Steam Machine ~ September 25, 2018


Great music and great musicianship. Agile fiddling, hard-driving three finger banjo, a rock-solid rhythm section…  –Minnesota Bluegrass Magazine

Steam Machine sits somewhere between the full, round, driving sounds of American old-time stringband music and the emergent virtuosity of early bluegrass. With clean, powerful fiddling and rolling three finger banjo they highlight unique and beautiful Midwestern repertoire alongside tunes and songs from Appalachia. A rock-solid rhythm section and honest, unprocessed singing round out their sound. All four band members are actively involved in perpetuating roots music and dance traditions as players, teachers, and community scholars in their home communities and wherever they go. Having performed across the country and world individually, as a band they are having a lot of fun forming a style that has been called “wonderfully tasteful!” “so fine!” “a treat!” and “powerful!” by fans of the genre. And in 2017, at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WVA, after a 5-way tie for first place, they took 2nd place in the string band competition!

AJ Srubas – fiddle 

AJ grew up playing Irish music in a family band and studied fiddle in Ireland after high school. Upon returning home he was introduced to old-time music and before long he was completely hooked. He is a tireless collector of old recordings and a versatile player and teacher.  AJ has played concerts/dances and taught fiddle workshops at Augusta Heritage Center (WV), Berkeley Old-Time Music Gathering (CA), Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival (CO), many Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association festivals, the Minnesota State Fiddlers Association and many other events. AJ also plays in several other groups, including Blake Miller and the Old Fashioned Aces (Cajun), New Riverside Ramblers (Cajun) and Hello Heartache (country).

Rina Rossi – guitar, vocals

Rina danced with the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers for 8 years and calls dances regularly at the Monday Night Square Dance in Minneapolis. She has played dances/concerts, taught flatfooting, fiddle, bass, and guitar workshops, and called square dances from West Virginia to California to Germany. She has fiddled and danced on stages across Europe with the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers. But rhythm is in her family on both sides, and playing guitar is something she loves to do.

Aaron Tacke – banjo, vocals

Aaron first learned to play clawhammer style banjo, but he was inspired to learn three-finger style after hearing Kyle Creed and the Blue Ridge Square Dance. He has quickly become a much desired player for his driving three-finger sound. Aaron has played concerts/dances and taught banjo workshops at the Berkeley Old-Time Music Gathering, Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival, Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association festivals, and more. When not playing old-time, he likes to play and sing country songs in the Minneapolis-based Hello Heartache, and build guitars and banjos at the Red River Banjo Company.

Nokosee Fields – bass

Born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Nokosee began studying classical violin at a young age. After years of learning and performing Classical and Early music, Nokosee has recently turned his attention to various forms of traditional American music, performing, teaching, and touring professionally. As a bassist, he tours with the country band Western Centuries. As a teacher, he has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center and has been involved with Dancing with the Spirit—an Alaska-based youth and community music program that aims to re-inspire fiddle and dance traditions in indigenous communities throughout the region.

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other information.

7:00pm Show: Doors open at 6:30; show starts at 7:00.

Suggested Donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.


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