Old-time original fiddle tunes: Lizzy Plotkin and Sophia Chudacoff at the Open Book in Grass Valley
April 13, 2018
For this place-based performance Lizzy Plotkin and Sophia Chudacoff weave together old-time fiddle tunes with original songwriting to access the timelessness of human emotions and unearth the living folklore of Gunnison Valley's history.
With their roots in Nashville and their new musical branches in the Colorado Rockies, Chudacoff and Plotkin draw upon Americana traditions such as old-time, bluegrass, country, folk and the blues to create a feel-good experience full of expression.
They will perform at the Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive in Grass Valley, at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Tickets are on a sliding scale of $10-20 and will be available at the door and in advance at tinyurl.com/lizzysophia.
After landing in Crested Butte, Co., in 2016, Sophia received a grant to write songs for the Gunnison Valley community, it's history, the legacy of miners, women and other inhabitants whose paths brought them to this remote high-elevation home.
Interviewing old-timers and imagining the scenes of the 1800s lead Chudacoff to compose a series of songs, which she needed Plotkin's help to complete. The result was "Folk Songs of the Valley" — performed in Crested Butte for the community and recorded live in 2018. This project launched the ladies on their journey to fuse the historic perspectives with their own stories as present-day valley-dwellers.
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The beauty of the landscape is the biggest inspiration for their music, with tunes that speak to the sage-brush hills, snowy peaks and the real, everyday mountain-town living. Letting harmony ring with body percussion, exuberant fiddling, and fingerpicking guitar, this music walks the line between tradition and unique composition.
The sounds of Appalachian fiddles and banjos enliven Plotkin's music, while she is equally drawn to the groove of old-jazz, blues and swing.
In 2012, Plotkin co-founded the Colorado folk trio Free the Honey, released three records, reached #1 on the folk charts with their album "Fine Bloom" and performed nation-wide until 2016. As a guest instrumentalist, she has performed with a number of electronic, blues, jazz, bluegrass and country outfits such as The Polish Ambassador, Martha Scanlan, Drew Emmit Band, Pure Prairie League, Gypsy Jazz Social Club and Trout Steak Revival.
She lives in Crested Butte, Co., where she is an active community member and music instructor, while working on her debut solo record and touring the mountain West, and beyond.