Imagine the joy of dancing the night away the weekend before Christmas, Saturday, December 16, 2017. The monthly scheduled contra dance in the historic gym of the Sautee Nacoochee Center features an amazing trio of Georgia-bred musicians, The Griddle Lickers, with calling by Atlanta’s own Scott Russell.
But wait! December 16th is only one of TWO opportunities to dance away the year. Coming soon is information on a second “special” dance, Saturday, December 30, with Asheville band Joyful Noise and caller Diane Silver.
The Griddle Lickers is the happy result of mixing a couple of crusty, veteran musicians with a youthful shining star in the old time Appalachian music scene. This recipe promises a rich evening meal of fabulous, multi-layered music, combining vintage ragtime and jazz piano with classic Appalachian fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar playing. The three highly skilled musicians are Mick Kinney on piano, John Grimm on fiddle and guitar, and Etowah Adams, on claw hammer banjo and mandolin.
Joining the band to call the dance is Scott Russell from Atlanta. Scott is a long-time musical colleague of the band who has played guitar for traditional dancing for almost thirty-five years. He has been a stalwart in establishing and supporting traditional dance and music in both the Atlanta and Sautee communities and in communities beyond.
Mick Kinney is a long-time, highly respected performer, fiddle camp instructor, and recording artist from the Atlanta area and band leader of the Georgia Crackers. An historian of early 1900s string band and ragtime music, he has recorded and preserved much of that era’s musical literature.
John Grimm has been an award-winning fiddler, multi-instrumentalist, and recording artist for many years. Owner of Vintage Music in Dahlonega, John teaches private music lessons and fiddle classes with the highly successful Georgia Pick and Bow Traditional Music School , an after-school program that has provided lessons for hundreds of children for almost a decade.
Etowah Adams is one of the Pick and Bow’s greatest success stories. He and his two siblings were students during the earliest days of the program, and for several years since, they have played professionally as a band for numerous events and dances in the area. Etowah, now a high school senior, performed this past April at the Ryman Theater in Nashville, as part of an annual Georgia Music Foundation benefit.
Introductory lesson, 7:30 pm; dance, 8-11 pm. No partner or prior experience necessary. SNCA members, $7; non-members, $10; students, $5; children 12 and under, free. The SNC historic gym is located at 283 Highway 255 North, ¼ mile off Highway 17 in Sautee, Georgia. Contact: (706) 878-3300; www.snca.org or www.sauteecontra.com.
By Charles Hawkins and Beth Marsh Hawkins
Dedicated volunteers who help keep the Sautee Community Contra Dance in the public eye.