Music at Main: Kent Shindig All-Stars

Submitted by CPL Fine Arts on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 09:37.
08/08/2009 - 14:00
08/08/2009 - 16:00

Kent Shindig All-StarsThe Cleveland Public Library Fine Arts Department is pleased to present the next event in our "Music at Main" series on Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 2PM. This event will feature the Kent Shindig All-Stars (featuring some of the finest traditional musicians in northeast Ohio) performing old-time music outside in the beautiful Eastman Reading Garden. This event is free to all ages. In case of inclement weather, the group will perform inside the library's Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium.

The Kent Shindig (video), one of the only regular old-time music and dance jam sessions in northeast Ohio, was started in 1997 by Chardon clog dancer and musician Laura Lewis, as a way to keep Appalachian music and dance alive in our area.

Performers will include:

Rob Rhamy, fiddle
Heather Malyuk, fiddle
David Badagnani, fiddle
Gary Mulheim, harmonica
Jim Miller, wooden flute and whistle
Jim Francis, lap dulcimer
Tina Bergmann, hammered dulcimer
John Truitt, banjo
Joel Specht, banjo
David Fuente, guitar
Ed Mills, guitar
Bryan Thomas, double bass
Sally Freeman, flatfoot dancer.

Taking place at Brady's Cafe until 2002, it is now held at Professor's Pub in Kent, from 7 to 10 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. The music is learned orally rather than using sheet music, and musicians and dancers of all skill levels are welcome. Regulars commute from all over northeast Ohio as well as western Pennsylvania.

"Old-time music" is a term coined in the early 1920s to refer to America's fiddle-based traditional music, particularly that practiced in the Appalachian region, which serves as the root for more modern traditions like bluegrass and country music. Although there are also slower songs, most old-time music comprises up-tempo reels that were originally played for flatfoot dancing (a style of percussive dance similar to clogging) or square dancing.

Many tunes come from the British Isles, while much of the music's rhythmic impetus and bluesy ornamentation (as well as the banjo itself) derives from West Africa. Although most of the best-known tunes are of Appalachian origin, similar traditions of old-time music may also be found in other regions, such as the Midwest, New England, and Canada.

Because old-time music favors bowed and plucked string instruments, the music is often referred to as "string band music." The primary instruments are the fiddle and banjo, but one may also find diverse acoustic instruments such as guitar, mandolin, hammered and lap dulcimers, harmonica, washtub bass, double bass, piano, washboard, bones, spoons, Jew's harp, or mouth bow. Because different musicians show up each month, the instrumentation is never the same two months in a row.

Although it is primarily an instrumental tradition, many old-time tunes have lyrics, which may be of a historical nature or describe rural life. Many tunes have fanciful and intriguing names, such as "Cluck Old Hen," "Whiskey Before Breakfast," or "Shaking Down the Acorns."

Many Shindig participants travel regularly to the Appalachian Mountains to study, perform, and teach old-time music.


Cleveland Public Library
525 Superior Ave Eastman Reading Garden
Cleveland, OH 44114
United States
Phone: 216.623.2848
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Whiskey before breakfast

  I used to hang out at Brady's Cafe while I attended KSU--it's another touchstone of my past, now gone.

Thank you for organizing this musical and performance offering--to all the FINE Fine Art folks.  I work this Saturday, but I look forward to the video coverage :)