The Galax Bogtrotters
From the heartland of old-time music territory in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia hail the traditional stringband the Galax Bogtrotters or “Boggies” as they became known after their tour of Australia where they played the National Folk Festival in 2017. The band features the dynamic fiddling of Eddie Bond & Erynn Marshall, the driving guitar of Eric Hill, subtle or slap-happy mandolin of Carl Jones, the sweet vocals and doghouse bass of Bonnie Bond. In fact, almost everyone in the band sings and plays banjo at some point. Together the group has the authentic southwest Virginia or Galax stringband sound that the area is famous for. The Galax Bogtrotters are one of a number of local bands over the last century to use the bogtrotters nickname for the Scotch-Irish settlers who migrated to America to find a better life. The first band to embrace the term was the original Bogtrotters – a popular group in the 1930’s featuring fiddler Uncle Eck Dunford who some say could speak gaelic. Eddie Bond also regularly plays with the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters led by fine guitar player Dennis Hall. The Galax Bogtrotters featuring Eddie, Erynn, Carl, Eric and Bonnie or “Boggies” recently recorded the CD “Old-Time Jubilations” which received great reviews in the Old-Time Herald and Bluegrass Unlimited Magazines. Bluegrass-Country 88.5 radio DJ Brad Kolodner (and fine banjo player himself) listed “Old-Time Jubilations” among his top 5 CDs of 2017. If you like stringband tunes with an infectious drive, old-time song-duets, original and traditional tunes, a band that has a breadth of talent to draw from to create really varied tune or song settings, you’ll enjoy the Galax Bogtrotters! Heck – they’re also just a really fun bunch of musicians to be around! www.galaxbogtrotters.com
“Old-Time Jubilations” is available from www.dittyville.com, CD Baby, Elderly, and Bandcamp.
Eddie Bond – Fiddle
Eddie Bond’s four great grandfathers were old time banjo players. He was raised by his grandmother who was a singer and guitar player. His family on both sides is packed with musicians who played the traditional music of the blue ridge. Eddie’s great uncle Leon Hill Had a band with Leak Caudill as fiddler. Eddie began performing at age 3 dancing for quarters. He has continued adding guitar, autoharp, fiddle and banjo to his instruments while absorbing fiddle tunes from all of the old timers who live in the Galax region. Eddie is a native of Fries some 6 miles from Galax and the place where country music had its beginnings at the Washington Cotton Mill in 1923 to 1929. Eddie Bond, one of the band’s fiddlers, is also a fine vocalist, and he knows many of the old mountain ballads that date back to previous generations.
Erynn Marshall - Fiddle
Erynn Marshall is an old-time fiddler well known nationally and beyond for her traditional music. She was raised in a musical family and took up the fiddle as a young girl. Now she teaches and performs at festivals and music camps around the globe. Originally from the westcoast of Canada, Erynn was led astray by the banjo and fell down the rabbit hole of southern music. She learned the nuances of old-time fiddling from visiting 80-95 year-old southern fiddlers and singers over the last twenty years. Her fieldwork culminated in the book, Music in the Air Somewhere about West Virginia fiddle and song traditions (WVU Press). Since then Erynn has appeared in three films (Voices of Virginia, the Clifftop Experience and I’ll Fly Away Home). She, Carl Jones and Eddie Bond (all Galax Bogtrotters) will soon be featured in a forth documentary about old-time music: Never Met a Stranger. Erynn has also recorded a DVD and five CDs including her new 2016 Greasy Creek recording of all original tunes. Erynn broke the glass ceiling when she won 1st place fiddle at “Clifftop” – The Appalachian Stringband Festival. She was the first woman and the person born outside the US to do so. She also took 2nd place fiddle at the renowned Galax Old Fiddlers Convention. Erynn lives in Galax, Virginia and tours with Carl Jones (they are married in life and music) as well as the Galax Bogtrotters. For more info please visit: www.dittyville.com
Carl Jones - Mandolin
Carl Jones is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is widely respected for his instrumental talents and original songs about the joys and tribulations of day-to-day life in the South. Carl’s songs have been recorded by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins with Tony Rice, and others. His song Last Time On The Road was on the grammy-award-winning album Unleased by the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Originally born in Macon, Georgia, Carl currently lives in Galax, Virginia with wife and musical partner – fiddler, Erynn Marshall. In the 1980’s he played mandolin with James Bryan, Norman and Nancy Blake as part of the Rising Fawn String Ensemble and during the same period won 3rd place and a guitar in the fingerpick-guitar category at Winfield, KS. Carl has recorded many CD’s including Traveling Star featuring his original songs and a 2015 duet album Sweet Memories Never Leave with Marshall which has received great reviews. Carl is known for his fine musicianship on many stringed instruments, keen sense of humor, evocative songwriting, and as a charismatic teacher. Carl has performed or taught all over the United States, Canada and Europe. For more information please visit: www.dittyville.com
Eric Hill - Guitar
Eric Hill was born and raised in Fries, Virginia and comes from a very long line of guitar players. Eric's grandfather was Leon Hill (Eddie Bond's great uncle and was very instrumental in getting Eddie started in music) who played guitar with all the local legends to include Albert Hash and the Whitetop Mountain Band, George Peegram, Leak Caudill and renowned Autoharpist Kilby Snow. His grandfather's dying wish was for him and his brother to take up music, and so he did. Eric's father Don Hill is the guitarist for one of the best Square Dance Bands in Southwest Virginia, the Crooked Road Ramblers. Eric also plays the banjo, and is a natural on the guitar whether it is providing strong rhythm for a band, or fingerpicking an old Carter Family tune.
Bonnie Bond - Bass
Bonnie is a native of Grayson County Virginia, which is one of the richest musically in the Southern Appalachian mountains of Virginia. She has had a love of singing all her life and learned to sing at an early age in church. Some of her fondest memories as a child are of the women in her family singing sweet harmonies together on wash day. Bonnie and Eddie (fiddler for Galax Bogtrotters) were high school sweethearts, and would often sing together at local church services. It was fate that brought them back together twenty years later during their high school reunion. Since marrying Eddie she has expanded her repertoire to include old mountain ballads, some of which Eddie learned from his grandmother (who she was very fond of and shared the same birthday with) as well as lyrics to old time fiddle tunes. Bonnie plays the Bass fiddle with the Galax Bogtrotters and loves to sing the old songs with her husband.