The Legend of Chert and the Artifacts….
Folk memory has it that the band started long ago in the 90s when Dave Bailey, Tim Converse, and Adrian Pollock were students of noted jazz guitarist Carmen Caramanica. Adrian organized a guitar practice group for Carmen’s students and several guitar pickers showed up. At first we met in a church hall, but, as the group dwindled, we met in each other’s homes (thank you spouses) to jam on our acoustic guitars. Eventually, only Dave, Tim, and Adrian remained. Dave mentioned that he knew someone who played guitar and piano, and sang well, and who was interested in joining our little group. So David Bell joined. Now we had someone who could sing! Carmen encouraged Adrian to learn the bass guitar, and Dave let slip that he had a drum set and could play it, in addition to playing the harmonica. Hey…now we have a band! In 2009 Nathan Goodale, the youngest member of the band, joined playing guitar, but later branching out into bass, 12-string, and mandolin. Our first gig was at a house party in a back yard in Whiteboro on June 8th, 2009. Our first band name was Hamnjam, because 4 members of the band had connections to Hamilton College, but that didn’t last long. Next we tried Tuesday Night Music Club but learned that Cheryl Crow’s band had already taken that name. (Do you know how hard it is to think up a really good name for a band?) Finally, because we have a geologist and an archeologist in the band, we came up with “Chert and the Artifacts” (chert is a kind of stone, and artifacts are what archeologists dig up. I guess we were stoned one night and dug up this name). And we have stuck with it now for a while–it seems to work for us.