February 7 Eloise & Co. in Concert

Mark your calendar for our next online concert, with Eloise & Co., the duo of Rachel Bell and Becky Tracy, on February 7th (the first Sunday of the month), at 4 pm Pacific time.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on February 7th. 

Eloise & Co. features the combined creative force of two of the country’s most sought-after dance musicians, Becky Tracy and Rachel Bell, playing Celtic, contra dance, bal folk, and Quebecois music on fiddle, accordion, and piano with unbridled energy and soaring beauty. Their depth and versatility is evident not only in their dynamic playing but also in their rich and unique repertoire, ranging from exciting original compositions to rock-solid traditional tunes. Eloise & Co. was born out of Becky and Rachel’s transcendent melodic connection, their shared love for powerful rhythmic momentum, and their joy in making music together. The blissful vibe is contagious, drawing everyone in the room into a sublime and memorable experience.

Tips are appreciated:
http://www.rachelbellmusic.com/store
or Rachel Bell, 144 Beech St, Apt 1, Brattleboro, VT 05301 

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming concerts:
March 14 – Caroline McCaskey
April 11 – Turnip the Beat

January 10th Audrey Knuth & Amy Englesberg in Concert and Waltz Workshop

Please save the date for our next online concert, with Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg, at 4 pm Pacific time on Sunday, January 10th. Earlier on the same day, at 1 pm, Star Thistle will offer a waltz workshop for musicians (preregistration required). Details for both events are below.

The Concert

Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg, both classically trained musicians, are two-thirds of the Free Raisins. Audrey, who recently moved to the Bay Area from Boston, plays a driving and lyrical fiddle, while Amy plays piano and accordion. The Free Raisins fuse New England roots with a modern groove. This concert promises a versatile mix of danceable tunes.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on January 10th. 

Tips for the band are appreciated: paypal.me/audreyknuth

The Waltz Workshop

On Sunday, January 10th, at 1:00 PM Pacific time, the members of Star Thistle are happy to offer a waltz learning workshop! They will teach two of their original waltzes, one written by Lonna and the other by David. This one-hour online event will lead melody players in learning and playing the waltzes, and offer playing tips and the stories and feelings behind the tunes. There is no fee to attend, but a charitable donation is encouraged. One possibility is the Phoenix fund to help Jeremiah McLane and his family recover from a house fire, in which they lost their instruments and music.

The workshop will be aimed for melody players, notably violin/fiddle, viola, or mandolin but is accessible to other instruments. Lonna, David, and piano wizard Cheryl McKinney will offer accompaniment tips, too.

Star Thistle is a contradance band, which has played often at the Newcastle/Auburn and Sacramento contradances, as well as other venues and special events in California. Fiddler Lonna Whipple grew up playing classical violin. As an adult, she began dancing and playing international folk dance music. Then in the nineties, playing and dancing to music cemented her move into the world of Irish and of course contradance fiddling! Playing with her bandmates in Star Thistle has been a rewarding, growing experience, including the opportunity to try composing her own tunes. David Wright also started with classical training, but experienced teen rebellion and gave up playing entirely, only rediscovering the mandolin and fiddle twenty years later – with traditional and contradance music. He joined Star Thistle in 2001 and is still loving the exploration.

The two tunes are easy waltzes in A-minor and D. Participants should be comfortable with C, G, and D scales (no fancy positions). The band suggests learning to play them by ear, though sheet music will also be provided. 

To participate, respond to daveofdavesue@yahoo.com for the link to the event, which will be sent by email in the second week of January.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming concerts:
Feb. 7 – Rachel Bell and Becky Tracy
March 14 – Caroline McCaskey
April 11 – Turnip the Beat

December 13th Jeff Spero & Christa Burch online concert

Please save the date for our next online concert, with Jeff Spero and Christa Burch of the Syncopaths, at 4 pm Pacific time on Sunday, December 13th.

