Saturday Afternoon Acoustic Showcase with the Squirrel Hillbillies

Scheduled for May 9, 2015 at 3:00 PM at Monaca in Music

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From deep within the urban forest of Pittsburgh’s East End, the Squirrel Hillbillies often emerge to share their eclectic mix of folk, country and blues.

Rabidly social and clawingly curious, they relish opportunities to interact with diverse audiences. They have performed more than 150 shows, including recent appearances at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh and the Leigh Folk Festival in England.

Through a collaborative, nonlinear songwriting process, duo partners Jenny Wolsk Bain and Gary Crouth draw from personal experiences, third-hand stories, and vivid imaginations to craft songs that are unpredictable and quirky yet widely accessible. Their second full-length CD of original music, Goody Shoes, rose to #19 in the national Folk Music Radio Airplay Charts for May 2014, the month after it was released.

JENNY WOLSK BAIN grew up in Greenwich Village but was completely oblivious to the folk music scene raging just outside her front door. Instead, she listened to Casey Kasem’s weekly countdowns and dabbled in musical theater, landing a starring role in an off-off-Broadway production of Heidi at the age of 10, a job that paid $12 per show, in cash. Her musical tastes matured during high school and in college she joined a co-ed accapella singing group, acquiring an ear for harmony, an interest in arranging music, and an appreciation for just how much abuse a voice can withstand before laryngitis sets in. Several years later, she diversified her musical portfolio by hooking up with a community folk orchestra which is where she met her duo partner. She’s fickle when it comes to instruments, playing the field quite a bit, but spends most of her time with a tenor ukulele these days. While she’s immersed herself in the styles of folk, country and blues, she continues to derive way too much pleasure from singing along to top 40 radio with her daughters.

GARY CROUTH was born in a sleepy city in upstate New York at a time when the President was an army general and people talked seriously about bomb shelters and communists. His musical brain awoke around the 5th grade and he chose to play guitar, mainly because it looked nothing like an accordion, studying with a guitar master who recklessly drove a red Karmann Ghia and had once played with the Jackie Gleason Orchestra. A lackluster academic career and social life at a prestigious engineering university left him with a chemical engineering degree and heart-felt appreciation for The Blues. His musical career began when nepotism got him a job singing and playing banjo on a replica packet boat pulled by Belgian horses on the Erie Canal. Since then, he’s performed in numerous other venues, including a few conventional ones. His style is deeply rooted in the musical dirt of his past: traditional and contemporary acoustic music, early country, and sixties pop songs.

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