Toss the Possum - Rob Zisette - Fiddle

Rob has played fiddle since age 8, somehow continuing to get better despite few lessons and little practice.  That would take all the fun out of it!  Rob is the intellectual in the band, getting lost in his world of improv, unaware of what’s going on around him– like the “hup” (the signal to change tunes), or noticing that the dancers have stopped dancing, or that it is time to pack up the gig and go home.  Rob is also famous for remembering that he left his fiddle home just as we are getting to the airport.  He is easy going with a pleasant dry wit.  When Rob starts to play, the rest of us just go along for the ride.

Toss the Possum - Laura Zisette (piano)

Laura (sometimes dubbed the “Mama ‘Possum” ) is a classically trained pianist, but preferred dancing.  Then she broke her toe in the first fifteen minutes of a weeklong dance camp.  What to do with a whole week?  As luck would have it, Bob McQuillen was on staff and became her mentor.  While practicing, he encouraged her with “there are no wrong notes in contra dancing…well, except maybe that one.”  In the family band she obsessively arranges clever or beautiful band arrangements.  Her kids grudgingly read through them at home, and then play what they want at the gig.  Gradually she has learned to let go of her expectations for planned and polished performances.  It turns out they were right–spontaneity is more fun!

Woody Lane - Caller

A caller for more than 25 years, Woody Lane from Roseburg is known for his smooth contras, fast squares, and superb programming. His teaching style is clear and concise. Also an accomplished clogger, he often accompanies the band as a foot percussionist, raising the energy level on the dance floor to wonderful heights. Woody has brought his exciting brand of calling to dances from Alaska to Boston to Florida, and he has a growing reputation throughout the country.