The Dillonaires
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The Dillonaires

Cary, North Carolina, United States

Cary, North Carolina, United States
Band Folk Bluegrass

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We all know that the music of Leiber and Stoller, legendary songwriters from the 1950’s,

make “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” the great musical hit it is, but the orchestra at New Stage Theatre combine their own extensive musical instincts to ignite local audiences.
Whereas, the talented cast of Smokey’s is a combination of local and national talent, musical director Cynthia Stuart did not have to look far to find some of the best musicians in America. Right in her own backyard (the Jackson metroplex,) she found
Sherman Lee and Andrew Dillon, Mike Hampton, and Bud Berthold to accompany her amazing piano magic to complete the sensational sound that makes Smokey’s sizzle.
Two members of the six-man combo are members of the Dillonaires, a family band based in Jackson. Sherman Lee plays the guitar and harmonica in the show. He has worked as a consultant to the filming of “Brother, Where Art Thou,” and has represented Mississippi in several blues competitions.
His 25 year-old son, Andrew is a violin major at Jackson State University. In Smokey’s, he plays bass guitar and interacts playfully with the cast of singer/dancers. Hear a taste of the music from the father and son, and Andrew’s sister, Anna, by going to http://www.dillonaires.com
Mike Hampton is best known as Mr. Hampton around Terry High School where he has directed the high school band program for 18 years. He plays and soulful and sassy sax and delights audiences with his short solo in the 2nd Act of the show. See a sample of his work with teenage musicians by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHFqidjQU8o
Bud Berthold is also an educator. An applied instructor at Hinds Community College, he teaches at Mississippi College, Jackson State University and in his home studio. He has held the Principal Timpanist chair in the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra since 1982. His rhythm on the drums, adds with Mrs. Stuart on the piano to complete the fantastic music on which this show is built.
There’s only a few nights left to hear the great music and see the wonderful cast. Get your tickets at www.newstagetheatre.com - examiner.com


Wepecket Island is a mere dot on the map off the coast of Massachusetts.

But thanks to Jack Radcliffe, its name may soon be as familiar as that of folk music labels Rounder and Shanachie.

In 2004, Mr. Radcliffe founded Wepecket Island Records to initiate a folk music revival, inspired by sailing trips he and his wife took to the island on their 22-foot boat, Doreen.

"We're both in the environmental movement -- I serve on the Conservation Commission here in the city [of New Bedford, Mass.]," he says. "The island is home to endangered species of shorebirds, and the label is preserving traditional American music, which is also an endangered species."

Wepecket Island's Rolling Roots Review
Featuring: Andru Bemis, Randy Burns, Sherman Lee Dillon, Dale Robin Goodman, Jim McGrath, and "Ragtime Jack" Radcliffe.

Where: Simmons Hall, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Shadyside.

When: 7 tonight.

Tickets: $17. 412-361-1915 or www.calliopehouse.org.

Mr. Radcliffe's history stretches back to the '60s, when he was known as Ragtime Jack, when he toured, recorded an album for Prestige and formed the '70s band New Viper Revue.

"We flourished for a few years, but there came a time when many of us had families, which wasn't compatible with being out on the road."

He also has a connection to Pittsburgh, having attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh for ancient Greek language. Fast-forwarding 30 years, with his kids having flown the coop, he decided to restart his music career "alongside a whole cadre of older folkies who had suddenly decided that the baby boom wasn't over, and it was time to get back out there."

But he considered the problem of oversaturation that happens when everyone puts out his own self-released album. "They're just one of 10,000 people. So I called some of my friends, like [blues musician] Andy Cohen and [booking agent] Dale Robin Goodman and asked to buy a quantity of their records. Then I'd be able to have a catalog with a couple records of mine. At the same time, the studio I was working with was owned by a guy involved with MoveOn.org for John Kerry."

Coincidentally, in 1960, future presidential candidate Kerry had been the bass player in Radcliffe's prep school rock band, The Electras. "We did 500 copies of a self-released LP, one of which sold during the height of his campaign for $2,500," he recalls. "So I re-released it as a CD. I was on tour through the Midwest states where Kerry was stumping and sold upwards of 100,000 copies of that CD. That was the tail that wagged the dog -- The Electras' music has nothing to do with what I'm doing now, but it provided the financing for the label. At that point, I went out looking for other artists."

It wasn't hard to find some. He started with old friend Ms. Goodman, whose voice has a Joan Baez-ish quality. "She's from this trio of three women called Mom's Home Cookin', but she's by far the leading talent. ... She was the showcase selection at the Folk Alliance convention this year, where the jury was comprised entirely of folk music deejays."

