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Vinnie Padalino on washboard has Lauren Withers dancing at the Wharf in Edgartown. Photos by Danielle Zerbonne
A lot of Ballyhoo
Martha's Vineyard may be hundreds of miles from native bluegrass soil, but local band Ballyhoo is doing its darnedest to channel its essence from the hollows and hills of Appalachia. The sextet (Tauras Biskis on standup bass, Ken Dyer on harmonica, Josh Campbell on mandolin, Vinnie Padalino on washboard, Matthew Lozier on banjo, and Brad Tucker on guitar, drums and vocals) comes together in a spirit of genuine bonhomie to stir up a hollerin' good time.
Ballyhoo brings bluegrass to an appreciative Vineyard crowd. Josh Campbell (left) on mandolin and Brad Tucker on drums played last weekend at the Wharf.
The band formed in August 2006 and has honed its sound to create a foot-stomping, finger-picking groove. A recent performance at Offshore Ale displayed their unique sound. In their live set mandolins flutter, banjo notes pluck and peal, the bass thumps a low rhythm, and the washboard scrapes a raspy beat. At the center of the action is Brad Tucker, who does double-duty by strumming an acoustic guitar, kicking a bass drum and high-hat cymbal, singing, and occasionally buzzing into a kazoo.
Julian Wise is a frequent contributor to The Times, specializing in music, film, and the performing arts.