Living Appalachian music of Southwestern Pennsylvania: Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers with Ellen Gozion

As I periodically do, I went to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on a Sunday afternoon to check out a musical event, part of the regular World Kaleidoscope series. Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers and Ellen Gozion were there to perform some Appalachian music with very local southwestern Pennsylvanian roots.

Mark talked a good bit about going through the materials collected by the historian Samuel Bayard. It was interesting to me that his research in reviving the music that Bayard documented forced Mark to get more involved in reading music, since as a traditional musician he was used to learning everything by ear, but nobody is alive any more who originally played some of this music, and all that is left to document it is scores!

Mark Tamsula, Richard Withers, Ellen Gozion

Richard Withers on Irish flute

The two instrumentalists played quite a variety of instruments: fiddle, banjo, flute, guitar, harmonica, accordion, Irish flute. I enjoyed the variety.

Ellen Gozion sang some traditional ballads. She has a perfect voice and spirit for this music, singing with great purity and depth of emotional expression. Wow.

After the little concert, they promoted the new CD Up in the Batten House and talked about upcoming projects.

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