The Keystone Rebels:  A Band Specializing in the Traditional Music of Pennsylvania.

At the Derry, PA "Railroad Days" with two descendents of Sarah Armstrong, September 22, 2013

In concert at the IUP Orendorff Music Library, April 14, 2008 
(l to r) Mark Tamsula (banjo), Todd Clewell (fiddle), Henry Koretzky (guitar), Carl Rahkonen (bass)

In concert at Penn State, Harrisburg, March 19, 2007
(l to r) Henry Koretzky (guitar), Todd Clewell (fiddle), Mark Tamsula (banjo), Carl Rahkonen (bass)

The Pittsburgh Community Contra Dance, May 28, 2004
(l to r) Mark Tamsula (banjo), Todd Clewell (fiddle) Henry Koretzky (guitar), Carl Rahkonen (bass)

The Keystone Rebels was formed in 2004 when four musicians with a mutual interest in traditional old-time music from Pennsylvania got together:  Todd Clewell (York), Henry Koretzky (Harrisburg), Mark Tamsula (Pittsburgh), and Carl Rahkonen (Indiana).   The band has played at contra dances in Pittsburgh, as a teaching and performing band at the Folk College (May 2005) at Juniata College, in Huntingdon, PA, a special performance and group lecture at Greenwood Furnace State Park (Summer 2005), a concert performance at Penn State Harrisburg (March 2007), and since 2004 as a teaching and performance band at the Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering.   Todd and Henry play together as a duo under the name Contra Rebels for the contra dance circuit in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland.  The name Keystone Rebels comes from that core, when combined with Mark and Carl, because we all enjoy playing Pennsylvania traditional music.

Keystone Rebels Individual Biographies:

Todd Clewell (York) (fiddle, guitar, mandolin) Old time, Contra Dance and Pennsylvania tunes.   Todd did research on Sarah Armstrong, traditional fiddler from Derry Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., who was the principal contributor of tunes to Samuel Bayard’s book Hill Country Tunes (American Folklore Society, 1945).  He produced and recorded a CD of Sarah Armstrong’s tunes.

Henry Koretzky (Harrisburg) (guitar and mandolin) Old time, Celtic, Contra Dance, Klezmer, Bluegrass.  Henry is know as one of the very best guitar accompanists of fiddler’s in the state of Pennsylvania.  He is mentioned as a resource in Simon Bronner’s Old Time Music of New York State and in James Leary’s book Polkabilly.

Mark Tamsula (Pittsburgh, originally from Blairsville) (fiddle and banjo) Southern Old time, Contra Dance and Pennsylvania tunes.  Mark earns his living by playing and teaching old time music.  He is an expert on the tunes from Samuel Bayard’s book Dance to the Fiddle March to the Fife (Penn State Press, 1982).

Carl Rahkonen (Indiana) (string bass) Finnish, Scandinavian, Scottish, Irish; Pennsylvania styles, American styles in general.  Carl had done research on the life and work of Samuel Bayard, including studying his field recordings, manuscripts and tune books in the Joe Paterno Special Collections Library at Penn State University.

Page created and maintained by Carl Rahkonen.  2000- Last modified 10/24/13
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