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MA Walking Tour Walks Through Holliston

by Chris Cain
June 19, 2019

On Monday June 17th members of the 2019 MA Walking Tour did just that - they walked into Holliston - courtesy of the Upper Charles Rail Trail.

For the 10th year, these troubadors literally take pages from one of Marjorie Turner-Hollman's books, "Easy Walks in Massachuetts the Ten Mile River Watershed," and visit several towns in our Commonwealth.  This year's tour will visit 11 towns in 13 days.

I met the troupe as they crossed Hopping Brook Road, loaded up with backpacks, tents, and instruments.  The co-founders of the talented group of musicians are Mark "Mandy" Mandeville and Raianne "Mama Duck" Richards.  The names in quotations are their trail names.  While "Mandy" might be obvious, "Mama Duck" alludes to Raianne's leadership when the group is on the move.  Below, "Mandy" is second from the left and "Mama Duck" is second from the right.

For the walk into town, the group was escorted by Mark Kaplan (center above) from the Holliston Trail Committee and Dan (left above) and Faith Senie.  Dan and Faith were introduced as one of the 'opening acts.'  Their rest break was cut short when the irrigation sprinklers came on and the group grabbed their gear and headed downtown.

As is their custom, they set up tents for the evening and led walks for the public to join.  Then it is time for their evening performance.  Mandy pointed out that the concerts are always from 6 - 8 pm so they don't get confused.

It was a full house in the Gilman room at the newly re-opened library. 

While the music was going on in one room, freshly hatched chicks were peeping in the adjacent space.

"Mama Duck" and "Mandy"

"Mr. Wonderful" who even after three summers with the group, is still the rookie.

Following the opening acts (yes there were several guest performers), the troupe showed their muscial versatility.  Generally, "Mandy" played banjo, "Mama Duck" played ukelele, Vito "Mr. Wonderful" Cacavelli played guitar, Mark "Spanky" Klianski played guitar, and Amy Alvey played the fiddle.  The word generally here is important.  Between songs, the musicians would perform a version of the old trick - everyone out of the car and change positions.  Frequently, each ended up playing a different instrument and found themselves in the lead singer spot - dead center.

"The Crusher" with "Mama Duck"

"Spanky" and "Mr. Wonderful"

Their musical selections often drew in the audience for percussion (clapping) or harmonic voices.

After the show, they headed for their overnight accommodations (tents) for a well-deserved rest before heading out on Tuesday for Millis for more miles and more music.

Thank you to the Massachusetts and Holliston Cultural Councils for making it possible for this band of minstrels to energize and entertain us in Holliston.


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Comments (1)

Loads of talent in the group. It was such a fun way to spend the evening!

- Lisa Kaplan | 6/19/19 9:21 PM



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