Jeff Spero and Christa Burch bring a fresh, contemporary spin to music and songs rooted in the Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions. Jeff provides inventive piano, anchored by the driving power of Christa’s bodhrán. She also lends her singular voice — warm, supple, expressive, and intimate — to the songs. Together, they create a “chamber folk” sound, characterized by rich vocals and unexpected colors and rhythms from the piano and bodhrán. The exuberant joy they derive from the music and each other is palpable and contagious.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on December 13th. 

Tips for the band and sound technician are appreciated:
PayPal: PayPal.me/JeffreySpero
Venmo: @Jeffrey-Spero-2
Checks to: Jeffrey Spero
4101 Charles Avenue
Culver City, CA 90232

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming events:
January 10th – Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg
Feb. 7 – Rachel Bell and Becky Tracy
March 14 – Caroline McCaskey

November 8th Pete’s Posse concert

Mark your calendar for our next online concert, November 8th at 4 pm Pacific with Vermont trad-roots power trio Pete’s Posse. We missed them at Echo Summit Dance Camp in September, but they’ve agreed to join us for 2021 instead!

Composed of acclaimed musician Pete Sutherland, his talented protégé Oliver Scanlon, and the uber-dynamic Tristan Henderson, Pete’s Posse never fails to surprise and excite! Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding foot percussion with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jaw harp, rocking keyboards, and soaring vocal harmonies adding color to the Posse’s sonic landscape. 

With a steady flow of powerful uplifting energy that spans their age gap, they tap into many traditions from the north to south, and east to west, to distill a distinct sound that is completely their own. The Boston Irish Reporter recently proclaimed the Posse puts forth “(a) kaleidoscope of sounds and styles with equal parts amiability and energy.”  

The Posse’s signature is variety: all multi-instrumentalists, the band plays a dynamic repertoire of folk-roots genres; songs and tunes, traditional and original. For over four years, they’ve been bringing their brand of ‘neo-traditional folk’ to festival stages, dance halls and concert series across the US, Canada and Europe.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on November 8th. 

Tips are appreciated via https://www.petesposse.com/donate.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming events:
December 13th – Jeff Spero and Christa Burch

October 11th Star Thistle online concert

Mark your calendar for our next online concert, October 11th at 4 pm Pacific with Star Thistle: Lonna Whipple (fiddle), David Wright (fiddle and mandolin), and Cheryl McKinney (keyboard). This hometown favorite band plays Celtic, old-time, and other music.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on October 11th. 

Tips can be sent to paypal.me/davesuemusic, to be donated to the Country Dance and Song Society.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming online concerts:
November 8th – Pete’s Posse

September 13th concert with Cloud Ten’s Cedar Stanistreet & Donal Sheets

Don’t miss our online concert on Sunday, September 13th, at 4 pm Pacific time! We’re hosting Cedar Stanistreet and Donal Sheets from Cloud Ten, who were booked to play at Echo Summit in 2020 and instead will be joining us at Camp Sacramento in September 2021. You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm. Tips are appreciated – see details below.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Cedar Stanistreet, fiddle

CedarCedar grew up playing both classical violin and traditional fiddle music, and studied violin performance at the Crane School of Music. For the past ten years he has played for contra dances across North America with bands including Nor’easter, Cardinal Direction, Maivish, and Cloud Ten. His spirited, rhythmic playing and clear tone keep dancers on their feet. In between gigs, Cedar can be found at home in Brattleboro, Vermont, growing vegetables, baking bread, and birdwatching. He also repairs violins, violas, and cellos. (Photo credit: David Frantz)

Donal Sheets, cello and guitar

Donal2Donal grew up surrounded by traditional music and dance and played jazz bass and classical cello from a very young age. He has spent many years playing American and Irish music on cello and a variety of other instruments. The resonant chords and percussive rhythms of his cello create an indescribably vibrant soundscape drawing from many different traditions. He has taught and performed at music and dance festivals throughout the United States and is a member of Gallimaufry.

