Old School Mountain Style
The Southern Schoolhouse Rascals is a group of five musicians with lifetimes of experience in the culture, history and music of the American South. They are able to play complete concerts in the old Southern Mountain music style as conjured up by movies such as 'Oh Brother, Where Art Thou' and the Oscar winning movie of Charles Frazier's book 'Cold Mountain.' The Southern Schoolhouse Rascals can provide an audience with interesting insights into Southern musical culture through photographs, anecdotes and intimate personal experience. Members are: Gil Sayre - lead vocals, guitar Gil grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, learning songs and tunes from local farmers, miners and family members. With his first hand knowledge, Gil's anecdotes and songs give an authentic account and eye opening picture into Southern culture. He sings and plays guitar and banjo. Among his many accomplishments;  Leader and vocalist on the compact disc 'The Stillhouse Rounders.'  Guitar workshop leader at many festivals, including Black Creek fiddlers convention and the 'Dance Flurry'  Concerts at many locations including the Rosendale Café, the Greenwich Village Bistro, The Baggott Inn & the Black Cow, Old Songs, Falcon Ridge Fest, Brooklyn Jamboree,  WWVA radio (Frost,WV), Dancing On The Air (Jay Unger and Molly Mason's live radio show). Ambrose Verdibello - fiddle Ambrose is a multi-talented instrumentalist who can play fiddle, banjo, guitar, pedal steel and Hawaiian style lap guitar. With an encyclopedic knowledge of fiddle tunes, he provides an endless variety of tunes.  Ambrose plays at numerous square dances throughout Westchester, Putnam, Duchess, Ulster counties and adjacent Connecticut.  Session musician for numerous songsters, appearing on CDs such as the CoMando mandolin Project  Works with cultural organizations, presenting concerts for the Millbrook Council on the Arts. Dave Howard - mandolin, guitar, harmony and lead vocals Dave is a vocalist, mandolinist and guitarist in constant demand throughout New York and Connecticut. Dave sings tenor to Gil's lead vocals and comes from a musical family: his father was a fiddler. Dave has many credits including;  Leader and vocalist with the Zenith String Band, now with the Contra-Dance band Please & Thank You.  Appearing at numerous venues, including the Beekman Café, the Town Crier and the Main Stage  Featured vocalist on the Marimac recording of the Lazy Aces string band.  Featured track on the Rounder CD anthology of American old time musicians 'The Young Fogies.' Ray Alden - banjo Ray traveled south every summer for 35 years to study with, record and absorb the culture of the older generation of Southern musicians. A student of fretless banjo great Fred Cockerham, his credits include;  Presentations & Banjo Instructor, Pinewoods Folk Music Camp, 1978  Banjo instructor at Augusta Folk Heritage week, Elkins, West Virginia, October 1994  Fretless Banjo Instructor, Tennessee Banjo Institute, October 1992  Concerts & Banjo Instructor, Port Townsend 'Fiddle Tunes' Festival, Washington State, June 1997  Banjo Concert & Historical Presentation, American Folk Arts Museum, New York City, August 2002  Banjo instruction, concerts at the Massachusetts Banjo Camp North, 2004 and 2005  Recorded 15 compact discs of American traditional music for the Rounder and Chubby Dragon labels such as 'Mountairy.USA' 'The Young Fogies' and 'Old Time Friends.' Pat Plankey - bass and harmony vocals Pat is a wonderful bass player who has played with many traditional music groups and swing music groups such as the Lazy Aces string band and the Swingaholics; she is an excellent vocalist as well. She has played bass on several recordings including 'The Young Fogies vol. II' and 'Sugar Tree Stomp' by fiddler Bill Christophersen and banjoist Ben Freed.