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Third Annual Harry Smith Festival with Peter Stampfel & Catherine Irwin
Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks
Millheim, PA
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Third Annual Harry Smith Festival with Peter Stampfel & Catherine Irwin
This year we are incredibly excited to have confirmed an extraordinary double-header of Peter Stampfel and Catherine Irwin playing 8 PM Saturday evening at the Elk Creek Café on Nov 13 and then joining us again the next day for the Harry Smith Festival, Sunday Nov 14.

Peter Stampfel and Catherine Irwin are (tragically, in our opinion) not exactly household names, at least in the typical household, but they are truly significant figures in American music, rural or otherwise.

Peter Stampfel was one of the original members of The Fugs whose first album was actually produced by Harry Smith.  Peter went on to found and play for years with the legendary act The Holy Modal Rounders, true musical visionaries who turned old time rural music psychedelic and punk before the existence of psychedelic and punk music.  Here's a clip of these guys from Laugh In in 1968:

And here's a great interview with Peter from some years ago from Perfect Sound Forever:  Peter's latest project has been work with Baby Gramps, with a CD in the can just recorded a few months ago.

And Catherine Irwin, in our opinion, is simply one of the very best living country music singer/songwriters.  Along with Janet Bean, she formed the band Freakwater around 2 decades ago and has put out nearly a dozen records with Freakwater, solo, in compilations (including a great recent one of Tompkins Square Records featuring the songs of E.C. Ball) and playing with others like Will Oldham and Califone.  She'll be accompanied by Steve Dorocke who has accompanied and played with The Handsome Family, Freakwater and others.

Suffice to say, Catherine and Peter are both total heroes of ours.

In addition to Peter and Catherine, we have 7 additional acts.  These include:

Moore & Sons with Curtis Eller ( ) comes from Brooklyn, NY.  Chris Moore is maybe best known for his work with Negative Approach, a pioneering hardcore band formed in Detroit in 1981 (see: ). More recently, in addition to doing shows with Negative Approach and Thurston Moore, he was part of a 77 drummer performance pulled together on 7/7/07 by the Japanese avant-garde noise rock band the Boredoms.  His work with the Sons takes a hard left turn into orchestrated 21st century roots folk, assisted by, among others, banjoist Curtis Eller and Lambchopper Dennis Cronin.

The Wringers ( Harry Smith Festival stalwarts linchpins and keystones, lurking in the shadows, just at the edge of the firelight reveling in all that is unreconstitutedly old and weird, and flickering.  From the Lancaster area, they are 21st century throwbacks and direct pals of the Carters and Charlie Poole.  The tunes posted on their myspace page are very great.

Little Silver ( ), also out of Brooklyn, is a new collaboration between Steve Curtis and Erika Simonian.  Steve is probably best known for his work with Hem (, and the only guy I know who ever had the Boston Pops backing him up.  He's toured and/or split shows with Beth Orton, Wilco, Dawn Landes, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, Beck, and Vic Chessnut, among many others.  Erika Simonian is a singer and songwriter long associated with the great Sprinkle Genies, an indie alt folk rock band out of the lower east side ( .  Holy shit, what a great band!

KC Rounders ( ) are local to central Pennsylvania and include Dave Defilippis on mandolin, guitar, banjo, and vocals, Chris Rattie on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, and Cory Neidig on banjo and vocals.  These guys have been on the scene for a while, they are local favorites, each play in a bunch of different bands, and we've long wanted to have them a part of this.  Chris just got back from LA a few months ago where Don Was produced an album for his other band the Rustlanders.

Hannah Bingman and Doug McMinn (  and ) are also local musical luminaries.  Hannah has been playing professionally since she was 16, has three albums out and is a great singer, songwriter, guitar and banjo player.  Doug McMinn has had a long career as both leader and sideman, playing with dozens of bands in the Central Pennsylvania area.  A great singer, guitarist, horn player and all around great guy.  Doug and Hannah have been collaborating for years and we're real pleased to have them join us.

The Butcher Boy and Steve are excited and full of weird energy, hailing from the lower reaches of the state of Delaware and the suburban wastes of Washington DC.  They have so far resolutely avoiding any trappings associated with fame, fortune and/or association with "luminaries," musical or otherwise.

The Chicken Tractor Deluxe ( ), your host band.

In addition to creating an excuse to gather together some simply excellent musical acts and have everyone delve into the mystical-foundational Anthology of American Folk Music, the event proceeds go to benefit the Penns Valley Hope Fund (, a local homegrown organization that was created to assist families facing medical crises and/or personal disasters, and the East Penns Valley Public Library, the local rural library that has been struggling in recent years and has just completed a move to the Millheim Borough Building because of structural problems in the previous building.  Both organizations have done some remarkable things in the last few years, are important parts of the community and, from my perspective, it's a privilege to be able to put efforts towards supporting them.



Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks
100 West Main St
Millheim, PA 16854
United States

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Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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