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April 17, 2012 - Bill Ackerbauer
If you're interested in American cultural history and old-timey entertainment, you might want to check out a concert happening Wednesday night (April 18) in Sprakers. Elizabeth LaPrelle, a traditional ballad-singer and banjo-picker from Rural Retreat, Virginia, will perform in a Rocky Top House Concert hosted by my friends Roland and Janet Vinyard.
Elizabeth will be joined by guest artists Anna Roberts-Gevalt (an excellent old-time fiddler), Katherine Fahey (a musician and visual artist) and Colleen Cleveland (a gifted singer, like LaPrelle, of traditional songs). The only think "cranky" about these ladies is an interesting device that will accompany them. This cranky is an old-fashioned thingamajig that displays a series of scrolling images on fabric while a story is narrated or sung by a performer — like a pre-cinema-era movie projector from 19th-century America.
I have not had the pleasure of seeing one of these wonders in action, but I have found examples on the modern-day cranky, i.e., YouTube. (See below.) Roland, who performs with me in the Bentwood Rockers, also will perform an original song, "The Ballad of Pete Hauer," with the accompaniment of a cranky that his wife quilted.
The performance will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Vinyard place in Sprakers, near Canajoharie. The suggested donation for admission is $10. To RSVP or get directions, contact Roland by email at email@example.com or call him at 673-3212.
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