PIKE SKIFFLERS THROUGH THE YEARS,
(In approximate chronological order.)
* = current members
|Will Tressler *
David McCann *
Photo : Ted Collins
for their performances for over forty years, The Jackson Pike
Skifflers specialize in old-time music, primarily from the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. Their repertoire includes traditional
rural and urban vernacular music, early country music, minstrel
and vaudeville songs ,street ballads, Gospel songs, country
dance tunes, railroad songs, mountain music and more, played
on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, autoharp, bass, melodeon,
washboard and a variety of other instruments. The nostalgic
but livley quality of their music has made them very popular
with audiences of all ages.
The Skifflers have performed at leading traditional
music festivals, and for many years participated in the Lincoln
Center Out-of-Doors summer concert series. In Connecticut, the
Skifflers regularly liven up many country fairs, festivals,
concerts, country dances, historical commemorations and private
parties. They have also made two recordings featuring a widely
varied selection of some of their audiences' favorites.
Organized by Will Tressler of Easton, who
is still the group's leader, the Skifflers now include Katie
Tressler, and Dan Tressler of Easton, David McCann of Monroe,
Roger Whitcomb of New Fairfield, and Dan Carlucci of Fairfield.
Tom Reilly of Norwalk, David Auerbach of Redding and Jim Sirch
of Hamden also join the group for special events.
Just what is a "Skiffler"? Back
in the early twentieth century, someone applied a stonecutters'
term for "roughing out" to itinerant street bands.
These "skiffle bands" improvised on popular tunes
of the day, or made up their own, using mostly makeshift instruments.
Although The Jackson Pike Skifflers style has become more polished
with time, the term they adopted to describe their original
music has stayed with them.
" THE JACKSON PIKE SKIFFLERS"
Pike Skifflers, longtime Trumbull Day favorites, will
perform their unique blend of antique music on the Main
Stage at 4:00 p.m.
The Skifflers' repertoire comes from two hundred years
of American tradition, when people made music for themselves
before radio, television and electronic devices. The
history and spirit that lies within this music is something
the Skifflers feel should be lived and enjoyed, instead
of gathering dust in an archive.
The group derived its name from the Jackson Pike, the
old name for Sport Hill Road in Easton, where band founders
Will and Katie Tressler lived at the time. Long ago,
"skiffle" bands were itineret groups of musicians
who played and sang ragtime, country tunes, music hall
and jazz melodies with any instruments available, such
as washtubs, washboards, jugs, harmonicas, banjos. fiddles
For more than 25years, the Skifflers have performed
on radio and television and in concerts all over the
at Lincoln Center in New York City. Their instruments
range from guitar, cello, bass and fiddle to more unusual
ones like gut bucket, penny whistle, squeeze box, autoharp,
dulcimer and cane.
Catch the Jackson Pike Skifflers at 4:00 and find out
how to play a cane!"
Of Family Fun
QUOTED FROM JUNE 1991 TRUMBULL