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Band Highlight:


An evening of old time music worth crowing about
On the waterfront at Castaways in Ithaca
Thursday, September 1
EARLY SHOW 8 pm til ?
joining forces with RICHIE STEARNS (Horse Flies)
and ROSIE NEWTON (Pearly Snaps)
Come join three fine old time musicians for a friendly evening of music at Castaways in Ithaca Thurs. Sept 1: it’s a Rootabaga Boogie show featuring Willie Watson of Old Crow Medicine Show together with his old friend Richie Stearns (Horse Flies, Evil City String Band) and Rosie Newton (Pearly Snaps, Evil City).
Willie’s a member of OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW, a nationally recognized band that’s got deep roots right here in Upstate New York. Fact, Willie first met Ben Gould in high school in Watkins Glen, over in Schuyler County and they started playing music together (remember FUNNEST GAME?) Their music was much influenced by our lively oldtime music scene—notably, The Horse Flies and the Highwoods. (“We were like Tommy Jarrell jamming with Crazy Horse,” read their official bio at one point.) They played regularly with Richie Stearns at the Rongovian Embassy and at our Grassroots festival, the band including Ketch Secor who came to Ithaca College (and brought Critter Fuqua upstate too.)
It was (according to Wikipedia, among other sources) actually through Richie Stearns that the boys first all connected with each other. After a couple years in Ithaca, the OCMS boys took off rambling with their music and one day, busking outside a pharmacy in Boone, North Carolina, they met Doc Watson’s daughter. She liked the boys so much she brought her dad by—Doc invited the boys to come to Merlefest and by 2000, the band had relocated to Nashville. Old Crow Medicine Show started getting some pretty high profile gigs (The Grand Ole Opry, for one). They began hanging out with the likes of Marty Stuart, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; over the past several years, they’ve been the rising stars of the roots scene--Bonnaroo, Telluride, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Austin City Limits, and a slew of appearances on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion. The Old Crow Medicine Show boys are on hiatus at the moment (their web site says something about “seeking health and wellness in the next couple of months”) and that means Willie Watson’s home for a visit. Time to reconnect with old friends.
RICHIE STEARNS is best known for his work with The Horse Flies (banjo, tenor guitar) but he’s also a founding member of Donna the Buffalo, played for many years with the Jennie Stearns band, and these days, can be found most frequently playing with the Evil City String Band. (But his music also takes him far afield: he’s toured and recorded with Natalie Merchant, Jim Lauderdale, John Doyle, Tony Trischka, Carrie Rodriguez and others and shared with the stage with literal who’s who of contemporary roots artists (Bela Fleck, Buddy Miller, Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, and dozens more) The late Mike Seeger described Richie as “one of the major contemporary innovators of 5-string banjo playing….and a wonderful songwriter.”
ROSIE NEWTON says she’s been playing fiddle for as long as she can remember. She grew up over in Woodstock, absorbing the folk scene there. When she came to Ithaca to study viola at Ithaca College in 2006, she found herself swept into the old time music scene. With her friend Stephanie Jenkins, Rosie formed The Pearly Snaps (they recorded a recent album full of sweet sad songs and old time tunes) and these days, you can often hear her performing with Richie Stearns and the Evil City String Band.
Richie, Rosie and Willie join forces for an evening of oldtime music and songs; it’ll be the first time all three have played together and it promises to be a rollicking evening. (The old time scene being what it is, there may be a few special guests who show up, too.) Come hang out on the waterfront at Castaways, one of the last summer concerts of 2011: Willie & Richie & Rosie, 8 pm at Castaways, 415 Old Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, tickets $10 at the door. Presented by ROOTABAGA BOOGIE. More info: or 607-277-8806.



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