The Old-Time Herald Volume 7, Number 8

Here & There


The Mocksville Lions Club is having their 8th Annual Old-Time Fiddlers & Bluegrass Convention on Saturday, May 12 in Mocksville, NC. Info: Jonathan Wishon 336-998-8343;;;

The Durham (NC) square dance has moved to the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

Clawhammer Banjo Weekend will be held June 1-3 at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, Mountain View, AR. Concerts and workshops will be given by Mike Seeger, Tara Sky, Otis Taylor, and Judy Klinkhammer. Info: 870-269-3851; 800-264-3655;

The 2nd Annual Black Creek Fiddlers Reunion is scheduled May 25-28 at the Dutch Barn, Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY. This is a participatory event, no performances are scheduled. Info:; Brian Sullivan, 518-765-9310;

There will be a Heritage Fiddle Contest Sept. 1-2 sponsored by the Park Area Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Park, WA during the Peninsula Heritage Festival. Attendance is free. Absolutely no monetary bribes will be accepted by the judges. The judges encourage other bribes, says Sandy Bradley. Advance registration is advised by June 1. Info: Sandy Bradley 360-665 2926;

The 3rd Annual Bluff Country Gathering is May 17-20 in Lanesboro, MN, with workshops, concerts and dances featuring Melvin Wine and Gerry Milnes, Kim and Jim Lansford, Rafe Stefanini, the New North Carolina Ramblers (Kirk Sutphin, Lisa Sutphin, and Kinney Rorrer), Paul Tyler, Pop Wagner, and Corey Mohan. Info:; 507-498-5452.

The 4th Annual Doc Watson Appreciation Days will be held July 13-14 at the Historic Cove Creek School in Sugar Grove, NC. The event was started in 1998 to support a museum honoring Doc and Merle in their own Watauga County. Info: Tommy Walsh, 828-297-2200;

The 27th Annual World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest will be held May 25-27 in Decatur, IL. Info:

Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV, will host five theme weeks as follows: July 8-13, Blues Week & Swing Week; July 15-20, Vocal Week, Guitar Week, & French-Canadian Week; July 22-27, 20th anniversary of Irish Week; July 29-Aug. 3, Dance Week & Bluegrass Week; Aug. 5-12, Cajun/Creole Week & Old-Time Week. Info:

The July 4th celebration at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, TN, will be highlighted by the "shooting of the anvil" and will feature an array of musicians and old-time activities. Info: Elaine I. Meyer, 865-494-7680; 865-494-0514.

Historic Roscoe Village will host the 27th Annual Dulcimer Days on May 18-20 and the 27th Annual Heritage Craft and Old-Time Music Festival on June 23-24 in Coshocton, OH. Info: 800-877-1830.

The 25th Annual Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering will be held July 27-29 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Binghamton, NY. Info:

Blue Moon IV, featuring Hotpoint String Band and Red Mountain White Trash with Cis Hinkle and Bob Dalsemer calling, will be held on the campus of the University of Alabama at Huntsville June 1-3. Info:

The 9th Annual FolkMADness Music and Dance Camp, sponsored by The New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society, is scheduled for May 25-28. Info: 505-983-5832.

The Cleethorpes Folk Festival (England) will take place on May 25-28. Info: 01472 752852;;

The Mooney Hollow All-Night Dance will be held on May 19 at the Mooney Hollow Barn near Green Island, IA. The live music and callers are all pick-up old-time bands and callers, each with an hour that they sign up for (and get their admission fee back as soon as they get off the stage). The dances are old-time squares and contras. Info: 319-689-6691;;

The 77th Annual Old Time Fiddlers & Bluegrass Festival will be held May 25-27, at the Fiddlers Grove Campground in Union Grove, NC. Info:

Family Folk Week at Hindman Settlement School is scheduled for June 10-16 in Hindman, KY. For more information contact The Hindman Settlement School, PO Box 844, Hindman, KY, 41822.

The Stringalong Weekend will be held May 25-28 in East Troy, WI. Info:

There is a shape note sing every 4th Sunday in Raleigh, NC, at St. Mark’s Chapel. Info: 919-781-3596;;

The Spring Fair for the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen will be held May 18-20. Some 120 guild members will display and sell their work at the Indian Fort Theater, Berea, KY. Info: 606-986-3192.

