Snowy Hill is my new standard for traditional music
albums. It looks backward and forward with perfect clarity: the
old tunes are performed enthusiastically, with freedom, and the
new tunes are artfully crafted, worthy of inclusion in the
canon. Richard's playing is gorgeous, and his arrangements are
thoughtful and dynamic. I especially appreciated the moments in
the album when the tunes were played long. Many players state
the tune, repeat, then move on, but Richard plays with a rare
faith in the music, that these tunes are more than novel, 16-bar
compositions, and they deserve to be considered on a deeper
someone who only
recently fell in love with the traditional music of Southwestern
Pennsylvania, I'm grateful to know it's in such good hands.
Richard and Co. are doing the brave and discerning work of not
only preserving a tradition, but tending it so it can grow and
Cameron DeWhitt, podcaster,
Up in the Cool: Old Time Music with Cameron
DeWhitt and Friends” - www.camerondewhitt.com
Sam, when they was all a-blowin’ their innards out, and the drums backin’
‘em up, it wouldn’t have made that much difference.”
Marion Yoders, Greene County fifer
"Mark and Richard have once again drunk deep from the great Southwest Pennsylvania fiddle-tune collection of Sam Bayard. No reproduction or imitation here – pure oldtime Pennsylvania, freshly brought to life again by Mark and Richard."
folklorist and musician
"Mark and Richard draw from the deep well of traditional fiddle and fife music in the longstanding Pennsylvania tradition. The tunes flow forth not as artifacts but as living pieces of contemporary art. They pulse with an immediacy that is infused with respect, moving the listener with their immortality."
of Fiddler Magazine
who has been around the hill at Clifftop for the last decade has heard the
beautiful and rare tunes that Mark has rescued from the hills of
Pennsylvania. Now he and Richard bring us a marvelous cd that does for
that region what Bruce Greene has done for Kentucky and Gary Harrison for
F. Gura, author of
*America's Instrument: The Banjo in America*
tracks there! Always a treat to hear the old tunes and songs not just
preserved, but alive and lively,... present[ed] with a clear regional
Bayard was the most prominent scholar of traditional Pennsylvania music. It is
wonderful to know that this tradition still lives through the playing of Mark
Tamsula and Richard Withers. Bayard would have been proud!"
Rahkonen, Ph.D., Ethnomusicologist, Indiana, PA.
Sam Bayard collected the old tunes from the hollers and the hills …. Mark and
Dick have brought them off of the flat page and back into our ears and straight
to our tapping feet. You can hear the mountains in these tunes."
Krysty, Fiddler and Folklorist,
and Richard have created an appealing aural anthology that revivifies the spirit
of early Pennsylvania fiddlers and fifers, bringing Sam Bayard's collections to
life in 3-D: dance, discovery, and delight."
Root, Professor of Music;
Director, Center for American Music;
"It is extremely doubtful if any other living man could have produced
such a piece of research. Bayard's expertise in the field of general folklore, as well as fiddle and fife tunes could hardly be
"Nothing that Sam Bayard has written has ever been refuted."
Kenneth Goldstein, head of the University of
Pennsylvania's Folklore and Folklife department
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