The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

April 19, 2013

Mountain Minstrelsy band to play at Campus Theater

LEWISBURG — The Mountain Minstrelsy band will perform in concert Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 per person, $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door and online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/360440

Two core members of the rock and roll band Marah — David Bielanko and Christine Smith — moved from New York City to rural Pennsylvania and became obsessed with the old, forgotten music of the region.

After discovering “Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania,” a book of song lyrics collected by folklorist Henry Shoemaker, Bielanko and Smith built an analog recording studio in an old church. They recruited local musicians to record an album of brand-new music for these songs, historically sung in the backwoods settlements, hunting camps and lumber camps from 1840 to 1923.

Band members include Kai Schafft, Jimmy Baughman, Chris Rattie and a 9-year-old fiddle prodigy named Gus.

The April 20 performance at the Campus Theatre will include Bucknell faculty members Katie Faull, Duane Griffin, Ben Marsh and Alf Siewers, who will provide brief overviews and discussions about the places, people and landscapes in which these songs were originally sung, as well as Kirk French, professor of anthropology at Penn State University, who will speak on behalf of the band.

The event is presented by Bucknell University’s departments of Comparative Humanities and Music and the Bucknell University Environmental Center’s Place Studies Initiative.

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