HELP for Pets dance to feature bluegrass by Hickory Project

LOCK HAVEN – Hickory Project, a bluegrass favorite, will provide the music for a barn dance in celebration of the fifth-year anniversary of HELP for Pets.

The barn dance will take place at “The Red Barn” at 652 Island Road, from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 23, and it is open to the public.

Hickory Project was formed in 2001. The Wellsboro band features hard-driving traditional and original acoustic music deeply rooted in bluegrass. It is globally acclaimed and has performed throughout Europe, Australia and the United States. The band is made up of six musicians.

Anthony Hannigan (mandolin, vocals) is one of the fastest mandolin pickers to be found. He is the 1999 National Mandolin Champion and is accomplished on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle as well. He composes much of the band’s original music.

Steve Belcher (acoustic bass) was born in Liverpool, England and now makes his home in this region. He began his music involvement playing drums, which drove his passion for rhythm. He has toured the U.S., Canada and Europe with many nationally acclaimed artists. Steve has been providing rock-solid rhythm on the bass since Hickory Project’s inception and is the foundation of the band’s sound.

Coleman Smith (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) is from Texas and has been playing the fiddle all of his life. He has been called one of the top cross-over violinists of all time. He holds a degree in music from Marywood University and has been teaching fiddle, mandolin and guitar for nearly 10 years. Coleman has a unique style that fuses jazz, swing, hip-hop, Celtic and bluegrass.

Jillian Hannigan (flute, pennywhistle, vocals) is a native of Virginia, but surprisingly she was not introduced to the world of bluegrass until later in life. She said that late introduction has not hindered her love for the music, though. She grew up playing classical, folk, and Celtic music, experiences that bring a vibrant and distinct dimension to the band.

Josh Sudigala (guitar) is the newest member of Hickory Project. At the age of 14, he began playing electric guitar and rock-n-roll. Within a few years, however, the bluegrass bug bit. Josh quickly transitioned into bluegrass, and more importantly, flatpicking. That quintessential bluegrass style has become his one true passion in life, he said. Josh’s influences include Tory Rice, Bryan Sutton, David Grier, Django Reinhardt, and The Beatles.

Ed Lick (banjo, vocals) grew up in Collingswood, N.J. His dad had always listened to bluegrass but it didn’t get into Ed’s soul until age 13 when “Dueling Banjos” was blasting the airwaves in 1973. Ed began performing professionally at the age of 15. His bands have opened for Kathy Mattea, T. Graham Brown, Charlie Daniels and Eddie Rabbit. He also enjoys playing rhythm guitar, pedal steel and mandolin.

HELP for Pets was formed five years ago as a Clinton County non-profit with the mission “to provide interest-free loans to pet owners who have exhausted all other financial means to allow for urgent treatment of their pets, thus alleviating unnecessary euthanasia.”

The program has helped 52 Clinton County pets and owners by providing the funds to allow for urgent veterinary care. This “grass-roots” organization asks everyone to help celebrate its five-year milestone with “bluegrass.”

Tickets will be sold at the door. children under age 12 are admitted free. Complimentary soft drinks, beer, wine and a cheese board are offered.