Rivertown String Band
Traditional Acoustic Folk Music
Rivertown String Band was founded in 1981 with roots leading to the Omaha Folk Song Society gatherings where we met. We have been playing together ever since. Mindy joined us in 2007.
We are not shy about playing a wide variety of folk music from barn dance tunes, Celtic and Old Irish Harp Music, Cajun music, European folk melodies, and historical songs from America's past. We are at our best when we have audience participation for Irish Pub songs, and dancing for our Americana fiddle tunes.
We perform for parties, dances, weddings, funerals, open houses, barbecues, festivals and family events. We are also available for educational, seasonal and interactive folk song programs.
Our music features a wide variety of instruments including but not limited to mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, guitar, hammered dulcimer, autoharp, penny whistle, mountain dulcimer and a variety of unique rhythm instruments.
Jenni Wallace - Vocals, Hammered Dulcimer, Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo, etc.
Family gatherings and Great-Grandmother at the piano provided Alabama born Jenni Wallace her earliest exposure to homemade music. She came under the spell of old-time and bluegrass music in the early '70's and began acquiring a variety of instruments. Guitar came first, but mountain dulcimer, banjo and fiddle soon followed. In the early '80's Jenni played with an Omaha band called 'The Old Time Wood And String Company". It was around this time that she took up the hammered dulcimer. She has played as a duo with Kathy as Wallace & Wood, and in the Rivertown String Band since 1984. Jenni also teaches music lessons on various folk instruments.
Kathy Wood - Vocals, Guitar
Dishwashing squabbles were quelled when Kathy Wood's parents suggested that she and her older sister sing Girl Scout camp songs together to pass the time. In the '50s, she had accordion lessons which was enough to convince her that the accordion was not for her. After moving to Omaha, Nebraska in the late '60s, she was introduced to the autoharp and much later learned guitar and old-time banjo. She and her husband, Jim, have been mainstays of the Omaha Folk Song Society for thirty-eight years and members of Great Plains Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association since its inception in 1976.
Jim Wood - Bass
Jim, a retired Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was influenced by his Mennonite bluegrass banjo playing roommate in the 1960's. He was also a devotee of Judy Collins in her early club singing appearances in Denver, CO. Jim began building and playing mountain dulcimers in the '70s and moved from there into playing the upright bass, where he is the rock solid foundation for the Rivertown String Band. His historical interests enrich our programs, and he is one fine jaw harp player.
Mindy Hunke - Fiddle
Mindy grew up with a steady diet of 70's folk music from her parent's turntable. They were greatly surprised when she announced that she planned to play violin at age 10. Reluctantly they agreed to let her try. Her efforts took her to Northwestern University as a music major. Looking to do something "fun", Mindy converted herself from a classical violinist to an adventure-loving fiddler in 2005 and has never regretted it, although she still happily teaches others how to play classical violin as well as fiddle.
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