From Emily Troll ’10:
Virginia Old Time Stringband OLD SLEDGE!
Enjoy a night of southern fiddle tunes, ballads and harmony.
- When: Tuesday, April 6th, at 7:00pm
- Where: 76 Pearl Street
- What: Fiddle Concert
- Cost: Free $10 suggested donation
Call 860 344 9674 to reserve a seat. Band details after the jump.
Old Sledge (www.oldsledgemusic.com) is a trio of young musicians who fiddle tunes and sing songs from the Virginia and West Virginia mountain communities where they make their home. Inspired by the rich tradition around them, they play old hymns and ballads full of joy and sorrow, along with rousing banjo and fiddle tunes from at all-night square dances that have been passed down, one generation to the next, to land at their feet. Chance McCoy, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Sabra Guzmán, on fiddle, banjo and guitar, have earned awards for their playing at festivals throughout Appalachia, including first place honors in the 2009 band contest at the Appalachian String Band Festival (WV) and the West Virginia State fiddle, banjo and dulcimer championships. Members of the band have performed on the BBC, The Kennedy Center, and PBS, and are in demand as teachers of the tradition, serving as faculty at the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School (KY), Augusta Heritage Center’s Old Time Music Week (WV), Allegheny Echoes (WV), and Pinewoods American Dance Week (MA).
Wesleyan alum Anna Roberts-Gevalt, who grew up in Vermont and graduated from Wesleyan in 2008, followed the sounds of banjos and sawing fiddles during her years in Middletown, and steeped herself in the musical communities and rhythms of Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, learning from some of the living masters of the tradition. Now living in Virginia, she is a prize-winning fiddler and banjo player, and in the midst of a grant-sponsored research project about female fiddlers and banjo players.
Sabra Guzmán grew up in California where she first heard and fell in love with recordings of the Carter Family, and early country music singers. Inspired, she took up guitar herself, charming audiences with her singing, performing with The Mercury Dimes and The Crooked Jades, and The Flat Iron String Band. She lives and teaches guitar, singing and bass in a home on the banks of the New River, in Giles County, Virginia.
Chance McCoy, a West Virginia native, has steeped himself in the songs and tunes of the mountains he grew up in, emerging from the youngest generation of old time players, as a masterful steward of the tradition. His fiddling and banjo playing has won him blue ribbons at contests throughout the southern mountains, including the West Virginia State Fiddle and Banjo contest, and the Appalachian Stringband Music Festival (Clifftop).