updated COVID policy for IMT venues (as of 4/1/23):
IMT recommends that masks be worn by attendees to protect themselves and recommends all patrons be vaccinated. Please do not attend any IMT concerts if you are not feeling well. If you have already purchased tickets, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Institute of Musical Traditions and our all-volunteer video team led by Ralph Lillie proudly record, mix and present videos from our concerts. Together, Ralph and his crew shoot multiple-camera, high-definition video of most IMT concerts and events. For IMT's shows, we use the audio from our board to produce high-quality clips that the artists and IMT can use for promotion. Visit our incredible archive of recordings here!
“Top 10 Most Watched IMT Videos”.
Our videographer (now turned video archivist and video spelunker) Ralph Lillie's been looking over our top-ten most-viewed IMT videos and reminescing about them... finally we've reached the number one all-time most-watched video on the IMTFolk Youtube channel!
"Zydeco a Pas Sale" performed by Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys in concert at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), Rockville, Maryland, USA on May 21, 2012. This concert, featuring Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys - master of all things Zydeco, was an unusual dance production by IMT to introduce Zydeco to the IMT audience. It was a wild night of dancing and high volume madness, totally unlike the traditional IMT shows. We captured the night on video and this piece is representative of the fun had that night.
Fun Facts: Ear plugs were distributed at the door in light of the high volume show and tables and chairs were moved to the sidelines to allow room for dancing. Later I had discussions with Jeffery’s agent and he requested permission to widely distribute the video and apparently then did so. The video received so many hits that at one point we thought it might be some autobot* technology, but…the comments were commensurate with the rate of viewing. It was indeed real and continues to accrue a large number of hits from throughout the world, and remains IMT’s number one video with over 1.7 million hits. Enjoy.
* we here at Institute of Musical Traditions would like to state here that we know that Ralph's theory about Autobot technology was ALWAYS incorrect. Only Decepticons would've stooped so low.
#2 “The Lover's Waltz, performed by Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
Jay and Molly are musicians of enormous talent who draw their repertoire and inspiration from a wide range of American musical styles - 19th-century classics, lively Appalachian, Cajun, and Celtic Fiddle tunes, and favorites from the golden age of country and swing - along with their own songs, fiddle tunes, and orchestral compositions.
They achieved international acclaim when their performance of Jay's composition, Ashokan Farewell, became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS.
This lesser known, but equally beautiful piece, was featured at the 2011 IMT show at the Montgomery Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring.
Fun Facts: Jay and Molly are also among the rare performers to appear twice in our Top 10 videos. This piece was the most popular piece in the IMT Library for 8 years and was probably a staple of fiddle players learning this piece, as it was one of the few quality live performances of this fine waltz on YouTube at that time.
This week, #3: "Pipes Solo - Lark in the Morning", performed by Cillian Vallely & Alan Murray (www.vallelymusic.com) in concert at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), Rockville, Maryland, USA on October 1, 2012.
This is second posting in the top IMT 10 for Cillian, and Alan - both tunes from the same 2012 concert at IMT. See the #10 posting in this series for their other video.
Cillian Vallely is an Irish musician, born in Armagh, Northern Ireland. He plays traditional Irish music on the uilleann pipes and low whistle, and studied at the Armagh Pipers Club with his mother and father, Brian and Eithne, and then with the late Armagh piper Mark Donnelly.
Guitarist, bouzouki player and singer Alan Murray hails from Glasgow, Scotland, where he grew up playing the whistle and later, guitar. Eventually moving to New York City, he has established himself as an in-demand performer and teacher on the Irish music scene.
Fun Facts: The uilleann pipes (/ˈɪlən, ˈɪljən/; Irish: [ˈɪl̠ʲən̪ˠ]) are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland. Earlier known in English as "union pipes", their current name is a partial translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann (literally, "pipes of the elbow"), from their method of inflation. There is no historical record of the name or use of the term uilleann pipes before the twentieth century. IMT has had a good number of excellent pipe players but Cillian stands at the top of our list for his technical skills and outstanding musicality.
