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October 8, 2013

Roxbury to host festival of fiddling

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The Daily Star

---- — They had to pull a few strings, and show a lot of pluck, but FIDDLERS! will be returning to the Roxbury Arts Center on Sunday for its 20th year.

The full-day fiddling festival begins at noon with square-dancing and culminates with what is being termed an All-Star Jam.

“We are very happy we were able to bring back FIDDLERS! for its 20th year,” Roxbury Arts Group executive director, Jenny Rosenzweig said in a media release. “It wasn’t an easy task, with having to rebuild from the destruction of Hurricane Irene and funding cuts, but we felt it essential for us to maintain this tradition for both the Roxbury Arts Group and for our communities.”

Headlining FIDDLERS! 20 this year are the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Award Association (IBMA) multi-award winners, The Gibson Brothers. Sweeping the 2013 IBMA, The Gibson Brothers took home Entertainers of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year (“They Called It Music”) and ‘Songwriter of the Year’ (Eric Gibson). 

The Gibson Brothers trace their roots to Ellenburg Depot, a small Clinton County farming town. Over the past two decades, they have played more than 80 shows and festivals a year.

At FIDDLERS! 20 the Gibson brothers, Eric and Leigh, will be joined by their full band, often referred to as "…Gibson Brothers who don’t share the Gibson name." This includes fiddle player Clayton Campbell who has been playing fiddle, along with the mandolin and guitar, since he was 7 years old. With Clayton, the band shifted from recording and touring quartet with varying fiddlers on albums to a self-contained five-piece bluegrass band on the road and in the studio. 

Joining the Gibson Brothers at FIDDLERS! 20 are also Mason Dixon Line, The Tremperskill Boys, Sara Milonovich & Greg Anderson, and Hilt Kelly.

Mason Dixon Line is Larry Sliker, Marc Meccia and Jim Kopp. They met more than 35 years ago and have been playing together ever since. Mason Dixon Line was a New Jersey working country rock band until Sliker joined and helped mesh Southern rock, bluegrass, country and blues.

Sliker plays the fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar, Meccia is on guitar and mandolin and Stamford local Kopp is on bass and vocals.

The Tremperskill Boys are an old-time string band whose core repertoire comes from fiddle tunes now native to the Catskill Mountains. Their sound could be described as hard-driving northern Appalachian music.

The lead fiddler and the group’s founder, John Jacobson, was born and raised in Delaware County. Joining Jacobson will be Amy Lieberman on bass, Earl Pardini on fiddle, Chris Carey on banjo, Ira MacIntosh on guitar, Carol Mandigo on guitar, John Potocnik on fiddle, and Ginny Scheer playing the flute.

Frontwoman/founder of indie roots-rock band, Daisycutter, Sara Milonovich is a singer, fiddler, composer and bandleader. Her latest CD, "Daisycutter," released in 2009, was a nominated Grammy semifinalist, as was her debut CD, 'Miss Ippy Fiddle', released in 1998.

Greg Anderson is a multi-instrumentalist who co-founded the Celtic-fusion group Whirligig. Currently the guitarist with The Eileen Ivers Band, he has also performed and recorded with many diverse international artists, including Susan McKeown, The Klezmatics, Cathie Ryan and Doctor Nerve.

Advance tickets are $19 for adults and $17 for seniors and students. All tickets purchased the day of the event are $24. For tickets and more information, call the Roxbury Arts Group at (607) 326-7908 or visit its website at www.roxburyartsgroup.org.