Tips:
Paypal: paypal.me/cedarfiddle or stanis66@potsdam.edu

USPS:
Cedar Stanistreet
130 Belmont Ave
Brattleboro, VT  05301

Upcoming online concerts:
October 11th – Star Thistle
November 8th – Pete’s Posse

August 9th concert with Topher Gayle & Louisa Knabe

On Sunday, August 9th, at 4 pm Pacific time, Sacramento Country Dance Society will host an online concert with Topher Gayle and Louisa Knabe. Please join us for an afternoon of fun!

IMG-4610_LgBASS_edited-2Topher Gayle (OpporTunists, Rosin Doctors, Swingin’ Chickens, Mercury Rising, Chaos Wranglers, et al.) has been happily busy playing contra dance music for nearly twenty years. But he’s been writing funny songs and pretty tunes since he was a teenager (shortly after the Fillmore administration). If you’ve seen him playing at a dance, you’ve perhaps noticed he’s usually surrounded by a music store’s worth of stringed, percussive, and unusual instruments. Many instruments, many styles, many grooves! Topher has several CDs and instructional books available at his web site, www.tophergayle.com

Louisa Knabe (Santa Rosa groups Home Made Jam, The Charms, New Math Trio) plays bass and sings. She was involved in the Bay Area bluegrass scene and — of course! — in playing Topher’s songs and tunes. After moving to Santa Rosa, she added some swing and Americana with a couple of bands. She’s delighted to be able to join Topher for this pleasant event.

Together, this duo will entertain you with a mix of pretty songs, rollicking mandolin tunes, humorous original songs, and a waltz or two. There will be a break in the middle of the concert for everyone to chat and more time for catching up after the music is done.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS. Tips are appreciated by PayPal to music@tophergayle.com.

To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming online events

We hope everyone enjoyed listening to the Syncopaths on July 12th. Our plan is to host an online concert every month, on the second Sunday at 4 pm Pacific, so watch this space or join our email list at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS for future announcements.

In the meantime, you can find lots of online concerts and dance events on the website of our parent organization, the Country Dance and Song Society: https://www.cdss.org/community/covid19/online-events

 

July 12th Syncopaths online concert

syncopaths_porch_stepsPlease join us at 4 pm Pacific time on Sunday, July 12th, for our first online concert, featuring the Syncopaths! From dance floors to concert halls, the Syncopaths bring a fresh, contemporary spin to music and songs rooted in the Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions. At the heart of the band’s sound are the twin engines of Ryan McKasson’s dynamic, Scottish-based fiddling and the amazing picking of mandolinist Ashley Hoyer (formerly Broder). Jeff Spero provides inventive piano accompaniment, anchored by the driving power of Christa Burch’s bodhrán. Christa also lends her singular voice — warm, supple, expressive, and intimate — to the band’s songs. Together, they create a “chamber folk” sound, characterized by compelling, rhythmic mandolin, rich vocals, and unexpected colors and rhythms from the piano and bodhrán. The exuberant joy they derive from the music and each other is palpable and contagious.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS. Tips are appreciated and will be split among the band and sound technicians:

PayPal: PayPal.me/JeffreySpero
Venmo: @Jeffrey-Spero-2
Checks to: Jeffrey Spero
4101 Charles Avenue
Culver City, CA 90232

To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Keeping our community in touch

Thanks so much to everyone who donated to SCDS for the Big Day of Giving! We appreciate your dedication to country dance and your fellow dancers.

During these months when we are unable to dance, we are planning some online activities to keep the community connected. To start, we will host a group discussion on Zoom at 2 pm on Sunday, May 24th, where we can keep in touch with each other and talk about what types of online music and dance activities you find appealing. Please save the date and look for a Zoom link in our email newsletter next week. If you are not yet receiving our email announcements, you can sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

You can check out some online events being organized by other groups at https://www.cdss.org/community/covid19/online-events.

If you’d like to support freelance callers and musicians during this difficult time, CDSS (our parent organization) has put together a list of ways to help here: https://www.cdss.org/covid19/send-love-to-freelancers.

Closer to home, you can also support our musicians and dancers:
Topher Gayle
Celia Ramsay
Ryan McKasson
The Syncopaths
Nancy Thym

We look forward to seeing you virtually on May 24th and in person as soon as it is safe!