Rooster Creek Girls, January 2006, left to right: Emily, Pippa, Karen, Margot, Laura
That’s Karen Howard on piano, Margot McMillen on cello, Emily Parsons on banjo, and Laura Idle on banjo-ukelele or cello playing MOCKINGBIRD HILL
photo credit: Liz Mitchell, greetings-from-earth
Margot and Pippa first met during the dark years of KOPN, when they worked together on the Valentine House Concert series to bring guests and volunteers back up to the radio station. Margot arranged donations of refreshments from local restaurants including Main Squeeze, the Root Cellar, Tellers, Uprise Bakery. Pippa arranged the music, including Thom Howard, Steve Jerrett, Tim Langen and the I (Irish) Band, Tom Verdot. It was so easy working with Margot, so when the house concert series came to a natural end, that we went on, with Margot as beginner on cello and Pippa as beginner on fiddle, then Laura on banjo-uke, and Emily on banjo, and Laura moved to cello, and…
Then Margot invited Karen to play piano with us. Karen grew up playing music in her daddy’s church, as part of a group with her two sisters. She plays by ear and can master pretty well any tune once she’s heard it a few times. It was Karen who suggested the Rooster Creek Girls as a name, in honor of Ron Lutz and the Rooster Creek Boys at 11.25 a.m. on Saturdays on KFAL Radio, Fulton, Missouri. As she says, the only thing different between us and the boys is that when the gig’s over, we’re still sober!! (no offense, Ron!)
As Karen likes to say: “We are available for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, births, christenings, and funerals. We put the FUN back in funerals!” We play oldtime traditional American tunes, O’Carolan tunes, some ragtime, some classic 1940s tunes, generally whatever takes our fancy. We’ve even tried the Blue Danube at times! Most of all, we like to have fun.
To bring this story up to date: That was a few years ago now. Margot’s playing with a chamber quartet, Karen’s remodeling her house, and Pippa’s working with various groups and making CDs.