Cicadas are Bill Shevin (guitar), Ed Dale (bass), Rachel Panitch
(fiddle), Jennifer Cooke (flute), and Tim St. Jean (mandolin). Their sound
is full with a lot of melody and strong danceable rhythm.
Contact: e-mail (860.929.067)
Text & photo from Rachel Panitch
plays a blend of French-Canadian, Irish, Scottish, and old time American
tunes as well as occasional Cajun two-steps and waltzes for contra- and square
dancing. Featuring Becky Miller (fiddle and piano), Tom Randall (piano, guitar,
banjo, and mandolin), and Norb Spencer (accordion), the band performs at
dances large and small throughout New England and New York State. With the
addition of multi-instrumentalist Craig Edwards, Dogtown also performs in
concert and for private events. In this configuration, the group plays a
wide range of dance musics as well as specializing in old time country and
blues music and harmony singing.
Contact: e-mail (413.549.7724)
Text & photo from Becky Miller
Fiddleheads, New Haven's venerable contra dance band, was formed
in 1978 by Paul Englesberg and Pete Spicer. Members through the years include
Michael Koenigsberg, Ellen Cohn, Skip Healy, and Michael Bell. The present
core band is Jim Sirch (banjo, whistles, and bodhran), Willow Sirch (fiddle),
Gary Wikfors (mandolin and mando-ephemera), and Norman Plankey (guitar),
with appearances by Colin Healy (fiddle/mandolin), Matt McCauley (upright
bass), and other local musicians. The Fiddleheads are the house band for
the New Haven Country
Contact: e-mail (203.881.1390)
Text & photo from Fiddleheads website
REEL! provides traditional southern music for contra dancing with
some spice. Members are Howie Bursen (banjo), Martin Grosswendt (fiddle),
Marie Malchodi (guitar), and Deck Nieforth (harmonica and spoons).
Contact: e-mail (401.822.1979)
Text & photo from GET REEL!
Ease plays a collection of
popular tunes from Colonial America, Britain, and Ireland, with Nancy Murphy
Kalinowski and Chris Keenan (fiddles), Mark Bobman (fiddle and banjo), Nat
Woodruff (flute, whistle, and recorder), Linne Landgraf (winds and concertina),
John Cardasica (hammered dulcimer), Don Moore (autoharp), and Laura Mazza-Dixon
(guitar). Heart's Ease is the
house band for the Granby Family Dance
series. They also perform at festivals and special events and, with
caller Jim Gregory,
provide music for French-Canadian circle dances, square dances, Virginia
reels, and contra dances.
Contact: e-mail (860.653.6146)
Text & photo from Heart's Ease
Jackson Pike Skifflers, based in Fairfield County, Conn., specialize
in old-time music, primarily from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The repertoire includes rural and urban vernacular music, early country music,
minstrel and vaudeville songs, street ballads, Gospel songs, country dance
tunes, mountain music and more, played on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar,
autoharp, bass, accordion, washboard and a variety of other instruments.
The Skifflers have performed at leading traditional music festivals, and
for 15 years have played for the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors summer concert
series. In Connecticut, the Skifflers perform at many country fairs, festivals
and concerts. The group consists mostly of the Tressler family from Easton,
Conn.: Will, Kate, and their two children, Sally and Dan.
Contact: e-mail (203.268.7674)
Text from: The Block Island Times, 6/23/2001 & photo from The Skifflers website
Please & Thank-You Stringband is a widely acclaimed trio, with
Bill Walach (mandolin), Will Welling (fiddle), and Dave Howard (guitar).
Their original and traditional approach to instrumental music and songs paints
unexpected yet pleasantly familiar images. Combining humor, passion, and
a candid view of tradition, with more than 20 years of playing music together,
has made this trio substantially more than the sum of its parts.
Contact: e-mail (860.872.1529)
Text & photo from the Please & Thank-You Stringband website
Reel Thing provides sparkling
live traditional music for contra, colonial/18th century, children's and
barn dances as well as for concerts. Formed in 2001, they have played for
schools and other civic groups, historical societies and reenactor groups,
various town anniversary presentations, several of the monthly contra dances
around Connecticut, and dance workshops at the past several NOMAD Festivals.
The band includes Bill Campbell (guitar and bass guitar), Gwen Glasser or
Sue Hill (fiddle), Fran Hendrickson (piano/keyboard and accordion) and Julie
Sorcek (flute, piccolo, and saxophone). They are available for private functions
and special events and, with caller
Campbell, provide music for dance workshops and family dances as
well as school and recreational children's programs.
Text from Julie Sorcek & photo from www.traditionaldanceandmusic.com/band_2005.jpg
the Homegrown Band: Rachael Gall (fiddle), Debra Tyler (piano),
Jim Prentice (concertina), Jane Prentice (fiddle), Mike Prentice (bass),
Shaila Chowdhury (bodhran), Kathy Lyon (guitar). Still the Homegrown Band
is the house band for the the Cornwall Community
Swivets are Stacy Phillips (fiddle), Ellen Cohn (piano, and
Baba David Coleman (conga).
Contact: e-mail (203.389.6468)
Text from the Swivets
|Thread City String Band, based in Willimantic,
play traditional, French-Canadian,and Irish 3-tune sets for contra dances,
as well as tunes that callers sing for square dances. The band includes Chuck
Morgan and June Bisantz-Evans (fiddles), Noreen Morgan (guitar), Larry Boisvert
(harmonica), and John Soltys (bass).
Contact: e-mail (860.423.5403)
Text & photo from Chuck Morgan
|Wild Goose Nation is a remarkably versatile band with a repertoire
that ranges from Appalachian to Zydeco, with contras and swing on the way.
Craig Edwards (fiddle, guitar, banjo, accordion), Mike Fischman (mandolin,
banjo, guitar, bass), and Dirck Westervelt (guitar, banjo, bass) have performed
widely as a group and have a number of recordings as solo performers and
sidemen. Craig is a member of the Mystic Seaport shanty crew and has a deep
interest in traditional American instrumental music and song and in exploring
social and cultural history through music.
Contact: e-mail or e-mail (203.263.5808)
Text from Country Dance and Song Society & photo from Wild Goose Nation website (no longer available)
|Wry Bred, a contra dance/barn
dance/family dance band formed in October 2009, is Julie Sorcek (flute),
Mickey Koth (fiddle), and Robert Messore (guitar), with occasional member
Beth Bradley on guitar. Wry Bred has played for dances at Yale and other
private venues as well as for the New Haven, Hartford, Mystic, Poughkeepsie
(NY), and Swingin' Tern (NJ) contra dances. In 2011, Wry Bred and dance caller
Bill Fischer completed
a very successful and fun seven-night, five-contra-dance tour in Tennessee
and North Carolina.
Contact: e-mail (203.393.3464)
Photo by Marilyn Catasus
If we've inadvertently omitted any CT
conntra talent, please e-mail
website owner so we can add you!
Last modified: June 6, 2014.