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'Ebony Hillbillies' sing May Memorial Friday

— The Ebony Hillbillies, an old-time string band featuring washboard and fiddle, performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church, 3800 E. Genesee St., on Syracuse’s East Side. Admission costs $15.

The band will also perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Southwest Community Center, 401 South Ave., on the city’s South Side. Donations will be accepted; 671-5834.

The Wall Street Journal says, “The Queens-based Ebony Hillbillies have been getting double-takes, if not full pauses, when they play in the subway stations at Grand Central Station, Herald Square or Times Square. Dressed in rural work clothes, vintage hats and vests with some modern touches, the band’s members resemble time-traveling sharecroppers from the 19th century having a jam session.”

The band’s repertoire includes tunes such as “Liza Jane,” “Ida Red” and “Bucket of Rain.” The May 18 concert is hosted by The Folkus Project. For reservations, call 440-7444; folkus.org.

The country’s premier black string band plays down-home dance music with a modern feel at 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church, 3800 E. Genesee St. and again at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Southwest Community Center, on South Avenue.

Americana Festival

After kicking off with a 5 p.m. jam session Friday, May 18, followed by evening performances from the Hamilton Ramblers, Folk Strings and Dusty Pascal, the second annual American Festival at Kellish Hill Farms welcomes some of the best fiddlers in the Empire State to its stages on Saturday, May 19.

Fiddlers Day at Kellish Hill Farm will feature vibrant violin work at 1 p.m. by Diamond Joe Davoli, Susan Barrington, Tom Fay, Keith Hunt, Liz Friedel, Lacey Lee, Toby Weinberg and members of The New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers Association.

Sets of bluegrass and acoustic Americana will be performed Saturday by Diamond Someday, Lake Effect Bluegrass, Bob Halligan, Jane Zell, Harvey Nusbaum and Greg Hoover, and an old-fashioned barn dance will be staged that evening.

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