You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your ReverbNation experience.
Seattle's only band devoted to the music of Newfoundland! Why Newfoundland? Ron Dickson was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1954, the third son of U.S. Navy Commander Bernard Dickson, who was stationed at Pepperell Air Force Base during the mid-1950’s. After his family’s return to the States, he used to listen to an Alan Mills record his parents brought back with them called “Folk Songs of Newfoundland”. His mother would play some of the songs on the piano and they'd sing along to these curiously quaint tales of fishermen and whalers, jinkers, boats and squid jiggers. When Ron returned to the Rock for his birthday in 2000 it all came full circle. On a warm August evening, he and his wife went to the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Music Festival, and standing there in the beer garden, he heard Anita Best and her band launch into “Kelligrew’s Soiree”. It was a revelation. This wasn’t the scratchy old version he remembered from his youth – this was vibrant and fresh and very much alive. Ron had recently learned about the band Great Big Sea, and with his interest in Newfoundland rekindled, soon discovered other bands like Fine Crowd, The Irish Descendants and the Punters, who blended traditional Newfoundland songs and ballads with more modern pop and rock influences. Through them he began to work his way backwards to discover who influenced them and was led to groups like Ryan’s Fancy and some of their disciples including Jim Payne, Anita Best and others. The upshot of all this was that as Ron delved deeper into this rich musical legacy, he had the realization that he knew of no one in the American Pacific Northwest who was playing these songs, let alone anyone who knew of them. As he had already been playing guitar in a local band for over 20 years, it wasn’t much of a stretch in 2009 to put together Piper Stock Hill, an outfit dedicated to spreading the word one pub at a time! Piper Stock Hill is now Ron Dickson on acoustic guitar and vocals; Jan Strolle on fiddle, accordion, and vocals, and James Birkinshaw on acoustic bass, bodhran and harmony vocals. Their repertoire includes songs by several of the musicians and bands listed above, a good number of traditional tunes that have been handed down through the ages, and a growing list of originals! Stay where you’re to and we’ll come where you’re at – it’s some good, me son!