The Mound City Slickers will play old-time string band music, including reels, hoedowns and more, at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, at Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, Alton.
ALTON — For an evening of toe-tapping rhythms, the Mound City Slickers will play old-time string band music, including reels, hoedowns and more, Friday, Aug. 7, at Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway.
“We don’t play bluegrass — it’s music that came from the mountains that Bill Monroe and other musicians heard as children and refined into bluegrass in the ’40s,” said Lindell Blackford, who plays mandolin and fiddle for the ensemble. “We will play fiddle tunes, dance tunes, sing songs and play a string band rag or two.
“It is the stuff people played in their homes and at Saturday night dances,” explained Blackford, of Alton. “The origins are mostly from the South and Southeast, with a lot of Missouri influence as well.”
Known for their intricate instrumental interplay, the Slickers include Sean Ruprecht-Belt, performing on banjo and ukulele, Bob Clark on banjo, Roy Farwell on guitar and banjo, Rich Egan on piano and Bill Stewart on fiddle.
“Our music is fun to play and fun to hear, rough and ragged,” he said. “People are always invited to dance and we hope some do.”
In keeping with string band tradition, Blackford emphasizes that no previous contra-dancing experience is required, nor is a partner necessary to have a good time.
The Slickers will perform as part of Jacoby’s Summer Music Series at 8 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for a short one-act comedy, “The Apology” by Robert Caisley, presented by Bankside Rep, Jacoby’s resident acting troupe. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Community members have begun to ask us on Friday night what we have lined up for the following week, and this growing sense of anticipation and appreciation for the wide variety of our programming is very exciting,” said Denny Scarborough, Jacoby’s president. “We are also thrilled that the community is getting to know the actors with Bankside Rep and experience their signature humor and warmth. ”
Food will be served by Katherine’s Bounty to complement the evening’s entertainment. A well-known farm-to-table chef at the Alton Farmers' Market, owner Katherine Stine will feature a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, peach sorbet and fruit pies.
“Next week, Jacoby will showcase the original music of Matt Taul and Friends that has more of a country slant,” Scarborough said. “The musicians will play on guitar, fiddle, steel guitar and drums, and it will be another great evening that puts the spotlight on the area’s musical talent.”
Tickets will be available at the door for $10, and no reservation is required. Food and drink are available at an additional cost. For information, call (618) 462-5222 or visit www.jacobyartscenter.org.