Saturday 25 — Friday 31 August 2018, at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA
2018 Staff List
Cathy Barton *
Bourque Émissaires (Benoit Bourque &
Sara Grey *
Dave Para *
Caroline Paton *
Ed Trickett *
Harry Tuft *
The Vox Hunters
. . . and our talented campers
|Our staff members are not only great performers, they are also excellent teachers, whether it be instruments, styles, or the music of a particular area or era, etc.|
* These performers were part of a loose amalgamation known as The Golden Ring.
|Co-Directors: Joy Bennett and Heather Wood. Sound: Don Wade|
has been a musician all his life. He came of age during the Civil Rights era, and cultivated a powerful affinity for cross-cultural exchange. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line — in the Old-Time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as Black Gospel and Blues. He plays this music with affection, authority, and power. Armed with a variety of instruments — vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a one-string, homemade diddley bow (aka cigar box guitar) and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South — Ainslie brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America to life.
is a violin maker and musician based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Limerick, and is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA where he earned his diploma in Violin Making & Repair. Picking up the fiddle and tin whistle in his mid-teens, Armand learned much of his music from renowned Irish musicians and tunesmiths Jimmy Devine and Patrick Hutchinson, both of whom helped to foster an interest in the lyrical and colorful styles of older musicians such as Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, Bobby Casey, Johnny Doherty, and Tommy Reck. In addition to being the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil Champion for Senior Fiddle, Armand was also a finalist at the Séan Ó Riada Gold Medal Fiddle Competition held in Cork, Ireland in 2011. Since 2010, he has taught fiddle and tin whistle for the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann in Boston. Much to Ben's delight and dismay, Armand is working on incorporating English concertina into his repertoire of instruments. Armand joins Benedict Gagliardi as The Vox Hunters.
lived many places before coming to Columbia, Missouri in 1967 to attend junior high, high school, and college. There and in Hawaii, she became interested in folk music and took well to the ukulele classes in her school. Her visits to the Polynesian Cultural Center began a life-long appreciation for native culture. Cathy learned to play the banjo from Lee Ruth and his brother, Jim. She met Ramona Jones, who took her to Nashville where she met Roy Acuff and his band members, including “Bashful Brother Oswald” Pete Kirby and fiddle legend Howdy Forrester. Cathy performed on the “Grand Ol Opry” and “Nashville Now” with Ramona a few times, but it was the jam sessions with the legendary country music old-time musicians that she enjoyed most. A recognized master of the frailing banjo style Cathy has twice won the Tennessee Old-Time Banjo Championship, and Acuff often called her his “favorite banjo player,” because her playing reminded him of earlier days of country music. She can also be credited for some of the growing interest in the hammered dulcimer in the Midwest. In the mid-1970s, she was one of the first to play it at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, providing a number of current players with their first hearing of the instrument. Cathy sings with her husband, Dave Para.
was born in a small fishing village with the fairytale name of Merasheen, in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, just before circumstances contrived to bring her native country into union with Canada. Her people came to Merasheen from Somerset in the late 1700s and were engaged in the inshore and bank fishery until Merasheen was depopulated by government in 1968. On both sides of the family there were wonderful singers of old ballads, tragic sea songs and comical ditties, and the occasional storyteller who gathered everyone around on the long winter nights.
is Benoit Bourque and his son Antoine Pigeon-Bourque. The name of the duo is a pun on the name — it sounds almost identical to “bouc émissaire” in French, meaning “scapegoat.” Benoit is a musician, dancer, singer and caller, who has been a member of several bands with whom he toured extensively in North America and in Europe. Antoine was steeped in traditional music since birth. The father-son duo has a vast repertoire of traditional music from Quebec, not to mention jigs and songs.
describes herself simply as a "modern english musician." Noted as a singer and fiddler, she is also at home on many other instruments. During a 25-year journey/career she has become one of the most dazzling and recognised folk musicians of a generation. She has revitalised and made folk music relevant to new audiences and has captured the most hardened of dissenters with canny, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance. Many of the current crop of young professional folk musicians owe their successes in part to her determination, standard-bearing and campaigning spirit. Yorkshire-born and based in Edinburgh since 1997, Eliza Carthy grew up immersed in the world of traditional English music. She has lived a life based on the philosophy that it is a genre worthy of and equal to any other, and that musicians need no boundaries and deserve no restrictions to what they do as artists.
is one of folk music's greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums.
"Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all" — Q Magazine
is a multi-instrumentalist (ukulele, guitar, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, piano) who has been performing & teaching music for all ages since 1986. She has recorded three CD’s for families and is an active member of The Children’s Music Network. Once an active member of FSSGB, Amy now creates community music programs in southern NH such as the Second Friday Song Circle, music jams, concerts and Ukulele Playshops for adults. Her classes emphasize singing and playing for fun. Amy taught Beginning Ukulele at TradMaD 2015 and 2016 and her classes performed brilliantly in the Camper Concerts.
is Bill Spence (hammered dulcimer, vocals), Toby Stover (piano, vocals), and George Wilson (fiddle, banjo, vocals). The amount of talent possessed by these three virtuoso musicians is astounding and has only been enhanced by the number of years each of them has been making music.
has developed a specialist repertoire of songs originating from her native North East. What matters to her is that "songs tell of how life was… they take you into that time without it being a history lesson, so that you are almost in the middle of the time looking out of it rather than in a history book, reading about how things were." The Boston Irish Reporter wrote: "Anni Fentiman executed her notes so perfectly, with such an eerie sound that one could actually picture the scene described in the song." Anni also sings with her husband, Dave Webber.
was produced and developed in central Connecticut. He discovered folk music in high school by way of a cassette tape of CT-based band The Morgans, and immediately bought a concertina (likely aspiring to become a pirate). His style is the result of an eager student and an ill-advised teacher (both him). Although Ben never received formal lessons, his music-making was nurtured and encouraged at sessions by local trad musicians including Joe Gerhard, John Tabb, Jeanne Freeman, Jon Warner and many others. Ben can't dance a step, so he tries to make good use of his time sitting by singing and playing banjo, baritone ukulele, harmonica, or melodeon. In real life, Ben is a full-time lab coordinator at The Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design. Benedict joins Armand Aromin as The Vox Hunters.
is a native Mainer who grew up a member of the legendary Gawler Family Band. She plays fiddle, banjo and upright bass, and belts out songs in a rich sonorous alto. Not long ago, Edith finished her architectural thesis at Syracuse University, which looks to draw on the principles of the local sustainable food movement as a model for a new architecture. When not singing in the fields with husband Bennett Konesni, she works as a junior architect.
was born and raised in New York City, where he grew up listening to American, Russian, Spanish, Caribbean, and Israeli folk music. His interest in Balkan music developed in his early teens. in 1970, he bought his first mountain dulcimer. He started playing concertina two years later. In the early ’90s he discovered Swedish spelmansmusik and fell in love with the traditional fiddle music of Sweden. Just as he learned many songs and tunes of the Catskills and Adirondacks when he lived in New York, Mark’s move to Texas inspired him to learn a repertoire of traditional Texas songs and fiddle tunes which he plays on mountain dulcimer. in 2016, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer competition in Winfield, Kansas. Mark's wide-ranging and eclectic repertoire is matched by the number of instruments he plays.
Photo: Susi Lawson
is an Appalachian singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. Born and raised in Wythe County in southwest Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam’s performances combine traditional Appalachian ballads, dance tunes, original songs and the stories that surround the music. Sam earned a degree in Folklore from Berea College and performed for four years with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, directed by Al White. Sam writes new songs in the Appalachian radition, telling stories about love, the home place, working people and present social issues in the mountains. Peggy Seeger called Ain't We Brothers, "A stunning first album,” saying, “I keep very few albums that I am given. This one’s a keeper." Sam plays with Tyler Hughes — see their joint website.
|The Golden Ring
was never an established group of specific individuals; it was always more a concept, an approach to informal, non-competitive music-making by a gathering of friends, often solo performers in their own right, who simply enjoyed singing and playing together. Gathered at TradMaD this year are Golden Ringers Cathy Barton, Sara Grey, Dave Para, Caroline Paton, Ed Trickett, and Harry Tuft.
grew up in New Hampshire but lived in Scotland and England for many years before moving back to the States. As a youngster in North Carolina she first heard a lot of mountain music and her love for the old time banjo music and songs developed from this experience. She has carried this interest into her adult life, studying folklore and collecting and performing music from the various areas in which she has lived. She has been concentrating for the last several years on tracing the migration of songs from the British Isles to North America. Sara lives for her music and works at her trade with the result that her music is not only technically excellent but also filled with her warmth and spirit. Her voice is both powerful and sweet, with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. She is also a fine banjo picker.
