Indian Creek Delta Boys, c 1979
Front row: Gaye (then Mrs. Garry) Harrison, Steve Harrison.
Back row (l-r) John "Doc" Holiday, Garry Harrison, John "Blue J" Bishop.
It was The Indian Creek Delta Boys, by this personnel make-up and around this time, who were declared by an act of the Illinois Legislature to be the official State of Illinois Oldtime Stringband. Most of the repertoir of the ICDBs was from their own field collecting efforts throughout central and southern Illinois and bordering Midwestern states. That field collecting effort came to the attention of the Library of Congress Folklife Division who responded with a supporting grant for the ongoing project (gas and recording tape expenses).

The grant was administered through the Fine Arts Department of Eastern Illinois University. One of the stipulations of the grant was that as many as possible of the elderly fiddlers would be brought together on an annual basis for a public performance. Vaughan Janike, Dean of Fine Arts, saw that as a fine nucleus for a campus-wide festival and thus "Celebration -- A Festival of the Arts" was begun. The Celebration has grown into a hugely successful annual springtime event that continues to this day.

The senior Illinois fiddler field recordings of several years is now archived with the Library of Congress Folklife Division in Washington, D.C. with a copy also in the Tarble Arts Center at EIU in Charleston, IL. The ICDBs recorded three vinyl albums, one commercial cassette album, and have distributed numerous private tapes of their stringband's renditions of the tunes and songs learned from the senior musicians met and recorded in the field.

Fiddler Garry Harrison moved to the Bloomington, IN, area in the mid-'90s and has recently self-produced a commercial CD with a band called The Mule Team. Really excellent stuff.

And of particular importance was the May, 2007 publication of the book "Dear Old Illinois" by Garry Harrison and Jo Burgess. A hugely significant book and 3 CD set that encompasses the combined collections of David S. McIntosh and Garry's own field collected materials from the 70s through early 90s. A MUST HAVE for all folklorists and pickers interested in gaining access to the entire source treasure trove of the Indian Creek Delta Boys.