News from the Stairwell

The weblog of The Stairwell Sisters – All-Gal Old-Time String Band

Archive for April, 2006

Ok People, Stepher Is Back! + Evie’s Endorses GHS Strings!

Look for plenty of shows with that gal. No rest for the weary!!

And Evie got an endorsement from GHS! She swears by their JD Crowe light banjo string (they even have a red & black logo…fancy that).
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Our Midwest Tour With Bill Foss

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First, a heartfelt thanks to all those that were so kind to us on our little tour through the midwest! We all converged in Chicago (Evie, Martha, Bill & son Danny all drove up from Indiana after their visits there). It began for some of us with a Vienna beef hot dog (tofu for Marth). It was a joy for Lisa to hang in Wicker Park where here Grandpa’s hot dog stand used to be located. Next, a little picking to get up to speed with Bill Foss who learned all our songs and tunes for one tour in a very short period of time – and absolutely wow’d us all. He even had a cold and could hardly talk – but made us all belly laugh everytime he yelled out "Fiddler A Dram" in the most inadvertantly drunken sounding shout from the back of the stage. How can we possibly thank him enough?!

Next was a peek through Fitzgerald’s history – from their beautiful commemorative book to their signed accordion-adorned walls. We were honored to have so many of our friends, comrades, and family in the audience! Big ups to Sue’s friends Elizabeth, Donny, and Alan for putting us up. And there were so many more of you! It was a pleasure to meet Jeffrey Mankin of the Steampowered Preservation Society who recorded our show (man, those SPPS folks are everywhere!). Lisa checked out to the Old-town School of Folk Music and was pretty floored – what an inspiring place. We’re honored that they’ve expressed interest in us playing there next time we make it out to Chicago. Thanks also to Old Town School dobro teacher Rob Anderlik for his support and suggestions.

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“Come Along Jody” – From The Source (Literally)

Subject: Come Along Jody

Hi Stephanie,

I don’t think we’ve ever met but a friend just played me your recording of “Come Along Jody” written by my dad, fiddler, Tex Logan, going back to the days when I was always on the road with him at bluegrass festivals….if you send me an address I’ll send you some live recordings of my Dad and his old partner, Pete Rowan, when they started playing the tune. Just got a bit of it online…I’m always interested to hear new versions of the tune as it seems more fiddlers are playing it….out of curiosity….where or who did you first learn the tune from? Living in So. Florida…hope to hear you all perform sometime.

Take Care….
Jody Logan

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Steph’s Last Tanzanian Post – Bday Dream Comes True!

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We’re all so happy for (and envious of) Steph! See excerpts from her post below -

…one (dream) was to go to the office of Radio Tanzania, the national radio station, which has a large collection (157) of field recordings of tribal music, which they sell on dubbed cassettes (poor quality, sadly) for $1.00 each. I got 12.

Thanks to Keith, several months before I came to Tanzania I had the opportunity to hear a CD of some traditional music from the Gogo tribe. The people are called Wagogo. That music instantly captivated me and I couldn’t believe my ears. I loved it! The Wagogo are the ones who play zeze.From the liner notes I saw that their land is in the area around Dodoma. I decided then that I was going to find the Wagogo people and play music with them! Call it a pipe dream, but guess how I spent the day before and the day of my birthday??? In a remote hamlet, not even a village, out in the Wagogo countryside, surrounded by an entire village, eager to perform their music and dance for me! They hoped, of course, that I could help them get a recording and more support, I told them I couldn’t and that I was there as a fellow musician interested to share music with them, although I did contribute money and beer to the various choir leaders. I also wanted to give them Sisters’ CDS, but they didn’t know what CDs were. My driver said he would copy the CDs onto tapes and give them to the musicians. And if anyone has any ideas about helping Zeze orchestras, talk to me!

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Enormous Thanks Go To Elise Engelberg & Bill Foss!

We’re ever so grateful to Elise Engelberg (of The Mercury Dimes) for all the time and talent she put in to help us Stairwell Sisters out while Steph has been gone. We enjoyed playing with her so much and were amazed at how quickly she learned everything (and how fast she could play those tunes). We look forward to playing with her again in Colorado in June for a little tour that Steph can’t make. Of course, we are sure looking forward to the return of Steph around April 20th!! Before her return we have one more tour – to the midwest (Chicago & Michigan) where we’ll have the honor of playing with yet another amazing fiddler, Bill Foss!! Please send your friends and family out there our way. And we sure look forward to meeting all our new friends that we’ve made on MySpace!

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Evie’s Buckdancing Video Now On Dvd!

Get it at our store!

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