#4 "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (Bob Dylan)
"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (Bob Dylan), performed by Ramblin' Jack Elliott (www.ramblinjack.com) in concert at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), Rockville, MD, USA on May 9, 2011.
Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar - before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin - Ramblin' Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. A living bridge from the time of Woody Guthrie, then early Bob Dylan, Ramblin Jack has served the tradition of roving troubadours carrying the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. These are timeless songs told in a folksy story-telling manner that never gets old.
Fun Facts: Imagine Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the folk singer in 2011 at IMT. He was 75 years old at the time and he sits in the green room, the small preparation room at St. Mark, as he prepares for his show. He is impish, round-shouldered and fairly adorable, with a wide cowboy hat, a full head of snowy-white hair and a story or seven on his mind. Right now he's talking about Bob Dylan and in the show he will spin this memory into an 8 minute tale that is totally believable except for the conceit that two grown, hard-living cowboys managed to make a single bottle of scotch last 3 days in a blizzard…listen and enjoy a living legend!
Appearing for the second time in our Top 10, Pierre Bensusan has been described by the L.A. Times as "one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today". Pierre Bensusan was voted "Best World Music Guitar Player in 2008" by Guitar Player Magazine Readers Choice. His name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic guitar genius long before the terms New Age, New Acoustic Music or World Music were invented. He has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey.
Fun Facts: This was the second piece requested by Pierre from his great 2012 concert and such is the power of his fan base it also made the Top 10. Pierre’s Lowden guitar was created for him by George Lowden in 1978 and George notes that “ battered and bruised ‘old lady’, much loved and played, still sings so beautifully today”.
Added note: According to some, this guitar is probably worth more than what I paid for my first house.
#6 “Oldtime Flatfooting”
This week’s video features Nic Gareiss & legendary dancer Matthew Olwell in a fine exhibition of free-form Appalachian dance to the accompaniment of the double fiddle work of Cleek Schrey and Stephanie Coleman. This rare IMIT multidisciplinary performance was captured in 2011 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park.
Matthew Olwell is currently a graduate student in Temple University’s Dance MFA program with a focus of study called, “File May Be Corrupted: Inquiries in Jig, Clog, and Sand”. It is described as a critical exploration of the historical and current connections between tap dance and Appalachian flatfooting and the ways that they serve as discursive rhythmic expressions of self.
Nic Gareis: Informed by 20 years of ethnographic study and performance, Nic collaborates regularly in duo projects with Allison de Groot, Caleb Teicher, Cleek Schrey, Maeve Gilchrist, Simon Chrisman, Ultan O’Brien, and as a member of the quartets DuoDuo and This is How we Fly.
Stephanie Coleman & Cleek Schrey play together as a duo in this show in the great tradition of Appalachian dance and double-fiddling.
Fun Facts: Matthew Olwell’s wife, Emily Oleson, is a dance scholar and crossover dancer and co-founder Good Foot Dance Company. Here is a fun video disabusing anyone of the idea that a dancers life is all fun, drama and cool performances. In addition to "Oldtime Flatfooting" below, check out this 2 minute video of Emily and friends laying Marley material to protect the stage prior to an IMT performance....
Emily and Nate vs. the Marley
Enjoy "Oldtime Flatfooting"!
#7 "Shove the Pigs Foot a Little Farther in the Fire"
This amazing video was shot in 2011 at the Montgomery Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring. Jay Ungar and Molly Mason were featured at this show and were accompanied by Bruce Molsky on this tune. All three of these performers have graced IMT’s stages many times, as well as their family members. Bruce Molsky is currently featured in an upcoming live stream show (IMT’s Facebook show: IMT Live with Meghan Mette, Bruce Molsky and Annette Wasilik) on Friday, May 8, 2020 at 8:00PM.
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason achieved international acclaim when their performance of Jay's composition, Ashokan Farewell, became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS. Jay and Molly are musicians of enormous talent who draw their repertoire and inspiration from a wide range of American musical styles - 19th-century classics, lively Appalachian, Cajun, and Celtic fiddle tunes, and favorites from the golden age of country and swing-along with their own songs, fiddle tunes, and orchestral compositions.
