Dan Levenson & The Cat Mountain Rounders!

This high-energy group is known for their Southern Appalachian Old-Time String Band sound and engaging vocal harmonies! In concert or for a dance, this band will excite and inspire you to listen, dance and even sing along. Fun to listen to and entertaining to watch!

Dan Levenson – Fiddle, banjo and vocals; Emmy Truckenmiller – Fiddle and vocals; John Walkenbach – Guitar and Jerry Weinert – Bass will provide you and your event with spirited music, songs and stories from the road!

The term Rounders has been used by many bands over the years when referring to the band members. A Rounder, according to Dictionary.com first appeared in 1620 defined as “one who makes the rounds.” Though there are many other recent definitions of the term, this seems to be the most appropriate for a group of musicians who traveled around to play music for concerts and dances throughout the country. Our old-time friends will recognize the use from bands such as Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Rounders or perhaps more modern references such as The North Fork Rounders from NE Ohio, The Reed Island Rounders from VA or the Morgantown Rounders from, well, Morgantown, WV. It is in that venerated tradition that I have adopted the name Rounders for the latest iterations of my bands. The Rounders round up Dan’s band—performing high energy, foot stomping old-time string band music.

 

Meet Dan the Cat Mountain Rounders

 

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Named for Cat Mountain, a beautiful and prominent peak in the Tucson Mountains on the west side of Tucson, AZ. The players include:

image  Dan Levenson (aka Squirrely Dan) — Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals —
From the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. Appalachian music and dance have been a part of his life since earliest childhood—his dad called square dances, his mom played guitar and sang, and many old-time folk sings were held in their home. He now makes his home in Tucson, Arizona.

Dan is a multi-award winning performer, teacher, author and master of Appalachian old-time style fiddle and clawhammer banjo, and is a wealth of information on the people and stories of this American-born music. His former band, The Boiled Buzzards, which actively toured for over 10 years throughout the US and England, has been called “the most influential string band since Highwoods” (Steve Davis, The Devil’s Box). He travels extensively giving workshops and concerts, sometimes solo, sometimes inviting accomplished musicians to accompany him. His Tucson-based band, The Cat Mountain Rounders, will have you smiling and dancing. 

Dan received a coveted Master Artist Award and grant this year from the Southwest Folklife Alliance for his lifetime achievements in the tradition of old-time music. He has eight recordings to his name and fourteen books with Mel Bay Publications on old-time style banjo, fiddle, and repertoire, which are considered the best available.

image  John Walkenbach — Guitar —
John, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, has lived throughout the west and settled in Tucson about 15 years ago where he plans to stay. He began playing guitar at age 12, and since then has explored a variety of guitar styles and several other instruments. While John has made a living writing computer books, nowadays, his favorite way of making music is playing old-time rhythm guitar, accompanying friends and anyone he meets who strikes up a good fiddle tune. With The Cat Mountain Rounders, he backs up the band with infectious drive and energy.

image  Jerry Ray Weinert — Bass fiddle —
Jerry Ray, has been playing the same bass fiddle for over 50 years—really the same one. He and his bass lived through the “great folk scare” of the 1960’s, concert and festival stages throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, mud-covered fiddler’s conventions in the South, and dance halls throughout the West. Jerry Ray lays down the bottom line with his full-bodied, rhythmic style, and has played and recorded with many well-known old-time bands including The Hotmud Family, The Red Hots, For Old Times’ Sake, The Privy Tippers, and now with Squirrelly Dan and the Cat Mountain Rounders. He is a highly sought-after bassist and has been called “the best left-handed Polish bass player of old-time music in Arizona”.

image  Emmy Truckenmiller — Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals —
Emmy, a Pennsylvania native, has lived throughout the US and traveled extensively around the world, and now makes her home in Tucson. Her diverse musical interests include a lifetime of singing and playing guitar and piano with various ensembles, trios and duets, which she balanced with a career in biomedical science research. She took up fiddle after returning to PA where she discovered grandfather’s violin. Shortly after having it restored she became immersed in the thriving old-time community there and toured with the Contra Rebels old-time contra-dance band and the eclectic Celtic/Americana group Shades of Green and Blue. Emmy now joins Squirrelly Dan and the Cat Mountain Rounders with spirited twin fiddling.

Additional Rounders appear as they are available and needed to fill in the band.

image  George Flink — Banjo —
George is a retired psychotherapist who moved to Tucson in 2010. He started playing guitar in the 50’s and 60’s folk era. He added the banjo in the early 70’s when he fell in love with Southern old-time music.  He played with a contra-dance band in Orono, Maine for many years, traveled to festivals and music camps in the South and throughout the US, and plays and teaches with his wife Theresa (mountain dulcimer). Today, when Dan is not playing banjo, George adds that unique old-time clawhammer and banjo-uke sound with the Cat Mountain Rounders.

Carrie Jackson — Bass fiddle —
Sometimes Jerry just has other commitments. He IS in very high demand you know! That is when we welcome Carrie on upright bass to fill in on those dates. Carrie, a multi-instrumentalist living in Tucson can also handle the banjos when need be.

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