Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings

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The first phonograph showed up in 1877, yet another invention by Thomas Edison – and even he was fond of this machine that could record and play back sound and would often reply to questions about his best invention, “I like the phonograph best”.

Performers would stand before a funnel-shaped horn attached to a phonograph and belt out their tunes. High volumes of sound were required to make the recording diaphragm vibrate strong enough to force the cutting stylus to carve on the blank wax cylinder. The recording engineer would tell the musicians when to begin and would keep the wax shavings from getting in the way of the stylus during the recording.

Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings have recorded songs on “honest to goodness” wax cylinder. The band, made up of Aaron Jonah Lewis, Matt Bell, Timmy Findlen, Lindsay McCaw, and Joy Patterson, reports “our mission is to perform the weirdest songs from the early days of tin pan alley on the format on which they were first recorded – wax cylinder”. The video below shows the band recording “The moon shines on the moonshine”.

Can’t wait to welcome this band to Lancaster, Pa and to host the Roochies on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 pm at Chestnut House Concerts.

2013 Memories – I Draw Slow

Typically prior to a Chestnut House Concert show we use this website to write about the bands that are next on our performance schedule in hopes to improve attendance and to give the bands some additional exposure.

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Louise Holden, Greyfox 2013 (photo by Tim Lehman)

We are extremely honored to host I Draw Slow at Chestnut House Concerts on Monday. Twice now in our house concert venture we had a full audience RSVP without recruitment efforts.  In January 2015 Harpeth Rising, with their own amazing marketing efforts reached out to the local papers, and our house concerts were featured in Lancaster Newspapers. We could have held another house show the next evening and still turned people away.

The show on the 13th with I Draw Slow filled equally as fast – without marketing. We knew it would. We saw them at Greyfox Bluegrass Festival in 2013; their first appearance at Greyfox. Two measures into the first song I knew I was going to appreciate their set. Two songs into the set I knew I was going to go hear them again at another stage later in the day. The lead singer Louise has a great voice – but for me it’s the harmonies added by her brother Dave (guitarist) that make the ears happy. Konrad Liddy is on the upright bass, Adrian Hart on fiddle, and Colin Derham on banjo. Each masters his own instrument yet as a band it’s obvious that it is all about providing support to Louise with a sound that is tight yet full of emotion.

If you missed signing up for this house concert you can check out I Draw Slow at Tellus360 on Tuesday, July 14, 9:00 pm.  Our next house concert is the Roochie Toochie Ragtime Shepherd Kings on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm.  RSVP with Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com.

Artist Updates

BN-IX108_NYKULT_M_20150612162014Tim Connell who played at Chestnut House Concerts in 2014 and 2015 with Mando Planet also plays mandolin with the world renowned Ger Mandolin Orchestra. They recently performed in New York City, an event that was picked up by the Wall Street Journal. 


 

Our very first house concert guest back in 2012 (and again with Sally Barris in 2015) was Jonathan Byrd. In my opinion he is one of the best writers in Americana music, and Jonathan Byrd’s response to the tragedy in South Carolina was shared over 4,000 times on Facebook.


 

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She said ‘Yes’.

 

Alex Conerly of The Barefoot Movement proposed to his love, female vocalist Marion Grace, at the Grand Ole Opry.  We’re happy to celebrate their engagement.

 


 

After doing a project together for Earthwork Music, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys recorded “Burning it Down” with Max Lockwood and John Driscoll at La Luna Recording and Sound. They sound mighty fine together, but it might be difficult to squeeze a 6 piece band on our ‘stage’ at Chestnut House Concerts.


The July 13, 2015 concert with I Draw Slow is sold out. You can see them on July 14, 2015 at Tellus360. On July 28, 2015 we will be hosting Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings. Suggested donation is 15/20. Potluck at 6 pm and show at 7 pm. Email Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 7179408311 to RSVP.

Joel McKenna of the Steel City Rovers – 5/5

Joel McKeJoelnna is the guitarist for the Steel City Rovers – He has been playing acoustic guitar since a very young age and is able to capture the soul of the song in his playing and through backing vocals. Joel also spends time in the recording studio – not just with Steel City Rovers material, but with other recording artists as well.

