The Lackawanna Longnecks are an Old Time stringband from Pittsburgh, Pa., playing music in the traditional style of rural Appalachia.
Current members are: Frank Falvo - fiddle,
Mike Reing - guitar,
Mark Tamsula - banjo, and
Jean Getz - bass.
Since 1987, their full acoustic stringband sound has often been heard at concerts, square dances, and parties around Pittsburgh.
The Longnecks have committed themselves to play music in the style of the Old Time Appalachian tradition. Often misunderstood and misrepresented as backward and without culture, in fact the people of Appalachia have long featured a strong oral tradition of music and song, with emphasis on self-sufficiency, and strong religious faith. Before the advent of modern transportation and communication, many of its inhabitants were geographically isolated from the rest of the country as late as the 1920's. As a result, the culture of their ancestors, most of them English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and Irish immigrants, existed mostly unaffected by developments in surrounding urban regions for over 200 hundred years. With little dependence on reading and writing, many had amazing memorization skills, capable of perfectly reciting 20 or more verses of song after hearing it sung only once. The instrumental music and songs of Appalachia range from playful and nonsensical, to sensitive and beautiful, touching upon some of the deepest emotions and experiences known. The dancing includes clogging, which is sometimes done for competition, but more commonly happens as a free expression of rhythm, a direct response to the energy of good music. Also known to occur in earshot of stringband music is Square and Contra dancing, a community event which facilitates sharing music and movements with a large group, usually the local neighborhood.
Wherever they perform, the Lackawanna Longnecks are your guides on a musical tour into the hills and through and the ages.