A festival of local musicians will be rattling the foundations of Ranelagh Memorial Hall this Saturday night 16 October.

The Huon Valley has a long tradition of gathering in local halls and apple sheds to grab a partner and swing them round to the toe tapping rhythms of the fiddle and other folk instruments. In the days before television and cars people would walk, ride or row for miles to attend the local dance, to meet friends and dance away the troubles of pioneering life for a while.

These days we are spoiled for choice of entertainment but despite the dominance of technology in our lives there is a revival of interest in our Tasmanian bush dancing and folk music heritage.

Local musicians and teachers Steve and Marjorie Gadd have been working for many years to revive local musical traditions. After uncovering a rich local vein of historical folk music Steve and Marjorie have encouraged many young Tasmanians to keep the valley’s apple shed dances alive.

Their group, The Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble, is a large, fiddle-based community orchestra. With up to 20 fiddles, and several mandolins, guitars, accordions and cellos the group can number as many as 25-30 players for some performances.

They are dedicated to reviving traditional Tasmanian country Dance music and performing original contemporary Tasmanian folk. The brief of this group is to revive a hoard of great lost and over-looked music, to teach Tasmanian musicians to love and revere their own local traditions and to contribute creatively to expanding these traditions.

But it won’t end there. Also playing on the night will be the Drummin Mummas, a women’s drumming group from Cygnet. Playing their own original music on African drums these women have been learning for only two years under the tutelage of local musician and artist Bradfield Dumpleton.

Also on the bill are local trio Pot Belly Strings, who will bring their own brand of stripped back rural pop/folk. Celtic in some places, country/bush in others, Julianne’s songs have some soulful elements to them. Her strong clean voice cuts through while Hamish’s fiddle meanders effortlessly and Josh’s guitar sits over the top in the treble regions. This is a group heading for big things.

And to top it off are eclectic folk/funk band Log Jam Fury, who will have the place pumping with their own high energy dance tunes.

All these musicians, and there are a lot of them, are offering their services for free on the night for the cause of protecting our beautiful pristine West Wellington area. The bush dance is a fundraiser for the West Wellington Protection Group.

So come along to Ranelagh on Saturday at the family friendly time of 6pm and dance till late. Food and drinks are available and there are some great raffle prizes. Entry is only $10.00, $8.00 concessions, kids free or coin donation. Members may enter for free if you bring a cake for sale.

See you there.

Annette Cauchi for the West Wellington Protection Group

Contact details: http://wwpg.info contact@wwpg.info facebook: protect West Wellington from Clearfelling

Annette Cauchi