BARBARA TRUEX: On The ButtonA performing musician since the 1960's, Barbara Truex has been active in a wide range of musical genres and contexts. She is recognized as an innovator for her use of the dulcimer in jazz, pop, free improvisational music and other settings beyond the familiar folk and traditional realms. She also plays guitar, banjo ukelele, and hand percussion.
The recording of On The Button brought together a group of highly original musicians for the purpose of bringing compositions by Barbara Truex to life. Barbara, along with Ken Lovelett and Vincent Pasternak, was a member of the group Sidestep in the early 1970's, based in southwestern Connecticut. Most of the muscians on this recording performed with Sidestep at one time or another. The purpose of the group was to act as a vehicle for original compositions by its members. The material presented here is but a small portion of the music created in that setting. As they have throughout their association, all of the musicians involved in this project continue to work together in various combinations.
ON THE BUTTON musicians:
Barbara Truex: mountain dulcimer, guitar, vocal
Vincent Pasternak: violin, viola, guitar
Ken Lovelett: drums, vibraphone, percussion, "tublairs"
Michael Jancz: electric bass
Nick Bariluk: sythesizers, piano
Bucky Milam: trumpet, flugelhorn
Guy Dedell: orchestra bells
Chris White: incidental percussion
Barbara has turned the notion of what "dulcimer playing" is on its head - improvising and creating sounds that range from beautiful to avant garde noise (as in cut #3). And in fact, she realized early on in her playing career that she was more comfortable working with jazz-based players than any other group.
Shortly after this CD was recorded she had a solid body electric dulcimer built for her by John Molineux (of France and formerly of the John Renbourn Group). Her playing now balances electronics and slide work on the electric with the more familiar sounds on the old acoustic instrument.
Samples of that electric sound will be forthcoming on a new recording scheduled for release at the end of summer 2002.
Barbara keeps busy in southern Maine composing for theatre and dance companies as well as continuing to work on her individual compositions. She still plays with most of the people on On the Button, as well as the group Voluntary Relatives which includes Vincent Pasternak, Ken Lovelett, and Lynne Perry.
"Barbara Truex has got to be one of the best-kept secrets of the contemporary mountain dulcimer scene. Barb has blended her progressive dulcimer styles into the jazz and avant-garde realm for years, teaming up with jazz violinists, trumpeters, and percussionists.
The musicianship of these players [on On The Button] is absolutely stunning; it is very exciting to hear the mountain dulcimer add so much to the rhythmic and melodic texture of these fine compositions."
- Jerry Rockwell, from an article for Dirty Linen #39 April-May '92. Find the entire article at: http://www.jcrmusic.com/contemp.md.2.html
1. Swimming the Machias River Breakup
2. (a) One Last Time, Summer
3. V. (Richard Farina)
4. Wreathing (in the Everlasting Love)
5. To Ride the Waves
6. Saturday Night in St. Andrews