The Old Time Music on the Radio Conference, sponsored by Brandywine Friends of Music, is scheduled for May 29-31 in Mt. Airy, NC and precedes the Mt. Airy Fiddler’s Convention. Complete information for this event can be found at

A new music camp, the California Bluegrass Association Music Camp will be held June 11-13, at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA. The camp is intended for advanced beginners or intermediate. Instruction will be provided on all of the instruments commonly used in bluegrass as well as a vocal class and a class focusing on old-time banjo styles taught by Tom Sauber. Info: CBA Music Camp, c/o Ingrid Noyes, Box 194, Tomales, CA. 94971; 707-878-2415;

The 4th Annual Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest will be held June 7-10 in Grove, OK, near Tulsa. For contest and other info:; 800-526-2523.

The Carter Family Memorial Music Center in Hiltons, VA, presents programs throughout the year. Info:;

The Carter Family Memorial Festival will take place Aug. 3-4 in Hiltons, VA. Info as above.


Bob Bovee & Gail Heil’s spring-summer dates include Wisconsin Rapids (WI) Public Library May 10; Dodge Nature Center Spring Festival in St. Paul, MN, on May 12; Harkin Store Historic Site at New Ulm, MN, on May 27; Indiana Fiddlers Gathering at Battle Ground June 22-24; Winona County Fair in St. Charles, MN, on July 8; Champaign (IL) Public Library on July 30.

James Reams & The Barnstormers’ new album on Copper Creek Records, Barnstormin’ came out in April. An article about James appeared in the March-April issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.

The Cary Fridley Band will be performing at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain, NC, May 25-27. Info: 828-68MUSIC;;

On Jan. 13 the Old Crow Medicine Show, an old-time band from Murfreesboro, TN, appeared on the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. According to reports they received a standing ovation and played an encore.

Tom, Brad & Alice will have a busy schedule June-September starting with the Blue Ridge Music Camp, Mars Hill, NC (June 3-7, Alice); Montana Fiddle Camp in (June 10-16, Brad & Alice); Old Songs Festival, Altamont, NY (June 22-24, TBA); Good Coffeehouse, Brooklyn, NY (June 25, TBA); Baltimore, MD, Dance, Lovely Lane Church (June 27, TBA); Philadelphia, PA (June 28, TBA); Washington, DC, Ethical Culture Society (June 29, TBA); Port Townsend, WA Festival of American Fiddle Tunes (July 1-7, TBA); Pinewoods Music & Dance Camp, Haydenville, MA (July 21-28, TBA); Appalachian String Band Festival, Clifftop, WV (Aug. 2-4, TBA); Fiddle & Dance at Ashokan, NY (Aug. 11-18, TBA); UMB Summer Acoustic Music Camp, NH (Aug. 19-25). Brad & Alice); Delaware Valley Old-Time & Bluegrass Festival (Sept. 1, TBA); Wheatland Music Festival, Remus, MI (Sept. 7-9, TBA).

Jessie Eustice, daughter of former Red Clay Rambler, Tommy Thompson, has co-written the script for the workshop performance of A Tune for Tommy, based on Jessie and Tommy’s writing. Performances were held at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC, in April.

Brenda Evans Fennell, great-granddaughter of the late Elizabeth (Libba) Cotten (composer of "Freight Train") performed in a concert on Mar. 11 in Carrboro, NC that paid tribute to Ms. Cotten. As a young girl Brenda performed occasionally with Libba and was featured on Libba’s second album, Shake Sugaree.

In Print, In School & On the Net

There is a New York bluegrass and old-time Internet discussion list, which can be found at It is an open forum for people who play or are otherwise interested in bluegrass and old-time music and are in NYC and the surrounding areas.

The Deep Creek Folk Music Connection is a monthly newsletter listing the folk music and dance events in the Midwest. Info: Deep Creek Folk Music Connection 3627 105th St., Preston IA 52069;

Check out The Fund for Folk Culture’s new web site at

WOMR-FM in Provincetown, MA is now broadcasting a general folk music program on the web every Monday morning from 9:30 AM-12:45 PM. It includes some bluegrass and old-time music. Go to and follow the links to the streaming audio page, the program schedule lineup, and DJ profiles.

