Adirondack Songs and Tall Tales

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 Adirondacks. 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.

If you are interested in a program of Adirondack songs and tall tales for your venue or a venue near you, please e-mail.