The Lively Fish

Neia Lively

& Mike Frisch

Tasty Old Timey Songs & Tunes

What We Do

We play traditional stringband tunes and songs steeped in the styles of the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia and Virginia. On this base, our repertoire widens to include folk music from other regions and periods of American History from before the Civil War to the Great Depression, with some contemporary folk music thrown in. The traditional styles we play in—featuring banjo, fiddle, guitar, and strong vocal harmonies—are what evolved into bluegrass and country music.

Who We Are

Neia Lively—guitar, banjo and vocals

Neia is a special educator who has worked in the schools and as a professor training teachers. She played solo acoustic traditional and contemporary folk music in coffee houses in Buffalo NY, Charlottesville VA and Urbana IL in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Moving to Texas, she played guitar for many years in a contradance band, Squirrelheads in Gravy, along with bandmates on twin fiddles, banjo and upright bass. She returned to Buffalo in 2018 after being away for decades, and was delighted to reconnect with an old friend, Mike Frisch, who had, in the intervening years, followed a path to traditional music. Neia’s music website:

Mike Frisch—fiddle, guitar and vocals

Mike is an American historian long involved in informal folk music, several small choruses, and even a UB-based Afro-Latin street percussion ensemble. But traditional music spoke the most strongly, and in the late 1980s he started on fiddle at the Augusta Heritage Workshop, in Elkins, W. Va., a mecca for traditional Appalachian teaching and learning. This led to a local contradance group, The Hot Cargo String Band, and then to The 198 String Band, which has presented multi-media programs of music from the Depression. His new duo collaboration with Neia Lively has produced a repertoire of traditional songs and tunes both stylistically focused and wide-ranging in content.

Past Gigs

February 16, 2024, 6:00 to 8:00 PM – The Buffalo History Museum

The 198 String Band (Mike Frisch, Phil Knoerzer, and Neia Lively).

Music of the Civil War Era:
$5 general admission/free for members. The Buffalo History Museum, 1 Museum Court, Buffalo NY 14216 [map]

November 7, 2023 – Baruch College, City University of New York

The 198 String Band
Music of the Civil War Era: A Baruch College History Department Friedman Seminar Event.
Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 15 Lexington Avenue (Level B2. Enter from the 25th Street Plaza between Lexington and 3rd Avenues), 2:30-3:45 PM.

November 3, 2023, 7:30 to 9 PM – Peopleart Coffee House

The Lively Fish
$5 admission. Peopleart Coffee House is in the basement of Unity Church. Use the rear entrance. Steps down to the venue are off of the parking lot in the back.
1234 Delaware Avenue (at Auburn) [map]

September 23, 2023, 9:30 AM to 11 AM – Elmwood Village Farmer’s Market

The Lively Fish
Look for us under a tree.
Bidwell Parkway at Elmwood Avenue [map]

September 8, 2023 – Fitz Books and Waffles

The 198 String Band
(Mike Frisch, Phil Knoerzer, and Neia Lively)
Private Reception – Music of the Civil War Era: A Presentation for the University at Buffalo Department of History

September 7, 2023, 6:30 PM to 8 PM – Art’s Café

The Lively Fish
Featured artists for Folk Night. 45 minute set from ~6:45-7:30 PM. There is usually a jam during Folk Night so bring an instrument if you’d like.
Art’s Café, 5 East Main Street, Springville, NY. [map]

June 10 & June 11, 2023, 1 PM Start – Allentown Art Festival

Phil Knoerzer & Friends (Phil Knoerzer, Neia Lively & Mike Frisch). The band will play 1/2 hour sets for 2 to 3 hours, alternating with 1/2 hour sets by organist Paul Cena. Come in from the hubbub of the Art Festival to see the lovely stained glass windows along with listening to our music.
Trinity Episcopal Church, 371 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY [map]

June 3, 2023, 5:00 to 6:30 PM – The Cozy Nest at the Springville Art Crawl

The Lively Fish
We will be playing at a shop on E. Main Street just a little ways down from the Art’s Cafe on the same block.. Art Crawl starts with a parade, followed by music and art at various businesses, and ends with an after party at the newly renovated Springville Arts Center. Come down for a fun time! We would love to see you there.
The Cozy Nest, 39 East Main Street, Springville, NY [map]

May 29, 2023

The Lively Fish
Private Party – Memorial Day Backyard Barbecue, Buffalo, NY

May 20, 2023, 2 to 3 PM – Elmwood Porch Fest

The Lively Fish
Elmwood Porch Fest, 189 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo, NY. [map]
Corner of Potomac & Bidwell, Two doors from Buffalo Seminary.

May 19, 2023, 5 to 7 PM – Fitz Books and Waffles
433 Ellicott Street, Buffalo NY [map]

The 198 String Band
(Tom Naples, Mike Frisch, Phil Knoerzer, and Neia Lively)
Music of the Civil War Era
Come early for waffles and to get a seat!

April 26, 2023 – Canterbury Woods

The Lively Fish
Concerts in the Oxford healthcare units (memory care, assisted living and skilled nursing). Canterbury Woods retirement community, Williamsville NY.


(716) 800-1657