Elm Street Alleycats play old-time string music for Elkins Rotary

The Elm Street Alley Cats have been performing for nearly two years, and the group took advantage of a “snow day” Monday to play their old-time sting music for the Elkins Rotary Club.

The group formed as members were “hanging out,” said Gene Boyer, who plays bass.

“We each have other instruments, and we decided we should play together,” Riley Tribble, an eighth-grader at Elkins Middle School who plays mandolin in the group, said. “We practiced and decided we didn’t sound bad. Our first real performance was at the Maple Syrup Festival in Pickens.”

Since then, the Elm Street Alley Cats have performed in many venues, including the Randolph County Community Arts Center, the Elkins City Park, the Augusta Heritage Festival, El Gran Sabor, the Davis & Elkins College Governor’s School, the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville, the Vandalia Gathering in Charleston and the Elkins Farmers Market.

Each member of the group noted different things they like about playing together.

“I enjoy learning all of the new songs we play,” said Riley said.

“I like it when things work out perfectly,” said Nevada Tribble, Riley’s sister, a 10th-grader at Elkins High School who plays banjo. “We all enjoy the cookies that Gene makes for us when we practice together.”

Walter King, a ninth-grader at Elkins High School who plays fiddle, said he just likes playing with the group.

“It’s the influence of these kids that keeps me young,” Boyer said.