TradMad Camp

Saturday 26 August – Friday 1 September 2017, at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA

2017 Staff List

Margaret Bennett
David Cantieni
Tina Chancey
Amy Conley
Jeff Davis
Gina Forsyth
Bing Futch
Edith Gawler
Larry Hanks
Bruce Hutton
Forest Huval
Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr.
Chris Koldewey
Bennett Konesni
Ian MacGregor
George Marshall
Mark Murphy
Ann Percival
Brian Peters
John Roberts
Deborah Robins
Dave Ruch
Ian Russell
Saro Lynch Thomason
Becky Tracy
Elissa Weiss
Erica Weiss
Wild Asparagus
. . . and our talented campers
Our staff members are not only great performers, they are also excellent teachers, whether it be instruments, styles, or the music of a particular area or era, etc.
Co-Directors: Joy Bennett and Heather Wood. Sound: Don Wade

Margaret Bennett Margaret Bennett
is a folklorist, writer, singer and broadcaster. She was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother’s side (from Skye) and Lowland Scots on her father’s. She and her three sisters lived their childhood in the Isle of Skye, "in a household where singing, playing music, dancing and storytelling were a way of life as were traditional crafts." Margaret is a fine ballad singer and is widely regarded as "Scotland’s foremost folklorist." Margaret will introduce us to waulking (a process in cloth manufacture) and other Scottish traditions.
Margaret's website
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Tina Chancey Tina Chancey
plays medieval and traditional fiddles, viola da gamba, and pardessus on roots music from Sephardic and Irish to Guillaume de Machaut and Buell Kazee. Director of HESPERUS, she is a member of Trio Sefardi and a former member of Toss the Feathers, Folger Consort, and Blackmore’s Night. Tina teaches, performs, improvises, produces recordings, composes and arranges, writes popular and scholarly articles, and directs SoundCatcher workshops on playing by ear and improvisation. She has been given a Special Education Achievement Award by Early Music America and four Wammies for best classical instrumentalist.
Tina's website
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David Cantieni David Cantieni
plays saxophone, flute, bombard, whistle, and feet, along with numerous other wind instruments - including the oboe. He has been making people dance to his music for more than two decades. David switched to playing traditional music from Bach and Stravinsky on oboe (music which he still adores) after developing a passion for the traditional New England dance — contra dancing. The love of music and dance infuses all of David’s many activities which might include performing with the well known bands Swallowtail and Wild Asparagus or leading a parade of costumed campers at family dance camps.
More about David
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Amy Conley Amy Conley
is a multi-instrumentalist (ukulele, guitar, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, piano) who has been performing & teaching music for all ages since 1986. She has recorded three CD’s for families and is an active member of The Children’s Music Network. Once an active member of FSSGB, Amy now creates community music programs in southern NH such as the Second Friday Song Circle, music jams, concerts and Ukulele Playshops for adults. Her classes emphasize singing and playing for fun. Amy taught Beginning Ukulele at TradMaD 2015 and 2016 and her classes performed brilliantly in the Camper Concerts.
Amy's website
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Jeff Davis Jeff Davis
plays fiddle, banjo, mandocello, guitar, spoons, jaw’s harps and a few instruments hand-made by folk craftsmen. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and to festivals in Canada, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Norway. He recently released a solo album, Some Fabulous Yonder. He also worked on an English Anthology, called Song Links, of old English songs and their American variants. His latest CDs are a collection of thirteen Civil War Naval Songs with an all-star crew of singers and musicians including Dan Milner and David Coffin; and Sharp's Appalachian Harvest with Brian Peters. Jeff also performs with Dave Ruch as The New Boys of Old New York.
Jeff's website
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Gina Forsyth Gina Forsyth
is known for her wizardry on fiddle and guitar. She is considered one of the best Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana. Born in Florida and raised in Alabama, Gina grew up on hymns, country songs, and old time fiddle tunes. She now lives in New Orleans. As well as performing traditional Cajun songs, Gina writes original songs that sound centuries old.
