Stringrays is an inimitable five-some of musicians with a shared interest in exploring great fiddle tunes. Their playing is fueled by a love of the living tradition of New England fiddle music and its cousins. Expect dynamic, lyrical improvisation and fresh, dance-inspired interplay.
Rodney’s fiddling commands the stage and the eardrums.
A long-time New Hampshire resident (now living in sunny California), Rodney is well-known as both a traditionalist and innovator, with a playful style and soulful tone. He is widely considered to be one of the foremost exponents of New England style fiddling, although his exploratory style invites quite a few surprises.
He has toured the world, performed and taught at hundreds of music and dance festivals, and recorded numerous albums, among them the acclaimed New England Chestnuts, Airplang, and Airdance albums. He’s also a respected luthier, building violins like the one he’s holding here.
Max has spent a good portion of his life playing dances great and small across the continent.
His guitar playing is refreshing, fun, and creative, and has allowed him to collaborate with a great variety of traditional musicians. In the Stringrays, he often alternates between hammering down rhythms and trading licks with Rodney. His attention to detail with pairing music and dance is almost as well known as his love for a fresh cup of coffee. His playing has been profiled in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.
When not with the band, he can often be found at his local dance in Concord, Massachusetts.
Stuart is a go-to player for bass thump and a distinctive banjo thunk at any contra dance.
His long career in several traditional music genres includes cutting his teeth with the legendary Cajun musician Dewey Balfa. He followed that with prodigious output with numerous groups and contra dance bands, including Airdance with Rodney and Undertoe with Karen Tweed, and Celtic groove band The Sevens. He also plays with Quebecois band Tidal Wave. His solo banjo album The Red Case has earned him numerous accolades.
Stuart’s musical home is at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA.
Sam Stuntologist, mando-picker, tunesmith. Sam brings a love of tunes and great playing honed over a lifetime across Irish, old-time, and contra dance music. Somehow he manages to be respected in all of these genres. Several of his compositions have become standards and they keep coming, including on his two groovy solo albums. His creativity apparently knows no bounds, as he is also a sought-after visual artist, known for his murals and his Stuntology books which will show you many things you can do with a straw.
Mark The master of percussion. A phenomenon all to himself. The beating heart of many a dance band. Mark’s known for a singular presence that packs a wallop, but his playing has a sensitive side that we enjoy showcasing, too. For many years, Mark’s day gig was as music producer of the NPR station in Athens, Ohio, so he just may be the most well-listened of us all. Whether playing jazz or accompanying traditional fiddle music, Mark is appreciated for his commitment to energy, fun, and quality. That’s to say nothing of his renown on the ukulele and banjo uke.
And then there’s…