Stringdancer got its start in St. Louis, MO, in 1995, at the last Kimmswick Dance Weekend at the Old Lee Farm. That weekend was legend - you couldn't really tell people about it on Monday, because who would believe you? So we come from excellent roots.
We're a bit geographically challenged, but we keep playing together whenever we can. Every reunion is just a blast for all of us. We particularly enjoy playing the Stringdancer Memorial Time Slot at Kimmswick, opening on Saturday or Sunday evening, the time no one else wanted, but that turned into the reason that everyone finished their dinner cleanup really fast.
CD Available Online
The Stringdancer CD originals, long a favorite of afficionados, are now a rare collector's item, so if you have one, take good care of it! It'll be worth big bucks some day.
In the meantime, you can dowload your very own copies of 6 waltzes and 8 contra medleys, all eminently danceable, from CDBaby. Check out track 13. It's a favorite!
Stringdancer - the Musicians
Stringdancer is Martha Edwards on fiddle, Pam Carson Stoll on fiddle and David Kirchner on guitar, sometimes joined by Fred Stoll on bass. Pam and Martha combine high energy fiddling with beautiful, creative harmonies and David provides the steady, inventive rhythmic support. Fred's actually a fiddler too, who won the S. Carolina fiddling contest in 2015. It's probably Pam and Martha's classical training (that rich, full sound) that makes everyone swoon over the waltzes, but they hide that as best they can to create that folky drive.
Martha Edwards, Fiddle
Martha comes from a classical background, with degrees in music and everything, and she free-lanced in Boston for 25 years without ever once hearing of contradancing. All that changed, however, in the early 90s, when she started dancing, then met Pam and played for waltzing, and then met David and started playing with Stringdancer. She now plays exclusively for dancing – contra, Morris, English Country Dancing and nineteenth-century couples dancing.
She's played contra dances with Stringdancer, Reel Women and the Jigelos, Summer Lightening, Chicory, Ginger and Ragged Robin, and been a guest with the Ladies at Play, the Avant Gardners, and fistfuls of pickup bands. She is also a member of the Halcyon Light Orchestra (Waltzing et al), Blackthorn Morris, and lots of English Country Dance Bands, like Tu'Penny Players and Ragged Robin, and the staff of Pinewoods English Week. She has also developed an unfortunate tendency to start dance series - Waltz Parties, Calling Parties, Callers' Choice Dances, Family Dances, and Childgrove English Country Dances.
Pamela Carson Stoll, Fiddle
Pam started playing violin at age 9, and played in community orchestras in the US and France and then professionally with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In the early 90s, Pam started contra dancing and fell in love with the community and dance. She played with the Original Speckled Band for the English Country Dancers in St Louis and discovered the joys of being a dance musician. Playing waltzes with Martha and David evolved into Stringdancer, which still feels like "home". She also composes dance tunes and has been exploring other instruments including recorder, mandolin and bodhran. In addition to Stringdancer, she plays with Brittany Bay and Pigtown Alley, and organizes the quarterly Queen City Consort waltz evenings in Cincinnati.
David Kirchner, Guitar
In college, David told his friends continually that he was going to buy a guitar and learn to play it. Eventually they all chipped in to buy him one just to shut him up. He claims to be completely self-taught at the guitar, which means that he is apparently a really good teacher. He's a highly accomplished caller and dance writer as well. He has been known to call one of his own dances while playing the guitar, but has not yet done this while playing a tune he wrote, the slacker.
Stringdancer - the CD
The CD is now sold out. Since we still get really happy every time we get together and play, we really should make another. Too bad we live so far apart. It doesn't seem to stop us from playing a hot dance now and again, but we kind of think a new CD would be tough.
But WAIT! Now you can get the CD online.