He added 70-year-old folksinger Jim McGrath, a veteran of the mid-'60s New Haven folk scene who had played with Pete Seeger. "He has this gorgeous Irish baritone and is one of the strongest songwriters I know," says Mr. Radcliffe.

Jackson, Miss., bluesman Sherman Lee Dillion is one of the more unusual Wepecket Island characters. "He ran for governor of Mississippi in 2004 on the Green Party ticket, and he started Earth Day in his home state -- you can imagine that was an uphill battle. All his children have been in family bands -- at one time they were big in the mid-South area and known as the Dillonaires."

The youngster of the bunch is Michigan clawhammer banjoist and nylon-string guitarist Andru Bemis, who has a fascination with old-time music like an Appalachian woodsman on a lo-fi 78. Mr. Bemis appeals to the sentiment of young folk fans who discovered the genre through modern crossover artists such as the Avett Brothers. "People think of him in terms of bellowing and stomping," Mr. Radcliffe says, "but I found out that he's also a gifted violinist, which is a welcome addition."

Mr. Radcliffe and the others join forces in the label showcase known as the Rolling Roots Revue, stopping tonight at Calliope's Simmons Hall venue. "Everyone will get up for a short set, then invite the next person to come up and sit in, so there's a smooth transition."

With the first introductory set closed by a tune that all artists play together, the show moves into its next phase -- bringing audience members with a recognizable instrument up for a closing jam.

"Of course, if you do play an unrecognizable instrument, we'll want to take - Pittsburgh Post Gazette


"The American public has always been slow about accepting challenges and making change, even if they're told negative things will happen otherwise," Bob Kochtitzky says. "So what I decided to do is to find small things they could do."

#Kochtitzky, who was head of Mississippi 2020 until this year, is a veritable living legend among the green community in Jackson. This Sunday he will be among presenters at Jackson's 15th annual Earth Day celebration at Jamie Fowler Boyll Park (adjacent to Smith Wills Stadium on Lakeland Drive). The festival will feature music, including Sherman Lee Dillon and the Dillonaires, Red Hill City and The Houserockers. It will also feature a "junk to funk" art competition, a solar oven cook-off, nature arts and crafts for children, food by Domini Bradford and—you guessed it—Kochtitzky.

#Among the "small things" Kochtitzky will discuss at the Earth Day celebration are two truly easy steps—replacing incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs and using recycled toilet paper.

#Fluorescent bulbs have come a long way from those flickering, ghastly white lights we all love to hate, Kochtitzky says. The new bulbs, which occupy roughly the same space as a regular incandescent bulb, give off a warm glow barely distinguishable from incandescent bulbs. The difference is that compact fluorescent bulbs last much longer and use only a fraction of the electricity.

#According to the Department of Energy, compact fluorescent bulbs use only one-third the electricity of an incandescent, and the bulbs last 10 times longer. In addition to direct savings, compact fluorescents generate 70 percent less heat. "These bulbs create less heat, so in the summertime the bulbs will not fight your AC to make it cooler. We're using electricity to heat the home through light bulbs and then more electricity to cool the home with an air conditioner," Kochtitzky says.

#As a consequence of these savings, even though compact fluorescent bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs, they wind up being cheaper in the long run. A compact fluorescent costs about $5, depending on the wattage, but over its lifetime, each bulb will save you $30, according to the Department of Energy. Savings like this—both in terms of energy and money—may be why Australia mandated that compact fluorescents replace all incandescent bulbs by 2010. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's environment minister, says that the changeover will reduce home lighting costs by 66 percent and prevent the release of 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Considering that Australia only has a population of 20 million people, a similar change in the U.S., with its 300 million population would prevent 12 million tons being released.

#Americans use approximately 5.8 million tons of tissue-grade paper every year, the bulk of it toilet paper. All those trips to the bathroom make a huge impact on the environment. There are more than 500 paper mills in the U.S., and 28 percent of all trees cut down are used to make paper. What's more, the American Forest and Paper Association projects that worldwide paper consumption will rise 46 percent by 2040. That's a lot of dead trees to keep your fanny clean.

#Now, Bay West offers EcoSoft, which is 100 percent recycled paper. "It's super-soft," Kochtitzky says, "and it's only 55 cents a roll."

#Using recycled paper in toilet paper could make a huge impact. Every ton of paper that's recycled saves 17 trees, nearly 7,000 gallons of water and 463 gallons of oil. If the whole country switched to recycled paper, we could save close to 100 million trees a year.

