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Focal Point Friends of Old-Time Music Presents: Rhys Jones, Sam Bartlett, and Abby Ladin

October 21, 2023 @ 8:00 pm

$20 – $25

Rhys Jones is one of the finest living performers of Appalachian and old-time music, and his numerous recordings have influenced generations of musicians over the last 30 years. Rhys plays with a unique style loved by audiences and critics alike. A recognized master musician, his fiddling is the gold standard for imaginative and inspired traditional performance, and he is in constant demand as a performer and teacher across many genres.

Over the last 30 years, Rhys has appeared everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center, won the prestigious Clifftop fiddle contest twice, recorded five albums, appeared in the PBS documentary Absolutely Irish, was featured on the BBC, and was recently named as a Master Artist by the Commonwealth of Virginia. His fiddling is known for its drive, clarity, and unmistakable individuality. Rhys’ band Bigfoot has performed old-time music around the world for the last 10 years and received the Clifftop blue ribbon multiple times. He now lives with his partner Meghan in Fauquier County, Virginia where he raises five sons and fruitlessly tries to contain his aging Labrador Retriever. Appearing with Rhys at Focal Point are Sam Bartlett and Abby Ladin from Bloomington, Indiana.

Sam Bartlett is a traditional musician known throughout the United States for his mandolin, banjo, and guitar playing as well as his original music. His compositions have been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered, aired on the Thistle & Shamrock, and his playing has been featured in two Ken Burns documentaries, Prohibition and The Dust Bowl.

Sam has performed and taught traditional dance music to communities throughout the country and beyond for the past 40 years, from venues as diverse as Wolf Trap and Jacob’s Pillow, to the Skopje International Festival in Macedonia, the National Theater of Taiwan, and the Alaska Folk Festival. A solid member of the touring contra dance circuit for 40 years, Sam has also recorded with a virtual who’s who of American old-time musicians, among them: Brad Leftwich, Linda Higginbotham, Abby Ladin, Garry Harrison, Paul Brown, Rafe Stefanini, Pete Sutherland, Dirk Powell, Rodney Miller, and Rick Good.

Abby Ladin is a product of the East Coast folk music revival of the 1970s. As a dancer she was clogging by the age of 6, performing with her sister Evie by age 10, and touring nationally at 18 with the renowned dance and music company Rhythm In Shoes. As a musician, she has played bass with some of this country’s finest fiddlers, including Paul Brown and Claudio Buchwald, lending her percussive strength and blending harmony vocals with sweet simplicity. Abby recorded two albums with (the late) Garry Harrison, including the legendary Red Prairie Dawn (2000). She and her husband Sam Bartlett most recently made up the rhythm section of The Humdingers, with master fiddler Brad Leftwich.


October 21, 2023
8:00 pm
$20 – $25