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Fiddle, Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo and Mandolin
Originally from Meshoppen (Native American word meaning - place of trading Wampum) in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern PA. After stints of Living in the East Village, NYC, Berkeley/San Francisco, CA. and Florida, in 1977 I settled in Groton, MA where I live with my wife Lyssa Black Fassett and the spiritual presence of my children Wreath Rose and my son Darby.
Forever a lover of music, I began playing guitar when I was 19. Then while attending a Jefferson Airplane Concert at the Fillmore West was bitten by the music bug. At that moment the die was cast and music became central to who I am. While in Berkeley I picked up my first fiddle.
After Berkeley during a short stint of living in PA. I met and played with local Legend and ex-world champion fiddler Jahile Kirkhoff - my first fiddle Guru. Then when I moved to Mass. I took fiddle lessons from Andy Wolfe, Laurie Peckins, Alan Block and Matt Glazier and Tracy Schwartz. While attending U.Mass Boston I met my second Fiddle Guru - Howard Armstrong, a.k.a. Louie Bluie. The Guru part involves the concept that just as gurus pass on their wisdom, understanding and presence through direct contact with disciples. These people are repositories of fiddling technique, wisdom and feeling. This is all passed along through direct contact - in educational nomenclature this is experenical learning, that can only be learned by direct experience - not by intellect. That experience is is in turn shared with others creating a timeless shared life of joy and discovery.
As a lover of all kinds of music I initially tried to play them all in one band (Axolotl). This proved too much to ask of a listening audience and gradually several bands have evolved each having its own distinctive focus. For me the Contra Banditos function as my roots band Contra Banditos. The band that is my outlet for most of my songwriting impulses is Snow Crow and a celebration of our connection with nature (which I term Earth-Sol Music). Snow Crow also includes Banditos members Bev Rodrigues and Ross Lama and sometimes (we miss you) Brad Smith. You can check out my love of Chicago Blues, Reggae, Salsa, World Music, Bluegrass, Psychedelic, Electronic Music. Another up and coming band I used to play with puts out a modern sound that combines Reggae, Hip-Hop, Funk, Blues and Rock influences. They play extensively in the Northeastern U.S. from N.Y.C. to the Canadian Border. Check them out at Doctor Doom Orchestra.
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