From bluegrass to jazz, from blues to Dixieland, an eclectic array of music is on tap at Arthurdale Heritageâ€™s 2010 New Deal Festival. Performing on the main Center Hall stage are: the Falling Run Bluegrass Band, The Halftime String Band, The Dan Baker Trio, Born Old and The Jenny & Nathan Wilson Jazz Duo. The New Deal Festival opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 10th with performances beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Since they began performing in 2003, The Halftime String Band has continued to diversify their sound, developing original material and borrowing from a variety of musicians and styles. Working from a bluegrass/newgrass foundation, they also like to work the edges of rock and roll, jazz, and blues. Based in Morgantown, West Virginia, The Halftime String Band has shared the stage with some of bluegrass, country, and rockâ€™s biggest stars including Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Keller Williams, and the Del McCoury Band. The band includes musicians: Jason Jaros, Bob Spangler, Fred Crozier, and Shane Schoenadel.
The Falling Run Bluegrass Band is no stranger to the regional music scene. The band has played events around the region for over 15 years, including festivals, events, and West Virginia University functions. The band focuses on traditional bluegrass and features accomplished musicians who have mastered numerous playing styles from Rock-a-billy bass â€œslappingâ€ to Scruggs-style banjo playing. Members of the Falling Run Bluegrass Band have also performed with other notable bluegrass groups including the Songcatchers, Uncle Earl, and Wild Hog. Band members are Ray Hicks, Tiffany Underwood, Tim Selman, Aaron Holley, Rachel Eddy, Chris Haddox, and Zach Fanock.
Ray Hicks was born in Madisonville Tennessee in 1942. He began playing guitar in 1958 and immediately took an interest in traditional music, learned from local musicians, records and off the radio. Rayâ€™s influences include Bill Monroe, Jimmy Rodgers, and The Carter Family. Ray joined the faculty of forestry at West Virginia University in 1978 and has played in numerous bluegrass and oldtime bands over the past 40 years.
Tiffany Underwood plays mandolin and sings with FRBB. She has one of the richest strongest voices anywhere. Tiffany also plays with the Songcatchers from her native Raleigh County.Â Tiffany now makes her home in Morgantown.
Tim Selman, along wit Ray is an original member of the FRBB and a 3rd generation banjo player hailing from Webster County. Tim now lives in the Morgantown area and is one of the best Scruggs-style players anywhere. Tim also builds and repairs banjos.
Aaron Holley is a great bass player from Cabell County who has mastered several styles, including the Rock-a-billy â€œslappingâ€ style. He is currently a student in Mining Engineering at WVU.
Rachel Eddy is from Morgantown, but has traveled the world playing music. Fresh from a European stint, she returned to the states to play with the popular all-woman bluegrass/oldtime band Uncle Earl. Rachel plays fiddle, banjo , bass or guitar and is a great vocalist as well.
Chris Haddox, fiddle/mandolin/guitar/vocals, is originally from Logan County, but now resides in Morgantown and works in the Davis College, focusing on â€œgreen designâ€ of buildings. Chris and Ray have played in several bands together, including â€œWild Hogâ€ with the late legendary fiddle player Craig Johnson.
Zach Fanock is another Morgantown product. Zach is a master fiddler, winning numerous contests, and an alumnus of the East Tennessee State University â€œPride Band.â€ ETSU is the only university in America to offer a bluegrass program and boasts of alumni such as Adam Steffey, Tim Stafford and Barry Bailes who have played in bands with Alison Kraus. Zach is currently working toward another degree from Fairmont State University.
Members of the Dan Baker Trio have performed with some of musicâ€™s legends including Mel Torme and Rare Silk. Dan Baker is a graduate of New Yorkâ€™s New School and has been actively performing ever since. He is currently the guitar instructor at Waynesburg University and co-founder and board member of the Washington Jazz Society. Michael Berry is a two-time Grammy nominee for his work with Rare Silk. He attended Denver University School of Music and has opened for legends including Mel Torme and Jeff Lorber. Greg Thurman is a graduate of West Virginia Universityâ€™s College of Creative Arts and Washington and Jefferson College. He has performed around the eastern United States at New York Cityâ€™s Carnegie Hall, Pittsburghâ€™s Heinz Hall, and the West Virginia Wine and Jazz Festival. Thurman is a student of WVU faculty Dr. Andrew Kohn and Professor Paul Scea.
The Jenny & Nathan Wilson Jazz Duo is the husband and wife duo of Nathan and Jenny Wilson from Morgantown, West Virginia. They perform a variety of jazz styles in the classic piano duo setting. Their mix of vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, and fretless bass provide an entertaining and rich musical experience. Influenced by artists such as Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, and Bill Evans, the duo combines standards, contemporary jazz, pop tunes, and originals into a set of creative and spontaneous arrangements. Nathan and Jenny perform regularly at clubs, festivals, and restaurants throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
What: Arthurdale Heritageâ€™s New Deal Festival
Where: Historic Arthurdale Center Hall Complex, Arthurdale, West Virginia
When: Saturday, July 10, gates open at 9 a.m. and performances begin with the Dan Baker trio at 10:00 a.m., The Halftime String Band at 11:30, Born Old at 1:00, The Jenny & Nathan Wilson Jazz Duo takes the stage at 2:30 p.m., and the Falling Run Bluegrass Band closes the show at 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: Admission is $5.00 per person and tickets are available at the gates. Children age 5 and under are free.