#Kochtitzky says he has yet to find EcoSoft in area stores, but you can order it through the mail or just call Kochtitzky, who gets EcoSoft from the Jackson Paper Company.

#"People have, over the years, become disconnected from reality," he says. "The reality is that we are not in charge of the universe. … The elements in our bodies are the same as in the soil outside. We are connected to the Earth, and if we screw up the Earth, we screw up ourselves."

#Jackson's 15th Earth Day celebration is Sunday at Jamie Fowler Boyles Park from 1 to 6 p.m. Call 601-383-4160 for more info. - Jackson Free Press


In his 2004 memoir, "Chronicles," Bob Dylan had this to say: "Everything about them appealed to me — their style, their singing, their sound. I liked the way they looked, the way they dressed and especially I liked their name. Their songs ran the gamut in styles, everything from mountain ballads to fiddle tunes and railroad blues. All their songs vibrated with some dizzy, portentous truth. I couldn't listen to them enough."

Who is he talking about? An early folk revival band called The New Lost City Ramblers, founded in 1958 by Mike Seeger, Tom Paley and John Cohen. And why is this important now? Because John Cohen, along with scores of other shining lights of traditional American music, past and present, is coming to perform at the Taunton River Folk Festival this holiday weekend.

From 7 p.m. Friday through midnight Monday, more than 60 performers of country blues, bluegrass, Piedmont and Delta blues, Celtic, old-timey, contradance, folk and other forms of traditional acoustic American music will present more than 200 performances in several venues, all of them in downtown Taunton. And many of these performers are among the most celebrated and respected practitioners of traditional music in the world.

David Massengill will be coming up from Kentucky. One of the world's most renowned Appalachian dulcimer players, his songs have been recorded by the likes of The Roches and Joan Baez. He will be performing solo and as one half of The Folk Brothers, a duo that also features Jack Hardy, the legendary and award-winning traditionalist and songwriter known primarily as a Celtic artist here in the States, but hailed as "the ambassador of American music" throughout Europe. Hardy's work, like John Cohen's, has been enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution.

Another festival performer will be Peter Stampfel, founding member of the notorious Holy Modal Rounders, a psychedelic old-timey revivalist crew whose influence on the '60s and '70s folk and folk-rock scenes was so broad and pervasive its echoes can still be heard loud and clear in the Americana craze now overtaking the "underground" scene via such groups as Old Crow Medicine Show, Devendra Banhart and The Mammals.

Although like most of the players in the early '60s Greenwich Village folk scene (including Dylan), the Rounders were firmly rooted in the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music, it was a song that Stampfel wrote that first brought them wider recognition: "If You Wanna Be a Bird," which was featured prominently in the film "Easy Rider." Stampfel was also a founding member of The Fugs, perhaps the only '60s folk crew more notorious than the Rounders themselves.

Paul Geremia and Andy Cohen, two of the most accomplished fingerstlyle bluesmen alive, have between them more than a century of devotion to and experience in performing country blues. They are known throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Geremia opened for and played with some of the true legends of the blues, names like Son House, Skip James, Howlin' Wolf and Pink Anderson, whose career he helped revitalize back in the '60s. Andy Cohen has a similarly impressive resume in the blues and, for a short time, actually played guitar alongside the late, great Reverend Gary Davis.

Music lovers who attended last year's festival will be glad to know Sherman Lee Dillon & The Dillonaires will be driving up from Jackson, Mississippi to bring their country blue bluegrass songs of hardship, good times and joy to Taunton again this year. Other artists who performed last year will be returning from all over the country: Andru Bemis from Illinois, Harvey Reid ("One of the true treasures of American acoustic music," according to Acoustic Guitar Magazine) and Dale Robin Lockman, both from Maine, Jeff Warner from New Hampshire, Chico Schwall from the state of Oregon ... the list goes on and on.

Many local favorites will also take the stage, including Matt and Shannon Heaton, Robin O'Herin, Jeff and Benares, U.S. SAM, The Jethros, Tesseract, Mike Higgins and many more. Youth programming will include emerging artist performances and workshops run by Maria Ventura and Matt Borrello.

