Run of the Mill String Band
Philadelphia's Run of the Mill String Band, an old-time southern Appalachian string band, preserves and performs some of the best traditional American music. The band is usually comprised of fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass but sometimes they mix it up with two fiddles, fretless banjo, mandolin, banjo-mandolin, steel-guitar, banjo-guitar, and archtop guitar. Regardless of configuration, Run of the Mill strives to maintain the tradition of the music, while at the same time, making it unique. They are proud to be part of the greater Philadelphia old-time music scene.
Tom Schaffer grew up in Philadelphia with a family that was constantly playing oldies, hymns, and country music. During the “folk scare” of the 1960s, he learned guitar and took a rock n’ roll detour. In the early 1970s, Mr. Schaffer put down the Fender, picked up the fiddle and settled into old time music for good. He joined Run of the Mill as a bassist in October 2003.
Paul Sidlick first began perfoming traditional music as a guitarist in his high school jug band. After a few musical detours, he attended the first Brandywine Mountain Music Convention in the 1970s and has been playing banjo, mandolin, and guitar ever since. Mr. Sidlik has been playing with Mr. Schaffer and Ms. Loux for over 20 years.
Greg Loux is from southeast Pennsylvania and began playing his sister’s guitar at the age of twelve. Twenty-five years ago he fell in love with folk, bluegrass, old-time music, as well as his wife Palmer. He and Ms. Loux have dedicated their lives to learn from older generations of players as well as contemporaries too numerous to mention.
Palmer Loux was born in Grand Folks, North Dakota but spent most of her childhood in southeast Pennsylvania. In the third grade, she dragged home a rental violin and has been hooked ever since. While at college in South Carolina, Ms. Loux kept fiddling and immersed herself in southern old-time band and fiddle music by playing at festivals in Asheville, Mars Hill, and Union Grove, North Carolina. In 1980, she and Paul met at an old-time festival and quickly convinced Mr. Loux to join, forming Run of the Mill String Band. For over twenty-five years, Ms. Loux has been teaching violin and fiddle. She is also a member of the music faculty at Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.