Staber & Chasnoff

Location: R.A. Fountain

from the January 3, 2008 FAD

Dick Staber, the mandolin-picking master, performs original and classic blulegrass and old-time music at Fountain General Store with his wife, Judith Chasnoff, this Saturday night.

For much of the 1960s and 1970s, Staber was considered one of the best mandolin pickers in America. He abandoned the touring life to run a music hall in New York during the 1980s, and then resumed his public playing in the 1990s, after meeting Judith Chasnoff.

Currently based in in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, the duo has produced four CDs since the mid-1990s. Their latest, Looking for the Road, was released this past autumn. Bluegrass Unlimited praised their 2002 CD, One More Journey, as a “musical work of art, abounding with tradition and creativity.”

Staber was mandolinist for Del McCoury and the Dixie Palls from 1969-75. In 1977-78, he played with Don Stover, and from 1978-80 with Bob Paisley and Southern Grass. During these years, he played on three of McCoury’s albums and two of Paisley’s and made three albums of his own, including Pickin’ Around the Cookstove, released by Rounder in 1974.

A Brooklyn native, Judith Chasnoff studied voice at the High School of Music and Art in the 1960s but abandoned music to pursue Buddhist studies. In July 1993, she met Staber, who told her she would “learn to walk in the ways of the master, Bill Monroe.”

This is Staber and Chasnoff’s third performance at Fountain General Store, which they visit annually en route to their winter retreat to Florida. “It’s a lovely venue,” Staber said. “And such good and attentive crowds, too.”

Tags: bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, Concert, folk, gospel, old-time, tradtional bluegrass