Performances, workshops, jam sessions, contradancing, songs in the round — the entire festival has been designed to involve the community, on many levels, from listening and learning to dancing and performing, in what is arguably the richest American tradition there is. Tickets range in price from $10 and $12 for a full-day pass to $29 for the entire four-day festival. Kids under 12 get in free and senior citizens can get a four-day pass for $15. - www.SouthCoastToday.com


Jackson Free Press Article
March 21, 2008
By: Michael Patronik



The Dillons are a musical family in the purest sense. As daughter Anna Lee puts it, her father Sherman Lee Dillon, 57, has raised seven kids on music, not only through his work as a musician and instrument craftsman, but also by imbuing in them a love for making music.



The Dillons started playing music together in the mid-’90s when Sherman Lee, already a veteran Mississippi musician of two decades, located instruments for his wife, his seven children and one son-in-law, forming a 10-member family folk band. The Dillon Family Band played at schools, churches and festivals around Mississippi until about 2004, when members’ marriages, college and career moves dwindled the band’s ranks.

Sherman Lee continued playing solo until his son, vocalist and fiddler Andrew John, and Anna Lee, who sings and plays guitar, started sitting in during his shows. Gradually, the trio became Sherman Lee Dillon and the Dillonaires. For Sherman Lee, it was a natural progression.

“Anna and Andrew were the only ones that really liked (performing),” Sherman Lee says. “It just made sense.”

These three Dillons have been performing under the banner of The Dillonaires for the past two years since being signed in February 2007 by Massachusetts-based Wepecket Island Records to cut an album. With the September 2008 release of “Dirty, Dusty Road,” the band is seeking audiences outside Mississippi.

The Dillonaires recently played the Taunton River Folk Festival, a benefit to help save the Taunton River watershed in Massachusetts. Given patriarch Sherman Lee’s close involvement with the Mississippi Green Party, participation in environmental causes is a foundation of the band’s philosophy.

“Environmentalism is definitely a passion of ours,” Anna Lee says. “Particularly of my dad’s.” Sherman Lee has been the chief organizer of Jackson’s Earth Day events for the past 15 years, and also ran for governor on the Green Party ticket in the 2003 race.

The Dillonaires have a following in Jackson and frequently play at Millsaps College, a particularly progressive school and one with which Anna Lee says the band has a long-standing relationship. Their new tour has been taking them further afield.

“We’re pretty much touring every month for a week or two,” Anna Lee says. “We’re having a good time getting to see the country, getting to move around.”

The Dillonaires’ album is influenced by bluegrass and gospel, and of course, traditional folk music. Their songs represent a mixture of folk and bluegrass classics in addition to brand-new material. Anna Lee takes up vocal duties on the lovely old-style folk song “Henry and Polly,” while the banjo gets put to good bluegrass use on the album-ender, “John Henry.” In between, the Dillonaires pay homage to old-time churchgoing sensibilities in the a cappella “I Feel Like Traveling On.”

Given their holistic approach to their album, you might expect that the Dillonaires aren’t folk purists. Ask Sherman Lee, who sings and plays banjo and harmonica, about what is and what isn’t folk music these days, and you get a pragmatic reply that reflects the state of flux in the genre.

“It’s like a Rorschach ink-blot,” he says. “Folks define it however they want to at the time.”

Touring the country playing music can be a grueling task, and some might imagine it becomes even tougher when your bandmates are also your relatives. Sherman Lee, though, finds that touring with his children results in a creative experience where they are in tune with one another.

“All in all, we get along very well,” he says. “Between the three of us, there is a mutual respect for one another. There is an awareness of each other’s shortcomings as well as each other’s strong suits.”

Taking the touring schedule in stride, Andrew John laments that coming off the Massachusetts trip has a definite drawback.

“I have mid-terms tomorrow,” the JSU music education major says.

- The Jackson Free Press


By Staff reports
GateHouse News Service
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAUNTON — The Taunton River Folk Festival’s tradition continues on Wednesday through Monday, Oct. 10 through 13, with the addition of well-known musicians such as Peter Stampfel, John Cohen and Jack Hardy and the return of well-respected folk artists such as David Massengill, Harvey Reid, Paul Geremia, and Andy Cohen. New ventures unfold with added contra dance sessions, sea songs, additional workshops and the “Fresh Faces” program featuring up and coming artists.
Proceeds from the festival go to benefit The Taunton River Watershed Alliance. The 2008 Taunton River Folk Festival will include three days worth of free outdoor activities.
The festival will host return performances by the The Dillonaires. Sherman Lee Dillon has been the primary organizer of the Earth Day celebrations in the state of Mississippi since 1992.
This year’s folk festival will be held in three venues immediate to Taunton Center: Steve’s Backstage Pass, 15 School St., The First Parish Church at Church Green and The Runes, adjacent to Taunton Green.
Ticket prices are kept at a minimum, ranging from $10 for an all-day ticket Friday or Monday to $29 for a four-day pass. Discounts are available for senior citizens and students.
- Herald News


March 21, 2000

Combine 2 parents, 7 children, an in-law, and you get the Dillon Family Band.

