The Poodles, Live in 1986!


It’s February 22, 1986, and the four young ladies doing business as The Poodles are on a roll, heading up to Brattleboro, VT for a show tonight, and playing a double bill with Stoney Lonesome at the Nightstage in Cambridge tomorrow. As Sinc points out during their live set, that’s a lot of action for an old-timey band. But The Poodles are as eclectic as they are old-timey, mixing up their ’30s era string-band tunes with Tex-Mex, Cajun, and even Hungarian melodies, and are as lively and entertaining as any band we’ve had at Hillbilly at Harvard.

The Poodles were Ruthie Dornfeld and Leah Weiss on fiddles, Ruth Rappaport on guitar, and Carol ‘Hambone’ Hamm on bass. In 1993 they released the album Unleashed on my Northeastern Records label, and apparently disbanded just a few years afterward. Ruth Rappaport is still in the Boston area, and making music with various groups, including her fiddlin’ son Ben Wetherbee, who with others joins her on her recent album, Cheers and Crackers. Ruth tells me that Carol Hamm is in Greencastle, Indiana, still playing some; Lea Weiss is in Annapolis, Maryland, playing originals and country songs with partner Gary Wright; Ruthie Dornfeld is now in Seattle, teaching and performing. I should mention that Ruthie along with Morten Alfred, guitar, under the aegis of the American Cafe Orchestra released an album of ‘Transatlantic Fiddle Tunes’, Egyptian Dominoes, on Northeastern in 1992.

The Poodles played before noon for half an hour, and then took off for Vermont. HAH started at 10 AM back then, proceeded by my ‘Down Home Show’ at 8, and went till 1 PM. Since we’re restricted to two hours these days, I cut off the last hour, so we’ll close with the end of The Poodles’ live set. Tune in from 9 to 11 AM, and we’ll take you back to February 22, 1986. /CL

This entry was posted in Administrivia, Archival Productions, Hillbilly Journal, Old-Timey, Program Notes, Radio Talk, Rounder Records and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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