BCAC brings bluegrass to WashingtonPublished 10:44pm Saturday, September 28, 2013
The Beaufort County Arts Council will present three internationally known music acts on one stage at the Washington Civic Center Tuesday, Oct. 1 beginning at 8 p.m.
Folk icon Si Kahn will join German bluegrass sensations The Looping Brothers for a show that will also feature enduring favorites Molasses Creek.
In his 30 years of writing, performing and recording bluegrass music, Si Kahn’s songs of family, community, work and freedom have been recorded by more than 100 artists and translated into half a dozen languages.
Among the bluegrass artists who’ve recorded his songs are Kathy Mattea, Hazel Dickens, Dry Branch Fire Squad, the Looping Brothers, the Krüger Brothers, Molly O’Brien, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Charles Sawtelle, The Gordons, the Red Clay Ramblers, Robin & Linda Williams, White Mountain Bluegrass, Blue Rose, Coal Creek Bluegrass Band and Dale Jett. He has composed original music and lyrics for half a dozen films and videos. In addition to Kahn’s musical history, he is also well known for his work as an activist for more than 45 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer.
The Looping Brothers will find themselves on a Washington stage thanks to a recent project they completed with Kahn, said Joey Toler, BCAC Executive Director. Founding band members Ulrich “Ulli” Sieker (fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Matthias Malcher (guitar, banjo, vocals) have been playing bluegrass together for 25 years, touring throughout Europe and the U.S. The current lineup was completed in 2011 when bass player Ralf Strotmann joined the band.
The group originated as the legendary European band Groundspeed, formed in 1980 by Ulli and several Dutch musicians.
Named for the famous Earl Scruggs tune, Groundspeed toured Europe and the U.S. for nearly two decades, working with such bluegrass stalwarts as Bill Monroe, the Osborne Brothers, Kenny Baker, Josh Graves and Dan Crary.
In 1996 Matthias and Ulli formed the Looping Brothers, following in the tradition of the great bluegrass brother duos (their name is a tribute to the Louvin Brothers).
Perennial favorites Molasses Creek hail from Ocracoke Island.
“The band’s elegant harmonies and arrangements, blazing instrumentals, and quirky sense of humor have won loyal followers throughout the United States and around the world,” Toler said.
Award winners from Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion”, Molasses Creek has recorded 13 albums over the past 20 years. In April of 2012, Molasses Creek’s new release, “An Island Out of Time” reached the #4 spot on the National Folk Radio DJ Charts.
Besides performing the night before at Deepwater Theater on Ocracoke Island, the Oct. 1 concert is the only appearance by all three groups at the same time scheduled for the mainland U.S.
After the concert at the Civic Center, Si Kahn and The Looping Brothers will head to Asheville, Winston-Salem and beyond, while Molasses Creek will continue to Maryland, New York and other venues in the northeast.
“The arts council is very pleased to present them in Beaufort County,” Toler said.
Tickets are $15 general admission and can be purchased in advance by visiting or calling the arts council and will be available at the door. For more information about the concert and other arts council events, call 252.946.2504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.