The six-member acoustic Band of Steady Habits came together as a group in 2014 to share their love of music, and to use their talents to help create a new kind of public history presentation. Rachel Smith, Teagan Smith, Jeremy Teitelbaum, Walt Woodward, Duke York, and Rick Spencer use banjo, guitars, violin, recorders, bass, percussion, and beautiful harmonies to perform songs – some old, some original, and some contemporary – to accompany the visually rich and evocative stories of state historian Walt Woodward. The stories provide new insights and perspectives into topics ranging from the Civil War, to the uniqueness of Connecticut, to the poetry of Robert Frost. Band of Steady Habits performances have received rave reviews in venues throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, and are gaining them fans both for their stories and music.
To browse a list of currently available presentations, click here.
Prior to becoming Connecticut’s fifth State Historian and a member of the University of Connecticut history faculty in 2004, Walt Woodward was an award-winning hit songwriter, producer of music for television and radio, and multi-Clio winning advertising creative director. His songs Marty Gray and It Could ‘A Been Me were top ten country music songs in the 1970s, while his music for the Care Bears Movie and the Major League Baseball television series The Baseball Bunch, won Special Achievement Awards from SESAC. In addition to winning two Emmy awards for documentary music, Woodward’s television and radio commercials won 8 coveted Clio awards. He is the author of four books including Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy and the Creation of New England Culture 1606-1676, which won the Homer Babbidge Award for Best Book on Connecticut History from the Association for the Study of Connecticut History in 2012. A highly sought-after speaker, Woodward is also a columnist Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut History, and producer along with the magazine of the audio podcast “Grating the Nutmeg,” available through iTunes.
One half of BOSH’s Smithsister Duo. Dabbles in keyless flutes. Only band member who actually enjoys the key of B-flat. Sometimes harangues her bandmates about obscure music theory rules until she remembers she’s in a FOLK band, gosh darn it, and you’ve got to break a few rules in order to make a great folk-music omelette.
The other half of BOSH’s Smithsister Duo. Reluctant fiddler, triangle virtuoso, and surreptitious sheet-music doodler.
The meanest, leanest, banjo-pickin’
college dean interim provost this side of the Mississippi. He has a wristband (that’s a Paul Simon joke), and sports a really awesome hat.
Holds the band together with a combination of bass playing, American grit, and a farm-tested pair of suspenders. Ask him about trains.
The Band of Steady Habits is thrilled to welcome renowned folk musician Rick Spencer to the fold! Rick is no stranger to the music scene, having researched, interpreted, and performed sea chanteys and other historic songs for over 25 years. The amount of diverse musical instruments and percussion he brings to every performance puts Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet-bag to shame. For more information about Rick’s many other musical adventures, visit catfeather.com.