About the oldtone team
Jim Wright, Matt Downing, and Kip Beacco founded the Oldtone Roots Music Festival in 2015, with a startup day-long festival at The Lantern in Wassaic, New York. In 2016 Oldtone Productions moved the festival to Cool Whisper Farm (owned by Matt and Lisa Schober), and expanded to a four day camping festival. Also in 2016 the founding team was joined by Beth Carlson. In addition to running a music festival together, Matt, Kip, and Jim also play bluegrass and country music in The Hayrollers who appeared on the Main Stage at the 10th annual Brooklyn Folk Festival in 2018.
The Oldtone Roots Music festival is on a mission to preserve American Roots music and dance, and to have a lot of fun doing it. Oldtone features hand picked artists who are dedicated to unique American traditions. Oldtone musicians play the old songs in the old ways, and compose new songs in the old styles. The event is an intimate and hands on experience where audience members have opportunities to engage directly with the artists. Oldtone's motto is participation is preservation. Participation is encouraged in workshops, jams, contests, and dances. We believe that participating in these arts is the way to ensure they are shared and taught. Living History: American Roots Music, Sustaining our Oral Tradition , by Paul Kleinwald, is a recommended read for those new to Roots music. The article illustrates American Roots music's ancient international and early music origins, it's distinctive melting pot qualities, as well as it’s influences on contemporary and well known artists like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.
In addition to a carefully curated and exciting Main Stage line-up, the Oldtone Dance Tent has the most beautiful view from any dance floor on the east coast, situated on a ridge at the top of a valley. Dance tent offerings include a wide range of dance experiences, classes, community dances, called dances, couples dancing. Nights in the dance tent have a party atmosphere with well known and dynamic callers and teachers and the hottest bands in square, contra, swing, cajun, and honky-tonk two step. In the Workshop Tent, Oldtone Main Stage performers offer hands on classes for attendees in an intimate setting all inclusive in the ticket price. Oldtone offers family and children focused performances and interactive classes. In keeping with the Oldtone mission of participation is preservation, our goal is to offer positive experiences with Roots Music and Dance for attendees of all ages. Local food vendors and crafts persons add a unique regional flavor to the Oldtone Roots Music Festival, with high quality farm to table vending.
Oldtone Productions also produces a local dances and concerts, as well as SuperTone Festival, and the Northeast Fiddler’s Convention at Hancock Shaker Village. Follow Oldtone Roots Music Festival, SUPERTONE, and Oldtone Native on Facebook to get all the news! Also on Instagram:
Father of two, Kip Beacco is a lifetime musician and a known technician in Monroe Style Mandolin playing. A multi instrumentalist, Kip has played drums, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, clarinet, and tenor saxophone. He is an accomplished song writer. Kip most notable bands have been Colorado’s the Grassroute, The Hunger Mountain Boys, Lauren Ambrose & the Leisure Class. Partner in Silo Media.
Also a father of two, Matt Downing has played upright bass for close to twenty years. He has played bluegrass, country, folk and swing music with The Hunger Mountain Boys, Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops, The Blue Ribbon Boys, The Two-Man Gentleman Band, King Wilkie, Neko Case, Jim Lauderdale, The Wiyos, The Woodshedders, Lauren Ambrose & The Leisure Class, Sam Quinn & The Japan Ten, The Lucky 5 and the Hot Sardines.
A visual artist and native Virginian, Cowboy Jim has a MFA from Hunter College and is no stranger to large art projects. Jim, also a father of two, has exhibited his work internationally, and he also sings in the high lonesome way playing the guitar and banjo. You can find him playing a and singing bluegrass and honky-tonk music in the Bash Bish Bluegrass Band, The Juke Drifters, and The Hayrollers.
Beth studied the Middle Eastern tar and tambourine and plays in no bands at all. She has been involved in 4 local historical restoration projects, and serves on the board for two of those. A natural organizer with a passion for community and history, she joined the team in 2016. Her current projects include Dewey Memorial Hall, and The Clinton Church Restoration project. Beth loves all forms of dance, and organizes Oldtone Production's Swing Dances at Dewey Hall in Sheffield. She is a visual artist, and a Partner in Silo Media.