This is the fourth in a series of stories about some of the performers appearing at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival. The Festival begins on the evening of Friday, August 17 with the opening ceremony followed by a country-dance on Veterans’ Way beside the Legion. The dance will feature a live band with fiddle, guitar and concertina. Everyone is welcome. There will be a caller to teach the dances so no experience is necessary and people don’t even need to bring a partner. On Saturday and Sunday there will be music from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on two stages – one on Veterans Square and one in front of the Museum.
One of the exciting things about this year’s Festival is that over one third of the performing groups are new to the Festival. Half of these new groups are coming because of our “Princetonograd” eastern European theme. One of those groups is Something About Reptiles, a somewhat outrageous Turkish-Balkan cabaret band. They describe their music as “kitsch meets classic with traditional music, warped into something east of cabaret and west of gravity.” With their gypsy fusionist music they will sweep you away with diasporic melodies that range from sardonic sarcasm to sensual coaxing, music for people who aren’t afraid of anything. With guitar, bass, viola, darbuka (hand drum), vocals and accordions, Something About Reptiles will play music to mend your heart.
The group coming from farthest away is The Holdtocks, who will travel all the way from California. Dick and Carol Holdstock sing traditional ballads, songs of the sea, old time tavern songs, songs of the California gold rush and songs of social significance. They delight audiences with the unusual harmonies and arrangements of their varied material. Whether accompanying themselves on guitar, mandolin or autoharp, they get the stories of the songs across in a way that assures audience involvement. With lots of choruses it doesn’t take long for everyone to sing along.
These are just two of the performing groups appearing at this year’s Festival, and the best thing about it is it’s free!
The reason it’s free is because it’s run entirely by volunteers and the performers are donating their talents. To make the festival a success the organizers will need lots of volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, please contact them. Even if you have only a couple of hours available your help would be most welcome. Give them a call and they’ll welcome you aboard. To find out more visit the Festival’s webblog at princetonfestival.org or give Jon and Rika a call at 295-6010.