Bands & Callers
Contra Dance Bands
The Spy Run String Band (Fort Wayne, IN) plays the driving rhythms of Southern Appalachian as well as the charming melodies of New England, with occasional waltzes and Scandinavian couple dances thrown in. Matthew Katinsky on fiddle and Jan Long on hammered dulcimer weave melody over the John Long's rock solid guitar and banjo. Nola Katinsky grounds their Southern sound with upright bass and sends their Northern music soaring on flute. Together they produce a full, rich, and varied tapestry of music that will get your community off their chairs and dancing.
Band o'Goshen (Goshen, IN) is rooted in the old-time tradition of reels, marches and jigs, bringing energy and creativity to the dance music floor. Sadie Gustafson-Zook plays articulate and fluid melodies on the fiddle, while Les Gustafson-Zook interweaves harmonies and counter rhythms on the autoharp and mandolin. Gwen Gustafson-Zook adds strong and solid rhythm chords on the guitar and Kent Dutchersmith fills in the bottom with a driving and energetic upright bass. With more than ten years of experience playing for dances, Band o' Goshen creates the energy and rhythm for happy feet and flowing dancers.
Entwyned (Bloomington, IN) plays compelling Celtic-influenced melodies and friendly old-time tunes, accented with influences from world music and swing, and driven by a lively rhythmic flow. They're known for their tune arrangements that match the figures of the dance, molding the dance energy and raising the dancers' spirits. Entwyned is John Paolillo on mandolin-family instruments (mandola, bouzouki, and mandocello, among others) and Twy Bethard on fiddle and foot percussion. They're based in central Indiana, but have played dances throughout the country.
Old Clay Fields (South Bend, IN) delivers foot-stomping old time American folk music on fiddle, banjo and guitar. The trio--Joshua Stump, Pete Miller and Liz Dube--are equally at home performing for rollicking barn dances as for lazy afternoons on the porch. More information: www.facebook.com/OldClayFields.
Possum Spawn (Columbus, OH) brings you a mix of old-time reels, Celtic jigs and marches old and new, combining the energy of the music with the energy of the dance. Bill McCulloch on piano brings his experience in playing for contra dancers in the mountains of Montana to the till plains of Ohio. He provides the bedrock for the group with a strong left hand along with melodic embellishment with the right. Brenda Bertrand and Margaret Goodman on fiddles play from this foundation, Brenda with her driving melodies and Margaret with lovely harmonies, dancing with the dancers on the floor.
Contra Dance Callers
Barry Dupen (Columbia City, IN) focuses on beginner-friendly clear, concise calling. He has been calling and writing contra dances since the mid 1990s.