Miriam Larson—flute, jaw harp. Miriam has been playing flute since she was a youth. Trained classically on the flute, she has taken on the challenge of putting her chops to use in service of dancers. rhythms and rhythmic style of dance flute playing which can be heard to great affect on both of the Mean Lids CDs. During the day Miriam is a graduate student in Library Science at the University of Illinois.
Ben Smith—fiddle, baritone fiddle, banjo, low whistle, kick drum Dr. Smith started playing music as a boy in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in Alabama, but matured in the finger-lakes region of NY, absorbing Celtic influences from NY city, Cape Breton and Quebec. Ben has lead a number of bands, lived and studied in Ireland, toured nationally as a bluegrass fiddler, and appears on dozens of independent label recordings. Versed in Irish, old-time, hot club jazz, Cajun & zydeco fiddle styles, Smith is in frequent demand as a performer. Ben recently moved to Cleveland where he lives with his wife and their endlessly energetic toddler.
Matt Turino—guitar, fiddle, feet Urbana native, Matt grew up playing in bands with his father playing in a variety of genres, including Old Time string band music, the music of southwest Louisiana, and various Celtic traditions. He has been playing in bands ever since, including most recently the Mean Lids, Euphor, and Creole Stomp. Matt has been playing and dancing contra dances since the mid ‘90s, and is on a self-appointed mission to make the kind of great dance music he loves dancing to. A long time advocate and organizer for contra dances, he is also coleader of Euphor, an old-time ori- ented string band. When Turino is not on stage spinning groovy tunes he can be found enjoying his home-grown organic produce and dancing to his favorite salsa, swing, Cajun and funk bands.
BUDDY SYSTEM creates live sonic landscapes that’ll put you in a dance trance.
Noah Van Nordstrand is known for his playing with The Great Bear Trio, one of the hottest and most influential dance bands in the country, as well as the Andrew and Noah Band and Giant Robot Dance. His driving rhythm, epic dynamics, creativity, and uniquely rocking style have given him a loyal following.
Julie Vallimont performs nationwide with the bands Nor’easter, Firecloud, and more. She is known for her driving piano style, skill in matching tunes to dances, and music with heart. The pioneer of this new live form of techno contra, she fuses musical worlds and strives to create a transcendent dance experience.
The BUDDIES like subwoofers, good beats, costumes (Julie), pj’s (Noah), fancy chocolate (Julie), cheap chocolate (Noah), and love their dancing friends.