RICHIE STEARNS and ROSIE NEWTON grew up 150 miles and a few decades apart. While both were raised by professional cellists, Richie started playing banjo at fourteen, and Rosie began classical piano lessons at eight, eventually moving to classical viola as a teen. Both shared incredibly unique, musically-immersed childhoods: Richie’s family founded the iconic GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance (which he is now President of) and by her junior year of high school, Rosie was playing fiddle and touring with folk rock band The Mammals. During that time, the two were introduced at Saratoga Springs’ Flurry festival — a meeting that would spark a fated friendship and unique musical bond.
“He left an impression on me because he was wearing Converse. I had never seen an adult wear Converse before,” said Rosie, reflecting back on the first time she shared the stage with Richie. As a Woodstock native, she graduated high school and decided to move to Ithaca after being drawn to the thriving old-time scene — which happened to also be Richie’s stomping grounds. While studying viola at Ithaca College and playing fiddle on the side, Rosie started incorporating folk with her traditional Celtic and classical upbringing.
Meanwhile, Richie was a well-established singer and banjo player in the community, having performed around the world with bands like Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Joan Baez. In addition to releasing two solo albums, Richie was adding to his endless discography, which includes three Natalie Merchant records, multiple collaborations with Jim Lauderdale and Donna The Buffalo, and Carrie Rodriguez.
A founding member of the neo traditional alternative rock band The Horse Flies, Richie Stearns has toured extensively over the last three decades, recording eight albums with The Horse Flies, including releases on MCA and Rounder Records. The Horse Flies have been featured on MTV, Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered, World Café and Mountain Stage, and have been written about in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and other major publications.
During Rosie’s freshman year, they began touring together regionally as members of the Evil City String Band and eventually decided to pursue a more intimate project as a duo. In 2013, the duo released their first album, Tractor Beam, a mix of originals and classics, designed to mirror the experience of a live performance.
Rosie Newton joined the folk fusion band, The Duhks, in 2014, and her fiddling can be found on the Duhks record, Beyond the Blue. Rosie has taught fiddle at Sunshine Coast School of Celtic Music, the Taylor Music Festival, and the Black Pot Camp. She has appeared at major US music festivals (Rhythm & Roots, Newport Folk Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, MerleFest, DelFest) and has performed with Natalie Merchant, Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers), and Jefferson Hamer (Anaïs Mitchell/Child Ballads).
In 2017, Richie and Rosie released their second full-length album, Nowhere in Time. With the fated combination of Richie and Rosie’s unique skill, varied musical influence, and honest storytelling, Nowhere in Time defines exactly what the duo hopes to achieve — music that people can connect with. As two musicians in two very different parts of life, Richie and Rosie are proof of two things: the power and magic of two people making music, and that the universal messages that lie within their songs remain timeless.
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.