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ALTON —For an evening of toe-tapping rhythms and get out of your seats and dance fun, the Mound City Slickers will play old-time string band music, including reels, hoedowns and more, at Jacoby Arts Center on August 7. 

“We don’t play bluegrass — it’s music that came from the mountains that Bill Monroe and other musicians heard as children and refined into bluegrass in the forties,” said Lindell Blackford, who plays mandolin and fiddle for the ensemble. “We will play fiddle tunes, dance tunes, sing songs and play a string band rag or two.  

“It is the stuff people played in their homes and at Saturday night dances,” explained Blackford, who hails from Alton. “The origins are mostly from the south and southeast, with a lot of Missouri influence as well.” 

Known for their intricate instrumental interplay, the Slickers include Sean Ruprecht-Belt, performing on banjo and ukulele, Bob Clark on banjo, Roy Farwell on guitar and banjo, Rich Egan on piano and Bill Stewart on fiddle. 

 “Our music is fun to play and fun to hear, rough and ragged,” he added. “People are always invited to dance and we hope some do.”

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In keeping with string band tradition, Blackford emphasizes that no previous contra-dancing experience is required nor is a partner even necessary to have a good time.

The Slickers will perform as part of Jacoby’s Summer Music Series at 8 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 for a short one-act comedy, “The Apology” by Robert Caisley, presented by Bankside Rep, Jacoby’s resident acting troupe. Seating is available on a first-come basis.

 “Community members have begun to ask us on Friday night what we have lined up for the following week, and this growing sense of anticipation and appreciation for the wide variety of our programming is very exciting,” said Denny Scarborough, Jacoby’s president. “We are also thrilled that the community is getting to know the actors with Bankside Rep and experience their signature humor and warmth. ”

Refreshing edible treats will be served by Katherine’s Bounty to complement the evening’s rousing entertainment. A well-known farm-to-table chef at the Alton Farmer’s Market, owner Katherine Stine will feature a delectable tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, flavorful peach sorbet and tantalizing fruit pies. 

Next week, Jacoby will showcase the original music of Matt Taul and Friends that has more of a country slant,” Scarborough said. “The musicians will play on guitar, fiddle, steel guitar and drums, and it will be another great evening that puts the spotlight on the area’s musical talent.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10, and no reservation is required. Food and drink are available at an additional cost. For more information on the series, call (618) 462-5222 or

About the Jacoby Arts Center

The mission of the Jacoby Arts Center is to nurture and promote the practice and appreciation of the arts through education, exhibits, cultural programs, and community outreach initiatives.

Jacoby Arts Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 

The Jacoby Arts Center is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.



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