Gina's website
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Bing Futch Bing Futch
kicks off every performance with a buoyant energy that is inviting and energizing. Using Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Native American flute, ukulele, drums and electronic effects, he deftly navigates the varied waters of traditional and modern Americana with passion, wit and a genuinely huge heart for sharing music with a crowd. Bing's website lists a plethora of workshops that he teaches: Appalachian Dulcimer, Native American flute, and more.
Bing's website
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Edith Gawler Edith Gawler
is a native Mainer who grew up a member of the legendary Gawler Family Band. She plays fiddle, banjo and upright bass, and belts out songs in a rich sonorous alto. Not long ago, Edith finished her architectural thesis at Syracuse University, which looks to draw on the principles of the local sustainable food movement as a model for a new architecture. When not singing in the fields with husband Bennett Konesni, she works as a junior architect.
Edith's (and Bennett's) website
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Larry Hanks Larry Hanks
is a complicated guy who sings songs of other people's complicated lives in an uncomplicated manner. His earthy and deeply resonant voice draws us into worlds of people and places where we may never otherwise go, and elegantly embroiders landscapes that never existed, save in song. he sings. Influenced by the music of Sam Hinton, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie, Hanks is also known for his many old songs of the American West — both sad and rollicking cowboy and work songs, topical and political songs, and traditional American ballads. He often performs with his wife, Deborah Robins.
Larry's (and Deborah's) website
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Bruce Hutton Bruce Hutton
is a singer and multi-instrumentalist — autoharp, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, lap dulcimer, jaw harp, mouth bow, and guitar. He is a founding member of the Double Decker String Band. As well as being a fine performer of old time music, Bruce enjoys teaching any and all of the instruments listed above.
Bruce's website
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Forest Huval Forest Huval
is an intrepid upcoming musician with a voyageur's soul. A native of Cecilia, Louisiana. Forest was influenced by legendary Cajun musicians. His soulful vocals along with his effortless accordion and intense fiddle playing can get any crowd up and dancing. The young accordionist and fiddle player continues to hone his melodic craft with a reverence for master works and respectful nudge to the edges in original efforts. Forest works diligently to keep the true authentic style of Cajun music alive both within and beyond Louisiana.
Forest's website
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Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr. Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr.
is a singer, storyteller and self taught multi-instrumentalist. He uses folk, blues, spirituals and other American Roots music to champion the beauty and power of our shared culture. A lifelong Detroiter, Rev. Jones has been performing professionally for nearly 30 years for festivals, schools, civil rights organizations and churches. He says, “As much as I love what this music is for the way that it sounds, I love, even more, what this music can do. At its best, Roots music tells the truth, and it gives a voice to those who struggle to be heard otherwise. I am an activist and I try to use my stories and music, not just for entertainment, but in service to my calling and my community and to connect the generations that I am blessed to live between.” His influences include Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Willie Johnson, Rev. Dan Smith, Joshua White, Blind Connie Williams and Rev. Robert Wilkins.
Robert's website
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Chris Koldewey Chris Koldewey
is a teacher of children, a singer of old songs, sailor of old square-rigged wooden ships, and man of Chanteys at Mystic Seaport Museum. Chris primarily performs US and British traditional music, and he is attracted to the stories behind many of the songs he sings. He has played in concerts and festivals in both the US and the UK, and has led workshops dealing with a variety of traditional music forms. Chris can accompany himself on Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Concertina, and other things common to an average garage sale.
Chris's website
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Bennett Konesni Bennett Konesni
runs the family's Duckback Farm in Maine with his wife, Edith Gawler, where they grow gourmet garlic, teas, and culinary herbs. He also runs, where he shares his 20 years of worksong research and development. Bennett is the co-founder of Sylvester Manor, a 243-acre educational farm on Shelter Island, NY on a piece of land that had been in his family since 1652 until it was donated to a nonprofit farm that he started. His roles there include teaching worksongs to the farm crew and directing a wide variety of musical programs, including events like Plant&Sing, which brings the community to the farm to complete two weeks' worth of garlic shucking and planting in a single morning, all while singing worksongs.
