The Louisville Country Dancers are pleased to welcome The Stringrays to Fleur de Lis Fling 2015! Hailing from New England, the band’s name was formed in 2012 after a few gigs together. Dancers should prepare to be drawn into a whirlwind of dance music that will lift their feet and hearts while shaking their hips and elbows. Stringrays' music encapsulates both the improvisational and traditional sides of New England fiddle music. Hot licks are traded back and forth, followed by uplifting tunes played with such freshness that one wouldn't know they are 100 years old. Most of all, the band believes their music is some of the most fun, enlivening, and dance-able music you can find.
Normally a trio, The Stringrays are occasionally joined by fellow musicians and friends Sam Stuntologist on mandolin and Mark Hellenberg on percussion. Expect to see them in their full 5-piece configuration for the weekend!
Visit The Stringray's website for more information.
Rodney Miller (fiddle) brings a wealth of experience and musicianship to The Stringrays. A leader in New England style fiddling, Rodney has spent 35 years exploring and perfecting musical techniques. He has toured and performed in numerous countries including Australia, the British Isles, Canada, and Denmark. Rodney has also taught at countless music and dance festivals and recorded several albums, including the notable Airplang and Airdance. When not performing or teaching, Rodney can be found crafting violins.
Max Newman (guitar) has been surrounded by traditional music his whole life, and has spent the better part of it playing for dances across the continent and accompanying Irish music. His guitar playing is refreshing, fun, and creative as he alternates between hammering down rhythms with Stuart and trading licks with Rodney. When not playing with The Stringrays, Max can be found performing with fellow contra band, Nor’easter.
Stuart Kenny (banjo, bass) provides the bass thump and banjo twang. His long career in several traditional music genres includes playing with the legendary Dewey Balfa and with numerous groups and contra dance bands. Stuart’s musical home is at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA, where he plays for and hosts the Top Hill Music and Dance Series. In addition to Stringrays, he currently plays with Quebecois band Tidal Wave and Celtic groove band The Sevens.
Sam Bartlett (mandolin) loves tunes and great playing. His creativity knows no bounds and his musical involvement is vast. He currently plays with dance band Notorious, old-time string band The Monks, and as part of a duo with fiddler Claudio Buchwald. Sam moonlights with multiple other bands and performs for school shows and family events.
Mark Hellenberg (percussion), otherwise known as “Pokey,” is considered the most thrilling contra dance percussionist in the business. He is known for a presence that packs a wallop, but he is certainly not incapable of a softer playing style that The Stringrays enjoy showcasing. With a musical career that spans over forty years, Pokey has been featured as a percussionist on multiple recordings, including two Green Linnet releases by the Celtic ensemble, The House Band. He is in high demand among the musical community and has performed with several popular contra bands including the Groovemongers, Notorious, Airdance, Hotpoint String Band, The Sevens, and Wild Asparagus.