About Wild Ones:
The Wild Ones (previously known as the G*psy Stars ** ) started as a band dedicated to bringing the traditional New England contra dance sound of fiddle and piano to West Virginia. Paula Bickham’s accordion and hand drums add a distinctive eastern-European flavor that allows them to play a little around the edges of the tradition. Rita Ray plays a solid, yet imaginative piano accompaniment.
**The Wild Ones have been playing contra dances since 2005, as the G*psy Stars, but changed the name in 2016 so as not to offend anyone of Roma heritage. They've played annually for FOOTMAD (Charleston, WV Friends of Old Time Music and Dance), and also in several other dance communities including Columbus, OH, Brasstown, NC, Charlottesville, VA, and Carrboro, NC.
Bios (l-r in pic: Paula, Paul, Rita):
Paul Epstein has been playing music as an avocation for over 35 years in different bands. He is a prolific writer of songs and tunes and has three CDs of his own and one with Contrarians. He fiddles with the Contrarians, a popular contra dance band that has delighted dancers from NY to GA, Washington D.C. to Asheville, NC.
Rita Ray had talked for years about getting back to the piano when she retired as director of WV Public Broadcasting. Some time early in the 21st century, she decided not to wait, and played her first public dance with the Gypsy Stars in 2005. And now that she's retired, she spends big chunks of time getting better and better!
Paula J. Bickham, Ph.D. has a life-long involvement with music, learning piano at the age of nine and playing for 12 years. She took up accordion when she lived and worked in Louisiana . Recently she has been playing Traditional Celtic and Appalachian music on it with the Wild Ones. For over twenty years, she has also focused on hand-drumming and rhythms from West Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
See and Hear
(for bookings, contact paul: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hooting and hollering to an original tune of Paul's, "Allepo" .
Devlin's Jig and The Wild One
Feb 8 (Fri) Harrisonburg, VA
Feb 9 (Sa) Floyd, VA
Feb 16 (Sa) Charleston, WV
Sept 1 (Sa) Columbus WV
Mar 21 (Sa) Charleston, WV
April 11, '20 (Sa) Cincinnati, OH
FOOTMAD Charleston, WV
Taylor Books, Charleston, WV
Columbus OH contra dance
Charlottesville, VA contra dance
Athens, OH, contra dance
Brasstown, NC John C. Campbell Folk School contra dance
Carrboro, NC contra dance
Harrisonburg, VA contra dance
Floyd, VA contra dance
Copper Pint Pub, Charleston, WV