Jumpsteady Boys, Alice Gerrard and Beverly Smith, Franklin George & Kim JohnsonThursday, September 19, 2013, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm) $14.50 advance / $16.50 at doorPurchase tickets online
September 19 8:00 pm

Alice Gerrard and Beverly SmithThe Berkeley Old Time Music Convention (BOTMC) is back for the 11th year, celebrating old time music from September 18-22, at locations all over town. This five-day festival offers concerts, square dancing, a string band contest, workshops, and activities especially for kids and families, all in intimate settings where the line between audience and performer is as thin as a guitar pick. Participants travel from across America for the chance to hang out, dance, and pick and sing alongside some of the top musicians and dancers in the old time fiddle and banjo world. Starting at 5:00 p.m. BOTMC performers will host free jam sessions in the Freight lobby and, if weather permits, in front of the building.

The Jumpsteady Boys got together in 2011 to represent the American string band tradition at the Australian National Folk Festival. Bruce Molsky fell in love with old time music as a teenager in the 1970s and moved from the Bronx to Virginia to learn fiddle and banjo directly from old masters like Tommy Jarrell. He tours as a solo performer and often collaborates with other notable roots musicians including Michael Doucet, Aly Bain, and Nickel Creek. Rafe Stefanini’s passion for old time fiddling drew him to move from his native Italy to America in the 1980s. He’s played in many fine old time groups including the L-7s and Big Hoedown; nowadays he often performs with his daughter Clelia. Mike Compton’s playing is strongly influenced by the black mandolin players of the 1920s and 1930s. He plays mandolin in the Nashville Bluegrass Band and was a member of the John Hartford Band. Joe Newberry plays banjo in a duo with Mike and in the old time band Big Medicine; he is also a well-respected songwriter who appeared on A Prairie Home Companion several times earlier this year.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Alice Gerrard has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. She is particularly known for her musical partnership with Hazel Dickens, and has worked with many other old time legends including Tommy Jarrell, Mike Seeger, Luther Davis, Matokie Slaughter, and Otis Burris. Alice also performs and records with the Herald Angels and in a trio with Tom Sauber and Brad Leftwich. In 1987 she founded the Old-Time Herald, serving as editor-in-chief until 2003. Alice lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Beverly Smith, who makes her home in Bogart, Georgia, was a founding member of the Heartbeats and Big Hoedown, and has worked with many other old time musicians including Carl Jones and Rayna Gellert. For over twenty years she has been calling square dances all over America, Canada, and Europe.

Born in 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia, William Franklin “Frank” George started picking out tunes on the piano with one finger when he was four years old. He began playing banjo at age seven, fiddle at age nine. In the 1930s and 1940s, when other young musicians with similar backgrounds were opting for the newer styles of bluegrass and country music, Frank stayed with the old fashioned ways; he knows more than anyone about the little differences that twisted Appalachian music into such a rich tangle of local styles. Many tunes now considered standards of old time fiddling stem from Frank George, popularized by younger players who visited him or studied his 1960s recordings. This will be Frank’s first California visit since 1978.

Kim Johnson, from Clendenin in Kanawha County, West Virginia, bought her first banjo in the early 1970s. Initially she “just kind of thumped around on it and didn’t really have it under control,” she says, until she met West Virginia fiddler Wilson Douglas, whose father and grandmother had both been fine frailing banjo players. Wilson says that Kim “liked to drive me crazy” until he agreed to teach her to play. She went on to make three recordings with Wilson and has also been the accompanist for many other West Virginia old time fiddlers including Lester McCumbers, Bobby Taylor, and Frank George.

Visit Alice Gerrard's website

Visit the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention's website


Freight & Salvage Calendar of Events
  • No upcoming events available