The Horse Flies appreciate a lot of things about central Pennsylvania — the locally grown food, friendly people and fans who dance at their shows.
The Ithaca, N.Y., ensemble of Richie Sterns (tenor guitar, banjo, vocals), Jeff Claus (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals), Judy Hyman (violin, vocals), Taki Masuko (percussion), Jay Olsa (bass) and Rick Hansen (accordion, organ, Moog) returns to the Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks this weekend. Though Millheim is different from Ithaca in size and geographic setting, Claus said the two places have similar cultures.
“It’s a great sort of alternative community with local foods, friendly people and kind of a homemade ethic,” Claus said.
The group’s music combines elements of trance, folk, rock, traditional fiddle tunes and many other influences to create unique sound recognized by critics for its quirkiness and inability to be pegged into a specific genre. Upbeat songs such as “Build a House and Burn it Down” from its 2008 release “Until the Ocean” can, and should, inspire the audience to dance, Hyman said.
“One of the things that I enjoy about Elk Creek is that people dance, which is I guess is another way that it’s like places we play in Ithaca,” she said. “There are definitely parts of the country we play where people sit through the entire set.”
In addition to their work with The Horse Flies, each member is involved with other musical endeavors, which can make scheduling difficult, but that also frees the band from having to worry about the Flies as a moneymaking venture.
Sterns will be back in the area Nov. 1 as part of Banjo Summit 2 featuring Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka and other leading banjo players. The group hopes to return to the studio in early 2013 to begin recording a follow up to “Until the Ocean."
The Horse Flies will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 4 at Elk Creek Cafe + Alehouse, 100 W. Main St., Millheim. Visit www.elkcreekcafe.net or call 349-8850 for more information.