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MAGICAL MUSIC, ON THE STEPS page 2
The Library on the Steps free music series will be on Mondays in June, July and August, starting with The Company Store Band on June 6.

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Date published: 6/2/2011

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"I think people are hungry for this kind of live music, for the nourishment it provides, given the many distractions we face from the instant media of today," said Robinson.

Given the name, people in this region might think that Chatham Street is from Fredericksburg--but not so.

"We named ourselves after a street we lived on in Detroit, where we are both from," said Christal Prout, vocalist and guitarist for this duo in the library's lineup.

Now based near Winchester, she and husband Peter perform original music that Prout says is difficult to peg.

"We call it New Americana, though a friend once said that people call their music Americana when it really doesn't fit into any one genre," said Prout.

Prout began writing the duo's original music about two years ago, noting that it became a sort of therapy for her as she coped with the death of loved ones.

"It's been a kind of crazy couple of years with a lot happening," said Prout, referring to both the personal tragedies and the burgeoning fame Chatham Street has experienced of late.

The duo has won several songwriting awards, and recently took first place in a competition that put Chatham Street on the ticket in September along with acclaimed folk artists John McCutcheon and Catie Curtis at the Shenandoah Music Festival.

James Brown shares a name with the Godfather of Soul, but after that the similarities fade away.

Brown is the manager as well as guitar and mandolin player for AON, whose tag line reads: "Kinda Celtic."

"We bring a great mix of instruments onstage--Scottish pipes, hammered dulcimer, accordion, drums, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, banjo and fiddle," said Brown.

"We play a mix of Irish, Scottish and Appalachian music--the last being closely related to the first two."

Put them all together, and AON's performance becomes what Brown refers to as a "celebration of Celtic culture."

The celebrating continues with what just might be the most eclectic group playing on the steps, Harry, Larry, Hale and Buck.

"The four of us have pretty diverse musical backgrounds," said Harry Wilson, self-described "vibraphonist extraordinaire" and vocalist for the group.

"I've been playing jazz, blues, you name it, around Fredericksburg for 20 years," said Wilson.

Add to the mix musicians with hard-core punk, fusion rock and Cajun music backgounds, and the result is an original sound.


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What: Music on the Steps Where: Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg When: Mondays in June, July and August, 7-8 p.m., beginning with The Company Store Band on June 6; Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy, June 13; Dana and Susan Robinson, June 20; and Dixie Power Trio, June 27. See the library's website for subsequent shows. Cost: Free Info: 540/372-1144, library point.org

AUG. 1: JENI & BILLY

JUNE 27: DIXIE POWER TRIO

JUNE 20: Dana and Susan Robinson

JULY 11: HARRY, LARRY, HALE AND BUCK

JUNE 13: LAURIE ROSE GRIFFITH AND PETER MEALY

JULY 18

AUG. 22: AON