This group interprets music from the folk and old-tyme American traditions on modern instruments with treasured songs and lively instrumentals — we find great joy in bringing this music to modern ears. The core of Ampersand is Beth Lawton and Dick Hogle, whose duo work shines with the spark of vocal harmonies and a shared musical sensibility. The Ampersand name is particularly appropriate since the whole of this group is definitely more than the sum of its parts!
Band manager and mother hen, Beth, incorporates a wide range of vocal styles to her music, adding harmonies that range from sultry to playful. Guitar, hammered dulcimer, and occasionally a banjo or mountain dulcimer, are her instruments of choice.
Bringing a warm bluesy style to the group, Dick offers guitar leads, a wonderful baritone voice, and more recently, some nice mandolin leads and banjo pickin’ to the mix.
Scott’s deepfelt connections to the local area, including his work with the Clearwater, are beautifully apparent in the wonderful ballads and story-songs that he performs. His rich vocals and Seeger-like banjo playing are a fine addition to the group.
Many local venues have been privileged to hear Matt’s jazz sensibilities and mischievous musicianship come shining through in his virtuoso mandolin playing.
Gail’s beautiful hammered dulcimer playing fills standard fiddle tunes and big band songs with complexity and melody. Gail also often plays concertina, bohdran drum, tin whistle, and recorder, and she can harmonize with the best of us!
Ampersand perks up with Michael’s skillful (and playful) touch on mandolin, jug, dobro, ukulele, tenor guitar, resonator guitar, jaw harp and the kitchen sink. Check out his website: http://www.michaeleck.com/
Connecticut-based musician and storyteller, Tom performs a joyful wealth of songs, historical and original, to delight audiences young and old with his fiddle, guitar, and vocal work. Check out his website: www.tomhanford.com
A local favorite, Chuck provides a delightful underpinning to the group with his stand-up, outstanding bass playing, and he also lends his marvelous tenor voice to the mix.
Chris’ mellow baritone voice and foot-stompin’ bones-playing add a depth to all the gigs he joins in on, when home from graduate school in Syracuse, NY. Chris’ specialty is Early Music, but he is willing to play those “modern” colonial-era tunes when needed.
Newest Ampersandian is wonderful fiddler Francis Lindop, whose joy in playing becomes evident when you watch his feet fly and dance as fast as his fiddle bow does!
Ross brings a bluegrass brightness to his mandolin, guitar, and banjo playing and can even be found with a fiddle in his hand. Heartfelt and playful vocals round out his skills.
Tom adds beautiful harmonies, elegant mandolin licks, and a stompin’ bluegrass banjo style into the mix.