There are still some tickets left for the upcoming performance with Richie (Stearns) and Rosie (Newton), who bring their unique blend of singing and fiddle-and-banjo duets to the Jones House Cultural and Community Center on Tuesday, October 4, for afternoon workshops and an evening concert.
Clawhammer banjo master, Richie Stearns, and talented young fiddler, Rosie Newton, have collaborated together in various projects, such as Red Dog Run, over the past several years. After spending hours jamming together in Stearns’ kitchen, the two decided to form a duet act that allowed them to experiment with the traditional pairing of fiddle and banjo. Both players are steeped in traditional musical styles – of America and beyond – and both are also known for pushing the boundaries of roots music with their creativity and artistry.
Richie Stearns has been on the roots music scene since the 1980s, based in the thriving musical scene of Ithica, New York. He helped form the experimental old-time string band, The Horse Flies, who went on to record eight albums for MCA and Rounder Records. Stearns was also a founding member of popular roots-rock jamband, Donna the Buffalo. He has collaborated with a host of popular recording and touring artists, including on-going stints with Natalie Merchant, Bela Fleck, and the late Pete Seeger, who wanted Stearns to play the soundtrack for his autobiographical film.
Natalie Merchant says, “The banjo in his hands can become either a hypnotic weapon of propulsion or the source of some of the most soulful and plaintive sounds I have ever heard.”
Rosie Newton grew up in the Woodstock, NY area and started playing fiddle when she was eight years old. She went on to study viola at college in Ithica, where she became enamored with the traditional and roots music scene. Newton has since been part of the popular genre-busting roots band The Duhks, toured with Zydeco legend Preston Frank, and been a member of several other bands and projects.
“Both Richie and Rosie have extensive teaching experience, in addition to their acclaimed recording and touring careers,” says concert organizer, Mark Freed. “We are really excited to have them here in Boone for fiddle and banjo workshops in addition to the concert.”
Newton will give an old-time fiddle workshop focused on learning tunes by ear and discussing bowing patterns and rhythms typically found in traditional tunes. Stearns will give a clawhammer banjo workshop with tips on playing with a fiddle player and learning tunes.
“We are very excited to come to the town of Boone,” Newton says. “The love for old-time music in this community is inspiring, and we can’t wait to meet all the wonderful people who live there.”
The fiddle and banjo workshops will both start at 4:30 p.m. on October 4 at the Jones House. There is no admission to the workshop for those attending the evening concert. Those who would like to attend the workshop and not the concert should contact Mark Freed at[email protected] or 828.268.6282.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on October 4 at the Jones House. Tickets for the concert are $20 per person. The venue can seat 40 people, and due to the limited seating, advanced reservations are recommended. All open seats will be available at the door, which opens at 7:00 p.m. on the night of the concert.
The Jones House is located at 604 W. King Street in downtown Boone. For more information on the community center or the Indoor Concert Series, including a complete schedule of performances, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828.268.6280.
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