"Crystal River Trio"
Gary Arndt Co-founded “Crystal River” in 1981 with former member Robert “Bob” Sandlin. Gary has always been an avid lover of folk and Irish music. A talent show, while he was in high school, gave Gary his first onstage opportunity. A self-taught guitarist Gary went on to teach himself the Mandolin, Irish Bouzouki, Ukulele, 5 String Banjo, Tenor Banjo, Tenor Guitar and Harmonica. Gary has been onstage ever since. Gary say’s “The first time I heard the Clancy Brothers, The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary, I knew that was the kind of music I wanted to play. Music is and will always be a very important and driving force in my life.
Peter Bartman joined Crystal River in 1987 creating the trio. Peter joined the group bringing with him a solid background in music. Gary say’s “Peter is the one that can go to the piano and tell us just what note we should be singing for our harmony parts to work. Jay and I play by ear.” Peter sings lead and low harmony. Pete plays the bass, bodhran, Penny Whistle and occasionally the fiddle. Peter is the groups historian and researches the majority our music.
Jay Smudde A self-taught guitarist in 1975. Playing both six and twelve string guitar, Jay also plays Banjo, Mandolin. Playing both lead and rhythm, Jay adds a lot to the versatility of the group. Jay joined the Crystal River Trio in 1997. Gary says “Jay has been a real nice addition to Crystal River,” referring to Jay’s ability to sing lead, high and low harmony. Peter adds, “Jay brings a lot of youthful energy to us two old folkies, bringing songs from the Eagles and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.”
The following folks have had some nice things to say about us…..
The Crystal River Trio select the songs they will use according to the venue for which they will be performing. It could be all Irish, all folk or a variety including 50's & 60's. The trio has a repertoire of over three hundred songs and another eighty songs of Irish or Scottish. We will have something that everyone will enjoy and will be able to join in and sing along.
The Crystal River Trio can be booked for performances lasting 1 hour or 2 hours.
We also have a Facebook page: Crystal River Trio
Shawano Folk Festival
with Celia Farren
Folk Music Society
First House Concert
since the pandemic
w/ guest Mark Johnson
Gills Rock - Sunset Cruises
Door County, WI
The Crystal River Trio
Please feel free to listen to the following short music clips. These will give you a feel of our type of harmony.
This song originated in South Africa in the early 20th century. A hunting song originally sung in Zulu, the original title was "Mbube" which means Lion.
Recorded by the Tokens in December, 1961.
The Drinking Gourd was the Big Dipper at the end of which was the North Star. In the 1860's, escaped slaves were told to follow the drinking gourd, travel at night and follow the North Star. That would lead them, North, to freedom.
We, the Crystal River Trio, love to share songs that contain a little bit of history.
The tune "Si Bheag Si Mor" is usually attributed to blind harpist and singer Turlough O'Carolan (1670 – 1738) as his first song, written to the tune of "The Bonnie Cuckoo". One author describes it as a "beautiful old Irish air, usually played simply and leisurely, and occasionally played as a waltz".
"Amie" certainly has stuck around. The Pure Prairie League song recorded in 1972 — it took three years to turn into a hit, but has since endured for decades.
We, the Crystal River Trio, also write some of our own music. This sample is a clip of a bluegrass song that Gary wrote a few years ago.
A song about lost love, after the passing of the young mans wife.
Hope you will enjoy it.
We will be appearing at the following locations. Due to Covid, Red are Private events, Blue are Public events.
Private. Touchmark Senior Living Community; Appleton, WI. Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022
Private. Reniss Senior Living Community, Appleton, WI. Friday, March 11, 2022 (Irish Event)
Public. Kaukauna Park & Rec. XYZ (Extra Years of Zest )event. March 16th, 12:00PM to 01:00PM
Private. Reniss Senior Living Community, Appleton, WI. Friday , May 13, 2022
Public. Old Time Music Festival, Shawano, WI. Friday, August 12 - Sunday, August 14, 2022. (Schedule to follow)
Private. Evergreen Retirement Community, Oshkosh, WI. September 28,2022
Email us at: email@example.com
We also have a Crystal River Trio Facebook page and you can message us there.