The Contrarians play contradance and square dance music on fiddles, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, piano, upright bass, a bluesy trumpet, saxophone, and now, with percussion as well. For concerts, original songs are part of the mix.
A Contrarians event delivers dazzling melody - including some great original tunes - along with a solid yet imaginative approach to rhythm. The band has consistently "wowed the crowd" at dances and dance weekends from Atlanta to NY, D.C. to Louisville, KY and points in between. Their playing has brought rave reviews and word keeps spreading.
Hailing from West Virginia, the Contrarians are comfortable in a variety of styles and traditions: Celtic, New England, swing, and of course, old-time (Appalachian). They also write original material. With rhythmic variety, occasional glimpses of ethnic music, and unique improvisations, dancers let loose and never lose interest in the music.
"Ive known some of these guys for over twenty years since they were playing in string bands that traveled to festivals all over the country. Most of them make their living in other ways, but their first love is the music."
Margo Blevin, director of Augusta Heritage Workshops, wrote of the Contrarians at Wild Wonderful Weekend in January, 2003, "The comments were entirely enthusiastic and complimentary. We particuarly appreciated the incredible job you did with the band workshop. Adding that was a big question mark, as we had no idea if musicians were coming and would take the workshop. It was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend, as were all the dances from the first to the very last." M-J Taylor of Asheville, NC said, in 2011, "The Contrarians were always a cut above, but the addition of percussion has taken them to a whole new level."