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July 4th picnic to feature local groups

June 20, 2014
Shepherdstown Chronicle

Shepherdstown's annual Fourth of July community picnic will feature the music of two popular local groups, the Speakeasy Boys and the Gypsy Ramblers. Both groups played at last year's picnic as well.

The picnic will be held from 12 noon to 3 p.m. on Friday the 4th at Morgan's Gove Park on Kearneysville Pike (Route 480) just southwest of town. It will be held in the park's pavilion.

This will be right after the town's annual Fourth of July parade, which will be held downtown starting at 11 a.m.

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Everyone is welcome at both events and admission will be free.

At the picnic, the Speakeasy Boys will play from noon to 1:30 p.m. and the Gypsy Ramblers will play from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

The Speakeasy Boys have been a fixture of Shepherdstown's music scene for many years. They play traditional and non-traditional acoustic, bluegrass and old-time music, in their own unique zesty river hobo jug-band style.

The group consists of two guitars, mandolin, banjo, washtub bass, fiddle, harmonica, washboard and saw, though they frequently feature other instruments including a homemade tin-can contraption (affectionately named Jeb Junior) that is played with a pair of spoons, the nose-flute, kazu, and electric lapsteel guitar.

The Gypsy Ramblers have been playing together since the beginning of 2010. They are a four-piece band that plays a lyrical blend of gypsy, jazz, 'dawg' and blues music. Their repertoire is a mix of instrumental and vocal songs, more than half of which is original material written by the band.

The band features Matt Robinson on mandolin, Jeff Kaufman on guitar, Bill Unger on bass. and Butch Sanders on percussion. Their infuences include David Grisman, Joe Craven, Django Reinhardt, Irvin Berlin, Louis Armstrong and BB King, to name a few, and their sound is reminiscent of these artists.

Shepherdstown's Fourth of July parade and picnic are organized annually by the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown. The goal is to provide a wholesome, family-oriented Fourth of July celebration for the town.

For more information contact Peter Smith at 304-876-1139 or pvsmith@frontiernet.net.

 
 

 

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