Sound Samples

Will Tressler

Katie Tressler

David McCann

Roger Whitcomb

Dan Tressler

Some notes on the music and performances by

  Some have called it "antique music", and true enough, the Skifflers' repertoire comes from a long line of , American tradition dating way back. Most of the tunes and songs come from about 1780 to 1950. A few are older, a few are newer, but most come from a time when people made music for themselves. However old the music may be, the tunes that told a story or livened up an evening long ago are given new life by this unique group of musicians. Antique? Yes, but never dull.

  For over forty years, The Jackson Pike Skifflers have delighted hundreds of audiences with their special blend of old-time music. Their broad repertoire, built on many aspects of American culture and its varied roots, adds a special touch to many types of events, educational and entertaining, for people of all ages. Here's a sampling of some of the types of programs they do:

   A performance might take the form of a concert, indoors or out, or it might be part of a fair, festival, church supper, luncheon or dinner meeting, historical event, rally, organization function, country dance, square dance, barbecue, wedding, party, or any event for which unique, nostalgic music will help set a mood.

Skiffler performances might feature many types of the old-time music they do, or, because of the richness of American vernacular music and the extent of the Skifflers' repertoire, programs can be "tailored" in many ways. For example:

AGE GROUPS - Obviously, senior citizens love the old-time music, whether it's for an 80th birthday party or a senior center luncheon, but children are often among the Skifflers' most attentive audiences. Events, places and earlier lifestyles come alive through songs and dances that have charmed children for generations. Puppets and dancing limberjacks add to the fun. Many comment on the Skifflers' appeal to the whole family.

REGIONAL THEMES - Old-time cowboy songs and western dances liven up many "Texas barbecues". New England and seafarers' tunes add a unique touch to a clambake or oyster festival, and haunting Appalachian songs , and dances set the mood for many a country-style gatherin'. City life around the turn of the century and beyond is reflected in many minstrel show, vaudeville, ragtime and tin-pan alley tunes the Skifflers play.

HISTORICAL - Many historic events are "documented" in vernacular music. Skiffler programs often blend these story songs with lore and spirited music from earlier times. Sometimes, music from specific periods can be selected for special commemorative events. Not only is the historical music a window into other eras, it is still very entertaining to people of all ages.

FROM THE HEARTLAND - The Skifflers' performances of traditional country Gospel hymns and songs recall the days of old-time "camp meetings" for church-sponsored events, and can liven up many get-togethers with their high-spirited messages of life, love and family. Railroad lore is another all-American theme, documented for all time in hundreds of songs and tunes from the days of John Henry to the "disappearin' railroad blues", and a vital part of the Skifflers collection.  Music of the dust bowl and the depression, especially Woody Guthrie's songs, are another essential part of the Skifflers' repertoire.

FOR DANCING - The Skifflers draw from an extensive repertoire of exciting, authentic music for traditional square dances and New England contra dancing, working with leading callers in the area. For weddings and other parties, many enjoy doing the Charleston, one-step or waltz to the Skifflers' vintage tunes.

FROM THE "MELTING POT" - Around St. Patrick's Day, and for other Irish-flavored celebrations, Irish roots within the group and a healthy repertoire of celtic jigs, reels, hornpipes, ballads and pub songs provide the right touch at parties and pubs. For other events the Skifflers can also offer a delightful array of music from Israel, Scandinavia and eastern Europe.

To do all of the above, and then some, requires several good singers (there are as many as five), and a lot of versatility with appropriate traditional instruments, such as: fiddles, banjo, guitar, bass, autoharp, accordion, melodeon, Dobro, harmonica, kazoo, gut-bucket, mandolin, piano, banjo-lute, bones, spoons, penny whistle, flute, bodhran, washboard, dulcimer. . . . . . and probably more.

welcome your inquiries if you feel that their
type of music fits a particular program or event.
Write or call
Will Tressler;
146 Bibbins Road Easton CT;
06612; (203) 268-7674

The old recordings of the Jackson Pike Skifflers were mainly for promotional use, however, they include many wonderful sounds and musicains and still resemble the band as it is today.

Click below to hear a promotional sound sample.


The old recordings of the Jackson Pike Skifflers were mainly for promotional use, however, they include many wonderful sounds and musicains and still resemble the band as it is today.

Click below to hear a promotional sound sample.

We'll keep you posted about the Upcoming CD!

©  Jackson Pike Skifflers   ----  2003 -2004  ----  All Rights Reserved