Bruce Molsky is a revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassador for American’s old-time mountain music. He has been a globetrotting performer and educator for decades. Bruce has performed at IMT many times over the years as solo and in combination with a host of accomplished musicians, and last graced the IMT stage with his band, “Molsky’s Mountain Drifters”.
Fun Facts: Jay and Molly are also among the rare performers to appear twice in our Top 10 videos. Hint..”Ashokan…” Also note: A ‘pig’s foot’ is a blacksmith’s tool that somewhat resembles a crowbar or poker and is used to manipulate pieces of pig iron in a forge. So…this piece is probably not about barbeque!
#8 "So Long Michael", Pierre Bensusan
"So Long Michael" performed by Pierre Bensusan (www.pierrebensusan.com) in concert at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), Takoma Park, Maryland, USA on May 23, 2012.
Pierre Bensusan’ s name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic DADGAD guitar, long before the terms New Age, New Acoustic Music or World Music were invented. This piece was written in tribute to his friend and fellow guitarist, Michael Hedges, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1997.
Fun Facts: Pierre has performed numerous shows at IMT and he is one of the few artists to appear twice in our Top Ten. His 2014 3-CD set included tracks recorded between 1998 and 2013 from France, Canada, Ireland, Austria and the US, specifically some tracks captured at our live IMT shows.
#9 “Carol of the Bells”, Robin Bullock (2012)
Robin Bullock is regarded as a preeminent acoustic music master. His virtuosity on guitar, cittern and mandolin blends the ancient melodies of the Celtic lands, their American descendants, and the masterworks of the Baroque and Renaissance eras into one musical vision. The music of Christmas, perfectly suited to the ageless tones of the acoustic guitar, comes to life in Robin Bullock's concert of carols and hymns drawn from over 600 years of musical history.
Fun Facts: Robin has done a large number of performances for IMT in the last decade including shows with harpist Sue Richards, Aoife Clancy, Elke Baker and Ken Kolodner. His holiday shows are always a treat and include beautiful standards such as “Carol of the Bells”. Robin frequently heads into novel and interesting areas, often with one of his favorite composers, JS Bach. During this show, immediately after “Carol of the Bells”, he performed a selection from Bach’s “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” on, as he put it, unaccompanied mandolin. As Robin said ”Someone had to do it!”
#10 "Muireann's Jig" Cillian & Niall Vallely with Alan Murray (2012)
Brief Bio: Niall and Cillian Vallely learned their music the old-fashioned way - from their parents Brian and Eithne, who founded the Armagh Pipers' Club, a group that for over three decades has fostered the revival of traditional music in Ireland's north.
Niall’s fearless exploration of the concertina's undiscovered capabilities has helped redefine its role in Irish music. Singer Karan Casey is his partner in life as well as music. (Currently on Imtfolk site)
Cillian took up his father Brian’s instrument, the Uilleann pipes, and polished his skills with tutelage from the late Armagh piper Mark Donnelly. His mastery of chanter, drones and regulators, and of all the accents and moods of the traditional piping idiom, place him in the first rank of today's Irish pipers
Fun Facts: I interviewed Cillian Vallely during a Music Arts and Dance (MAD) week in the mid 2010’s. He was the Uilleann pipe instructor and a very nice guy. He noted that his father was a fine pipe player and influenced him heavily. I asked him if the instrument was a draw among Irish women and he answered along the lines of, well, during the early learning years definitely not so much…
The Karen Casey Band
Ralph and his team have just released three new videos from our show with the Karan Casey Band - enjoy!
“Mary", performed by The Karan Casey Band at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Rockville, MD USA on May 14, 2019.
“The Ballad of Hollis Brown”, performed by The Karan Casey Band at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Rockville, MD USA on May 14, 2019.
“Doll in Cash's Window”, performed by The Karan Casey Band at the Institute of Musical Traditions (www.imtfolk.org), St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Rockville, MD USA on May 14, 2019.
Below is a playlist of some of our most popular videos - enjoy!
To hunt for specific shows in our video archives, please visit our youtube channel at @imtfolk.
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