The show at Chestnut House Concerts is tomorrow night (Thursday, June 18, 2015). If you’ve procrastinated with your RSVP, it’s not too late. Potluck at 6, Show at 7.  Contact Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 7179409311.  We’ve reviewed all 5 members of the Steel City Rovers:  Jess, Mark, Ryan, Dave and Joel – and now we welcome the band to Lancaster, Pa.

Dave Neigh of the Steel City Rovers – 4/5

Meet DaveNeighDave Neigh, fiddle player with the Steel City Rovers.

When Dave is not playing with the Rovers he can be found playing guitar, bass, Irish tenor banjo, mandolin, tuba and harmonica.  But not all at one time.

Dave also plays with the Ever Lovin’ Jug Band and the blues fiddle group Step On It!.  To see the Steel City Rovers on Thursday night (June 18, 2015), rsvp with Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 7179409311.  Potluck at 6; Show at 7.

Ryan McKenna of the Steel City Rovers – 3/5

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Ryan  McKenna of the Steel City Rovers was kind enough to speak with me about his band from Hamilton, Ontario.

Hamilton, like Pennsylvania’s Steel City, is experiencing urban renewal – from steel to medicine. The Juravinski family is investing dollars in cancer research and with this new energy there are fresh possibilities. Young people are re-purposing city space as active living areas with lots of art and music. Old places are becoming re-energized, helping the community wake up from the stupor of previous generations.

“Broadly speaking, our culture in North America is going through a shift. Things cannot be done the same way anymore” said McKenna. He then related this cultural transition to the Rover’s approach to Celtic music. The band plays only original tunes bringing newness to Celtic roots by looking back to traditional ways of playing the music and giving it a twist. While a song might be brought to the band with the lyrics and melody already together, (Ryan is the lyricist) band members might change a line or add an idea. The Rover’s work well together and when something doesn’t feel right, they maintain the delicate balance between knowing when to seek change and when to step back.

Ryan and guitarist Joel McKenna are siblings and have been making music together all their lives.  About 10 years ago multi-instrumentalist Mark Fletcher came to a pub where Ryan and Joel were performing and he sat in on some songs with them and they’ve played together ever since. Drummer Danno O’Shea played with the Rover’s until he became too busy to make a full time commitment to a band. Danno recommended his protégé Jess Gold; she and fiddle player Dave Neigh round out the five piece band.

The Steel City Rovers continue to gain recognition in the music industry and this year received their second nomination for the ethnic/world category at the Hamilton Music Awards. McKenna notes that the band is receiving acknowledgement for strong vocal harmonies and songwriting but also as an instrumental powerhouse. The Rovers are now playing on stages that they’ve wanted to be on for quite some time.  While the large venues are fun, the small house shows or pubs are what they’re most used to and familiar with.  There’s no division between the performer and the audience.

Two of the most asked questions when hosting house concerts are “what kind of music is it?” and “what should I bring to the potluck?”.  Ryan’s answers are “Celtabilly” and “Guiness always pairs well with music”.

Hope to see you on Thursday evening. RSVP with Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or give a call/text to 717-940-9311.

Mark Fletcher of the Steel City Rovers – 2/5

Mark Fletcher got his musical foundation on the piano after which came classical and flamenco guitar styles.  The complex finger work of thesthesteelcityrovers-ridgeway2014-5e styles allowed Mark to adapt to other instruments quickly.  Mark is known for his multi-instrumental skills and in any given performance with the Steel City Rovers can glide from Scottish smallpipes to mandola, accordian or Irish Whistle.

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Mark has been active in the music industry for close to 40 years, playing his first professional gigs at age 16. Over time he has performed the music of many genres, been the architect of many well known Celtic ensembles and contributed his musical skills to nearly 40 recordings.

The Steel City Rovers will be at Chestnut House Concerts on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  Prior to the show at 6:00 p.m. will be a potluck; reservations can be made by a text/call to Tim at 71794 09311, or an email to tlehman9@gmail.com.