Having recently performed for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, American University, the Cosmos Club and many other fine venues in the D.C./Baltimore area, The Knuckledusters entered 2016 celebrating their 20th year as a combo. They specialize in bringing traditional old-time fiddle, swing, ragtime, country, blues and hillbilly-jazz music to the Mid-Atlantic states. While some bands are “jam” bands, The Knuckledusters just might be America’s best “museum band” having also played for the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore Md., the Textile Museum in Washington D.C., the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester Va., and the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster Md.
Formed in 1996 by harmonica player & songwriter Scott Spearly, guitarist Tim Mitchell and claw-hammer banjo champion Paul Mackrell, the combo initially performed as a steadfast trio throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia for nearly ten years. As their name and reputation as a hard-driving old-time hillbilly-jazz band has grown, The Knuckledusters now perform mostly as a group of five, taking to the interstates and stretching performances from Washington D.C. to New York.
Joining up with The Knuckledusters full time in 2009, Captain Richard Pryor (Hagerstown, Md.) hammers out old-time standards on his mandolin — though he is equally capable on the fiddle, guitar, bass, lap dulcimer, trombone or bugle. Matthew Spearly who has emerged as one of the area’s top upright bass performers (currently playing with WVU’s orchestra) has also signed on with the combo. Several talented fiddlers travel and perform with The Knuckledusters for their events: Robbie Caruthers (Boonsboro, Md.), Evan Price (Smithsburg, Md.), Steve Hickman (Fredericksburg,Va.), and Alexander Mitchell (Adamstown, Md.). Expect The Knuckledusters to be cocked and loaded with any combination of these artists for live shows.
Accepting bookings for dinner theaters, festivals, corporate functions, universities, taverns, square dances, weddings and just about any private endeavor under the sun, The Knuckledusters offer vintage Americana true-to-form. Join them as they continue to preserve American musical traditions and perform for a variety of audiences.
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