John Salmon is running an old-time "radio station" on the web, "Sugar in the Gourd";

A new web site contains MIDI files arranged for fiddle and banjo and suitable for playing along with or learning:

For Internet resources concerning shape-note hymnody and psalmody, check: Sacred Harp Page,; Fasola Home Page,; Sacred Harp and Related Shape Note Music: Resources,

The Scottish Folk Directory, published by the Scottish Folk Arts Group in Edinburgh, Scotland, provides contact and event information services for all that are involved in Scottish folk music and folk arts within Scotland. Go to and click on "free entry."

Iowa fiddler Dwight Lamb now has a home page where you can read a bio, see some photographs and order his new CD Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle, which is on Rounder and a must listen for anyone interested in this "Missouri Valley" fiddle style: amb.htm.

Bill and Nancy Sluys announce that the new Bobville web site is up and running:

James Reams’ web site is up and running at

There are three old-time web sites with sound files:, click "Early Fiddlers";, click "container list" for interview tapes of vintage fiddlers;, click on "Fiddlers Hall of Fame."

Recordings, Instruments, & Labels

C.F. Martin & Co. Guitars introduced the 00-18CTN Elizabeth Cotten limited edition model in March. Info:

Like Father, Like Son, a new CD by Ralph Stanley II and Ralph Stanley (the elder) has been issued on Copper Creek Records; CC-0110;

Bill and Libby Hicks’ new CD, South of Nowhere on Copper Creek Records was released in March. Info:

The Wright Family from Bellaire, TX has put out a new CD of tunes and songs using mountain dulcimer, banjo, guitar, fiddle, bass, autoharp, bones, bodhran and pickin’ stick. Info:

Love’s Lasting Light, the new CD by Paul and Win Grace has been released on their own label, Wellspring Music. Info: 573-443-2819;;

The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers’ first album, Down Home, featuring the original all-Birchfield Hilltopper band is now available and features all 18 tracks from the original Cloudlands 001 LP, plus 9 additional tracks from the same recording sessions. Info for ordering:; 828-285-8850; toll-free 888-282-0440.

Grey Larsen and guitarist Paddy League have a new CD, The Green House. Info:; PO Box 2652, Bloomington, IN 47402-2652; 812-334-9901

The soundtrack to the film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? with the likes of Ralph Stanley, the Whites, and a host of well known (mainly) bluegrass musicians made #1 on the Billboard Country Chart. Interest in the soundtrack is helping bluegrass sales in general, and especially Dan Tyminski (the voice of George Clooney) and Ralph Stanley. Rebel released the compilation, Man of Constant Sorrow, in December—it includes Ralph’s early recordings of several songs that are featured in the movie, including "Oh Death," "Man of Constant Sorrow," "Angel Band," and "I am Weary." In the works is a documentary by D.A. Pennebaker of a concert at the Ryman Auditorium, featuring the artists who are on the soundtrack of the movie.

Ken Waldman, Alaska’s "Fiddling Poet," has a new CD Burnt Down House scheduled for release in late May.


For ongoing old-time music events around the Austin, TX area contact the Austin Friends of Traditional Music, Earl Hunt, president: 512-796-0848 or Tim Wooten at

On the Air

The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, hosted by folksinger Michael Johnathon, is a weekly (Monday evenings at 6:30 PM), live multi-camera internet one-hour broadcast of grassroots and independent artists featured in acoustic performances and interviews before a theater audience: If you are an artist or represent an artist that would be interested in performing on the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, send a promo package including a bio, a CD or cassette of a recent release, and possible Monday dates that you might be traveling through the Lexington, KY area to: WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, attn: Bryan "Flash" Klausing, PO Box 200, Lexington, KY 40588-0200.

Iowa Public TV began its 12th season of old-time country music programs in April. Some of the musicians featured are Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Mike Seeger, the Waring Family, and others. Info:; 515-242-3100.

