Get on your dancing shoes, or just come to listen, because three phenomenal musicians from three different states will meet in Sautee to play for the April 28, 2018 contra dance. They promise a repertoire of powerful, eclectic, lyrical and highly entertaining music that includes Celtic, Appalachian Old-Time, Jazz, Rock and Roll, and original tunes. Veteran caller Warren Doyle from Tennessee will team up with the threesome.
Ed Howe, a master fiddler from Maine, assembled the band that includes another fiddler, Rob Zisette, from Virginia, and guitarist Roger Gold, from North Carolina. Ed is known for his exquisite talent for improvisation and wide-ranging palette of traditional and original fiddle tunes, from New England, Acadian, and bluegrass to contemporary folk and electronica. He is also a sound technician with a reputation for unique design of systems, especially for contra dancing.
Fiddle player Rob Zisette has played fiddle and various other instruments, including vocals, since childhood. His sound is lyrical, improvisational and driving. As an avid contra dancer, Rob says he likes to play in a way that gives dancers the best experience possible. His main band has been Toss the Possum, a nationally esteemed group that includes his classically trained pianist mother and two older siblings on bass, saxophone, flute and Irish whistle.
Roger Gold has brought his talents to Sautee on several occasions with the bands The Elftones, Steamshovel, and others. His playing is legendary, ranging from Celtic and Jazz styles to oozing intricate melodic playing, and he accentuates this playing with foot percussion.
Caller Warren Doyle has been involved in the contra dance scene as a dancer, caller, and dance event organizer for over forty years. An advocate of Appalachian life and culture and director of the Appalachian Trail Institute, Dr. Doyle helped found a folk school near Mountain City, Tennessee, that provides quality contra dancing and music for the local rural community. A life-long educator, Warren has a calling style marked by clarity and patience and is especially helpful with beginner dancers. Of special note, he has walked the Appalachian Trail seventeen times.
Ed Howe’s involvement in traditional music is extensive. Steeped in old-time bluegrass music as a fiddler since an early age, Ed currently plays with at least three other groups: the New England bluegrass band Gather Rounders; JEMS, a four-piece contra dance band; and a two-person band, Barefoot. He co-founded the band Perpetual e-Motion, a widely acclaimed twosome that performed and recorded unique music for contra dancers throughout the country.
Regarding his passion for playing dance music, Ed says: “I exceedingly enjoy weaving in and out of tunes building energy and resolving tension … Music is a feeling not a sound: it should be felt in the soul, from me to you, a gift of which I am honored, humbled and very pleased to offer.”
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.