Bennett's (and Edith's) website
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Ian MacGregor Ian MacGregor
is a singer and piper, the eldest son of the late, great Sheila Stewart. He carries on the traditions of the Stewarts of Blair, with old and new songs. He returns to Pinewoods for the first time since he visited in the 1980s with his grandparents, Belle and Alec. As well as singing, he keeps alive stories told when they worked on the berry-fields, farms, and industrial sites, fished for fresh-water pearls, or took to the road for a summer of music and freedom.
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George Marshall George Marshall
first heard this music in the mid-1970s, being played by one of his college schoolmates. He rushed to find the source of the sound and announced that he was going to form a band and play this music. Then he had to pick an instrument. His unlikely choices were concertina and the Irish drum, the bodhran. Since then, George has been devoted to these instruments and to developing the art of calling the dances. George is a member of Wild Asparagus.
More about George
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Mark Murphy Mark Murphy
is a singer and bass player. He plays with Wild Asparagus.
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Ann Percival Ann Percival
is a pianist, guitarist and singer, erstwhile social worker, and artist. From the time her Norwegian grandparents took her dancing at the Sons of Norway hall in Brooklyn to Girl Scout Camp where Ann discovered she loved singing, Ann has been a leader. She has in recent years found special enjoyment teaching visual arts and crafts. She is a founding member of Wild Asparagus. and The O-Tones and is an exception dance musician for contras, squares, and swing. Ann's playing is highly inventive while still maintaining an irresistible rhythm. Her vivacious personality and amazing repertoire of swing, gospel, and other songs of many traditions are sure to keep everyone in camp jumpin' and jivin'.
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Brian Peters Brian Peters
is a true all-rounder, on the one hand a powerful singer able to take on the biggest songs, and on the other a skilled multi-instrumentalist. Brian has an international reputation as a performer and expert on the Child Ballads, and has led classes on the subject from England to Appalachia, but he enjoys traditional songs of all kinds, especially if there's a good chorus involved. He's a fine guitarist, specializing in alternate tunings, and as a squeezebox player he's acknowledged as leading exponent of the anglo concertina and melodeon (button accordion). Having begun his career in the folk clubs of England, Brian has taken his music to stages all over the world, touring regularly in America, Europe, and Australia, always retaining a deep commitment to the musical traditions of his native country. Brian works with Jeff Davis on Sharp's Appalachian Harvest. Brian works with Jeff Davis on Sharp's Appalachian Harvest.
Brian's website
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John Roberts John Roberts
is a superb English singer who plays banjo, guitar, concertina, and hurdy-gurdy, as well as being a fine musicologist and music editor. He sings ballads and songs of the sea, of rural pursuits, of social and sociable situations, of industrial toil and strife, and much more. John is also noted for his renditions of Music Hall songs.
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Deborah Robins Hanks Deborah Robins
has a lovely voice and accompanies herself on nylon-string guitar and banjo-guitar (a banjo head with a guitar neck and strings so it essentially sounds like a banjo but plays like a guitar). She often performs with husband Larry Hanks
Deborah's (and Larry's) website
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Dave Ruch Dave Ruch
is a full-time performer and researcher of historical and traditional music whose work has been featured on American Public Media, in Emmy Award-winning documentaries, and on stages across North America and the U.K. With expert musicianship and a warm, effortless style, he delights adult audiences with authentic songs and stories from the people who built and settled our communities — farmers, domestics, lumbermen, fiddlers, women, soldiers, children, immigrants, sailors, native americans, canallers, and more. Dave finds his song material in dusty archives, obscure songbooks, diaries, old field recordings, scholarly journals and sometimes from his own children, and brings these gems to life with great skill on banjo, guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, bones, spoons, washboard and jaw harp. Dave also performs with Jeff Davis as The New Boys of Old New York.
Dave's website
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Ian Russell Ian Russell
is a researcher, a singer, a musician, and a festival director, who champions the local traditions of the English Pennines and North East Scotland. Since 1969 he has conducted extensive fieldwork into the singing traditions of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, especially Christmas carolling. Recent research has focused on the traditional culture of Aberdeenshire, including singing and instrumental traditions. Ian is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen's Elphinstone Institute and has written and edited several books on folk and traditional music. When in Derbyshire, he plays melodeon for Winster Morris, of which he is a founding member of the post-1977 revived tradition. And here is more Winster Morris information — (pdf format).
