Peshtigo

I like songs that recount history like Dylan’s “Hurricane” or “Louisiana 1927″ by Randy Newman and I particularly like when one of these historical ballads has information that is new to me, requiring some online research.  Laurel Premo’s “Peshtigo” on Red Tail Ring’s Middlewest Chant  was one of those songs.

Of course I knew of the Chicago fire of 1871, and the wrongly accused cow.  What I wasn’t previously familiar with was that the worst recorded forest fire occurred the same night in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.  When the large cyclonic storm that revved up Chicago’s fire also came through Wisconsin, conditions were perfect for a forest fire in that region – a long drought, a town built with wood, logging industry, ‘slash and burn’ methods for clearing farm land, and cleared ground for the railroad. Some theorize that a meteorite or comet might have ignited the flame that killed more than 1200 people and burned over 2400 acres.

Laurel Premo’s family lives in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan near the Wisconsin border and the Peshtigo fire is an important part of her family history.  Though he was just an infant at the time of the fire, Laurel’s great-great-grandfather and his mother survived the fire. Laurel wrote about this piece of history in her song “Peshtigo”.

http://www.peshtigofire.info/gallery/harpers.htm

“Both animal and man, ran from the fiery hand, the waters were the only way, for son and mother to be saved. … The river Menominee, with blankets held over thee, but in the well where soot floats down, one may smother but not drown” (from Peshtigo by Laurel Premo). http://www.peshtigofire.info/gallery/harpers.htm

Both members of the duo Red Tail Ring write the songs they sing and instruments incorporated by Laurel and Michael (Beauchamp) include: banjo, mandolin, jaw harp, fiddle and guitar. For a night of original songs such as “Peshtigo”, RSVP for Red Tail Ring’s show on Friday, October 24, 2014 by contacting Tim Lehman at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 717-940-9311.  Potluck at 6:00 pm, Show at 7:00 pm.

One Year Later

In September 2013 Chestnut House Concerts Ida9Monthsstarted the fall series with Birds of Chicago.  At that time Allison was nearing her final trimester of pregnancy.  She gave birth to Ida Mauve the last week of December, 2013.

Hopefully the next time her parents visit Chestnut House Concerts for a show we can meet her in person.

Tomorrow night (October 1, 2014) we’re hosting Evie Ladin & Keith Terry.  There is room for more guests so contact us during the day if you’d like to come to the show.  717-940-9311 or tlehman9@gmail.com, potluck at 6, show at 7.

A Musician’s Recommendation…Evie Ladin & Keith Terry

Chestnut House Concerts was introduced to the music of Evie Ladin and Keith Terry by Oliver Craven of The Stray Birds so we asked Oliver to answer a few questions about Evie in advance of her October 1st show.


Oliver, when did you first meet Evie Ladin and/or hear her perform?

I first met Evie at Common Ground arts camp in Maryland in 2012. She was awesome. I don’t know if I actually saw her perform that time but we had a ball just singing songs late night on the porch.


 

What is it about a house concert venue that makes it a good place to hear someone like Evie?

What Evie and Keith do is best observed as close as possible. It’s intricate and nuanced, and the closer you get the more you’re gonna appreciate it. Not TOO close of course. But like a couple feet away.


Both Evie and Keith use their bodies to make rhythm – clapping, clogging, stomping - some of us are familiar with the term ‘hambone’.  What do you think is the most challenging aspect of this type of music?10672327_862551203762922_7108981106180109662_n

They got rhythm all over. It’s one thing to play an instrument, but turning your own body into that instrument and using the whole of it is something else. I’ll stick to strings.


Evie mentioned that The Stray Birds spent time at her home in California this past summer. What’s a favorite memory of that trip?

We did have the chance to visit Evie and Keith earlier this year out on the west coast. They were gracious hosts. They dragged us through some terrible San Francisco traffic one afternoon and I wasn’t too thrilled at the time, but when we got to the beach they had in mind it made me wanna move to California.


Why should music lovers around Lancaster come to see Evie Ladin & Keith Terry at their house concert?

See Evie and Keith because they’re good. It’s real stuff what they do. And they do it well. And they’re friendly too. And tell them I said hello.

Thanks Oliver for such this introduction to Evie Ladin & Keith Terry.

If you’re interested in attending we still have room. Contact Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or text/call 717-940-9311. Wednesday, October 1 – potluck at 6, show at 7.

 

Banjo = Rhythm, Melody & Harmony

Musician Evie Ladin has lived in California since 2000 although she was raised in New York and became familiar with Old Time Music through her father’s love for the New Lost City Ramblers. Evie’s family hosted musicians when she was a young girl and her father bought her a banjo after John Cohen had been at their home and suggested the banjo as an instrument for her. Evie’s first banjo teacher was Bob Carlin and she learned the claw-hammer style of playing.

Evie lists Clarence Ashley and Kyle Creed, banjo players from the early-mid 1900s, as well as contemporary players Richie Stearns and Travis Stuart as artists who influenced her style.  Evie describes the banjo as rhythm, melody and harmony. Evie and Keith Terry are touring the East Coast and will play at Chestnut House Concerts on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.  It’s a weeknight so take advantage of bringing something to share at the potluck at 6:00 pm so you don’t have to make dinner. The show will begin at 7:00 pm.

The following is a video of Evie singing one of her original tunes, “Floating Downstream”.

RSVP by contacting Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or by phone/text at 717-940-9311.

Bluegrass Stomp

One week from tonight on September 27, 2014, we’re happy to be hosting Billy Strings & Don Julin at Chestnut House Concerts.

If you have not yet reserved seats for the show and would like to attend, contact Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at tlehman9@gmail.com.  There is a a potluck at 6:00 pm and the show begins at 7:00 pm.

At the show Billy and Don will perform a mixture of original and traditional bluegrass tunes, Billy on guitar and Don on mandolin.  Here is a video of them performing a Bill Monroe tune “Bluegrass Stomp”.

Traditional American String Band Music – with Energy Levels Usually Associated with Extreme Sports

 

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When then 19 year old Billy Strings moved to Don Julin’s hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, some friends told Don to ‘check this kid out’. He did, and after the performance introduced himself to Billy and suggested that they get together and pick some time.  After a single rehearsal the duo has been playing a mix of traditional and original bluegrass tunes all across the country.

Billy began playing guitar when he was 4.  His father would play Doc Watson tunes at parties and  family gatherings and Billy learned guitar so he could play along.  Today he is 21 and considered a musician to watch in the folk/bluegrass world.  Don Julin has mastered the mandolin and his skill on the instrument combined with his knowledge of the music business world really makes the duo work well together. They were recently signed by Crossover Touring.

Their show is full of energy – the mix of Billy’s extraordinary picking, his powerful voice (mature beyond his years), Don’s mandolin picking and harmonies, and the chemistry between the two musicians – leaves the audience wanting more.

Below is an audio file of “Beaumont Rag” from their 2014 release “Fiddle Tune X”.

To RSVP check in with Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at tlehman9@gmail.com.  $15/20 donation at the door.  Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm.  If you know someone who can’t get enough of great guitar and mandolin picking, or extreme sports, make sure you bring them along.