Falltown String Band to hold Ed Phelps tribute

  • The United Church of Bernardston. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE

Recorder Staff
Published: 11/24/2016 10:08:49 PM

BERNARDSTON — For longtime Bernardston resident Ed Phelps, keeping folk music alive was one of his life’s most important missions.

So, Phelps founded the Falltown String Band in 1987 to spread folk music to local coffee houses, nursing homes, schools, historical societies and other venues. The band recently celebrated its 29th anniversary.

“Ed was just so committed to the music and keeping this old time folk music alive,” said Marvin Shedd, Phelps’ cousin and a member of the Falltown String Band. “It became a real focus of his in his retirement years and even before. He believed this is great music and it’s our mission to carry the torch and make sure that people hear it.”

Phelps, 81, retired from the band about six years ago, Shedd said, and the Falltown String Band decided to honor him and his commitment to folk music with a tribute concert. The concert will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at United Church of Bernardston.

The concert is free. The Falltown String Band will be playing 24 songs that Phelps used to perform, bringing back some former members to join in too.

In addition, because Phelps has been involved in the Franklin County CROP Hunger Walk, the band will be accepting donations for the cause.

“We’re hopefully doing two good things at once,” Shedd said of the tribute concert and fundraising.

Of course, Shedd added, the concert will also be another way to bring folk music to the community.

“Ed always considered it a community organization,” Shedd said of the band. “(We play) just for the love of the music and to keep it alive.”

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