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Musical duo reunites for fund-raising concert at Tannery Pond

NORTH CREEK Tom Akstens and Neil Rossi have been playing music together since high school. Though each has had a substantial solo career, their collaborations are legendary.

Versatile on a host of instruments between them, Akstens and Rossis musical repertoire traverses bluegrass, country, honky-tonk, old-time mountain music and all points in between.

The pair will join their talents for a fund-raising concert on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Tannery Pond Community Center to benefit the Johnsburg Rescue Squad.

Advance sale tickets are $10 for individuals or $8 per person for groups of four or more. A $2 donation for each ticket sold will go to the Rescue Squad.

Tom and Neil each play multiple instruments. They are singers and songwriters who have explored the nooks and crannies of old-time country music, country blues and honky tonk for four decades. The pairs newest album, All Around the Mountain was recorded at four concerts held throughout the Adirondacks.

Tom and Neil had their first gig together in high school as part of Hootenanny 63, a touring review that featured the Jug Band and Tom Rush. Neil went on to fiddle with the Spark Gap Wonder Boys, world champion old-time string band at the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention. Tom moved to Philadelphia where he joined Blues Power as a guitarist and singer.

Tom and Neil had their first musical reunion during the sessions for Toms 1976 album on Takoma Records. By then, Neil was a regular member of the David Bromberg Band. Since then, Neil and Tom have gotten together often to play coffeehouses and concerts at colleges and arts organizations.

Neils love of traditional bluegrass led him to gigs as fiddler with Two Chord Jones, Diamonds in the Rough and most recently, as mandolin player with Vermont-based Big Spike Bluegrass. Tom currently plays mandolin, guitar and clawhammer banjo with Big Trout Radio, an acoustic trio that also features Artie Traum and Chris Shaw.

Tom and Neils recent CD and current series of concerts mark another musical reunion of tow friends who came out of the Cambridge and Newport folk revival of the 1960s and have gone on to make their own unique musical mark.

Tickets for next Saturdays concert are available at Cafe Sarah or by calling 251-2217. Tickets at the door are $12

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