Bringing on the bluegrass: Peachtree Station playing in Canton on Saturday
by Rebecca Johnston
September 12, 2012 12:07 AM | 2147 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Peachtree Station will bring its bluegrass sounds to Canton Theatre for one show Saturday. Above: Band members from left, include Tom Mendenhall, Eddie Hoyle, Melody Armstrong, Jeff Partridge and Steve Schaaf. <br>CherokeeTribune/Special
Peachtree Station will bring its bluegrass sounds to Canton Theatre for one show Saturday. Above: Band members from left, include Tom Mendenhall, Eddie Hoyle, Melody Armstrong, Jeff Partridge and Steve Schaaf.
CANTON — Bluegrass fans are in for a treat this weekend when a group billed as one of the most exciting bluegrass bands in the state comes to town.

Peachtree Station is making a special appearance at the Canton Theatre for one show Saturday night. Tickets to the performance are $10.

The band offers traditional and contemporary bluegrass with influences of newgrass, folk and rock.

Band member Steve Schaaf says the five musicians who make up the group are excited about playing in Canton.

“We played a few years ago at the Arts Center, and we are glad to be coming back,” said Schaaf, who plays the dorbo. “We have family and friends in the area and we look forward to being back there.”

Peachtree Station has opened for acts such as Rhonda Vincent, Blue Highway, The Sam Bush Band, Lonesome River Band, The John Cowan Band, Claire Lynch and The Front Porch String Band and has been the featured band in numerous concert venues.

“We play good traditional bluegrass music with three-part harmonies, and we have four good singers in the group,” Schaaf said. “We perform traditional and progressive, and we do some country songs in bluegrass style. One of the band is a newgrass fan so we do some contemporary music as well.”

The band performs regularly at The RedLight Cafe in Atlanta, as well as at regional festivals.

All five band members are veterans, each having more than 20 years of performing experience, and together they are a solid bluegrass band with exciting instrumentation, great vocals and tight harmonies.

Along with Schaaf, band members include Tom Mendenhall, Eddie Hoyl, Melody Armstrong and Jeff Partridge.

Armstrong comes from a musical family and has enjoyed singing all of her life. Her bluegrass career began in Augusta with the group Flatbed, whose popularity allowed her to play many of the bigger festivals in the Southeast.

She has also been a featured performer at Stone Mountain Park’s 1870′s town, Crossroads. Armstrong, who lives in Snellville, anchors the band with her solid bass playing and strong lead and harmony vocals.

Mendenhall is from North Carolina and has been playing guitar and mandolin since he was 13 years old. Growing up he played in many bluegrass bands around Central North Carolina with his twin brother, Tim. He brings influences of both traditional bluegrass and newgrass to Peachtree Station. He feels equally at home on mandolin and guitar and contributes to the band on both instruments as the situation requires.

Hoyle, who plays the banjo, has been a mainstay banjoist on the bluegrass music scene since the ’70s. Featured as a young teen-aged banjoist, playing alongside Earl Scruggs in the historic and renowned bluegrass music documentary, “Bluegrass, Country Soul.”

He has played with many professional bands over the years and is a two-time Fiddler’s Grove Banjo Champion.

Hoyle grew up with a musical heritage, surrounded by his family who played and sang. Early on, he formed a band with his brother, Al, and sister, Lisa, who now travel and perform with The Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Long Show.

Partridge brings 30 years of bluegrass experience to the group playing banjo, mandolin, guitar and lead and harmony vocals. Through the years, he has played with the groups Bullsboro, Brushfire and Counterpoint and most recently played Mandolin in the Group Overdrive. He plays a Collings D1 guitar.

Schaaf joined the band in January 2008 and brings many years of experience performing bluegrass, most recently with the Atlanta-area group, Coal Mountain.

In addition to dobro he plays a number of other instruments. Prior to moving to Atlanta in 1999, Schaaf played mandolin with bluegrass bands in New England and in his native California.

He also enjoys playing fiddle and has performed on that instrument for Morris dance and other folk dance groups.

Tickets are available by calling the box office at (770) 704-0755. Tickets are $10 and Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card are accepted.

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