Episodes

Episode 15 – Peter Siegel

Julie sits down with Peter Siegel, the guitarist, mandolinist, and singer from the Greenfield Dance Band and The Gaslight Tinkers. They talk about the wide range of sounds in his bands, what tradition means, experimentation and innovation in the folk tradition. As well as Muppet impressions, of course. Enjoy!

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Episode 14 – Mary Cay Brass

Julie speaks with the wonderful pianist, accordionist, and singer Mary Cay Brass of the Greenfield Dance Band and Airdance - mainstays of the New England contra scene in the last decades. Mary Cay is also a talented international folk musician, and music educator. They discuss her early days playing for contras, her piano style and influences, and her passion...

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Episode 13 – George Marshall

Julie interviews the renowned musician, caller, and organizer George Marshall. They talk about his mission to share the joy of dance, his calling mentors and inspiration, his approach to working with bands, and what makes great dance music. It’s a wonderful conversation for musicians, callers, and everyone interested in the evolution of contra dance! Show...

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Episode 12 – Noah VanNorstrand Part 2

The second half of our interview with Noah VanNorstrand. whose driving fiddle, feet, and mandolin have been a rhythmic powerhouse behind some of the most popular dance bands of the last decade. In this half of the interview we talked about Noah's philosophy of fiddling for contra dances, some contra tricks, and about the future of dance weekends, and...

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Episode 11 – Noah VanNorstrand Part 1

The first of a two-part episode with Noah VanNorstrand, whose driving fiddle, feet, and mandolin have been a rhythmic powerhouse behind some of the most popular dance bands of the last decade, including Great Bear, Buddy System, Wake Up Robin and the Faux Paws. Noah freely blends traditional folk genres such as Celtic and old time Appalachian fiddling with...

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Episode 10: Lissa Schneckenburger

This episode, Julie sits down with Lissa Schneckenburger, the talented fiddler and singer. Her unique perspective as a player of many different styles, and a graduate of the New England Conservatory, makes for a great conversation about music, contra, and community.

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Episode 9: Kate Barnes

Julie sits down with the extraordinary Kate Barnes, whose legendary piano stylings have been a mainstay of the contra scene for decades. She’s also a renowned English dance musician, and they talk in-depth about her beginnings in contra dance piano, improvisation, how the dance scene has changed over the years, and much more!

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Episode 8: David Cantieni Part 2

Part two of Julie's conversation with David Cantieni - founding member of the bands Wild Asparagus and Swallowtail, who has been an important fixture of the Western Massachusetts contradance scene for many years. They go through David’s roots, his transition from classical oboe to traditional music, the excitement of the bombard and the influence of French tunes, how he...

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Episode 7: David Cantieni Part 1

Part one of Julie's conversation with David Cantieni - founding member of the bands Wild Asparagus and Swallowtail, who has been an important fixture of the Western Massachusetts contradance scene for many years. They go through David’s roots, his transition from classical oboe to traditional music, the excitement of the bombard and the influence of French tunes, how he...

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Episode 6: Arthur Davis

Arthur and Julie have a lovely summer-night chat about his early roots, building communities through dance, and glorious New England tunes. And as piano players, they also geek out about piano styles, the difference between acoustic pianos and keyboards, and much more!

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Episode 5: Anna Patton

This episode, Julie invites Anna Patton, clarinetist from Elixir and other bands, to sit down on her porch and talk about life as a gigging musician, groove and beat placement, the clarinet as a contra dance instrument, and much more!

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Episode 4: Everest Witman

Julie takes to her porch to talk with Everest Witman, guitarist, mandolinist, and foot percussionist from Nova about his experience growing up in the contra dance scene, DADGAD guitar, contra vs. session playing, and we have a good old rhythm player geek out session about ways that rhythm players can support the dancing. They also talk about Everest's current...

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Episode 3: Charlie Pilzer – Part 2

The second part of Julie's conversation with Charlie Pilzer about how he accompanies tunes, how that's changed over the past few decades, what makes a great contra tune, music theory and more!

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Episode 2: Charlie Pilzer – Part 1

Julie interviews Charlie Pilzer at the NEFFA, the New England Folk Festival, in 2019. They talk about this history of the contra dance scene, Charlie's diverse musical experience, and even dive into some music theory on what makes a great contra dance tune!

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Episode 1: Dudley Laufman

Julie interviews Dudley at Maine Fiddle Camp - filled with classic stories from Dudley's long career as both a contra dance caller and musician. Diving into what makes the perfect contra dance band sound, tune. And medleys? Who needs 'em.

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