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Ice Jam

~ A musical pileup of hammered dulcimer, banjo and guitar ~

Skip Nodler, Sarah Garland & Seth Danielson

Ice Jam's New CD, Tanana Mud 11/4/07 is now availible at .

"Dam" good original music from Alaska, with vocals, hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar, fiddle, acoustic bass, pennywhistle and flute. The power of the North literally created this album: it was recorded "off the grid" at Lincoln Creek Studio, northwest of Fairbanks Alaska, using wind and solar power. The North permeates the album musically as well. The title track captures an idyllic June day spent floating down the Tanana River in a canoe -- one of those days that make you realize it just doesn't get any better than this. "Ole's Hell," a northern ballad reminiscent of the works of Robert Service and Jack London, portrays the bitter cold of an Interior Alaska winter, while the instrumental "December Day" evokes the beauty of a clear midwinter day just south of the Arctic circle. "Goddess In The Rock" is a poem set to music, inspired by a unique rock formation on the northern coast of Cape Breton Island. "The Great Silkie" is a traditional ballad about a mythical being who is a man on land and a seal in the sea. "Shadow Patterns" is a gentle song about memories and the bittersweet passage of time, be it a single day, a season, a year, or a lifetime. Seth's toe-tapping instrumentals "Jenny Kelley" and "Helen's Blue Eyes" and Skip's lovely waltzes draw their inspiration from Alaskan family and friends. "Let Us Dance," one of Ice Jam's most frequently requested songs, celebrates contra dancing, a popular Fairbanks pastime. "Hobo Ways" is the only song that is not about the North, but the main character sounds like a lot of folks whose wanderlust eventually leads them to Alaska.

Ice Jam: it's "dam" good music that won't leave you cold.

Seth plays the 5-String Banjo, clawhammer style.
Sarah plays the Hammered Dulcimer and Penny Whistle.
Skip plays Guitar, Octave Mandolin and occasionally the Fiddle.
All of us are prone to singing, sometimes together and sometime alone.

We make up (compose!) some of the pieces we play, both instrumentals and songs. Other pieces are traditional and modern covers from all the music we enjoy, folk songs to ragtime to square dance music and beyond. Our instrumental and dance music includes reels, hornpipes, jigs, rags, polkas, waltzes....

Since putting together our sound system over the course of the last couple of years, we have been playing at occasional weddings, contra dances, and other functions in addition to our weekly session at the College Coffeehouse (every Wednesday evening at about 8pm) and the local(Fairbanks, Alaska) summer and winter folk music festivals.

Seth and I used to play with a Fiddler, Erik Kokborg. Together we made a CD we called First Snow. We still have copies and here's some information.

We're better known as Seth, Erik and Skip.

Seth is the fellow playing the banjo. Seth's style of playing is called frailing or clawhammer. I've known banjo players that were good at bluegrass and some that were good at old time, but Seth's pickin' style seems to work with all kinds of music. His playing often reminds me of Pete Seeger only Seth's playing has more feeling. He also writes some great songs.

Erik is the man with the fiddle. He is very good at playing melody or filling in harmony around songs that Seth and I are singing. He also writes some great tunes.

I'm the one playing guitar. I try my best to keep the rhythm and play the right chords. Sometimes I do some attempted singing. I also play an octive mandolin on some of the tunes.

I'll be selling our CD "First Snow" at my spot at the Farmer's Market and any Holiday shows.

You can also E-mail me at

for CD's or go to If you click on the "First Snow" picture above you'll get a larger view. Picture and art work by Seth.

Here's a couple tunes I've written. Feel free to try them out. You may have to shrink them a little to print.

On The Way To Baldry Creek

The Odd Tyme

A friend of mine has a great page about music in Alaska at

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