By Lori Herring/Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer

There is an air of urgency in the Dillon household. It's Friday morning, early, and the four children who live with their parents in the red house at the end of Glenn Street are still getting ready for work and school, eating breakfast, preparing for the day.

Additionally, the other three Dillon offspring are expected to show, and one, the oldest-Polly Thornhill- has already arrived. She's a social worker, like her mother, Louise Mary Dillon, but that, of course, is not the only way she spends her time.

She, with her father and mother, six siblings, and husband, comprise The Dillon Family Band. Her instruments of choice are the bari-uke and the penny whistle. Her husband, Tre -the only member of the extended family involved - plays the mandolin.

While Polly and her mother and siblings and husband may have other work or schooling to attend to during the day, her father, Sherman Lee, is not a part-timer to the music scene: he is a professional musician, and has been singing, and playing his banjo, guitar and dobro for upwards of 30 years.

"We've always had music in the house," says Polly.

Perhaps surprisingly, Sherman Lee never pressured his family to play any instruments, let alone participate in a family band. Polly and Margaret were just sitting around one day, playing around with the penny whistle and guitar, and Sherman Lee sat down to play with them.

"And I thought,this is such a neat thing," says Polly.

Dad certainly didn't disagree.

"I said, `I'm not going to drag them into it,' " Sherman Lee says. "They were just interested."

Jesse, the youngest at 9 years old, goes to his ukulele, picks it up, and begins to play.

"My dad taught me to play," Jesse says, not shyly. "I play my ukulele in almost all the songs."

He demonstrates how he can make his instrument "talk."

"I can play Amazing Grace, too," he says.

The Dillon family had their musical debut just a year and a half ago, at a Fourth of July picnic. Since then, they've played several venues, including Jubilee Jam. They'll be adding to their venue list on Saturday, when they'll be featured at the High Noon Cafe, to help build awareness for Earth Day - which is fast approaching.

What kind of music can you expect to hear? It sounds a lot like bluegrass to this inexperienced ear, but Sherman Lee Dillon, the expert here, says it's not.

"You hear bluegrass, and the banjo, bass and fiddle kind of define it. What we play is a pre-bluegrass music, a sort of early American folk music," he says.

Indeed, the Dillon family's collection of musical instruments includes such unique-looking instruments as the dobro, bari-uke, penny whistle and ukulele.

"Most of what we play is older instruments," explains Sherman Lee.

And the Dillons' use of these instruments breaks them out of the bluegrass mold.

"Bluegrass music is kind of like the orchestra, where the instruments have designated roles," Sherman Lee explains. "Ours is free-for-all folk," he says.

Sherman Lee's music could perhaps be explained as free-for-all. He's played solo, and with all sorts of bands - gospel, bluegrass, rock `n roll. Right now, he plays with some guys who call themselves Sherman Lee Dillon and the Tuff-Nutts.

"He's just been exposed to lots of music his whole life," says Louise of her husband, a little later. Sherman Lee is gone, taking the younger two children to school. "He knows so many instruments, he can teach the kids whatever they want to learn." (Andrew, the exception, is taking violin lessons from school.)

"I can remember when I was little, being in bed at night upstairs, and hearing Dad play," Polly says. "Dad was always encouraging us to pick up something (an instrument) and play."

And so the natural talent coursing through the Dillon blood has taken hold of them all. Newcomers to the family be warned: if you marry in, you better learn to play.

"Katie's fiance is going to have to play something," says Louise, half-joking, half-not.

All the Dillons present (minus Daniel, the oldest son, and Katie, the second daughter) get together to pose for their picture, all banters and smiles, then they start playing their instruments and singing and not one of them is tone-deaf they're all on key and ... they sound really good together. Sherman Lee, patriarch of the band, is coaching everyone through the song, and they are suddenly transformed into the happiest musical family since the Partridges.

"We went to New Hampshire and back, with all of us in a minivan," Polly says. "And none of us were killed."

"That's the thing about large families," says Andrew, a wise man at 12 years old. "There's just so many of us, and we all think we're all right. We just have to understand that not everybody can be right."



