ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, RAGTIME was America's popular music, a blend of African-American folk roots with marches and old-world dances. While usually played today as a solo piano music, in their time rags, cakewalks, and marches were often played by string bands consisting of mandolins, banjos, and guitars.
The RAGTIME SKEDADDLERS continue the tradition of ragtime music played on string instruments, working from original arrangements published during the ragtime era. Scott Joplin, the king of ragtime, dedicated his original piano version of The Entertainer to "James Brown and his Mandolin Club," suggesting that he may have composed with string instruments in mind. This CD features two Joplin rags arranged for two mandolins and guitar and originally published in 1903. The Kansas City, Missouri composer Charles L. Johnson played mandolin in a five-piece string band. Maybe this explains why the Johnson tunes on this CD sound so natural on mandolins and guitar. To round out the set, several cakewalks and rags are included by a diverse cast of composers -- male and female, black and white, midwestern and eastern.
DENNIS PASH (banjo-mandolin) has specialized in ragtime mandolin since founding the Etcetera String Band in 1973. NICK ROBINSON (mandolin) played Balinese gamelan and American old-time music before catching the ragtime bug. DAVE KRINKEL (guitar) also plays with the Tea Sippers.