice room at the Shore Center, which was once a high school. If you're looking for something less structured, open jams will also be scattered throughout the building in various rooms, nooks …

Mark Olitsky, Cary Moskovitz Team Up for New Album

Once upon a time, I dubbed Mark Olitsky "the banjo wizard of Cleveland." Typically, he's the only banjo player in a group setting, so it might seem strange that he's joined forces with plectrum banjo player Cary Moskovitz on a new album, called "Duets," due out in April.

Instead of a crowdfunding campaign, which seems to have become ubiquitous in the old-time music world, the banjo duo has set up a page online to gauge interest.

You can visit the Olitsky & Moskovitz website (https://olitskymoskovitz.wordpress.com/) to sign up for a pre-order. Although this is not a true pre-order in the sense that it asks you to pay the $15, plus $5 shipping and handling, for the album. Instead, it's a pledge that signs you for email updates about album and how to order when it's available. Basically, it lets the musicians know how many CDs to produce.

According to their website, Olitsky and Moskovitz got together at last year's Clifftop festival to play som…

New Additions to My Old-Time Record Collection

A funny thing happened when I went to a celebration of my mother's 30-year work anniversary. I met a banjo player who just so happened to play with Tommy Jarrell. Near the end of the party, he comes back with a sealed copy of the 1976 album, "Joke on the Puppy."

Jarrell is backed by Steve Roberts on banjo and Chester McMillian on guitar. It's a solid album. I was most happy to have a version of Jarrell playing the eponymous tune, which I had picked up from Brad Leftwich's book, Learn Old-Time Fiddle: Round Peak Style. I've been trying to match my playing to the record, which has opened my eyes to some warts in my own fiddling.

Ever since my wife got me a record player for our living room as a birthday gift last summer, I've greatly expanded my old-time music collection on vinyl. Other pick-ups in the last year include Ed Haley "Parkersburg Landing," Grayson and Whittier "Early Classics, Vol. 2," Roscoe Holcomb "San Diego Folk Fest…