~THE MUSICIANS~

Mark Tamsula has been performing and teaching in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region for over 30 years. He plays and teaches fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin, drawing from an ever expanding repertoire of tunes and songs. In addition to performing and recording the music of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Mark also performs with the bands Lackawanna Longnecks (old time) and Grand Bon Rien (Cajun).    www.appalachianmusic.net

 

Richard Withers has performed and recorded Old-time music on the banjo and Irish music on the flute, whistle and other instruments over the past three decades. In addition to performing and recording the music of Southwestern Pennsylvania, he can be heard playing clawhammer banjo on recordings with the old-time string band Lackawanna Longnecks and Irish-style flute with Hooley, a Pittsburgh-based traditional Irish group.   www.hooley.info

 

A lifelong resident of southwestern Pa., 
Ellen Gozion
has been searching out, singing & cherishing traditional songs for nearly two decades. 
Her repertoire draws heavily upon the Scottish and English songs that became a staple for generations of singers in the Southern and upper Appalachians. She has recorded two solo collections of traditional songs and currently performs with The Early Mays. www.ellengozion.com

 

Dave Krysty visited and learned tunes from several of this region's older fiddlers, notably the late Fayette County fiddler Jim Bryner, one of Bayard's original sources.  Dave videotaped sessions with Jim and Jonas Hughes in 1986, two of which can be viewed on YouTube:

      

Dunbar fiddlers Jim Bryner and Jonah "Doan" Hughes with Dave Krysty

 

In 1988 Dave recorded an album with Bill Lemons titled  Folk Songs of Western Pennsylvania and since then he has supported the local tradition of fiddle music, songs and stories through his performances, and work with local arts organizations.

 

 

~QUOTES~

 

"The 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 level. 

 As 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 flourish.”

- Cameron DeWhitt, podcaster,

“Get Up in the Cool: Old Time Music with Cameron DeWhitt and Friends” - www.camerondewhitt.com

 

Well, 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."

Alan Jabbour, 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."

Bob Buckingham of Fiddler Magazine

 

"Anyone 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 Illinois."     

Philip F. Gura, author of
*America's Instrument: The Banjo in America*

 

"Nice 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 focus."

Dan Gellert

 

"Samuel 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!" 

Carl Rahkonen, Ph.D., Ethnomusicologist, Indiana, PA.

 

"Dr. 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." 

Dave Krysty, Fiddler and Folklorist, 
Pittsburgh, PA.

 

"Mark 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." 

Deane Root, Professor of Music;
Director, Center for American Music;
University of Pittsburgh

 

"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 matched."

George Swetnam, Pittsburgh 1983

 

"Nothing that Sam Bayard has written has ever been refuted."

Kenneth Goldstein, head of the University of 
Pennsylvania's Folklore and Folklife department

 

 

If you would like to submit comments about 
our recordings, performances, or write a review, 
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~CONTACT US~

  contact@appalachianmusic.net

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