Friday July 20 — 6:00pm
Woody Sampson is the innovative and progressive acoustic ‘duo’, featuring Brian Schellinger (a.k.a. B. Squat Woody) and Rick Sampson. Local listeners and fans will recognize them as members of the ‘Riverbenders’, the house band for the popular variety radio show, ‘The Big River Radio Wave’.
Brian Schellinger is well known in several ‘genres’ of the music world. During the ’70s and ’80s he toured the United States and much of Canada with many ‘notably nameless’ country and country rock bands, as he describes it. For over 21 years, he has been an educational entertainer for children and families throughout the country, with his award winning music and performances. He is known in the world of children’s music as the widely popular, ‘Uncle Squaty’. As the one-man band, ‘B. Squat Woody’, Brian has opened for many national acts, including George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, Carl Perkins and Lynyrd Skynyrd. For the past 5 yrs. he has been the musical director for the Big River Radio Wave. He was voted unanimously to the position by the band, when he proved unable to take direction. In all of these ‘genres’, Brian is a vocal, multi-instrumental, and songwriting ‘force’. Brian grew up in the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin, on a dairy farm. He credits his diverse music roots to his mother and father, who exposed him to everything from Marty Robbins to Mozart.
Since 1977, Rick Sampson has been delighting audiences with his innovative banjo backup work in a variety of bands, including the Riverbenders, Travelin’ Kind, and Suitegrass. He has gigged with and done studio work for national recording artists, covering a wide gamut of musical styles, including Scottish rock group ‘The Proclaimers’, jazz violinist ‘Randy Sabien’, folk musician ‘Peter Ostrushko’, Kate McKenzie, Brian Wicklund, and Chris Silver. In addition to his proven expertise on the banjo (Rick placed 2nd in the nationally prominent solo banjo competition, two years in a row, at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival), he is a skilled musician on the mandolin and guitar. He is widely known for his intelligent and melodic accompaniments for contemporary acoustic music.
After attending Red Wing Technical College to become a luthier, Rick innovated the Sampson Banjo Bridge, which he crafts by hand in his shop, located in west central Wisconsin, near Galesville. His bridges are internationally known and used by such banjo luminaries as Alison Brown (Nashville), Hiro Arita (Japan), Barry St. Maine (Minneapolis), Rick Baron (Canada), and many others. His company, Sampson Musical Products, also manufactures wooden flutes, wooden rhythm bones, and a line of flatpicks, using various woods and deer antler. Besides playing with Riverbenders, Rick runs Fox Coulee Recording Studios, and works as a freelance musician.
As a duo, Brian and Rick will be singing and playing many of their original compositions, which include musical styles of folk, blues, rock, bluegrass and a hint of classical. Many instruments will be played in different combinations, occasionally augmented by Brian, kicking a foot pedal bass, making for a full rich sound and full evening of lyrics and melodies to be enjoyed by all who partake.