American band brings traditional fiddle and banjo music to Indian shores

                                                                                                           The Corn Potato String Band

The Corn Potato String Band , a four member band comprising of Aaron Jonah Lewis, Lindsay McCaw, Aviva Steigmeyer and Roy Pilgrim, has delighted audiences with its driving fiddle tunes and harmonious singing across the United States, Europe, and Mexico. The band members are all multi-instrumentalists who are dedicated to continuing the traditional fiddle and banjo music and dance of central southern part of the United States.  Further, guitar, bass and mandolin, are some of the musical instruments that they strum while covering different antiquated styles including ballads, “ho-downs,” country “rags” and southern gospel.

Explaining the name of the band, Lindsay says “The name of the band is something we just picked up because we thought it sounded comical. It is silly but also reflective of what old time bands used to be called.  Sometimes groups would be named after a nearby Mountain, “The Bald Mountain String Band” or something in the barnyard like “The Crowing Rooster String band”. So, we picked our name from farm produce.”

When asked about the scenario of contemporary folk music in the US, Aaron feels, “The folk music scene in America right now is taking a hugely different shape. There are people like us playing traditional old fashioned folk music. Then there are those who are living in the 1960's like the kind of music played by Rudy Catherine or Pete Seeger. Then there is also newer folk music which is not much connected to what we do."

He goes on to add, “So far as our community goes, it is a pretty small one. I think it represents just a thousand or so of the 100 million Americans. Most of us know each other and are very connected. We play the music for each other and for fun. Most people aren’t playing this music professionally. For example, a farmer, or someone doing some kind of labour or working in a shop, plays the banjo or the fiddle in his free time. As we say, it’s more fun to play than listen to music. It is easy to play. It’s easy to get into it. It’s not specialized. It is an old fashioned form of entertainment.  It is especially attractive to people who might have had enough of mass media entertainment.”

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