Richie And Rosie To Team Up With Honey Spine For City Show

A banjo and fiddle duo that exemplifies American old-time music, Appalachian folk, blues and a variety of other genres is set to team up with another local budding duo of musicians for a performance in Jamestown.

Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton, a musical duo who performs tunes with roots in the Americana tradition, will perform at the Herman Kent Post 777 American Legion at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The duo is led by Stearns, who has a history with Chautauqua County that dates back to the early beginnings of The Great Blue Heron Music Festival – he has performed there every year but two. Stearns has played integral roles in both The Horse Flies and Donna The Buffalo, as well as serving as a member of Natalie Merchant’s touring band. He also played a part in helping create the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg.

Newtown, a recent graduate of Ithaca College who earned a degree in viola performance, is a member of several bands, including her own projects: the Pearly Snaps and Ferintosh. Stearns and Newton have worked together on various projects over the past four years, and have recently made their work together a focus.

“What started out as a side project with Rosie is getting to be more the meat and potatoes of what I’m doing these days,” Stearns said. “She and I hit it off really well. We do a lot of traditional Appalachian music, country and we both do a lot of writing songs as well. We also do modern covers that we turn into an Appalachian song.”

The collaboration between Richie and Rosie has led to the release of a full-length, 12-track album, entitled, “Tractor Beam.” In addition to covers of tunes by some of their inspirations, the duo will perform selections from their original repertoire.

“I hope people take away a sense of being close to the music, and the dynamics of it so that it feels like they are a part of it and not just an audience – like they are participating,” Stearns said.

In addition to Richie and Rosie, Blue Moon Management’s Honey Spine, a progressive folk duo based in Chautauqua County, will also perform.

“I know John (Streed of Blue Moon Management) from other things that he has done, and he suggested we do it because the guys from Honey Spine really like what I do,” Stearns said.

According to Brian Chieco, of Honey Spine, Richie Stearns is his biggest inspiration stylistically for what he does on banjo and ukulele.

“I don’t think Richie Stearns knows this, but I’m one of his biggest secret fans,” Chieco said. “I’ve watched his videos, and seen him live with The Horse Flies. He’s inspired me to do the style of music that I do, and the instruments I play. I play an 1887 Dobson banjo, and I know Richie plays Dobson banjos too. For me, it’s achieving the biggest goal, because not only do I get to meet, but I get to play with my biggest banjo role model – I’m super excited.”

For more information about Richie and Rosie, visit or To learn more about Honey Spine, visit or search for “Honey Spine” on Facebook and YouTube.

The Herman Kent Post 777 American Legion is located at 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown. For more information, search for “Honey Spine & Richie Stearns + Rosie Newtown” on Facebook.