COLTON - The town of Colton kicks off its summer series of Colton Riverside Gazebo Performances at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with Bill Smith and Don Woodcock teaming up as Rosin & Rhyme. They will treat listeners to a wonderful mix of fiddle tunes and stories of older times.
As lifelong residents of the north countryBill from South Colton and Don from Kendrew Cornersthey draw from local life and history. Each is a master of traditional arts and both are recipients of North Country Heritage Awards by Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY).
Bill is known to weave people he knew into his Adirondack tales- some tall. He was born in 1937 into a large family in the Featherbed section near South Colton on the northern outskirts of the Adirondack Park. Widely known throughout the Adirondacks and beyond as a master of various traditional arts, he performs for a variety of audiences with a wide repertoire of stories and songs about local life. He has been written about in numerous articles and books and has produced a series of recordings of his stories and songs.
Don began playing the fiddle at age 14 and is widely recognized for having one of the greatest repertoires of fiddle tunes around. His public performances typically include old favorites that he presents with history and stories that highlight their significance. As a three-time Grand Champion Fiddler of New York State, Don has been inducted into the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame in Osceola, New York; and just last year he was featured in summer issue of Fiddler Magazine.
The series of performances is being held at the gazebo behind the museum at 95 Main St. in the hamlet of Colton overlooking the Raquette River. The museum is located next to the Zion Episcopal Church and across the street from the town hall. The rain location is the towns large covered pavilion on Sugar Bush Lane in the hamlet of South Colton next to Swift Field. Signs will be posted if the performance is moved from the gazebo to the pavilion.
Audience participants should bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on the lawn in front of the Gazebo (or on the concrete floor in the pavilion if moved). Volunteers will be on hand to help people needing assistance and refreshments will be available. An ice cream social that same evening is being sponsored by the St. Patricks - St. Pauls Altar Rosary Society in support of the performance series. Bathroom facilities in the museum also will be open to the public.
There is no charge to attend as the series of performances is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council. Donations will be accepted at each performance to support the performances and other town tourism and beautification activities. And a special drawing of artwork featuring the Gazebo by local artist Judy Filarecki will be held at each performance as a fundraising activity.
More information about the performances and other summer activities is available on the town website (www.townofcolton.com) and the town of Colton page on Facebook. Hard copies of the summer schedule also are available at the two information centers and post offices in town as well as the town hall. Ruth McWilliams can be called for details (315-262-2450).