The Elm Street Alleycats, performing at the Sweet Shoppe on Davis Avenue in Elkins this Saturday afternoon from 4-6 p.m., is an old-time string band formed in a garage located in the alley behind their houses one frosty autumn night in 2010.
Fourteen-year-old Elkins native Walter King, son of Bill and Beth King, learned old-time fiddling under the direction of West Virginia fiddlers Jesse Milnes and Andy FitzGibbon. He also has taken fiddle classes at the Augusta Heritage Center from other noted old-time fiddlers. He placed first in the youth fiddle contests at the 2012 Vandalia Gathering in Charleston and the Randolph County Fair. He placed third in the under-50 fiddle contest at the 2012 West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville.
Moving to West Virginia has opened up a world of music for the Tribble kids. Their parents, Jack and Christy Tribble, give credit and thanks to Dr. Scott Green for introducing them to playing instruments and for having such a great music program at their elementary school. Old-time music has become close to their hearts, thanks to the teachings of Greta FitzGibbon for Nevada's banjo and Karl Smakula and Jeremy Wanless for Riley's mandolin. Fifteen-year-old Nevada and 13-year-old Riley have also taken old-time and bluegrass music classes at Augusta. Nevada placed fifth in the 2012 banjo contest at the Vandalia Gathering.
Gene Boyer retired from teaching and moved to Elkins two years ago. He began playing bass with help from classes at Augusta. He formerly played for square dances with the Humble String Band in Brasstown, N.C.
Saturday's event is sponsored by The Inter-Mountain.