The 47th and final concert season of the Woods Hole Folk Music Society will continue on Sunday, January 27 with a performance of traditional bluegrass by The Reunion Band. The concert will take place at 7:30 PM in Community Hall, 68 Water Street, Woods Hole. Doors open at 7 PM. Admission is $20 with discounts for members, seniors, youth and children. Community Hall is handicapped accessible, and street parking is free after 6 PM.
The Reunion Band has been performing traditional bluegrass together since 2002, and is so named because the group’s core members have played with one another in various configurations for over three decades. The band includes Boston-area veterans Richard Brown on mandolin, Dave Dillon on rhythm guitar and Margaret Gerteis on acoustic bass, as well as Laura Orshaw on fiddle and Catherine “BB” Bowness on banjo. The Reunion Band has performed at the ROMP bluegrass festival in Kentucky and the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Massachusetts as well as at several festivals and music venues across New England.
Dave Dillon, the group’s lead singer, is also a highly respected rhythm guitarist who has performed and recorded with numerous bluegrass pioneers. He worked for seven years with Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys, performing in Woods Hole regularly in the early days of WHFMS. Mr. Dillon’s contributions to the bluegrass scene earned him the Boston Bluegrass Union’s Heritage Award in 2008.
Richard Brown sings lead and baritone on harmony trios, and is an accomplished mandolinist in the classic style of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. Mr. Brown is associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s Monroe-style mandolin camp in Owensboro, Kentucky, and is a regular faculty member of Mandolin Camp North. He has contributed several original instrumental compositions to the Reunion Band’s repertoire.
Bassist Margaret Gerteis is a veteran of several New England bands, including the Stony Lonesome Band, where she first played with Mr. Dillon and Mr. Brown, and the Connecticut-based band Apple Country. She performed with pioneering singer and activist Hazel Dickens, and was a co-founder of the Boston Bluegrass Union. Ms. Gerteis sings high lead and adds tenor harmony to the group’s vocal arrangements.
Fiddler and vocalist Laura Orshaw, who joined the group in 2012, has been described by Bluegrass Unlimited as a “significant emerging artist” and by Dirty Linen Magazine as “a fiddler of seemingly boundless energy … with finesse, style and a contagious joy.” Immersed in music from a young age, Ms. Orshaw performed classic bluegrass as a teen with the Lonesome Road Ramblers. She has been teaching fiddle since she was 12, and has been an instructor at music camps and workshops for several years. In addition to playing with The Reunion Band, Ms. Orshaw leads the Boston-based New Velvet Band.
Banjo player Catherine “BB” Bowness joined the Reunion band in 2014. She began her musical studies with banjo tutor Mark Warren at age 12 and won the Frank Winter memorial award at the Auckland Folk Festival in 2006. Traveling to the US to study with banjo masters Tony Trischka, Alan Munde and Bill Evans, she won the Uncle Dave Macon banjo competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at age 15. Ms. Bowness was one of 16 emerging artists to be invited to the 2013 Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, Georgia, and was the first banjo player accepted to the New Zealand School of Music, receiving a bachelor of music in jazz performance. Since relocating to Boston she has recorded and performed throughout New England with the Reunion Band and Southeast Expressway.
Known for tight vocals and a traditional “high lonesome” sound, The Reunion Band has delighted audiences across New England with their classic bluegrass repertoire, solid instrumental picking and sweet vocal harmonies.
The Woods Hole Folk Music Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enjoyment of folk music in all its forms. Concerts are made possible by support from its members, season subscribers, volunteers, and performers. Refreshments are served at intermission, and donations of baked goods are especially welcome. More information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.arts-cape.com/whfolkmusic.
Upcoming WHFMS performances are February 10, Troy MacGillivray & Andrea Beaton; February 24, Lissa Schneckenburger & Bethany Waickman; March 10, Joel Mabus; March 24, William Jackson; and April 7, Bill Staines.