48 Madison Road Windham, Maine 04602
A musician performing and recording since the late 1960's, Truex has been active in a wide range of musical genres and contexts. She is recognized as a mountain dulcimer innovator for her use of the istrument in jazz, pop, improvisation and other musical genres beyond the traditional folk and singer-songwriter realms. She has extensive experience working with dance and theater ensembles, both as a composer and as an on and offstage accompanist. As a recording artist Truex has been involved with many projects for other artists as well as her own solo and group releases. Truex currently performs with:
Le Bon Truc (The Good Stuff) is a trio consisting of Gary Chapin (diatonic accordion), Steve Gruverman (clarinet) and Barbara Truex, (dulcimer, banjo ukulele, tenor guitar and percussion). Added together they have more than a century's worth of experience playing world and folk musics, sharing a particular passion for the music of rural France and Brittany. After playing together in the French dance band, Nouveau Chapeau, they realized they had something special to offer as a trio of accordion, reeds and dulcimer. Between their ensemble's unique sound, boundless musical energy, and focused, yet diverse, repertoire, they guarantee to make any audience happy.
Nouveau Chapeau, is a Maine based band with a shifting personel, organized by Gruverman, specializing in Franco American dance music. The group performs most often with French folk dance caller & instructor Marie Wendt for folk dancing at various festivals and gatherings in New England.
The Dark Follies is an eclectic and eccentric performance group in which belly dancers, jugglers, fire performers, poets and musicians work together to create a unique blend of vaudeville and burlesque especially well suited to street performances. They are a regular feature of Portland Maine's First Friday Art Walks during warmer weather. Look for them as well at various Steampunk festivals throughout New England.
Sidestep is an ensemble of creative composers and performers with whom Truex has been collaborating for over four decades. Throughout this time the core trio of Sidestep has consisted of Ken Lovelett on drums and percussion; Vincent Pasternak on violin, viola, guitars and vocals; and Truex on dulcimers, guitar, ukulele and vocals.
Each member of the trio contributes their considerable composing and arranging talents, often creating material that eludes easy classification. The group's now extensive repertoire ranges from traditional folk & pop songs through jazz standards and on to original compositions best described as Contemporary Art Music. They have been known to engage in totally free improvization as well as presenting material from other serious songwriters and composers. They regularly incorporate spoken word, visual art, dance and theatrics into their rare, legendary, performances.
This same trio serves as the core for The Cane Gang, a group formed by Truex to utilize cane and walking sticks that are also instruments. Truex's husband, Chris White, works with a client with an extensive collection of canes, including a number of musical instrument "gadget" or "system" canes. He and Truex convinced the collector to allow them to bring these canes from his collection to life again as instruments.
The Cane Gang is currently recording at Ken Lovelett's Sonart Recording Studio in Mt.Tremper, NY. The group has developed two overlapping line-ups. To date, the studio sessions and related performances have consisted of Lovelett, Pasternak, Truex along with "Studio Stu" on bass cane. When time and budget allows, a fuller version of The Cane Gang convenes adding Carl Dimow on flute canes, Joel Eckhaus on ukulele cane (Joel is a luthier who builds ukuleles as well as being a Big Man on the Uke Circuit) and, last but certainly not least, Michael Trautman, clown, magician and New Vaudevillian extraordinaire.
The Maine Squeeze is an ensemble of accordion players who have entertained audiences, young and old, in Northern New England for decades. All members of The Maine Squeeze play accordions ... except Truex who performs on rub-board, hand percussion, banjo ukulele and tenor guitar.
Loopin' is a group led by Shamou, a percussionist and composer with very strong ties to the contemporary dance community. He has composed scores for various cheoreographers and has long been among the musicians who contribute their talents to the Bates Dance Festival. Loopin', in its current incarnation, consists of Shamou, Annegret Baier, and Truex with bassist Mike McHugh. The music they perform ranges from a variety of traditional folk musics from parts of Africa and the Middle East to original compositions by Shamou & members of the band.
Black & white photographs of Le Bon Truc by Brigid Chapin