March 23rd, Tony Trischka & Bruce Molsky to play in York, PA

Two perennial Susquehanna Folk Music Society concert stage favorites—Tony Trischka and Bruce Molsky—team up for a dynamic March 23 concert sponsored by SFMS at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, 925 S. George Street, York. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3050250

Make it a Weekend!

Come for the concert and visit some of York County’s other attractions. Consider taking in a York Revolutions game, touring the Harley Davidson plant, checking out Central Market, or hiking on the magnificent York County Rail Trail! There is plenty to do in beautiful York County. For more ideas visit www.yorkpa.org.

Tony Trischka was named a 2012 United State Artists Friends Fellow in recognition of his work as perhaps the most influential banjo player in roots music world today. In addition to his accolades as a performer, he also is one of the instrument’s most respected and sought-after instructors, having created 15 instructional books and a series of DVDs. In 2009 he launched the online Tony Trischka School of Banjo. He has been a mainstay on A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front Porch, and other shows.

A Grammy-nominated fiddler, Molsky has been acclaimed as “one of America’s premier fiddling talents.” Trained as a mechanical engineer after having spent time in Virginia and loving Appalachian music, Molsky decided at age 40 to try to make a career in music and has never looked back. Molsky has appeared on NPR programs including A Prairie Home Companion and All Things Considered and on BBC broadcasts in England and Scotland.

Concert tickets are $25 General Admission, $23 for SFMS members and $10 for students ages 3-22. Advance tickets are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling toll-free (800) 838-3006.

We had lots of fun talking to Molsky and Trishka and interrupting their rehearsal just to learn what music they will be playing on Friday night and to find out if it really true that Tony played recently with Miley Cyrus??? Read on to find out!

FOLKMAMA: You both are very well known with stellar careers of your own, but I’m curious what people should expect during the concert on Friday evening?

TONY: Lots of instruments for sure. I play banjo, two kinds of banjos at this point. Bruce plays a whole host of things.

BRUCE: A couple of fiddles and a guitar and a banjo which I’ll sheepishly play with Tony. And we’ll sing.

TONY: Mostly Bruce! But Bruce is forcing me to sing, and I’ll do it. Just for you guys! And we’re doing a bunch of old-time fiddle tunes for sure and we’re doing a tune called “Green, Green Rocky Road” which was written by Dave Van Ronk, one of my favorite tunes. Then we’ll do a tune that Bruce wrote called Kilkenny which sounds like a Scottish tune but it’s not.

BRUCE: I’m going to tell the story about that song at the concert, but here it is.

Tony and I had a trio years ago with a guitar player Paula Bradley and we were sitting in rehearsal and Tony said, “Let’s play something that we’ve each written.” And I said that I hadn’t written anything. And Tony said, “You have one week to write a tune, and I’ll calling you every day.” So this is the tune I wrote.

I don’t know if you ever watched South Park, but there is a young character that dies every week on the show and he always comes back the next week. And whenever he gets killed, one of his friends says, “The bastards! They killed Kenny!” And that was the name of the tune. But Tony made me shorten it, to make it socially acceptable.

TONY: Right. And we will do a Celtic tune Sí Beag Sí Mór, a beautiful O’Carolan waltz and fiddle-banjo duets, guitar-banjo duets.

BRUCE: This is the overlapping diagram, the Venn Diagram of Bluegrass and Old-Time. Plus everything else that’s kind of rattling around in our heads.

Playing with Tony for me is a really special experience because first of all we are old pals and it gives us a chance to visit. Playing with someone that has a really strong musical voice who is amazing like he is gets me on my game and gets me thinking hard in ways that I don’t usually think. And we don’t do it often enough so that any of it is pat.

So that ‘being in the moment’ for me is a really big thing with this.

TONY: And I feel the same way. Bruce is truly amazing. His groove is just so strong when we play fiddle/banjo duets. I just luxuriate in the grove. I can stay there for 20 minutes, which is something I have to be careful not to do! I think, “Do we really have to stop now? Just when it’s getting exciting?”

Playing in Bruce’s groove is unlike any other situation that I’ve ever played in. It’s not a bluegrass grove at all. I just get lost in it.

FOLKMAMA: So how often do you get to play together in this kind of way?

BRUCE: We’re doing three shows this weekend. We’re playing at Godfrey Daniels and we’re playing at the Town Crier in Beacon where I live. It’s a three gig run. Bur your organization caused it! And it will be particularly “seat of the pants” for your show—in a good way—because it’s the first of the run. So it will be fresh, very fresh.

FOLKMAMA: So what are some of the projects that you both have been involved in recently?

BRUCE: Well you know about my trio, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters. They played for Susquehanna Folk recently. We’ve just finished recording our second CD. Hoping that it’s out late summer. So the Drifters are my main musical thing, although I’m starting to do more solo work.

I had kind of given my solo act a rest, and I discovered that I really missed it. So I did a show out at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, California this past week and it was the first time I stood in front of a mic by myself in awhile and I really enjoyed it. And of course, and Tony does this too, I teach at Berklee College of Music in Boston. It all adds up. I’m also doing a few shows with the cellist Mike Block. I like to do collaborations.

TONY: I just finished up a new CD, or whatever it will be. It’s actually supposed to come out on tape—you know reel to reel tape, believe it or not. There is a company that I’ve been talking to called “Red Wine”. I’m going to be recording a cylinder soon—I met this guy and he works at the Edison Historical Museum near here in South Orange, NJ where Edison had his work shop. And it turns out that this guy actually records new things to cylinder. So in the next few weeks we’ll do that.

But I am finishing up a CD and it deals with the Civil War. I made up this story about the Civil War that has some basis in historical fact. It has a march with a brass band and two string quartets and bluegrass fiddle, and I got John Loofka to do some spoken word. I’ve been working on this project for 10 years—visualizing all this. And then I have this on-line school—we both have on-line schools. The Tony Trischka School of Banjo, and I also teach at Berklee a few times in the spring and the fall.

And I did one gig with Miley Cyrus.

FOLKMAMA: What?? You did a gig with Miley Cyrus? How did that come about?

TONY: Well a friend of mine was first approached, but he couldn’t do it so he asked me. There was a big Elton John pop album that had all these big names, like Lady Gaga are on it. So Miley Cyrus was on there doing The Bitch is Back. And she wanted a banjo solo on there. They did this live show during Grammy week at the theater of Madison Square Garden so I played The Bitch is Back with her with Elton John’s backup band. He was in the audience, right in front, and after the show he came out and played. So I got to play one song with Miley Cyrus. And I got a banjo solo. Not everyone can say that they’ve play a banjo solo with Miley Cyrus.

FOLKMAMA: Amazing! So any last words about what we can expect?

BRUCE: The audience is going to hear some fun, ‘in the moment music’ played by a couple of old friends who want to have a nice time and enjoy it with everyone.

TONY: Just us reconnecting musically in front of an audience. We just love to play with each other and enjoy sharing that with people.

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