Jim Lestrange began playing guitar at the age of 12 when he
began his association with Lawrence Older of Middle Grove, New York, the
legendary "Adirondack Minstrel" and Newport Folk Festival artist
active in the folk revival of the sixties. To elaborate, Older was a real-life
Adirondacker, the son of a cook who worked in the lumber camps; he is the man
heard playing music over the loud-speakers in the logging exhibit at the New
York State Museum, as well as the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. He is
also the man from whom Jim learned most of his Adirondack repertoire of songs
and tall-tales. Jim first served as a back-up musician at a young age for Older
at his concerts.
Then when Jim was
trying to blaze a music career of his own in his early twenties, he learned to
play the hammered dulcimer and was in hot demand at contra dances. From there,
Jim expanded into all kinds of genres of music, even music which is not
typically heard on the hammered dulcimer. The dulcimer is an ancient instrument
as well as an instrument associated with folk music, so it is a perfect
complement to pieces about the
Besides guitar and hammered
dulcimer, he also plays bass.
Lise is primarily
a back-up musician for Jim for this genre of music.
Both artists have
a similar philosophy to music: to keep traditions alive for future generations,
so that these songs won’t be lost, and also to develop their own music which
contributes to artistic growth, expansion and creates more understanding of the
creative process, even as it relates to old music.