Some notes on the music and performances
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.
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
THE JACKSON PIKE SKIFFLERS
© Jackson Pike Skifflers ---- 2003 -2004 ---- All Rights Reserved