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: www.neialively.com.
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.