Carroll County Ramblers At The Mainstay August 3


Carroll County Ramblers webThe Carroll County Ramblers, 2012 winners of Maryland’s living heritage award bring traditional bluegrass to the Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Saturday August 3 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15. For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. Information is also available at the Mainstay’s website

For 52 years, the Carroll County Ramblers from Taneytown, MD have been staples of bluegrass festivals throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Their style is best described as “traditional bluegrass” and their original songs chronicle local history and the everyday fabric of family life.

When the founders Leroy Eyler passed away (in 1995), and Dottie Eyler retired from performing (in 2010), the leadership of the group passed to their daughter Bonny Eyler (bass, vocals) and son Dale Eyler (fiddle, vocals). The Eylers are joined by Steve Waldon on banjo and Dave Dulaney on guitar and vocals.

For more than a decade the group has been host and featured performers of a bluegrass series at the Arcadia Volunteer Fire Company Hall near Westminster. In 2012, they received the ALTA Award (Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts) from Maryland Traditions, the Folklife Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

In a world where bands come and go, they break up, they get tired of playing with each other or they move on to other things, the Carroll County Ramblers stand out. Founded in 1961 by Leroy and Dottie Eyler, they have continued through to the next generation. Leroy passed away nearly two decades ago. Health issues forced Dottie to retire in 2010 and she passed away this year but the younger generation of the Carroll County Ramblers keeps performing songs like “Story of The Ransom Wreck,” “Country Roads” and “Grandma’s Sewing Machine.”

In a recent interview Bonnie Eyler said, “We’re just so glad that we’ve been able to carry along the tradition that our parents started. We just have so much fun entertaining, and we love the music.”

On the occasion of the awarding of the Maryland State Arts Council’s ALTA Award, which is presented annually to an individual or group that helps to sustain Maryland’s cultural heritage, Carroll County Arts Council Executive Director Sandy Oxx said, “In this day and age, we’re always into newer, better, fresher, different and they are being honored for keeping something the same and keeping up a tradition that might be lost or die out without someone there to nurture it along.”

“We were just born and raised with the music. It just wouldn’t seem right not playing,” Bonnie Eyler commented.

When the group celebrated its 50th anniversary two years ago, they invited many of the group’s past performers to a special anniversary show and created a video slide show of the group’s early days featuring Carroll County Ramblers music from the 1960s. It’s available on YouTube helping to bridge the past and the present and honoring the keeping of a tradition.

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