The Potecasi Creek String Band
If their music doesn't grab you then their smiling faces will. I remember the first time I saw the band play. I didn't know who they were, but I felt their energy none the less. The band itself is made up of seven very talented local folks who have been playing together for years, and it shows. Playing a mix of Blue Grass, partially born in the Appalachian Mountains where band leader Janet Vincent hails from, and fusing Old Timey music standards with Celtic favorites makes you want to get up and dance.
A couple interesting facts about the band people may not know, first the band name is as simple as location. They used to rehearse right near the Potecasi Creek, so there came the name. A humorous note is that their mascot is a possum, which explains their current CD title of “Olde Tyme Possumbilities”. Their CD is available for sale at Kings Coffee in Murfreesboro. An important point the band wanted me to emphasize, and the main reason they do what they do is to bring back the old music for folks to hear and enjoy!
I had the privilege of sitting in for a rehearsal at Janet's house and had a truly outstanding time talking to these personable and talented eclectic people. The room itself was acoustically perfect, which made the rich deep songs resonate even more. The conversation and humor was also greatly appreciated and adds to their appeal. Sitting in Janet’s music room and taking a look around at the beautifully decorated home I thought what an inspirational place to play music. Beautiful antique furniture, a gorgeous piano, a bunch of handcrafted dulcimers and windows everywhere allowing the sun and the view of the garden to find its way in to a room already alive with music made me feel all warm and welcome. That’s what their music does no matter what your age, back ground or musical taste!
They are the epitome of what a band should be. There are no individual stars among them, the whole band shines. You have founder Janet Vincent from Murfreesboro who had the dream to play this music for folks over 30 years ago where she first saw and heard dulcimer music at the state fair. Janet herself plays the dulcimer, which originated in the Appalachians and is now a standard for musicians of old timey music everywhere. Not only is the dulcimer a beautifully sounding wood stringed instrument, but the craftsmanship that goes into a hand made Dulcimer is amazing. Janet has quite a collection from over the years. Then there is Mary Rice from Eure, who plays the very cool looking and sounding electric upright bass. Guitar players Larry Futrell and Terry Fowler, both from Murfreesboro, are very accomplished guitar players in the own right. Eddi Lyles from Murfreesboro gives the group its Celtic sound with her Irish Whistle accompaniment, and she also plays the Dulcimer. Another Murfrreesboro resident Dusty Rhoades kicks it old school on the harmonica, one of my favorite musical instruments. Finishing out the band’s member list is Susan Ann Csuzdi from Murfreesboro, who is the group’s fiddler, or violinist depending on the song. I learned that though the fiddle and violin are the same instrument, they are often referred to as separate entities depending on the music being played
I have seen our Potecasi friends throughout the North East region playing at the Murfreesboro Civil War Reenactment, the beautiful Candlelight Christmas tour where they are housed near the warming fire in the Blacksmith shop and at Kings Landing on Main Street in Murfreesboro which is the community hub where locals can tap their toes while enjoying coffee or ice cream. Always happy to be playing for folks and taking pleasure in the joy their music brings, they are especially fond of performing at the Murfreesboro Historical Association's school tours, where they take extra pleasure in seeing the children dance and clap to their songs. I remember volunteering as a tour guide for one of the school tours and was pleasantly surprised as I came up with my group to the Murfree-Smith Law Office site to find band members Susan Sasnett-Csuzdi and Mary Eure already playing and talking to a group of twenty children sprawled out on quilts on the lawn of the historic site, and I thought how cool is this? The kids were having a blast. You have to love the power of music. Susan said she just loves when the kids have enough interest to ask questions or ask for another song. That's what it's all about!
The band can be found at some of local upcoming events such as “Pork Fest”, Kings Coffee, Candlelight Christmas and the Historic Haunt here in Murfreesboro, as well as the Heritage Day Festival in Courtland VA, just to name a few of the many venues this busy group play at. So, if you happen to notice the band playing at a local venue, do yourself a favor and stop in for a listen and see for yourself why the Potecasi Creek String Band is loved and admired so much by us all.