Every string tells a story
ELON, Feb 21, 2013 (Times-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Undermanned String Band's debut concert is Saturday at The Fat Frogg; however, it's probably not the first time you've seen these musicians locally.
The trio, which is made up of Carey Harwood, Joe Dickey and Chip Newton, have taught and played throughout the Piedmont-Triad for a number of years. Harwood has performed classical guitar throughout the United States and Central America, including concerts with the Greensboro Opera Company, the Greensboro Symphony and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.
Both Harwood and Newton are on the music staff at Elon University and Harwood also teaches at Carolina String Studio in Burlington, along with his wife, cellist Darcy Dennison. Dickey and Newton have performed together for a number of years as well.
Undermanned is so named because the trio plays horns with strings.
"We're essentially faking big band music with two guitars and a bass," Harwood said. "The strings add a little bit of twang."
The musicians will put their own twist on ragtime, New Orleans jazz and early swing arrangements. It is the second performance of the Alamance County Arts Council's Winter Concert Series, which Harwood has helped organize.
"The idea is to have stuff here that you wouldn't normally see," Harwood said of the concert series.
Arts council executive director Cary Worthy wanted to have concerts at various locations in Alamance County and The Fat Frogg was selected for this show. The next performance, by The Hot Club of San Francisco, is March 22 at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw.
Admission to the concerts is free, and Newton and Harwood will hold a lecture called "Early Jazz and Storyville -- Red Lights and Loud Nights" at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Alamance County Arts Council (Captain White House), 213 S. Main St., Graham. Since space is limited, reservations are required and can be made by calling (336) 226-4495.
"We'll talk about Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, from the late 1890s through 1917. There were a lot of interesting characters from Jelly Roll Morton to Louis Armstrong -- and some cool music came out of that time period, too," Harwood said.
Undermanned was formed because Harwood and Newton "both like old scratchy records and we started goofing around with this idea of a string band sounding like horns."
The trio is currently working on its first recording and hope to release it this April.
Saturday's concert is at 7 p.m. at The Fat Frogg, 2009 Timberline Station Drive, Elon. For more information on the Winter Concert Series, visit www.artsalamance.com or call (336) 226-4495.
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