Van Wagner recently answered five Weekender questions.
Q: How long have you been playing?
A: I grew up in the mountains of Montour County (Danville) playing music since I was a child. I also spent a lot of time at Camp Krislund in Lamar, where acoustic folk music was an important part of life.
Q: How do you describe your sound?
A: I try to write songs that fit rural Pennsylvania life. Usually acoustic, guitar-based. In the family of folk and bluegrass. Lyrically, I like to write songs that hold stories about the people and places of this part of Pennsylvania.
Q: Which musician — alive or dead — do you most wish you could share the stage with?
A: Wow. I can honestly say no one ever asked me this one before. I do miss my friend Sue Cunningham. She was an incredible fiddle player and created the wonderful music festival called “Hickory Fest” held each year in Tioga County. Sue passed away from cancer over a year ago and all who knew her miss her.
Q: What’s your favorite song to play live?
A: “North of 80.” I wrote the song almost 20 years ago. It continues to connect me to other people who also love rural Pennsylvania.
Q: Where can people hear your music?
A: I really enjoy making music videos so I’d recommend folks check out some of my work on Youtube. You can see me in person the first Thursday of each month at Elk Creek Cafe and Ale works in Millheim.