Stories, Songs and Magic Lantern Projections From An Imaginary New England Village
Tim Eriksen and the
Trio de Pumpkintown
October 17th, 7:30pm
Tickets available online
or by phone (802)387-4051
Tim Eriksen (voice/guitar), Zoë Darrow (fiddle/voice) and Peter Irvine (percussion/voice) return to Sandglass to perform old and new Yankee hymns, tunes and ballads from the region’s often forgotten multicultural history, accompanied by original and historical magic lantern projections by painter Susan Brearey. Join the Trio de Pumpkintown as they untangle through songs and stories the curious history of an imaginary New England Village.
Peter, Zoë and Tim learned several pieces from their friend Silas Billings III, b. 1959: songs of the sea from his great-grandfather “Black Josh,” 1799-1891, “love songs about death” from Josh’s third wife, Absence Wing b. 1835, and shape note tunes by local Abenaki/Scottish composer (and Dartmouth graduate) Doctor Knox Samson. But what about the Yankee gospel of the old African church over the hill? Fiddle tunes from “Frenchtown,” and the Cape Breton girls over to the mill? And what was the music of the man who may have been Absence (and Presence) Wing’s father, described in scant local accounts only as “an itinerant from Europe?” The Trio de Pumpkintown all hoped to learn something from the trunk Silas found in his aunt Tempy’s attic after she died. There was a lot in there, but unfortunately it contained more questions than answers.
Like other towns in the region, nothing impossible has ever happened in Pumpkintown, officially. But there are a lot of questions. Officially there aren’t any wolves, but Silas says Aunt Tempy swore she’d heard them every night for ten years. Did the woman supposedly buried alive so many years ago really make it home that night? Did Josh Billings and half the Methodists in town really give away their possessions and wait naked on rooftops and the old burying ground for the apocalypse that never came in October, 1843? What about the “singing mice”?
If you’re curious about all this, you can come to the show, or go to the Lowe’s down in Hadley one night when Silas is working. You can look for him in hardware, although he’s probably one of several people you won’t be able to find. Cammie too- they both work Saturdays.
Tim Eriksen, PhD “the best unaccompanied ballad singer in the United States” is an award losing singer, multi-instrumentalist and ethnomusicologist known for his work with the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, on films including Cold Mountain, a doubly Grammy nominated collaboration with world-jazz impresario Omar Sosa and a nearly 400 page dissertation on music in fictional New England villages.
Peter Irvine, Esq. is an attorney by day, Sacred Harp singer by night and accomplished percussionist who has performed and recorded with Tim Eriksen on projects ranging from the 1990s Balkan band Žabe I Babe, the world’s first Oromo gospel CD and Cordelia’s Dad, the only band to have performed with both Doc Watson and Nirvana.
Zoë Darrow, FMF is a frequent fiddle contest winner and leader of the Valley Advocate’s 2013…(?) “Best Celtic band,” as well as a remarkable singer and songwriter. Deeply rooted in Cape Breton and Scottish music, she began her recording career at the age of 12 and earned a degree in music and anthropology from Mt. Holyoke College in 2012.
Susan Brearey, MFA is an internationally acclaimed artist who earned her degree in painting and print making from the Rhode Island School of Design. A teacher at the Putney School, her nature-inspired work has appeared in galleries abroad and throughout the United States.
Other Videos from the Trio de Pumpkintown: