Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association



A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance
Fri-Sun, March 6-8, 2015, Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, Plymouth MN


Good Times to be had in the Deering Banjos Old-Time Dance Hall at the
Winter Bluegrass Weekend: A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance

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We have a great line-up of fun for all ages in the Dance Hall this year and we hope you will join us! Friday night is your chance to dance, dance, dance. That’s right folks, we have not one but TWO square dances, featuring caller Matt Cartier and local band the Gritpickers from 7-8:30pm, followed by our visiting guests the Red Squirrel Chasers from 8:30-10pm. That might tire you out, but we know your feet will drag you back to the floor again when the New Riverside Ramblers get the Cajun tunes cranking from 10-11:30pm.

Saturday will bring more dancing and also the chance to take some old-time music workshops from the Red Squirrel Chasers. At noon, the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers will do the always popular Appalachian clogging demonstration and participatory workshop. Don’t miss your chance to learn some clogging! At 1:15pm Stephahie Coleman will teach old-time fiddle tunes. Jim Collier will teach old-time mandolin at 2:15. The master of old-time guitar himself, Mr. Jim Nelson, will teach old-time back-up at 3:15 while Dedo Norris will teach bass basics. Then sit back and relax as the Red Squirrel Chasers play a concert for us from 4:15-5:15. Spotlight On will follow so you may continue resting your feet in preparation for the evening dances.

From 7:30-8:45pm we will have a Family Dance with music by the Winter Weekend String Ticklers and calling by Shawn Glidden. The Family Dance is open to all ages and dances will be kid and beginner friendly. From 9:00-10:30 dancing will continue with the Red Squirrel Chasers and Shawn Glidden for dancers 12 years and up. This part of the evening is the “Adult Swim”: a chance to try slightly more challenging squares and move a little faster to the fine playing of a fine band. We hope you’ll join us!

Our 2015 featured Dance Hall performers will be The Red Squirrel Chasers from Raleigh NC. The group consists of Stephanie Coleman on fiddle and vocals, Jim Collier on mandolin and vocals, Jim Nelson on guitar and vocals, and Dedo Norris on bass and vocals. They play a variety of old-time country string band music, square dance tunes, ballads, and early bluegrass and brother duets.



Deering Banjos Old-Time Music & Dance Hall Schedule



7:00 Square Dance with The Gritpickers
8:30 Square Dance with The Red Squirrel Chasers
10:00 Cajun Dance with The New Riverside Ramblers


9:30 Learn to Back Up Fiddlers. A workshop for mandolin, guitar, and banjo players from the Minnesota Fiddlers Association.

9:30 Southern Appalachian Fiddle Tunes. A workshop from the Minnesota Fiddlers Association.

12:00 Clogging Demo & Workshop

1:15 Fiddle Workshop with Stephanie Coleman (Red Squirrel Chasers)

2:15 Mandolin Workshop with Jim Collier (Red Squirrel Chasers)

3:15 Guitar Workshop with Jim Nelson (Red Squirrel Chasers)

3:15 Bass Workshop with Dedo Norris (Red Squirrel Chasers)

4:15-5:30 Concert with 
                  The Red Squirrel Chasers

5:45-7:15 Spotlight On:
                   Old-Time Banjo Styles

7:30-8:45 Family Dance with the Winter                      Weekend String Ticklers

9:00-10:30 Square Dance for Adults and kids 8 and up with The Red Squirrel Chasers


No Activities Scheduled


By Phil Nusbaum

“Spotlight On” is annual Winter Bluegrass Weekend curated musical event that presents various aspects of old-time and bluegrass music. The 2015 Spotlight On presentation will feature old-time banjo playing and will take place in the Dance Hall on Saturday from 5:45 to 7:15 PM.

Today, when you see a performance of old-time music, you are likely to take in a style of playing called clawhammer banjo. However there are varieties of clawhammer banjos, there are different kinds of banjos used that affect the overall effect of the sound of the banjo. Also, although clawhammer banjo seems to be the choice of current players, there are a lot more out there. During Spotlight On, we will listen to and talk to players about their banjos and the ways in which they play them. At this writing, the roster of players includes John Heine, Adam Keisling and Rob Daves.

This event was inspired by a banjo program put together by Bill Cagley and held at the Underground Music Café in Falcon Heights in December 2014. Cagley says that the original program was instigated by John Heine and by all accounts was a most successful one. As a result, it was thought that a re-staging at the Winter Bluegrass Weekend would be appropriate.


To make the weekend a reality we will need to fill 140 volunteer shifts with many volunteers like you - people willing to do their part to make it happen. Would you be able to help us out for just a couple hours? Volunteers get preferential seating at the Saturday Night Headline Concerts. Pick your time and task on our volunteer page and email us your name for the schedule.

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