Country Dancing

Root Theory


Since my last two articles have been about bands, I decided to spotlight one of my local favorites, Root Theory. According to their Facebook page, “Root Theory” is the bond between music and nature that proves we are connected to everyone and everything. It’s the “theory” that music and nature can heal the world.

I know that I feel better and enjoy myself every time I hear this acoustic duo, comprised of Avonlea (Ava) Wensel as lead singer and James (Jimmy) Stafford on guitar and background vocals. After performing in various local bands together, they were asked to play a few songs as a duo for a wedding ceremony and really enjoyed it, so they formed Root Theory in 2015 and started booking shows!

They both live in Ohio, Ava in Garrettsville and Jimmy in Youngstown, so most of their gigs are in eastern Ohio and western PA. I have been following them for a few years now and recently enjoyed their afternoon show at Waterfire in Sharon, PA.

I am always blown away by their musical talents; I usually love to dance whenever I hear a band. When listening to Root Theory, if there isn’t room at the venue, I am happy to sit back and enjoy the show! Sometimes, I create my own dance floor; like one time when they were playing outside at a winery. There was only a gravel path; and although slightly tricky to dance on, I made it work. They sang Stripes by Brandy Clark, so I did this easy beginner line dance: One Small Shot.

Their roots are in country, just a few of the artists you will hear them cover are: Emmylou Harris, Patsy Cline, Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert. However, this duo is so diverse; don’t be surprised to hear songs by these artists: Bonnie Raitt, Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, Adele, Everly Brothers, and Van Morrison to name a few.

They are currently covering music but plan on writing originals and expanding to new locations in the near future! I highly suggest you check out their upcoming events on the Root Theory Facebook page; and while you’re at it, listen to their videos too! Hopefully you will get a group of your family/friends together to go experience Ava & Jimmy in person; I believe you will be impressed. If you’ve already heard them, please comment below this article about where you were and give some feedback about the show.

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing on Mondays at Rolling Mills Bar in Girard, Ohio and occasionally on Thursdays at the Landmark Hotel in Mercer, PA. For more information, check out their Facebook pages. Dori also teaches line dance at the Cortland Ohio SCOPE Center on Fridays.

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  1. Tim Bucholtz

    October 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    I have the pleasure of knowing Avonlea (Ava) for most of her life. She has always been a talented singer and has proven that at every performance! The combination of her vocals and Jim’s guitar and vocals are a great match! They played at my daughters wedding a couple years ago and received compliments from everyone. I highly recommend making time to enjoy an evening listening to them. Ask them to play the Kazoo song! You’ll love it!

    • Dori

      October 14, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Thanks for sharing your comments with our readers. I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding the Kazoo song!!

  2. Gerard Hilinski

    October 10, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Excellent article! I’m going to make a point of seeing them.

    • Dori

      October 14, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Thanks for the compliment! Wherever you see them, I’m positive you will enjoy the show!!

  3. Dianna

    October 10, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    They are great we have heard them play at the Mill and the Eagles Club in Garrettsville.

    • Dori

      October 14, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Thanks for informing our readers about that venue. Root Theory is gaining quite a fan base!!

  4. Sandra

    October 16, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Root Theory is the best band to follow and Dori is a wonderful line dance teacher you also did a super job writing this article supporting music dance for the joy of life thank you

    • Dori

      October 21, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      I completely agree with your opinion of Root Theory and thanks for your kind words about me!!

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