Roots of the Red Clay Ramblers

Pictures from the 1995 Merlefest CD Release Concert
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Fuzzy Mountain String Band at MerleFest 1995
(left to right) Blanton Owen, Malcolm Owen, Vickie Owen, Jake Owen, Bill Hicks, Sharon Sandomirsky (Photo by Hiro Kase)
(click on the pic for larger version)
To celebrate Rounder's release of the Fuzzy Mountain LPs on CD, MerleFest invited the Fuzzy Mountain String Band for a reunion performance April 29, 1995.  Recording members Blanton Owen, Malcolm Owen, Vickie Owen, Bill Hicks, and Sharon Sandomirsky were joined on the banjo by Jake Owen, son of Malcolm and Vickie.  Jake, an infant when the band recorded the LPs, can be seen in his mom's lap on the cover of both the CD and the spring '95 issue of the Old Time Herald shown below.

The pictures on this page have a big story behind them.  The photographer, Hiro Kase, learned to play drop thumb clawhammer banjo style in 1973, at the same time he obtained the Hollow Rock and Fuzzy Mountain String Band LPs.  Hiro's friend switched from mandolin to fiddle, and they figured in 10 years, they'd be able to play tunes like the Fuzzies.  In 1995, when the spring issue of the Old Time Herald announced the Fuzzy Mountain reunion at MerleFest, Hiro immediately made plans to attend.  You might think this story fits many an old-time musician.  But -- Hiro lives in Japan.  He made it to MerleFest in '95 to take these pictures, and he himself performed at MerleFest in 2001.  Hiro and Bill Hicks ran into each other at Mt. Airy in 2004, and when Bill heard about these pics, he asked Hiro to send them for our website.  Thank you, Hiro!

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Left and right views of the Fuzzies on stage at MerleFest '95
(click on the pics for larger versions - photographer Hiro Kase)
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The photographer, banjoist Hiro Kase with Vickie, Jake, and Malcolm Owen.  Vickie is autographing the spring issue of the Old Time Herald with the cover story on the Fuzzy Mountain String Band.
(click on the pics for larger versions)
Fuzzy Mountain Collection List
Fuzzy Mountain Music
Union Grove Fiddlers Convention 1970 by Bill Hicks
1970s Fuzzy Mountain Pics

Back to FMSB Home Red Clay Ramblers 1972-1981
June 24, 1999
updated May 22, 2010