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August 5, 2010     Tri-County News
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Thanks to the availability of recordings, old time music has long since emerged from its place of origin in the Appalachians to be heard and enjoyed by people from such diverse places as California, Italy, and New York. These are the places from which Beverly Smith, Rafe Stefanini, and Bruce Molsky were drawn to the lonesome and vibrant music they perform as part of Big Hoedown. Bruce Molsky was born in 1955 at New York Infirmary in Manhattan, and grew up in The Bronx. His father, Milton, a mechanical engi- neer, was a first-generation American descen- dant of Jewish immigrants from Poland. As a young man, Molsky first became interested in blues music, but eventually became absorbed in old-time music while studying engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, begin- ning in 1972. His playing was influenced by the fiddling of Tommy Jarrell, whom Molsky visited in North Carolina in 1976. He recorded with Bob Carlin in the early 90s, released several records on Rounder Records under his own name, and also recorded with Beverly Smith and Rafe Stefanini as Bruce Molsky and Big Hoedown in 1997. Rafe Stefanini (first name rhymes with "safe") is an Italian old-time banjo player, fiddler, guitarist, singer, teacher, and violin maker and restorer. He was born in Italy and grew up in Bologna. He first visited the United States in the late 1970s and came to live in the U.S. in 1983. He is a per- manent resident of the U.S. and lives in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. In addition to playing music, he is also trained in violin making and restores vio- lins. He has performed with the Wildcats along with Carol Elizabeth Jones and Stefan Senders. Along with Dirk Powell and Bruce Molsky he has performed with a trio called the L-7s. He has also performed with Molsky and guitarist Bev Smith in a group called Big Hoedown, a group that broke up in 2000. One of the most respected guitar players in old time music today, Beverly Smith is also in demand as a singer, fiddler, and dance caller. She has made numerous recordings, backing up fiddlers Bruce Molsky, Rafe Stefanini, Tara Nevins and Brad Leftwich, vocalizing with Irish musicians Mick Moloney and John Doyle, and also singing with bluegrass great Laurie Lewis. She has taught and played at many camps and folk festivals and, in addition to her collabora- tion with Carl Jones, also plays with old time band The Rockinghams. These three veteran old-time musicians have each appeared at the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music festival over the years in other guises, Beverly as part of Beverly Smith & Carl Jones in 2009, Rafe with The Rockinghams in 2002, Bruce as a solo performer in 2000, and all three as Big Hoedown in 1997. We are pleased to bring them back for a reunion of one of our favorite old-time groups, Big Hoedown. FEIN STRINGED INSTRUMENTS DEALEKS, REPAI1LEP,.S AND MAKERS OF VIOLINS, VIOLAS, CELLOS, BASSES AND BOWS Andrew Fein GREAT INSTRUMENTS BeautifulWood Music Stands Quality Cases Wonderful Values ON-LINE & ON GRAND AVENUE www.feinviolins.com 1850 Grand Avenue St. Paul, Minnesota 55105 651.228.0783 / 800.347.9172 thsJde Cafe $1.00 OFF YOUR MEAL  Music Two Many Banjos  c,m. Monroe Crossing Campin ,r,,, Marry Marrone and Tangled Roots ,,r, Friends Family Echo Street Picnic PAGE 11 Mr. Mark Music String Instrument Sales & Repair Over 35 years experience in string instrument repair. ,763)421-5455 1921 2nd Avenue So. Anoka, MN 55303 Mon.- Thurs. 10- 7. Fri. & Sat. 10- 5