Our Story

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SETH STROUD

Growing up the son of a Baptist minister, music has always been a part of Seth Stroud’s life. Every Sunday he could be found on the front row singing in church. He spent his childhood performing in school and church musicals, and learning to play the piano and acoustic guitar.  Soon the piano gave way to his love, the guitar.

By the time college rolled around he decided music was his passion and decided to pursue the study of it throughout his college career.  Continuing to study music, as well as playing in countless ensembles and bands, Seth began to shape the style that was born out of the church’s influence, as well as the bluesy soulful tones that the Mississippi Delta is so well known for. Upon turning twenty two, Seth left his home state of Mississippi for Nashville Tennessee. For the next ten years, he endeavored to build a name for himself as a entertaining front man and capable singer for bands ranging from the country sounds of “Mason Tarwater” to the deep soul riffs of “The Mothership, Tribute to Led Zeppelin”.

After a ten successful years in Nashville, Seth began to miss the home that had been such a huge influence in his life as a child growing up, and returned to Clarksdale Mississippi.  As Seth was on a self  prescribed sabbatical from the entertainment industry, it was Trio member Walt Busby that kept him active in the Clarksdale music scene in the beginning. Sharing a love for harmony and soulful music, Seth and Walt began booking themselves as a duo.  Soon after Alice Hasen Joined on the violin, completing The Trio’s rootsy, soulful sound. Today Seth Stroud can be found writing and recording with band  mates Alice and Walt, as well as playing in every venue that will have them, as they begin a new chapter in music know as the Blackwater Trio.

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ALICE HASEN

Born in woodsy Vermont, traveling through the muddy Mississippi Delta and the soulful city of Memphis, Alice Hasen is a professional violinist/fiddler specializing in rock, folk, roots, jazz and classical music.  Beginning her studies at the age of four, Alice's primary musical background is in the classical tradition.  Prompted by her mother, a flutist in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, “The question was not whether I’d play music, but which instrument I would choose.”  She chose the violin because it was one of the only instruments she could see from the audience.  Her primary musical influences are Stephane Grappelli, Boyd Tinsley and Natalie MacMaster.

This seemingly random choice soon grew into a life’s calling.  During her youth, Alice took classes in fiddle music, where she learned to play by ear at Vermont’s many contradances and barn parties. While in high school, she came to lead the Vermont Youth Orchestra as co-concertmaster, performing in China and Carnegie Hall with the VYO and attending state and New England-wide festivals on violin and flute.  In 2008 Alice was the recipient of the VYO’s Hermance Prize for her performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto.

Between 2008 and 2012, Alice studied French and Music as an undergrad at Yale University.  She became Principal Second Violin of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, while also leading as Concertmaster of the Saybrook and Berkeley college orchestras.  She became a founding member of SIC INC, a contemporary music group of student performers, composers, dancers and sound engineers.  Her travels within these groups spanned from a second appearance at Carnegie Hall to Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, as well as a tour of major cities in Turkey.

Alice's years after Yale mark her transition into the rootsy, lyrical voice she has developed as a non-classical musician.  Moving down to Clarksdale, Mississippi to teach as a high school band director, she quickly made friends in the local musical scene.  Her first “living room jam” with guitarists Seth Stroud and Walt Busby turned into a series of appearances at local bars, and demand quickly grew for the new Blackwater Trio.  She now lives in Memphis, TN, with her two cats, Bowie and Jack.

More information, music and photos can be found at alicehasen.com.

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WALT BUSBY

Walt Busby was born in Gulfport Mississippi, and soon after his parents relocated to Clarksdale.  At a very young age, Walt began his musical interest playing the saxophone for his school band, but it was somewhere around the age of 13 he picked up his dad’s guitar! With no formal lessons, Walt set out to teach himself the guitar. Many of his friends played, and “he really just wanted to jam”. Walt played in many projects throughout his high school career, but it was the year following graduation he found himself making a living of his musical talent. Soon Walt began working with Jax Nassar as her second guitarist. This afforded him the opportunity to travel playing from the Delta to California. This was also the time when he met other Trio member Seth Stroud

After getting off the road, Walt served as the House Sound Engineer for Ground Zero Blues Club for five years.

He has played for several bands in Clarksdale including Heavy Suga and the Sweet Tones, LaLa and Element 88, and Razorblade. He also built a recording studio in his home, as a way to record his own work, as well as a way to make extra money. Walt played a huge role in keeping Seth Stroud playing music after his move back to Clarksdale at the beginning of 2013. The Duo played for several months, met Alice Hasen, and the rest is history.