Saturday, March 14: Poteen is Bringing Appal-Irish Blessings to Hill & Holler.

Downtown Lewisburg is in for an Irish blessing on Saturday, March 14th. Starting at 6pm, Hill and Holler will host Poteen (Pa’cheen), a traditional Celtic/Irish band with Appalachian roots. “Appalirish.”

The band consists of Don Dransfield, Eamon Payton, Logan Payton, Tim Payton, and Dr. Timothy Pence.  On this special night, they will welcome special guest Patrick Calvert of Williamsburg.

This group is packed full of knowledge on a multitude of instruments. Don Dransfield plays the Irish and Scottish pipes, guitar, bouzouki, whistle, fiddle, and bodhran while Eamon Payton plays the bodhran, guitar, ukulele and cello.  Logan Payton performs with the flute and whistle and Tim Payton covers guitar, bouzouki, and whistle.  All four are vocalists.  Rounding out the band is Tim Pence who plays the fiddle, bouzouki, cittern, guitar and banjo.

Throughout the 40 years that Poteen has been together, they have put many miles on the road traveling back and forth to gatherings, as well as jam and practice sessions.  “As performers, we have played across the state of West Virginia.  For nearly 40 years, we have been the house band for traditional dancing at the annual Vandalia gathering that is held at the State Capitol Cultural Center in Charleston” says Pence.

To add to their extensive resume, Poteen has had concert performances at the State Capitol Cultural Center, Davis & Elkins College, Shepherd University, Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, Aims Claire Hall in Union and the newly renovated Opera House in Marlinton.  For many years, the band was a regular performing act at the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee in Jackson’s Mill.  Years ago, the band played at the Oyster Festival in Urbana, Virginia as well as a concert performance at Randolph Macon College near Richmond, Virginia.

 “I think Poteen was the first concert performance at the newly renovated Opera House in Marlinton over 10 years ago.  We have played there a couple of times since then and we always have had a positive experience regarding the acoustic quality of the building itself” declares Pence.  The band has especially enjoyed the venue’s warmth, enthusiasm, and appreciation that is expressed by the supporting patrons of the Opera House.

“We also have many fond memories of our experiences at the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee and of the many sessions that we have performed at the Hobnobery in Lewisburg.”  The Hobnobery, previously located where the Suite Shop currently resides, was the home of Poteen’s early 90s Thursday practice sessions.

Poteen has not always been the band’s name; the band’s initial name was “The Monroe County 4H Dance Band” circa 1979 and was later changed to “The Clan Erdverkle” which remained until the late 1980s.

When asked about his favorite part of performing, Pence stated “I supposed we all have different reasons.  For me, it’s truly about sharing a love for this music.  It has been said that music is the universal language and I find that this genre of music can communicate the entire emotional spectrum, from melancholy and despair to extreme joy or bliss.  Even that ‘in-between-the-extremes’ of emotion is available.  Daily, mundane walks by the river or along the road, what I call ‘traveling or rolling along tunes,’ can evoke the emotion that accompanies that activity.  We, of course, as listeners have the freedom to perceive and interpret what emotion music may evoke.  Even within the context of one melody or tune, there can be expressed various emotions.  Some melodies seem to contain the whole spectrum of emotion within itself which is like one tune containing both angst and joy, simultaneously.  To communicate that to whatever degree with whatever instrument is what I strive for in performance.  This can be done solo but feels magical when the entire group is in sync, expressing the same emotion while also filling in the sound spectrum with different instruments or voices.  When this happens, although it’s never a guarantee, it is a joy to share with an audience, whether it’s 1 person or 10,000.”

The Saturday night crowd at Hill and Holler can expect a variety of instrumental tunes as well as a variety of songs.  Jigs, reels, hornpipes, and airs generally featuring a specific instrument can be anticipated.  For the vocals, some may be melancholic and bring a tear or two, some may crack a smile or create laughter, while some may make you want to dance or tap your foot and clap your hands, and hopefully, in rhythm with the band!

Band Bio:

  • Don Dransfield, Union, WV, WVU Extension Service – Monroe County.
  • Eamon Payton, Morgantown, WV, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Student at WVU with a minor in cello performance.
  • Logan Payton, Huntington, WV, Marshall University Communication Disorders Graduate Student
  • Tim Payton, Mt. Lookout, WV, Fayette County School Administrator
  • Dr. Tim Pence, Alderson, WV, Owner/Operator of Greenbrier Chiropractic Natural Health Center in Lewisburg, WV

Authentic Irish music is a must for every St. Patrick’s Day so don’t miss Poteen at Hill & Holler on March 14! You can expect a variety of instrumental tunes as well as a variety of songs, jigs, reels, hornpipes, and airs. Hill and Holler is located at 970 N. Jefferson St. 

– HashtagWV #123. March 2020.

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