Rabbit Stampede is a folk band performing primarily celtic traditional music, with forays into early (medieval and renaissance) music and other ethnic traditions. Led by fiddler and vocalist Paul Butler and grounded by the driving rhythms of guitarist/citternist Chris Robinson, Rabbit Stampede also features Kirsten Erwin on flute and pennywhistle. The emergant sound brings together the vibrancy of folk and early traditions with more modern sensibilities of structure and form. Having twice won the People's Choice Series at the Philadelphia Folk Factory, Rabbit Stampede has performed at such venues as Coffee Houses, Renaissance Faires, Pirate Festivals, contra dances, and has appeared on the Gene Shay Show on XPN. Rabbit Stampede (so named from the rollicking pet bunnies owned by the members) draws from the diverse backgrounds of its members to create a new and vibrant sound.

Paul Butler started off as a classically trained musician on violin and viola, and developed a strong interest in early music, especially music of the medieval period. A multi-instrumentalist concentrating primarily on bowed stringed instruments, he has dabbled in a number of styles ranging from filk to Near Eastern to Japanese, but most of his concentration has been in historical performance of the medieval and renaissance music of Europe. He researches, creates and performs on early instruments such as the rebec, citole, bray harp and shawm. As a solo artist, he has appeared at faires, museums and schools performing and demonstrating historical music, and also performed with the SCA dance band the Branslers, the RenFolk band Burlap Lute, and the Eastern European themed Karpathos. In the band, Paul performs on violin, lead vocals, percussion, and occasionally brings out exotic instruments like the hurdy gurdy or viola d'amore.

Kirsten Erwin is a classically trained flautist and guitarist, but has recently refocused her energies almost entirely on the folk woodwind traditions of Ireland, Scotland and England. An accomplished whistle-player, she has attended and conducted numerous workshops in Celtic traditional music around the Philadelphia region, and performs with a number of regional musical groups including: the English Country/Contra Dance bands Mr. Darcy, Mind the Gap, Cantabile, the Fair Winds and Herd o' Cats; the traditional Irish trio Crosswinds Celtic; and with singer/songwriter Scott McClatchy. In addition to classical flute, piccolo, mandolin and pennywhistle, Kirsten has developed skills in bodhran and dumbek, as well as recent forays into alto flute. In the band, Kirsten plays flute, pennywhistle, and occasional backing vocals.

Chris Robinson originally played classical music, Joplin and jazz on piano, but migrated eventually to guitar. After delving into the rock of Rush and Led Zeppelin, he was drawn into early and folk music via the SCA. As an early member of the Branslers, he hooked up with Paul and the two started jamming in mixed fusion versions of the early music, which eventually led to the formation of the fusion folk-early music group Burlap Lute (along with Wendy Gale and Jennifer McGuire). Chris has a strong interest in Celtic and Irish music, and has recently expanded his instrumental interests into the Irish Cittern in addition to his driving guitar. In the group, Chris performs on guitar, cittern, mandolin, and backing vocals.


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