Section: Southern Style
Page: 1E
Copyright (c) The Clario - The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS)


April 11, 2007

Anna Lee Dillon, 25, knows that perseverance is key to making a change. When her father, Sherman Lee Dillon, founded Jackson’s Earth Day festival 15 years ago, it was a decidedly intimate affair.

“In the early years, it was just my dad and some friends. He would play five hours straight,” the Jackson State graduate says, shaking her head in amazement. “Now we have bands calling us, wanting to be part of it. This year there will be at least twice the exhibitors we’ve had any other year.”

Dillon took the lead role in organizing this year’s festival, which comes April 22 to Jamie Fowler Boyll Park. Although she has two jobs and plays guitar with the Dillionaires, the rest of the family—she has six siblings age 15 to 34—are even busier. The busiest of all may be her father, who baby sits eight of his 10 grandchildren each day and has been working out arrangements for a new album of original music at night. Anna, who has been singing with the band since she attended Forest Hill High School when she was 15, says she is eager to spend time in the studio this May.

First comes Earth Day, however, which Dillon sees as a chance to have fun and send a message at the same time. “It’s always been an outlet for the frustration we feel as a family living in such a red state. It helps to get like-minded people together to see that you’re not alone, that your numbers are growing,” she says. “When Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970, he wanted it to be political. He wanted people to realize that you have to fight to protect the Earth.”

She takes inspiration in fighting for change from her father, who ran for governor as a Green in 2003. She says helping him crash a gubernatorial debate at Delta State was one of the highlights of her adult life.

“We did all the paperwork,” she says, “and they still excluded us from the debate. But we weren’t going to let them ignore us.”

They got passes to the event from a friend, and just after the major-party candidates made their introductions, Sherman hopped up on stage to announce his candidacy and ask for a chance to debate. They dragged him from the stage. A few minutes later, as Haley Barbour spoke on education, Anna sprung up from her seat in the middle of a long row, demanding that the candidates address “real issues” and let her father debate. “(Barbour) tried to talk over me,” she says, “but I’m loud—that’s one benefit of growing up in a large family.”

She met her father at the edge of school property, amazed that they hadn’t been arrested and thrilled that they had forced the powers that be to take notice, if only for a minute.

“It was a shining moment,” she says. - Jackson Free Press


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The Dillonaires are a father, son, daughter folk/americana/blues trio from Jackson, Mississippi.

Dad, Sherman Lee; son, Andrew John and daughter, Anna Lee provide the voices and musical accompaniment served up with an unforgettable helping of down-home honest energy. From the worn pages of an old shape-note hymnal to brand-new tunes penned in the style of A.P. Carter and Hazel Dickens, the trip will make you laugh, sing, cry and dance.

Wielding an impressive array of instruments, not the least of which are their naturally powerful and expressive voices, the Dillonaires are as much fun to watch as they are to listen to. Their talents run wide and deep.

Sherman Lee is a slide guitar and banjo player, and has worked as a consultant to the filming of Brother, Where Art Thou, represented Mississippi in several blues competitions, toured Germany playing Country & Western guitar and harmonica with George Sandifer and The Mississippi Band, and has appeared on stage with John Hartford, John Prine, Riders in the Sky, Jim and Jesse, Rufus Thomas, Johnny Winter, and Little Milton Campbell. His harmonica workshops are among the most eagerly attended at folk festivals.

Andrew John has a rich baritone voice, a deft touch with the fiddle, and a capacity to write songs that sound decades older than he is. Hes also a lot of fun to watch on stage.

Anna Lee plays rhythm guitar with authority, but its her voice that reaches out and grabs you. A soulful ballad, a tender love song, or an angry take on a woman persecuted and scorned all find their optimal expression in her singing.

Together they offer a memorable show that will echo in your ears and stay in your heart for years to come.

The Dillon family is also committed to social and environmental justice. In 2004 Sherman Lee ran for governor on the Green Party ticket, garnering more than 16,000 votes. Sherman and Anna Lee also organized Mississippis Earth Day celebration for 15 consecutive years.

Sherman Lee has been on several blues albums through the years. In the 1990's he released a folk album titled, "Did You Say 'Juan Valdez'?" A hilarious ballad about Sherman Lee's adventure following a mishap meeting Juan Valdez. It was a regular feature on Mississippi's #1 call in radio show.

The Dillonaires debut CD is titled "Dirty Dusty Road." A borrowed line from the CD's most popular song, "Henry & Polly." "Old Man Jones," "Catfish Song," and "Without You" are other originals that sound right in place beside the other songs that make up this "Old School" CD.