Who we are
John and Mary are the Weston Country Dance Band noted for its original arrangements totally focused on making dancers dance, whether in English or American style, seventeenth to twenty-first century, using their unique collection of tunes.
Weston CDB is long established as one of the leading folk dance bands in the country, and continues to be in constant demand for dances, weekends and festivals playing across the length and breadth of the country as well as in Europe and the USA.
John was introduced to folk dance by his father who had danced in his youth with the Cornish Folk Dance Team directed by Lady Mary Trefusis. Peter Boyce started John playing for folk dancing in Weston-super-Mare where he remembers a visit by American caller Otto Woods specialising in singing calls. A move to Essex gave John the opportunity to play with Brian Conner.
Mary then joined him in Plymouth to form a band playing for Dave Evans on Dartmoor every Saturday night. Dennis Darke gave a lot of help with tunes at that time. They both returned to Weston to start the Weston Country Dance Band and since then there have been few personnel changes.
Mary has moved from accordion to piano and now keyboard.
We have worked with many callers and Mc's playing for dances and barn dances. Wonderful times were had with the unique Dick Witt and the great John Chapman leading dances that are still remembered even now.
The Band, long established in the West Country, travels widely providing music for all styles of English dance and especially enjoys American contra and square dance tunes. The Band has first hand experience of playing for dancing in Kentucky, Colorado and Wyoming as well as dancing in Florida and New England.
It also has a long history of playing for visiting American callers to this country including Ralph Page, Don Armstrong and Fried de Metz Herman and more recently Cis Hinckle, Lisa Greenleaf, and Kathy Anderson.
Influences on our style of playing have been the McLain Family Band including Al and Alice White from Kentucky and of course Raymond McLain himself. Currently we are very much enjoying playing tunes by Larry Unger of Reckless Ramblers and Notorious.