The 2013 Cline Wine and Dixieland Festival was a glorious success: a lovely setting, jubilant music both hot and sweet, with sweet-natured people enjoying themselves everywhere. I will be offering videos from that delicious day — featuring Clint Baker, Leon Oakley, Bill Reinhart, Marty Eggers, Scott Anthony, Bob Schulz, Ray Skjelbred, Robert Young, and other noble souls.
But right now I want to introduce you to THE RAGTIME SKEDADDLERS — a delightful string trio whose music and gentle approach captivated the Beloved and myself as we sat on a porch in a soft breeze. Unlike other “traditional” groups who take their inspiration from various notions of New Orleans jazz or Chicago jazz, the Skedaddlers go back to a time when string ragtime, light-hearted yet propulsive, was America’s true popular music. This trio doesn’t speed up or approach the music with either clownish levity or undue scholarly seriousness. Rather, they are old-fashioned melodists, creating sweet lines that arch and tumble over one another in mid-air. It is as if Dvorak had been transplanted to a Southern or Middle Western backyard picnic or country dance in 1895 and had immersed himself in sweet harmonies and dance-like motions. The Skedaddlers are entrancing on their own, and a delightful change from the often heavy ensembles so prevalent in occasions of this sort.
Now, you’ve read enough. Enjoy this rare and delicious pastoral music! In the videos below, Nick is closest to the camera, playing a National Reso-Phonic mandolin; Dennis is in the center playing a banjo-mandolin, and Dave farthest from the camera playing guitar.
ST. LOUIS RAG:
The Skedaddlers have created two CDs, both of which have scholarly (but not dry) information about the songs and their composers. Both CDs can be purchased here, and can also be found through CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes. The next few shows that the RS will be playing are Saturday, October 19: Wine Country Ragtime Festival, Sonoma, CA 95442, and Saturday-Sunday, November 23-24: West Coast Ragtime Festival, 1401 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 85815.
May your happiness increase!