Old-time Moun­tain Mu­sic comes to T-day

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Og­den, Vic­to­ria Vanier

One thing that Town­ship­pers’ Day is never with­out is live, foot-stomp­ing mu­sic, and this year is no ex­cep­tion. The per­for­mances start in the morn­ing and last all af­ter­noon at two venues: the Mu­sic Tent at the Main site and in the beau­ti­ful Chapel of the Manoir Stanstead.

There will be choral mu­sic with Choromondo, Rock mu­sic, Coun­try Rock, Coun­try mu­sic and sev­eral folk mu­sic per­form­ers.

Vis­i­tors to Town­ship­pers’ Day will also get to hear a very dis­tinc­tive kind of folk mu­sic when the Bear Moun­tain String Band hits the stage in the Chapel of the Manoir Stanstead on Satur­day af­ter­noon at 2:00. This band of Cana­dian and Amer­i­can mu­si­cians, appropriately named af­ter a moun­tain that strad­dles the Cana­dian/Amer­i­can bor­der, have been get­ting to­gether for sev­eral years now to play “Old Time Ap­palachian” mu­sic, a kind of mu­sic that orig­i­nated in the 1800’s in the south­ern Ap­palachian moun­tains of Vir­ginia and has been cred­ited with in­flu­enc­ing both coun­try mu­sic and blue­grass.

“It was tra­di­tional mu­sic with the Scot­tish and Ir­ish set­tlers. The mu­sic is very lively and fun to lis­ten to – it’s dance mu­sic,” com­mented David Va­chon, of Og­den, who plays fid­dle and man­dolin in the band. “I first started play­ing Ap­palachian mu­sic when this guy came up from Vir­ginia and showed us the mu­sic. I was liv­ing in Montreal back then,” said David who moved to Og­den about thirty odd years ago with his wife, Elaine, an­other mem­ber of the band.

Join­ing David and Elaine Va­chon to make up the Bear Moun­tain String Band are, from this side of the bor­der, Chris Hin­ton, and Amer­i­cans Mike Bel­lizzi, Bob Doane, Michael and Linda Wick­enden and Kate Wolff.

The mem­bers of the Bear Moun­tain String Band, although they meet faith­fully ev­ery two weeks, are “all just play­ing for fun” and that’s ex­actly what they were do­ing last Sun­day, at Bob Doane’s house in Ver­mont, when I spoke with a few more of the mu­si­cians.

“Old Time Ap­palachian mu­sic has a great Ir­ish in­flu­ence and sounds a lit- tle sim­i­lar to Que­bec fid­dle mu­sic. It be­came pop­u­lar again in the 1970’s but it’s not the kind of mu­sic that you will hear on the ra­dio,” men­tioned Bob Doane who plays the banjo. As much as play­ing the mu­sic, Bob also seems to en­joy meet­ing the kinds of peo­ple who are drawn to play­ing this tra­di­tional mu­sic. “Peo­ple who play Ap­palachian mu­sic gen­er­ally seem to be in­ter­est­ing peo­ple with sim­i­lar val­ues, in­ter­ested in sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture with pro­gres­sive po­lit­i­cal views. I’m look­ing for­ward to go­ing to Stanstead next Satur­day; I love go­ing to Que­bec. Que­bec and Ver­mont have a lot in com­mon and I feel very much at home on that side of the bor­der,” added Mr. Doane.

Elaine Va­chon, who plays the up­right base, de­scribed the mu­sic and what she likes about play­ing it: “It’s an in­stru­men­tal form of mu­sic – you can play a tune for three or four min­utes and re­ally get into a groove while you’re play­ing. It’s a lovely, col­lec­tive sound with all those string in­stru­ments; it’s moun­tain mu­sic, re­ally.” Also a mem­ber of the Choromondo Choir who have ap­peared at T-Day events for about the last ten years, Elaine is cer­tainly no new­comer to Town­ship­pers’ Day. Elaine and David Va­chon have also ap­peared at sev­eral T-Day events per­form­ing as a cou­ple, af­ter all, they have been play­ing and record­ing mu­sic to­gether since they met as teenagers in Montreal. Elaine will ac­tu­ally be per­form­ing in al­most back-to-back con­certs at Town­ship­pers’ Day on Satur­day; luck­ily they’re on the same stage. “I’ve per­formed at Town­ship­pers’ Day for many, many years, but it’s al­ways nicest when it’s in your own home­town!” fin­ished Elaine.

That it is!

photo pro­vided by David Va­chon

Photo pro­vided by David Va­chon

A few mem­bers of the Bear Moun­tain String Band who will be per­form­ing at T-Day this Satur­day are (front l. to r.) Bob Doane, Linda Wick­enden, Ch­eryl Crytzer and (back l. to r.) Elaine Va­chon, David Va­chon and Mike Wick­enden.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.