is the name used as long ago as the 1920's for the dance tunes, songs and solo
pieces people played for entertainment before radio and recordings caused most
people to put their instruments away.
With roots in Ireland and northern Europe, and African influences, the music
adatpted to many American environments as it was played and passed from person
to person. New tunes were "made" and became part of the tradition.
Banjos joined fiddles, and when the era of the mail-order catalog came, guitars
were added, too.
By the mid-1920's, the new recording industry in the United States became interested
in recording the traditional dance tunes. Sentimental and religious songs also
became part of the old-time music captured on heavy 78 RPM discs.
Old-time music at its best is tunes and songs and the stories that give them life.
Played from the heart, the music conveys the feelings and stories of those who
played it first.
Tom's radio program
In The Tradition
airs on WDIY 88.1 FM
from 7 to 9 pm
"American music from the
roots to the branches"
Tom is also the host of the nationally-syndicated
Sing Out! Radio Magazine
on WDIY 88.1 FM
every Sunday at 10 am
also heard on Sirius/XM
Bound to Change
Our new CD, Bound to Change, features Tom, Betty, Nate, and Norm Williams. Stacy Bechtel and Brittany Hicks
also joined us for the recording sessions, and the CD includes tunes like "Weeping Pilgrim," "The
Maidencreek Waltz," and "Shove the Pig's Foot a Little Further into the Fire" (complete song notes are
For online ordering information, please visit our merchandise page.
We also host these old-time jams each month:
- December 7-8 and 14-15, 2013
Old-Time Christmas at Quiet Valley Farm, Stroudsburg PA
Take a lantern-light tour of the farm, and visit the traditions of the people who lived there to gain a new
perspective on the Christmas season. Bundle up, and enjoy the bright stars in the sky as you walk beneath them.
Highly recommended — we often go even if we're not singing Christmas carols in the schoolhouse.
- December 15, 2013 - 4:00 pm
Brightest and Best: An Appalachian Christmas
Godfrey Daniels, Bethlehem, PA
Please join us for a celebration of a mountain Christmas — singing, playing and visiting in the
old-time way. It will be a family and friends time to draw us all closer against the cold of winter, and
closer to each other, too. We'll let you know more — this one's just in the planning stages. Keep
watching here and on Facebook.
- First Tuesday of each month at
in Bethlehem, an open old-time jam from 7:00 pm -9:00 pm. Admission is now FREE to all who wish to play or listen.
Fourth Friday of each month at Meadowood Music in Blandon, PA, along Route 222. 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Free.
UPDATE (March 2012):
The monthly old-time jam at Meadowood Music is going on a
vacation of sorts. We hate to say it's over, but it seems like a good time to give it a little rest. We'll let everyone
know here and on the Meadowood website if and when it will
return. Thanks to Karl, Debbie, Joe, Bill, Ed, Jim, Kay and the others who've made it fun over the years. And many thanks
to Paula and Mike for giving us their space and valuable time for so many Friday nights.