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August 5, 2010     Tri-County News
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31ST MINNESOTA BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIME Music FESTIVAL It's unusual for a current old-time music group to perform music that has not been released on any previous recording, that comes from an area of America not generally thought of as being a source of old-time music, or that is native to those who perform it. All of these things are true of The New Mules. Fiddler Garry Harrison learned the local music of his native downstate Illinois the old-time way, from his father and in person at the homes of elderly players of the area. Just as those folks learned and as Garry learned from them, Garry's daughter Genevieve in turn learned to play the fiddle in the old style, her first guidance being from her father. Garry and Gena joined with some of the area's finest players to form the New Mules. Their music is from authentic traditional sources and includes both rare old gems and previously unheard ver- sions of better-known numbers. But a New Mules performance is no mere history lesson; the group brings renewed life to this music with their own unique arrangements and performances, and no one has more fun in doing it. The New Mules were honored with the award of First Prize in the Traditional Band competition at the Appalachian String Band Festival, Clifftop, West Virginia, August 2, 2008. Garry Harrison has been an influence in the world of old-time fiddling for over 30 years, over which time he has made several recordings, taught at major fiddle camps, performed at numerous music festivals, and pub- lished a major book on the subject, Dear Old Illinois. Like her father, Genevieve (Harrison) Koester was born and raised in the Charleston, Illinois area and plays the fiddle in the old style of rural downstate Illinois. She also does a fine job of singing the lead on many of the group's vocal numbers and plays the guitar and mandolin on the occasional number that calls for it. Abby Ladin is well-known to old-time music enthusiasts, and not only for her rock-solid bass playing and angelic singing; Abby is also a top- notch dancer. In fact, she performed for a number of years with the widely known dance group, I Rhythm In Shoes. Another native Midwesterner, Smith Koester gives new life to the sounds of the past with his old-time fretless banjo. A player of superlative ability, his driving syncopation fills in the rhythm gaps while deftly delivering the melodies hand-in-glove with the fiddles. Andy Gribble is one of the most sought-after string band guitarists around today, and when he strikes up the booming, jingling chords, there is no ques- tion as to why. Both he and his guitar have a sound all their own. Andy is also an instrument builder, a skill for which he has gained consider- able acclaim. The High 48s 2006, the High 48s include the broth- ers Chad and Derek Johnson on man- dolin and guitar respectively, Rich Casey on bass, Eric Christopher on fid- dle, and Anthony Ihrig on banjo. The 48 was a kind of box car used by railroads in France during World War I. Originally called a 40 and 8, after the capacity sign painted on the side of each car (40 men or 8 horses); it car- ried American troops to and from the front in World War I. Later on "high 48" became railroad slang for the box cars on hot-shot trains, the fast trains that traveled non-stop from one large U.S. city to another. They were the con- veyance of choice for time-conscious freight-train hoppers. Today The High 48s have become the conveyance of choice for many bluegrass-conscious aficionados. This group of hot-shot musicians from Minneapolis is a traditionally minded bluegrass band whose music combines the soulful sound of the first- generation bluegrass pioneers with a country swagger that shows their roots in the Americana/alternative country scene. Formed in Minneapolis in early www.tealsmarket.com Fresh Food. Friendly Faces. Two Convenient Locations: In Cold Spdng - 300 Main Street C01d Spring, MN 56320 32687190 In PaynesvUle - 970 West Hwy. 23 Paynesville, MN 56362 32CL243506 Fresh Meat Open Daily Hot & Cold Dell 7 a.m. to I0 p.m. Fresh Produce PLU 1229 ICE 5 lb. bag with thiS coupon and additional purchase Coupon expires September 30, 2010 .J - ATM - Fax & Copy Service - - Lottery - Western Union Agent - - Kodak Digital Film Kiosk - VISA PAGE 13