BOOGERTOWN GAP                        

Boogertown Gap - The Band

Keith and Ruth form the "core" of Boogertown Gap (BTG).  They have been married since 1988 and began playing Old-time music together since their move back to their home in the Great Smoky Mountains.  There they discovered their rich mountain heritage and the joys of keeping an old musical tradition preserved.  Both Keith's and Ruth's family have a long history of family musicians that have played and sung this Old-time music here in East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Keith began playing electric guitar in a high school band way back in the late 60's, eventually moving over to acoustic guitar in college.  Decades later in 2004 he took up Scruggs style picking on bluegrass banjo and although it was fun, it just didn't touch his soul. Then a friend, Scott Walter, introduced Keith to Old-Time music and Clawhammer style banjo.  Naturally Keith began to learn fiddlin', from Scott as well, and his love for this music continued to expand.  He even plays a little on mandolin now and then.  Keith attended banjo and fiddle classes and has learned and jammed with some of the outstanding Old-Time players while living in Asheville, NC.  To these folks, especially Scott, Keith is grateful for their patience and inspiration for passing on this old traditional music.

Keith's family has been in Sevier County since the late 1700's and is one of the First Families of Tennessee.  There are numerous accounts and recordings of these relatives playing their folk music and singing the ballads all over Boogertown and areas that are now in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  At left are four Trentham brothers, and Keith's cousins, who lived in the Forks of the River community (where Sugarlands Visitor Center is now located) in the early 1900's. Surprising to Keith was once when "old-timing" it around a campfire with Ruth and Scott, at Keith and Ruth's home, his parents began to sing some of the words to the tunes being played!  This music reaches everyone.

One day, Keith asked his lovely wife, Ruth, to take up the guitar because he wanted to play this music spontaneously, not having to track down a fiddler or another musician. Now Ruth is a classically trained musician on flute so playing the guitar was as foreign to her as speaking Martian. She began to experiment with chords a bit and then, Scott (again) introduced her to playing Old-time guitar. Then friends McLean and Derek(also friends of Scott) helped and encouraged her even more.
And then they started adding words to the tunes that have lyrics. Does pat your head while rubbing your stomach and hopping on one foot ring a bell? Now she plays guitar, wooden spoons, penny whistle, washboard and sings old mountain songs and ballads.  Looking back, Ruth learned a lot of the Old-time songs when she was a child, but she wasn't made aware of their roots or significance. The first song her Daddy taught her to sing when she was a wee lass was about an out house. At right is Ruthie, age 2, already getting her training on the piano by brother Charles. This old traditional music lives deep in her soul, and she is grateful to now be able to express it freely and share it with whomever wants to play along or sit and listen.

Ruth has not set aside her flute, nor does Keith ignore the guitar since becoming involved in Old-Time music. They perform Celtic Music as "Mountain Minstrels" at churches, weddings and receptions with Keith on the guitar and Ruth on Flute, Recorder and Penny Whistle. Listen to sample clips by the Mountain Minstrels.  

Austin Stovall
, originally from Scottsville, Ky, comes from a musical family.  His great grandfather played the "tater bug" mandolin, harmonica, and jaw harp.  He received his first banjo at Christmas on his 14th birthday and has been playing clawhammer banjo since.  Austin also plays fiddle, mandolin, and guitar.  Austin has learned Old-Time music through personal research, playing with old and new recordings, and playing with other musicians in East Tennessee.  Austin is a "natural" when it comes to playing stringed instruments.  Austin is recently married to Holly and lives in Clinton, TN. 

Sandee Rose lives in Knoxville, TN and plays stand-up bass and lap dulcimer.  Born and raised in California, she has also lived in the Pacific Northwest, Nevada, and New England.  When her travels took her to Georgia, she found Old-Time Music and lap dulcimer.  That led to her on-going love affair with the stand-up bass. On bass, she played with "Barnstorm" for contra dances all over Florida and "Full Circle Band" for English dances in Jacksonville.  She has had many dulcimer students and has written a book for new students. Her CD, "The Next Ridge" was recorded in 2007.  Sandee is learning to call dances and with BTG, she keeps a great steady beat on that bass. 

Jesse Wine, born in Newport, TN, now lives in Sevierville, TN, where he is a fudge maker by trade.  Jesse started playing music at the age of 12 on mandolin when he was exposed to old gospel tunes and social gatherings at his father's house.  He even played guitar with a heavy metal rock band, whereby he also acquired his tattoos. After meeting the woman to become his wife and the discovery of his ancestral roots with West Virginia Old-Time music, Jesse has given up rock music and taken up the Wine family Old-Time fiddle tradition, spanning over 8 generations since the 1700's.  Jesse is the great-great nephew of Melvin Wine, world renowned fiddler from Stouts Run near Copen, West Virginia.  He also plays the bones and a little clawhammer banjo. 

Barbara Wine
is, you guessed it, Jesse's spouse.  Barbara is a native to the village of Wola Baranowska (pronounced Vo-la Bear-uh-nov-skuh), Poland and met Jesse at the Cracker Barrel in Pigeon Forge, TN while she was an exchange student.  They fell in love and decided to marry in 2009.  Jesse's growing interest and love for Old-Time Music prompted him to ask Barbara to participate in playing the music, so Jesse's grandparents built her a washtub bass!!  She was a bit hesitant to play at first (she's kind of shy), but now she's played tub bass with Jesse at the Laurel Boomery Festival where she received accolades from the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers tub bass player, Janice Birchfield. 
She also played with BTG at several venues and has even started backup singing.  Barbara has a lot of fun listening to and playing the traditional folk and Old-Time music of this country and is getting pretty darned good at that washtub bass.

Other musicians that have played with Boogertown Gap over the years have been:

Dave "Fiddle Man" Pierce, fiddle
Anthony "Salvestor" Franco, washtub bass, guitar, washboard, vocals
Pam Watson Munson, washtub bass, flat foot dancing
Scott T. Walter, fiddle, vocals
McLean Bissell, guitar, upright bass
Brenda Pickel Hughes, washtub bass
Alex Morris, flat foot dancing

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