Doc Rolland’s Americana String Ensemble was asked to perform some Chinese melodies as part of its China concert tour, and the audience breaks into applause when the familiar “Dance of the Yao People” begins. The band goes silent as Bryan Seegers does a brilliant job of making his banjo sound uncannily like a traditional Chinese instrument, and the audience responds with generous applause. The 9-piece acoustic band plus two dancers and an interpreter gave 24 concerts at major civic venues throughout China in August 2014. The program featured fiddling, cowboy, country, Celtic, Cajun, swing, bluegrass and old-time music. Traveling by bus, bullet train and airplane, the group logged 10,000 miles inside China during the 23-city, 34-day tour. Most audience members couldn’t understand the lyrics, but the dancers helped them enjoy the program, and Doc’s emcee work was deliberately slow and carefully enunciated so that people with some English comprehension could understand the song introductions. Appreciative audiences of 300 - 1500 requested encores and gave the group standing ovations at every show. Sponsors allowed us to make a casual video archive of the program with a single camera operated by our interpreter. Personnel: director, music arranger & lead fiddle: Peter Rolland (peterrolland.com); Ben Shu, fiddle; Giselle Lee, fiddle & clawhammer banjo; Igor Glenn, bass; Annie Trimble and Ron Privett, guitars; Bryan Seegers, mandolin & Scruggs style banjo; Nancy Bucy, clarinet & piano; Ken Bucy, percussion; Steve Conrad, choreographer & dancer; Lacey Maynard, dancer; Jing An Shu, interpreter.
SONGS & TUNES BEFORE THE INTERMISSION:
Bile Them Cabbage Down / East Tennessee Blues / Caravan / Cotton Eyed Joe / The Old Chisholm Trail / Washington Lee Swing & Tiger Rag / South Of The Border Down Mexico Way / Don’t Fence Me In / I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart / Jambalaya / Angeline The Baker / Fiddling Around / The Moon Represents My Heart / The Orange Blossom Special
SONGS & TUNES AFTER THE INTERMISSION:
DDAD Doodad: a medley of Yellin’ The Shoats & Bonaparte’s Retreat / A Beautiful Life / Banish Misfortune Medley / Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies / I’ve Got The World On A String / Uncle Pen / Cripple Creek / Jolie Blon / Jessie Polka / South / Faded Love / Maiden’s Prayer / Dance Of The Yao People / September Mountain Stomp / Roll The Beads Curtain – “Juan-Zhu-Lian” / Earl Mittons Breakdown