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Erynn Marshall, Mark Olitsky, Doug Unger: An Old-Time Smorgasbord in Peninsula, Ohio, for Music on the Porches, Sept. 23

Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones(Source:
Old-time music and banjo fans alike would do well to aim their GPS units toward Peninsula, Ohio, the historic village nestled in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. This Saturday is Music on the Porches, which features a number of musical acts playing all around town, starting at 11 a.m. 

The showcase event is Saturday night at the G.A.R. Hall, an evening concert that will feature fiddler Erynn Marshall and multi-instrumentalist Carl Jones, the married old-time duo based in Galax, Virginia; followed by Sean Watkins, formerly of the progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek; and finally headliner Tim O'Brien, who has recorded with everyone from Steve Martin to Dirk Powell, including the excellent "Songs From the Mountain" album with Powell and John Herrmann (one of my all-time favorites). Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with Marshall and Jones set to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online via Eventbrite

But wait, that's not all! 

Marshall will also be hosting an old-time fiddle workshop focused on the life and music of West Virginia fiddler Melvin Wine, who was a 1991 recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. Marshall featured Wine in her 2006 book "Music in the Air Somewhere: The Shifting Borders of West Virginia's Fiddle and Song Traditions." The workshiop begins at 4:30 p.m. at the G.A.R. Hall. Admission is $15, and tickets are also available online via Eventbrite.

Mark Olitsky circa 2012.
One of our favorite banjo players, Mark Olitsky, will also be hosting a workshop at noon, at the G.A.R. Hall. Olitsky will discuss his style of old-time banjo, and provide basic instruction and tips for attendees. Admission is free, but you can reserve your spot via Eventbrite. Later in the day, Olitsky will also team up with young fiddler Riley Calcagno, of the Seattle-based trio The Onlies and currently a student at Oberlin. They will play tunes on the G.A.R. Hall patio, starting at 4 p.m. 

Doug Unger (left) and Mark Ward
at the 2015 Music on the Porches.
Meanwhile, down the hill and across the street from the G.A.R. Hall, master banjo builder Doug Unger will be presenting a free workshop on "Lutherie as Art" with former apprentice Mark Ward at the Bronson Church, from 1 to 4 p.m. This may sound familiar to longtime readers, as they hosted a similar event that we wrote about a couple years ago. No registration is required. 

Finally, preceding the night's showcase concert, Marshall and Jones (and hopefully Olitsky and Calcagno too!) will lead an old-time jam on the G.A.R. Hall patio, starting at 5:30. The jam is open to all, but keep in mind the space is tight, and the jam has attracted a solid audience in the past. 

Below you will find the full schedule of events. You can also point your internet browser at the Peninsula Foundation website for more information. 

Music on the Porches Full Schedule

The Music

Friday, Sept. 22— Music on the Porches Kick-Off Concert at the G.A.R. Hall 7:30 p.m., The Railsplitters
Tickets: $15 presale, $20 day of show
Information and tickets can be found at

Saturday, Sept. 23—Music on the Porches, 11 a.m. until it’s over

The Evening Event at the G.A.R. Hall Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m., Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones
8 p.m., Sean Watkins
9 p.m., Tim O’Brien
Tickets: $42 presale, $47 day of show
Information at tickets at

Bronson on the Green 12-1:30 p.m., Rachel & The Beatnik Playboys
2-3:30 p.m., The Gage Brothers
4-5:30 p.m., Mostly Blues Band

6089 Locust St.—Private Residence 1-3 p.m., Sam Sapp (Folk)

Peninsula Art Academy on Mill Street 2:15-3:45 p.m., Flute Candy (Flute Choir)

The Train Depot on Mill Street 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo (Traditional, Blues and Folk)
1-2:30 p.m., Laurie & Eddie from Hey Mavis (Americana, Original Folk)
3-4 p.m., Johnny G (Singer/Songwriter with a touch of Funk and Soul)

Yum Yum Shop on Main Street 12:30-2 p.m., Flute Candy (Flute Choir)

Terry Lumber and Supply on Mill Street 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Buddy Milhoan

Trail Mix in Peninsula (directly behind Winking Lizard) 2-3:30 p.m., Paul Kovac (Bluegrass, Folk, Americana)

The Brown Rabbit and Yellow Creek Trading Co. on Main Street 1-3 p.m., Box of Squirrels

Elements Gallery on Mill Street 1-3 p.m., Jon Mosey (Guitar, Banjo—Traditional Acoustic Blues, Folk)
3-5 p.m., Red Brick Rhodes (Guitar and fiddle—Americana and Folk)

The Log Cabin Gallery on North Canal Street 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Billy Crowbeak Faluski (Native American Woodland Style Flutes)
1-3 p.m., Stone Cold Soup (Irish Jigs, Civil War Era Marches, Baroque Era Tunes, Ballads)
  • Greg Canda—Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Bowed Psaltery and Vocals
  • Sara Finan—Fiddle and Bowed Psaltery
  • Jo Lester—Recorders and Vocal
3-5 p.m., Dean Kiss & Steve Murphy (Blues and Folk Rock with Guitar, Harmonica and Vocals) 

G.A.R. Hall—Patio 11 a.m., Abby Rose (Singer/Songwriter, Folk)
12 p.m., Chris Allen (Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Rock, Pop)
1 p.m., Brent Kirby (Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Rock)
2 p.m., Becky Boyd (Blues, Jazz)
3 p.m., Roger Hoover (Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Blues)
4-5:15 p.m., Riley Calcagno & Mark Olitsky (Old-Time, Banjo and Fiddle)
5:30-6:15 p.m., Old-Time Jam
  • Grab your fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo and head over to the G.A.R. Hall patio … all are welcome! This is your chance to jam with Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones. Erynn and Carl will lead the old-time jam this year and then they will be heading into the G.A.R. Hall for the evening show. 

Workshops and Master Classes

11 a.m., The Rail Splitters Master Class—Vocal HarmoniesThe Bronson Church
Admission: $10
Reservations at

12 p.m., Mark Olitsky Master Banjo Workshop The G.A.R. Hall
Admission: Free
Click here for reservations

1-4 p.m., Doug Unger and Mark Ward, Lutherie as an Art! The Bronson Church
Admission: Free

 2-3 p.m., An Acoustic/Bluegrass Guitar and Songwriting Q&A with Sean Watkins The G.A.R. Hall
Admission: $15
Reservations at

4:30 p.m., Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones Old Time Fiddle, The Life and Music of Melvin Wine The G.A.R. Hall
Admission: $15
Reservations at


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