Photo: Kristen Bearfield
is an old time and country musician, square dance caller, and educator from the Central Appalachians. Based in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Hughes is no stranger to the roots of old time, bluegrass, and country music that thrive in the southern highlands. Since age twelve, he has been performing close to home and across the east coast. In 2015, Hughes graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies. He performs not only as a solo artist, but also with the Empty Bottle String Band from Johnson City, Tennessee. Tyler has appeared on PBS' Song of the Mountains, NPR's Mountain Stage, at Jazz at the Lincoln Center, and at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia. Tyler plays with Sam Gleaves — see their joint website.
is a musician, singer, and dance caller. He plays fiddle, guitar, and piano. David calls and teaches contra dances, family dances, and basic Swedish turning dances: Schottische, polska, hambo, snoa, etc. Whether playing tunes, teaching and calling dances, or working at a camp, or even running in a road race, he tends to be more interested in the process than the product. David notes, "Experience wins over expedience every time. Most of 'real life' isn't like this, but music and dancing can be."
is a teacher of children, a singer of old songs, sailor of old square-rigged wooden ships, and man of Chanteys at Mystic Seaport Museum. Chris primarily performs US and British traditional music, and he is attracted to the stories behind many of the songs he sings. He has played in concerts and festivals in both the US and the UK, and has led workshops dealing with a variety of traditional music forms. Chris can accompany himself on Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Concertina, and other things common to an average garage sale.
runs the family's Duckback Farm in Maine with his wife, Edith Gawler, where they grow gourmet garlic, teas, and culinary herbs. He also runs worksongs.org, where he shares his 20 years of worksong research and development. Bennett is the co-founder of Sylvester Manor, a 243-acre educational farm on Shelter Island, NY on a piece of land that had been in his family since 1652 until it was donated to a nonprofit farm that he started. His roles there include teaching worksongs to the farm crew and directing a wide variety of musical programs, including events like Plant&Sing, which brings the community to the farm to complete two weeks' worth of garlic shucking and planting in a single morning, all while singing worksongs.
was born in Chicago, where he took his sister-in-law’s guitar to classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music, which rekindled his childhood interest in folk music. Moving to Boonville, Missouri with his wife, Cathy Barton, they lived next door to the late Bob Dyer and sang many of his songs. They started the Big Muddy Folk Festival in 1991 and produced two albums of Civil War music from Trans-Mississippi West. These albums gained wide respect among Civil War historians in the region and put them in demand for seminars and performances at national parks, re-enactments and historical meetings throughout the state, including the third funeral for Jesse James, in 1995. They also became guest performers aboard the legendary Delta Queen steamboat. Dave is a fine guitarist and singer.
draws upon a vast repertoire developed over many years of collecting folksongs, with her late husband, Sandy, throughout the English -speaking world, from the Southern Appalachians to the Ozarks, from Scotland and England to the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Sandy and Caroline were the founders of Folk Legacy Records.
was born in Iowa. He comes by his interest in Celtic music honestly, having Scottish, Irish and Scandinavian parents and grandparents. Untill Bill's 1973 CD, The Hammered Dulcimer, there were virtually no recordings of hammered dulcimer music available. With his wife, Andy, Bil founded Old Songs, Inc., which runs one of the best festivals in the world for traditional music of many genres. Bill is the leader of Fennig's All-Stars.
is a well-known piano player, focusing on New England style country and dance music. She has appeared with several well known groups, including the Vanaver Caravan. Toby is versed in many ethnic dance styles including African dance. She has also performed with Fakoli Dance and Drum. Toby is a teaching artist of ethnic dance and drumming. Toby is part of Fennig's All-Stars.
has been collecting, crafting, and performing folk songs for many years, combining a love of traditional music with an enthusiasm for spreading it around. He has been performing for over 50 years in coffee houses, colleges, and folk music festivals and clubs in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. Playing 6- and 12-string guitar, hammered dulcimer, and piano, his repertoire ranges from traditional ballads to songs of the sea, labor songs, songs of love and parodies. He has appeared several times on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion. Ed is a psychologist 40 hours a week and a musician the rest of the time. The Washington Post wrote, "Ed Trickett's unaffected tenor and his living-room-folk approach. The aura of shared intimacies and unhurried feeling in his delivery creates a powerful sense that the music comes straight from the man, not a record."
has been singing with instruments since she was in high school, just because it was fun. She grew up singing along with Peter Paul and Mary, and John Denver. The traditional songs were the stories of everyday people who lived in earlier times, under different circumstances, but shared the same hopes and dreams that we have today. The contemporary folk songs that she likes to sing paint similar pictures with words and inspire us with messages of hope in the human spirit. She treats her instrument, the mountain dulcimer, as her singing partner. She sings the melody, and lets the instrument back her up.
