Now Pickin' n Grinnin'
for 30 Years and Counting!!!!
The Hilltown Ramblers are Dick Stock, Ed Kryzkowski, Jim Selkirk, and Moe Safford on mandolin, electric bass, guitar, and five string banjo. Now joined by Tom White on the fiddle! All share in the singing.
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"The Hilltown Ramblers stand on stage and deliver great bluegrass songs like they're your best friend coming through the door with a homemade pie. There's a sweetness and care to their shows that spreads goodwill throughout the crowd. This is downhome music that brings people together, and it's hard to think of anything more precious these days." -Sarah Craig, Executive Director, Caffe Lena
Thank you for your support during our
Thirtieth Year from the kickoff
at Caffe Lena in February to
Ron Selkirk's 90th Birthday Party
in November at Rail II River Brewing!
Watch this site for more to come in 2024
2024 Tour Dates released March 1st
Some pics from Caffe Lena.....30th Anniversary Kickoff Show!!!
Coming to you from high in the Helderberg Mountains to the beautiful Hudson River Valley in upstate New York.....it's the Hilltown Ramblers.
Playing a "northern blend" of folksy bluegrass with a repertoire ranging from contemporary back to traditional with a heaping helping of originals to top it off, the Hilltown Ramblers have been loved all over since 1993.
Check out our first CD...
"It's About Time"
Now available for free download at:
with Chuck Batcher on bass/vocals; George Geel and Jim Selkirk on guitar/vocals
and of course, the original Hilltown Ramblers...
Moe Safford on banjo/ vocals and Dick Stock on mandolin/vocals
Watch for a new album Spring 2024
A homage to our Helderberg Mountain home.
with some new original classics like "Sel Creek", "Country Girl Like You", and "Too Many Fish in the Sea"
as well as some tasty well known treats.
All with Tom White on fiddle!
Some vintage video........from Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY
THANK YOU for your support at the official Hilltown Ramblers 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Berne Summerfest August 2013! A special thanks to our musical friends: Shine Hill Road, the Bluestones, and Flood Road!
An extra special thanks to "Original" Ramblers Chuck Batcher and Morrie Safford.
Bluegrass in Berne for last days of the season
by Marcello Iaia from the Altamont Enterprise
BERNE — In the waning days of summer’s blaze, the town park was filled with acoustic music flowing out from the pavilion to more than 500 Hilltowners on Saturday, Aug. 24.
The day was first planned as a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Hilltown Ramblers, a bluegrass band heard in nearby churches, parks, bars, and nursing homes since 1993, and benefiting the Berne library that is moving into the former St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church.
The current and original lineup of the Ramblers was scheduled to play, as well as other musicians, with a final jam session to end the night. As ambitions grew, a committee was formed to organize the Berne Summerfest, with vendors and various community groups, a paired event with the Empire Orienteering Club, and contests.
Dick Stock, an original Hilltown Rambler and mandolin player, said he hopes to hold an event like Summerfest every year. Now that more of its members are retiring from work, he said, the band will be performing more, but will “keep it community-based.”
Dick Stock was a University at Albany student in the early 1970s. The unemployment rate was climbing, oil prices had risen, and a horrible recession was about to greet the graduating Class of 1974. In his teens, Stock had fallen for The Beatles and picked up the guitar, which he played in bands throughout college.
Stock remembers his political science professor gave a lecture on his students’ opportunity, offering advice: “He told people that, if they had any entertaining skills, that they could get you by,” Stock said. The thought encouraged him and he played in a folk and rock duo with Paul Strausman.
“Performing allowed me to do my current job a little better because sometimes I speak to groups,” said Stock, who works as a building construction program manager for the state’s Office of General Services.
The mandolin holds the rhythm in a standard group of bluegrass players, Stock said. He started playing the small, four-stringed instrument with Strausman.
“It plays on the offbeat with the bass, so they’re really working together,” said Stock. “The mandolin takes the part of the snare drum.”
Stock moved to East Berne in 1991 and formed the Hilltown Ramblers with banjo player Moe Safford after the two met at a local jam session and found they were neighbors. Safford’s son, Morrie, played guitar and Chuck Batcher played upright bass.
They have performed with different members, but the elder Safford and Stock remain and played both sets on Saturday with the original and current members — Ed Kryzkowski on bass and Jim Selkrik on guitar.
Stock said their next goal is to record a new CD. Their 2003 recording, It’s About Time, has originals by the group members and their friends, as well as arrangements of folk songs, with guitarist George Geel.
Acoustic bands Shine Hill Road, The Bluestones, and Flood Road played on Saturday as well, with some members joining in a jam session following the fireworks display.
“We do a lot of improvisation for a bluegrass band,” Stock said. “Some people call bluegrass ‘hillbilly jazz.’”
“This is a blast,” said guitarist Frederick Swedberg, who was visiting a friend in Berne from Orange, Mass. when he heard of an acoustic jam session in the town park.
“A big part of it is just people getting together and playing ad-hoc,” Stock said Wednesday of bluegrass concerts and jams. “It might not be perfect, but that’s just part of the whole scene; enjoy each other and the social nature of it.”
More to Come....stay tuned to this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep an eye on this site for more information and more gigs to come. Contact Dick Stock at email@example.com or 518-227-0217 if you would like us to come play for you!
The Enterprise — Marcello Iaia
The Ramblers’ twang: Jim Selkirk plays with a group of acoustic musicians during the Berne Summerfest on Aug. 24. The guitarist of the Hilltown Ramblers traded solos during a jam session that finished the all-day event.
The Enterprise — Marcello Iaia
Hilltown ambler: Abagail Peck, 2, stomps her feet and bounds up and down to the lively bluegrass-style music of the Hilltown Ramblers, led by mandolin player Dick Stock, her grandfather, on Saturday, Aug. 24.