Van plays with several bands including The Moving Violations, Big Bandemonium, and the Fourgone Conclusions. His recordings include Wild Asparagus' Music From a Little Known Planet, The Moving Violations' Quick Spin and Faster Than A Walk, and Big Bandemonium's The Big Bang. As a freelance fiddler he has recorded with several other bands and musicians.
Van has toured extensively, appearing on A Prairie Home Companion, playing for dance camps and festivals from Alaska to Texas to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. His interest in Scandinavian fiddle has inspired excursions to Sweden and Denmark.
If you can't find him on stage, you may find Van kicking up his heels on the dance floor, teaching violin and fiddle at his home studio in Amherst, Mass., or composing tunes in Nova Scotia, where he has a second home. Several of his compositions can be heard on Faster than a Walk and Quick Spin.
Ron Grosslein: Fiddle, Mandolin
Inspired by the example of musical parents, Ron Grosslein started playing the violin in a school program in Ithaca, New York in 1965. His first teacher was a tuba player with the best of intentions, but was quite unable to play the violin himself. This may explain Ron's interest in trying other instruments, with a new obsession coming along every two years. Mandolin is his best second axe.
Ron has played with the contra dance band Swallowtail since its founding in about 1980, playing New England style tunes, and making three recordings. He has enjoyed learning about the Central European and Swedish styles with The Moving Violations, and helping mold the energy that happens between the dancers and the music. "It's like making a sand castle at the beach with a talented and creative group of friends, delightful while it lasts, and washed away with the next tide, with nothing to clean up!"
Ron's wife Louise plays piano. His son Martin plays fiddle, electric guitar and bass, and his daughter Anna plays flute and piano. They occasionally perform as the Grosslein Family Band. When not playing music, Ron works as an engineer, building equipment for radio telescopes, and fixing a really beat up old lawn mower.
Becky Ashenden: Piano, Accordion, Feet
Becky started folk dancing at the age of 7. Her high degree of involvement with this while growing up gave her a strong familiarity with dance music from many countries, particularly the Balkans. The late 70's found her very involved with contra dancing and piano playing at dances (her childhood piano lessons finally put to satisfying use).
In 1981, Becky spent half a year in Sweden learning to weave and as a side benefit absorbed as much Swedish fiddling as possible. Several trips to Cape Breton Island in the 80's and 90's have had a substantial influence on her piano playing. She has played at contra dances with The Fourgone Conclusions, Taconic Tonic, The Moving Violations, and many pickup bands. A regular attendee at East and West Coast Balkan camps for many years, she has dabbled in many styles and instruments, accordion in particular. Balkan bands include Gypsy Cab, Orijent Express, Bez Veza. She has been band member and music director for many years at Folklore Camp in Mendocino, CA, which includes her complete scope at dance music.
On her time off from playing music, Becky teaches intensive, weeklong weaving classes in her home using Swedish looms.
Chuck Corman: Bass, Guitar, Percussion
Chuck brings to the group a background in music and dance from the Balkans and other Eastern European countries. He has been actively involved in the field for about 30 years, originally on the West Coast then in New England, where he plays with The Moving Violations, Taconic Tonic, Bez Veza and Orijent Express. He has been on staff at various music and dance camps and has performed across the country as well as in Europe, Japan and Brazil.
Chuck began playing first Fridays at the Guiding Star Grange in 1996 with the Fourgone Conclusions, and continued on with The Moving Violations. Off the stage, you may find Chuck weaving, dancing, or landscaping.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Chasing My Tail/ Getting Started/ Feathers and Bones
2. Lyme Jig/ Farewell to the Taliban/ Dragonfly Reel
4. Bulgur in the Pot/ The Gale/ The Rolling Bow
5. Hills of Manchuria
6. Eamon Coyne's/ Franks Reel/ Tam Lin
7. Blue Jig/ Bishop and Fritz/ Ivailovsko Horo
8. Evit Gabriel/ Millbrae/ Reel Eugene
9. Kaynor's Place
10. Hiawatha/ Madam Neruda/ Stoney Lake
11. Huck Weave Waltz/ Hanging Rest Waltz
13. Green Mountain Petronella/ Lipovacko Kolo/ Traktosko Kolo
15. Rainy Night in Montague/ Porcupine Reel