Ian's day job ...
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Saro Lynch Thomason Saro Lynch Thomason
is a ballad singer, folklorist, illustrator, author and social activist from Asheville, NC. Her passion for traditional music, people’s struggles, and Appalachian traditions has called her to perform, teach and produce media that tell the stories and songs of America’s social history. Her distinct, powerful singing style transports audiences to Appalachian mountain hollers, 19th-century coal camps and old meeting houses. Combining music, narratives and multimedia, Saro delivers memorable and moving performances that bring people’s history and song to life.
Saro's website
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Becky Tracy Becky Tracy
has New England traditional music is in her blood. Simsbury, Connecticut was Becky’s home. And while she was growing up and learning to play the violin, she backed up her father’s calling for contra and square dances. Even while she was teaching math in southern Connecticut, she continued to play. Becky has been with Wild Asparagus. now since 1984. She lives in Brattleboro, Vermont also playing with another well known band, Nightingale.
Black Isle Music (Becky Tracy and Keith Murphy)
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Elissa Weiss Elissa Weiss
was trained in voice by Claire Alexander, Shirlee Emmons, Alan Seale, and Myron McPherson. She also studied vocal acoustics, vocal anatomy, repertoire, and vocal health at Teachers College. A soprano and harpist, Elissa created the Everybody Can Sing® voice studio and workshops to help people who are afraid to sing. She has run workshops for the 92nd Street Y, Makor, the Rio Caliente Spa in Mexico, groups of Episcopal seminarians, and in various private settings. “[She is] a wonderful, patient, sensitive teacher, who made everyone feel more confident in their abilities,” wrote a workshop participant.
Elissa's website
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Erica Weiss Erica Weiss
was steeped in traditional music and dance from an early age. It was in the '90s that Erica fell head over heels in love with Appalachian fiddle music, and knew she had to play it. At about the same time, she started hitting the dance halls to learn Cajun and Zydeco dance. Erica currently plays guitar, fiddle, and sings with several old-time and Cajun bands. She loves teaching workshops in Cajun and Old-Time Band, Balkan singing, Cajun and Zydeco dance, and folk dance. Her contra dance calling is notable for her solid programming and patience with all levels.
Erica's website
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Wild Asparagus Wild Asparagus
(David Cantieni, George Marshall, Ann Percival, and Becky Tracy, with Mark Murphy on bass) draws upon music from New England, the British Isles, and Canada, as well as classical sources, Wild Asparagus takes an original approach to the traditional dance music of our folk heritage. Using their unique blend of instruments, creativity, and skills, they offer a sensitive and powerful performance. Since 1984, Wild Asparagus has been highly successful in bringing their music to dances and concerts throughout the United States, Canada, and Alaska.
Wild Asparagus's website
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Joy Bennett Joy Bennett
has been involved in folk music most of her life. As a member of the quartet Water Sign for 13 years, she explored the close-knit harmonies of both traditional and contemporary folk music. Joy is also a founding member of the all-woman chantey group The Johnson Girls. The "J-Girls" bring a sound and energy to sea and work songs that has brought entire audiences to their feet. They not only have beautiful harmonies, but raw power, allowing audiences a glimpse of the situations in which the chanteys were used. At the same time, the beauty of their ballads is unparalleled. Joy has performed solo, with Water Sign, the Johnson Girls, Chris Koldewey, and with guest artists in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe.
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Heather Wood Heather Wood
is a veteran singer from the English revival for some 50+ years, dating from her days with The Young Tradition. She has a great repertoire of ballads, historical songs, love and agricultural songs, and a lot from the humorous side. In addition to the old songs, she has written some dynamite new ones. Over the years, Heather has also acted as agent for other artists, run folk clubs, organized weekends and other events, and written about folk music for an assortment of publications.
Heather's website
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Don Wade Don Wade
has over four decades of experience in sound reinforcement and recording. He has worked at everything from concerts to large festivals and is particularly familiar with Folk, Classical, and Jazz. Don is co-founder of Minstrel Records, which has produced some fine albums.
Don's website
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rev 27 Dec 2015