About the Band

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The POSSUM FAMILY SINGERS mix up Americana, Folk, Rock, and original songs with Laurie Miller on bass, Ann Wright on banjo, guitar fiddle and cello, Art Peterson on accordion, guitar, banjo, and ukelele–and all on vocals and harmonies.

The POSSUM FAMILY SINGERS–“Sweethearts of the Starry Plough Saturday Happy Hour” since 2009

You’ll find them at the Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA at the Oakland border-from 5 ’til 7 on the FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD (and sometimes 5th) Saturdays of each month.

For bookings, call Art Peterson 925-768-9047

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Grumpytown USA, Benefit for Berkeley Humane Society mobile adoption project, with Matt Parker on mandolin, and fan club president Mr. Bloom

 

HISTORY

Steve Soliah was known to the Starry Plough as bartender, bouncer, vocal stylist with a screamin’ falsetto, and guitarist for many bands, particularly the Mosquitos and Twisted Kicks, circa 1982.  Laurie Miller began playing drums at San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens with the Thursday Night “Superheroes” dinner revue in 1979, followed by a series of punk-folk-thrash bands.   Steve and Laurie began playing together in the Lynn Smith Band in the late 1980’s, and with the INCHES, through the 1990’s.   Laurie picked up the bass guitar in 1991, the main part of bands Wingfinger, Hoddyman Dodd and the Ravines–for a short while joining Matt in the Waterdogs.   Matt Parker had played hard rock guitar all over Oneata, New York, rocking out on Mandolin to AC/DC on the Starry Plough radio while waiting for happy hour to break out.  The three played a regular Thursday Happy Hour set with the Cavepainters at the Starry Plough Pub in Berkeley, California for several years.

MEANWHILE

With Celu (“Fluffy”), Steve (“Scruffy”) and Laurie (“Possum”) a band called the Silver Kittens evolved out of  “Celu and Friends”, originating at the Kensington Circus Pub, then playing Wednesdays thru the summer of 2009 at Chester’s Bayview Cafe at Walnut Square in Berkeley, CA.   At the 2009 El Cerrito Folk Festival Ann Wright joined in on Cello.  Ann (Muffy) had studied opera for many years, (and has chickens) which explains the strange costumes–and early in her career took to the stage with a puppet band, where all the performers wore black hoods–she plays banjo, guitar, classical guitar, cello, violin and mandolin, and sings.  Adding Matt Parker (he recorded the Silver Kittens in his analog home studio) on guitar and mandolin, each had Kitten names–Scruffy, Fluffy, Muffy, Possum, and Fritz.

In November of 2009 Fluffy split off with the “Friends”, and began booking Chester’s.  In short order, the Cavepainters and the Ravines imploded—before the dust settled, the remaining Kittens were invited to take on Saturday happy hours at the Starry Plough, and in searching for a suitable transition animal, the Possum Family was born.  And yes, they all Sing.

After the Sudden, Untimely Demise of Steve in early 2013, the Possum Family Singers wandered, three-legged, and leaning over from the Lost Hippies, Art Peterson came to sit in on accordion and vocals, bringing western swing and old-timey flavor to an already retro sound.  Matt left the band in late 2016.

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Matt, Laurie, Ann, Art–Native Here Nursery May 2013

 

Art’s band Polka Cowboys plays old-time waltzes, two-step, and Polka tunes, appearing monthly in El Sobrante, CA.  His band Wildcat Canyon plays for Contra Dances from Hayfork to Santa Cruz.  Laurie and Art join the Herby Derby Show Band for the Monday Tea Dance, 1-3 PM at the San Pablo, CA Senior Center.    Art is  founding member of Those Darn Accordions and has toured solo and with The Woody Guthrie Show, and Charlie Blacklock’s Band, and thus, finds himself President of the International Musical Saw Association, which holds a yearly festival at Roaring Camp, in Felton CA.(artpeterson.com)

You can still see Matt and the Lost Hippies–with Laurie, Art, Rick Purcell and Guido Moscoso 5-7 PM Thursdays at the Starry Plough.

 

The ORIGINAL POSSUM FAMILY  at Black Butte River Ranch   Muffy, Possum, good friend Ron, Scruffy and Matt

 

And–by popular request–our some-song list and lost- updated October 25, 2016

Across The Great Divide

All of Me
Arms of the Angel
Baby Blue
Blue, Blue Day
Blue Eyed Boston Boy
City of New Orleans
Cold and Lonely
Crawdad Song
Crescent City
Deep Water
Do You Wanna Dance
Glory of Love

Hard Times (Stephen Foster)
I’ll Fly Away
I Am Weary
I Believe in You
If I Left You
I Just Wanna Dance with You
I Still Miss Someone
Jambalaya
Kathy’s Song
Little Red Wagon
Lone Prairie
Longhorn Stomp
Long Lonely Day
Long Way Home
Long White Cadillac
Louis Collins
Loving Arms
Lydia
Mama’s Hand
Miss Molly
One More Dollar
Orphan Girl
Orphan of the Storm
Pistol Packin’ Mama
Red Red Wine
Red Trains
Rock Salt and Nails
Scare Easy
Side of the Road
Still I Long
Sweet Carolina

Time Changes Everything
Walk Away Renee
When the Line
Winter’s Come n Gone
Won’t You Come Sing for Me
You Don’t Miss your Water
Your Town Now

KUDOS

“Laurie Miller sings a country ballad better ‘n anybody.  Her voice is right up there with Hank Williams” –Jean Hooker

Thanks to our sound system provided by zt of berkeley–the monster amp in a lunchbox, and PhilJonesBass amp.

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Comments
  1. John says:

    Yes indeed, a very fun band! Just wondering if you would consider posting a set list here or a list of your favorite songs to play. Thanks, and it is always a pleasure to hear you all!

  2. search says:

    I do not even know how I finished up here, however I assumed this
    submit was great. I don’t recognise who you might be but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

  3. Jeffrey Toobin says:

    I have a question about the band. Could someone email me at jeffrey_toobin@newyorker.com? Many thanks.

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