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Music in Bass Hall: The Camp Backup All-Stars

November 11, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

THIS CONCERT IS SOLD OUT! Tickets will not be available at the door.

Just up the road from the Monadnock Center at Sargent Camp in Hancock, there is a weekend gathering of musical mentors and students. Devoted to roots music accompaniment, Camp Backup holds a Friday evening concert featuring performances by staff members, and this year it’s been decided to make this concert a public event, and to bring it to Bass Hall.
(note this concert starts at 8:00, half an hour later than our usual start time of 7:30)

This is sure to be a lively and inspiring evening with solo and collaborative renditions from The Camp Backup All-Stars,  featuring some of the finest talent in New England. Reservations are encouraged as this could easily be a sell-out show. The All-Stars are:

For over half a century SKIP GORMAN has enjoyed singing, playing and performing an impressive and varied palette of traditional American and Celtic folk music. As an accomplished singer, guitarist, fiddler and mandolinist, Gorman has completed over fifteen recordings of fiddle, mandolin, bluegrass and cowboy songs, been featured on many others, and established his own record label, Old West Recordings.

His recordings have earned a prestigious NAIRD (INDIE) award, and been selected as a top ten folk pick of the year by Amazon.com. Filmmaker Ken Burns has used Skip’s original music on four of his celebrated documentaries. He has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, toured with the US Embassy in Chile, Argentina and Paraguay, performed at World Fiddle Day in Co. Kerry, Ireland, and taught at numerous music camps in America and the British Isles.

Widely acclaimed as one of New England’s premiere instrumentalists, David Surette is highly regarded for his work on the guitar, mandolin, and cittern. As a soloist, he is nationally known as a top player of Celtic fingerstyle guitar. Yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity.

As part of a duo with his wife, singer Susie Burke, they have performed regularly together for 20 years, recording several albums and building a reputation as one of New England’s top folk duos. He is also a highly sought-after accompanist, and has performed and recorded with many of New England’s top musicians.

Susie Burke is a dynamic and heartfelt singer of all manner of songs, ranging from folk to blues, swing, and country, all with a voice that was referred to in the Boston Globe as “transporting”, and “unerringly devoted to the lyric”.  Commitment to the song, a wide stylistic range and repertoire, and a special ability to connect with listeners have marked her career, and established her as one of New England’s finest folksingers.

Susie’s repertoire and performances reflect New England’s blend of original and traditional music, and includes original songs as well as songs from the cream of the crop of singer/songwriters, and the American folk/blues world. Her a capella singing is often a highlight of concerts.

In her home studio, Susie teaches a class called “Singing for the Joy of It”, a title which expresses her feeling about singing, publicly, privately, with others and alone. In addition to her solo work, Susie has performed in various duos and bands over the years, but her longest collaboration has been with husband David Surette.


Randy Miller of Alstead, N.H., has played fiddle and piano at contra dances and Irish sessions nation-wide for more than 40 years. He has recorded six albums of traditional New England and Irish fiddle music. Randy is co-host of several regular Irish music sessions (Hanover and Newport, NH, and Brattleboro, VT), and is the dance fiddler for The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, NH.
Randy’s piano style of backup is influenced by legendary New Englander Bob McQuillen, as well as the playing of Irish accompanists Eleanor Kane Neary and Felix Dolan. Randy is the owner of Fiddlecase Books (founded in 1973), a leading American publisher of traditional melodies, and also teaches. He has led workshops at numerous festivals throughout the U.S. and has been designated a “Master Teacher of Contra Dance Music” by the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

Gordon Peery started playing contra dance piano in the late 1970’s  He was fortunate to be in the neighborhood of Bob McQuillen, who was an inspiration and mentor. Though Gordon quickly evolved his own style of playing, he was permanently influenced by Bob’s commitment to providing a solid bass line.

His strongest traditional influences were Scottish. He often played with Nelson fiddler Harvey Tolman, and while he was at the time unaware of a Cape Breton style of piano playing, he subconsciously absorbed something that gave his playing a Cape Breton flavor. The other influence was Violet Tulloch, a Shetland piano player who was on a recording called the Silver Bow – at the time the definitive recording of Shetland music. Between 1985 and 1995, Gordon played with fiddler Kerry Elkin in the band Fresh Fish, which became a nationally prominent contra dance band.

Gordon also acknowledges that his playing is influenced by musicians outside of the traditional genre: notably Oscar Peterson, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Beatles, and Brian Wilson.  The combination of all of his sources of inspiration may account for why one fan described his playing as barrel house Irish.


Fiddler, vocalist, and songwriter Kate MacLeod is based in Salt Lake City, UT. Her highly acclaimed songs have been recorded by artists from California to the Czech Republic in roots music genres such as Bluegrass, Folk and Celtic. Her signature fiddle playing and harmony is heard on recordings that vary in style from neo-classical pianist Robin Spielberg, to songwriter Hal Cannon, to the Americana rockin’ Triggers and Slips.

She has worked in the recording studio with the late Charles Sawtelle and Tim O’Brien, both members of Hot Rize.

Kate’s background of traditional music, spanning from the British Isles to the American West, has fueled her original music to the point where people sometimes confuse her compositions with traditional music, considered in the music business a great compliment.

Kate’s experience in leading bands, being a member of many band configurations, improvising on recording studio work and record production make her a fine catch as an instructor for this music camp. She can play with anything, all she asks is to know “when the downbeat is.”



Playing in the DADGAD tuning, Roger Kahle has accompanied fiddle music in the Irish,  Cape Breton,  Scottish, Quebec and Old Time genres.  Known as ‘Shindy’  with fiddler Randy Miller,   Roger has appeared in numerous house concerts and played  contra dances through out New England. Other noteworthy appearances have been at NEFFA,  North East Heritage Camp,  Down East Festival, Northern Roots,  Star Island and Revels North.    He was the guitarist  in  Beeswax Sheepskin  a touring  East Coast contra dance band and also toured with Scottish fiddling champion  Jeremy Kittel.

Teaching  DADGAD  workshops over the years  he has worked to demystify the complexity of back up;   most recently at ‘Hanover Strings’  music store  in Hanover New Hampshire.   Roger also plays mandolin and is a foot percussionist.





Acoustic bassist Mary Burdette straddles the lines between bluegrass, old-time and traditional music of the Old West, which she plays with impeccable timing and tone. Her clean, tasteful playing is proof that less can be more.

During the last twenty years, Mary has toured the US, Canada and Europe with Skip Gorman, Tom Sauber, Patrick Sauber, and Ruthie Dornfeld, and performed at major music venues from Grass Valley (CA) to Lunenburg (NS); from IBMA to the European World of Bluegrass; and at the country’s leading cowboy poetry gatherings. In 2015, she joined Gorman, Rick Starkey and Dave Kiphuth for a reunion of the classic brother duet, Rabbit in a Log, at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival.

Her bass playing and harmony vocals can be heard on Rounder and Music of the Old West recordings, as well as on the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, Lewis and Clark: Journey of the Corps of Discovery and other collaborations.





The 2016 Season for Music in Bass Hall is sponsored by Waterhouse Restaurant in Depot Square, Peterborough. Waterhouse RestaurantConcert goers are encouraged to enjoy dinner before the show (or brunch before our Sunday afternoon shows), or libations and snacks after the concert. For reservations call 603-924-4001


Open Tuesday – Sunday
Lunch/Sunday Brunch 11:30am – 2pm
Dinner starts at 5pm



November 11, 2016
8:00 pm
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Bass Hall: Monadnock Center for History and Culture
19 Grove St
Peterborough, NH 03458 United States
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