N.B., Susan is no relation to that other Trump ...
grew up singing and playing a series of instruments — from the piano to the clarinet, ukulele, baritone uke, and, in college, a six-string guitar. Philadelphia's lively folk scene provided the setting for Harry's first ventures into public singing. From there, friendships with Dick Weissman and Roger Abrahams fostered a growing interest in Anglo-American folk music. With encouragement from Izzy Young, owner of the first and (then) only Folklore Center, in New York's Greenwich Village, Harry opened the Denver Folklore Center in March 1962. Stop by. If Harry's not there, he's probably not far away. You'll enjoy the mixture of people, music, and merchandise you'll find there.
|The Vox Hunters
is (or are?) Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi, who are musically bound by a shared love of traditional folk music. Though originally united through Irish instrumental music, they share an enthusiastic affinity for an ever-growing amalgam of songs both inside and far outside the realm of ‘folk music’. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices accompanied by fiddle, free reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters present an exciting and eclectic repertoire of traditional folk songs, driving dance tunes, sean nos dancing and other musical varia. The Vox Hunters' philosophy is that the search for good songs is endless and satisfyingly so. They don't aim to fuse genres, push boundaries, or redefine 'folk music' — they simply sing songs they like to sing in exactly the way they like to sing them. Their influences and inspirations are voices in the English, American, and Irish folk music realms, but they allow their ears a long musical leash.
hails from Swindon in Wiltshire, England, and it was mainly in southern folk clubs that he developed his skill as a singer of traditional song. He now says that "you sing songs a long time before you become a singer." For him, singing is about interpreting a song: "I think that’s where you kind of break through and find the crock of gold in a song. You can go along the track of the tune and the words but there comes a point (and it’s only with some songs) where somehow you get through to the treasure." Dave sings with Anni Fentiman as a harmony duo, working largely a capella and featuring mainly traditional and traditional idiom material. Many of Dave's own songs have entered the general repertoire. Scott Alaric wrote in the Boston Globe, "Dave Webber has that rare gift of writing songs that sound traditional."
was trained in voice by Claire Alexander, Shirlee Emmons, Alan Seale, and Myron McPherson. She also studied vocal acoustics, vocal anatomy, repertoire, and vocal health at Teachers College. A soprano and harpist, Elissa created the Everybody Can Sing® voice studio and workshops to help people who are afraid to sing. She has run workshops for the 92nd Street Y, Makor, the Rio Caliente Spa in Mexico, groups of Episcopal seminarians, and in various private settings. “[She is] a wonderful, patient, sensitive teacher, who made everyone feel more confident in their abilities,” wrote a workshop participant.
is a talented, multi-instrumentalist and singer, whose repertoire samples a wide variety of traditional and folk styles. As a fiddler, he has over 500 tunes for dancing and listening — tunes from New England, Quebec, Cape Breton, Scotland, Ireland and Shetland. His dynamic fiddling, strongly influenced by Cape Breton and French Canadian styles, has been popular with contra dancers and concert-goers since the late 1970s. Along with fiddling, George explores some of the roots of contemporary folk music by "visiting" some personalities of the past. Accompanying himself on the 5-string banjo, he sings songs of Uncle Dave Macon (of early Grand Ole Opry fame). He brings this colorful character to life through songs, stories and close representation of Uncle Dave's energetic banjo styles and antics. George is part of Fennig's All-Stars.
was born on a farm in Sussex, England, and at 18 headed off, with his guitar, to Australia, where he worked on a sheep station Emu Springs in South Australia. It was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands and became captivated by these songs. Moving back to England in 1967, he met up with the renowned singer and song collector Bert Lloyd, who himself had spent time in Australia. Martyn was asked by Bert Lloyd to be part of the album ‘Leviathan’ on the Topic label and soon after he started recording for Bill Leader and touring extensively worldwide. Martyn is also the instigator of the well known Song Links Project.
has been involved in folk music most of her life. As a member of the quartet Water Sign for 13 years, she explored the close-knit harmonies of both traditional and contemporary folk music. Joy is also a founding member of the all-woman chantey group The Johnson Girls. The "J-Girls" bring a sound and energy to sea and work songs that has brought entire audiences to their feet. They not only have beautiful harmonies, but raw power, allowing audiences a glimpse of the situations in which the chanteys were used. At the same time, the beauty of their ballads is unparalleled. Joy has performed solo, with Water Sign, the Johnson Girls, Chris Koldewey, and with guest artists in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe.
is a veteran singer from the English revival for some 50+ years, dating from her days with The Young Tradition. She has a great repertoire of ballads, historical songs, love and agricultural songs, and a lot from the humorous side. In addition to the old songs, she has written some dynamite new ones. Over the years, Heather has also acted as agent for other artists, run folk clubs, organized weekends and other events, and written about folk music for an assortment of publications.
has over four decades of experience in sound reinforcement and recording. He has worked at everything from concerts to large festivals and is particularly familiar with Folk, Classical, and Jazz. Don is co-founder of Minstrel Records, which has produced some fine albums.
rev 3 Sept 2017