Old-Time Square Dance

  • July 10, 2019
  • By Admin: sfbluegrass
  • Comment: 0

Earl White has been a prominent figure in the old-time music and dance community for more than 30 years. An original and founding member of the famed Greengrass Cloggers, he has danced to many of the fiddlin legends, including Tommy Jarrell, the Highwoods Stringband, Plankroad Stringband, The Red Clay Ramblers, and the Hot Mud Family, to name a few. Earl White received his first fiddle in 1974 and is one of few Black Americans reviving the music that was once an important part of rural black communities and life on plantations in the American southeast. Earl is known for his extensive repertoire of unusual tunes, and his driving, energetic, heartfelt style. Ten years new to the west coast, Earl will be joined by Adrienne Davis (guitar), Mark Olitsky (banjo) from Cleveland, Ohio and Mark Bohn, the “Bass Doctor” as the “Earl White Stringband”.

Black Crown Stringband is the latest supergroup to emerge from the fertile San Francisco Bay-Area bluegrass and old-timey scene. Bringing together founding members of the Earl Brothers and the Mercury Dimes, the band first appeared at the 2008 Berkeley Old-Time Convention Stringband Contest where their hard-driving sound earned them first prize. Black Crown combine the best elements of old-time stringband music and Bill Monroe’s ‘high lonesome’ sound to create a unique fusion that is at once old-school and brand new. Whether playing a festival, concert or your private event, Black Crown Stringband delivers high energy music with soul and serious skills.


Jordan Ruyle is a local Square Dance caller and Old Time musician. After years of square dancing at Old Time festivals and gatherings, he was motivated to try calling as a way to make more dances happen in the Bay Area. Portland’s Bill Martin has been a great role model and mentor providing info on dances and advice on calling. In the past two years, Jordan’s dream of starting a regular Bay Area Old Time Square Dance has come true. The wildly successful First Friday North Oakland Square Dance is in its second year and takes place the first Friday of every month at Oakland’s Niebyl-Proctor Marxist library on Telegraph with the rollicking, haunting, and primitive fiddle tunes of local favorites the Squirrelly Stringband. Jordan is available for weddings, private parties and, of course, Bar Mitzvahs.