The Rustical Quality String Band, from State College, PA, has been playing Appalachian string band music since 1978, making it one of the longest, continuously running old-time groups around. In the past 35+ years, the band has performed for a wide variety of events, including weddings, rehearsal dinners, anniversary parties, outdoor festivals, college campus concerts, and folk and square dances.
Band members are Mike Rovine, fiddle and lead vocals; Karen Hirshon, fiddle and tenor vocals; Mick Smyer, washboard and tenor vocals, Tim Craven, guitar and lead vocals, Celia Millington-Wyckoff, bass and tenor vocals and Kim Craven, bass, washboard, and vocals. For dance engagements, the band is joined by the incomparable New England dance caller Doug Sears. Patsy Pearl also makes occasional special guest appearances.
In addition to the fiddle tunes and old-time songs familiar to the string band repertoire, the Rustical Quality String Band also performs novelty songs from the 20s and 30s, as well as some of the classic country music material of Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and others. The band enjoys taking old songs and making them their own.
The Rustical Quality String Band brings to its performances a wacky sense of humor and a mellowed view of life acquired through more than 40 years of friendship and playing music together. Band members are looking ahead to another 40 years of finding obscure, old songs, bringing them into their repertoire, and performing them for captive and non-captive audiences alike.