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Dynamic Duo Entertains at Library

Professional musicians, Davis (Bates) & Roger (Tincknell) performed a program of folk tales and songs at an August 10 presentation at Milford Library.

For the better part of the year they are solo performers, but come summertime, Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell combine their musical talents to offer a series of programs consisting of "stories and songs for everyone" to venues throughout the region.

On Wednesday, August 10, Davis and Roger returned to the Milford Town Library, with banjo, mandolin and spoons in-hand, to delight an appreciative audience of adults and children. No strangers to performing at the Library, the duo were invited back by Children's Services Librarian, Sue-Ellen Szymanski, after an absence of several years.

"You're in for a treat," Symanski told the audience, as Davis and Roger prepared to open their show, which featured folk tales and music from around the world.

Bates introduced he and his partner to the crowd before asking those in attendance to shout out their own names, which they were happy to do. "Now that we know each other, we can travel all over the world together and we won't even need to leave this room," he noted.

Both musicians are performing veterans, with Bates logging 34 years and Tincknell almost 40 years on-stage. "We started doing this about 20 years ago," Bates confided about the summer partnership. Bates noted that he considers their music to be "folk and contemporary folk." Tincknell added, "We do a lot of international folk. My background is traditional American and he (Bates) does all these folk tales from different countries."

Winners of the Parent's Choice award, Davis and Roger specialize in family-oriented programs.

The full-time musicians hail from the western part of the state and travel throughout the region to entertain at summer recreation programs, senior centers and schools. "I'm doing a family reunion soon," Bates noted "and Roger will be doing a summer camp".

Travel is also a constant theme in the music they perform, as they invite their audiences to accompany them on musical journeys to places near and far. "We're going to travel all the way down to the southern part of our country, where the banjo started out," Bates informed the audience. "And we're going to take a ride on one of the first trains, the New River train."

With Tincknell tunefully strumming a banjo, Bates continued with the telling of the folk tale. To the audience's delight, Bates then produced a pair of spoons, which he expertly used to reproduce the clickity-clack sound of a train as it travels the rails. With a warning to the children to refrain from practicing the art "when mom or dad has a headache" he proceeded to illustrate how to properly hold the utensils to produce a musical rhythm. Following the lead-in tale, Davis and Roger invited all to join in the singing of I've been working on the railroad.

Playing a multitude of instruments, Davis and Roger continued the hour-long program, augmented by stories and inter-active participation from the children in the audience. "What we do depends on the age-range of the kids who show up," Bates explained. "If there are a lot of really little kids, it tends to be more participation oriented."

The program was sponsored through a grant from the Milford Cultural Council and through funding from the Friends of the Library.

Davis and Roger are available for functions, both as a duo and as solo performers by visiting or


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