All News & Blogs
Homegrown String Band returns to Fredericksburg
Homegrown fiddle player Erica Jackofsky first started playing violin in fourth grade. The rest of her family soon joined in.
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
By STEVE DUNHAM
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
"Ragged but Right" is the Homegrown String Band's new CD. You won't find a whole lot ragged about it, though. You will find a whole lot right. The band--the Jackofsky family of Long Island, N.Y.--has preserved the spirit of American folk music in classics such as "Shady Grove" and "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," as well as originals such as "Prayin' for Spring" and "The Man Who Dressed in Black" (a tribute to Johnny Cash).
Like traditional American folk ballads, many of the songs tell a story--as in "Take Me Away," an original tune about two brothers at the Civil War battle of Cold Harbor.
"We try to keep our music fresh but still rooted in the sounds of traditional American roots music," said Rick Jackofsky. Rick and his wife, Georgianne, with their daughters, Erica and Annalee, have been performing together for 11 years.
After two years away, the Homegrown String Band is returning to Fredericksburg on Monday at 7 p.m. to play Music on the Steps at the headquarters library on Caroline Street.
We are family
Rick and his daughters sing. Rick plays guitar, clawhammer banjo and harmonica. Georgianne plays banjo, uke, dulcimer and doumbek. Erica plays fiddle, and Annalee, the mandolin and jaw-harp.
"We didn't set out to play any particular genre of music--we just tried to make music and have fun with the instruments we had chosen," said Rick.
They have taken "the Quaker testimony of simplicity to heart," he said. "Keeping with the theme of simplicity, we naturally chose traditional acoustic instruments."
The family's faith is part of who they are, as is their music, Georgianne said. But "we don't preach anything. Maybe by example we can sort of show people a slower way of life and one where families can stay close and enjoy each other."
Their quest for simplicity goes back to a time before they were a family band. Although Rick had studied bass at the Berklee College of Music, and used to play in country and honky-tonk bands, he had pretty much given up music by the time he and Georgianne got married in 1980. Ten years later, after the girls were born and he was working as a photographer, Rick was seriously injured when he got hit by a bus.