For all you folks out California way, California musicians Daniel Steinberg and Irene Herrmann are hosting a cooking show, "What’s for Dinner?" on KUSP 88.9 FM or live webcast at Their third broadcast was in April. They are hoping it will become a regular show with enough encouragement. Info:;

Jams and Sessions

There is a new old-time jam session starting on first Fridays at the Old Town School in Chicago. Consequently, the Western Suburb Jam session is moving from the first Friday to the third Friday. Contact Lynn Garren,, for info.

The Baggot Inn old-time music sessions have been revived at the Baggot Inn, on West 3rd St. in NYC, one block east of MacDougal, on Wednesdays at around 8 PM.

There is a third Sunday open band contra in Seattle, WA. Open to all, beginners are welcome, all dances are taught, and you do not have to bring a partner. The band is also open to all musicians, with the band led by Chuck Pliske, and an open mike for callers, hosted by Warren Argo. Info: 206-706-0648.

There will be a jam session every Mon. through the summer in Trenton, ME at the Trenton Grange Hall. Fiddlers and other stringed instrument players welcome. Info: 207-667-0260; Joe Niemczura at

The Puyallup (WA) Jam is held on the first Sundays of the month at the SerendipiTEA Tea Shop in Puyallup at 112 E. Meeker. Info: Jeanie Murphy, 253-848-1464;

In Our Thoughts

Stu Jamison’s daughter, Moira, reports that his brain stimulator implant surgery was a success and he is recovering nicely. Stu had the surgery in February. Stu is a banjo player who helped record Gribble, Lusk, York, and Marcus Martin in 1946.

Bill McNeil, the Director of the Ozark Folk Center at Mountain View, AR, and member of the OTMG Advisory Board, underwent heart bypass surgery recently. We all wish him well. Cards and wishes could be sent to him c/o 89 Birdsong Trail, Waynesville, NC 28786.


Garry Harrison & the Mule Team’s CD, Red Prairie Dawn, was voted "best of 2000" in the current County Newsletter;

Fred Brown and Jeanne McDonald, of Knoxville, TN, were awarded the Caudill Prize for their book The Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith. The prize is to honor the late Harry Caudill (Night Comes to the Cumberlands).

National Endowment for the Arts recently named Barry Bergey as director of Folk and Traditional Arts.

The Western Folklife Center’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering was recently made the official National Cowboy Poetry Gathering by the U.S. Senate. Info:

Wilma Lee Cooper, known for her hard-driving singing and guitar playing, and her long tenure with her fiddling husband, Stoney Cooper, was inducted into the SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Greats at their annual convention in Nashville, TN on Feb. 4.

Wade Mainer, a pioneer two-finger country banjo picker was honored at a dinner on his 94th birthday on April 21st, sponsored by Mel Hammon and several DJs from radio station WCXI in Fenton, MI. Wade started picking the banjo at an early age and has been noted for his tremendous contribution to the nation’s music. He traveled in the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, and Canada. In 1953, Wade moved to Flint, MI, where he now lives with his wife, Julia, of 63 years. He still picks and sings, and he and Julia perform in concert now and then. Julia wrote, "[We] both give the Lord God credit for His goodness to [us], long life and health."

Final Notes

Folklorist Dr. Harry Oster passed away on Jan. 19 in Iowa City, IA, after a long struggle with prostate and bone cancer. The blues world best knows of Dr. Oster’s discovery of Robert Pete Williams and his efforts to free him from Angola State Prison, in Louisiana. His Folk-Lyric label is part of the Arhoolie collection, most of which has been recently re-issued. He also published the book, Living Country Blues in 1969 and a new book, American Dictionary of Folklore, co-authored with Alan Axelrod, is in wide circulation and is the culmination of over four years of compiling a lifetime of research and study. In the 1960s Oster made his home in Iowa City, IA, and continued his teaching at the University of Iowa. He retired in 1993. Many folk recording efforts continued and are evidenced in his writings and dozens of records, including Folk Voices of Iowa. He considered his practice of finding, recording and collecting folk music and stories ". . . both an art and an addiction."

Cajun accordionist Eddie LeJeune died on Jan. 9. The son of accordionist Iry LeJeune, Eddie learned to play accordion by watching his grandmother play. Eddie LeJeune’s albums, on Rounder Records, include It’s in the Blood, Le Trio Cadien, Cajun Soul, and Cajun Spirit. An account has been established to help his family. Donations may be sent to Eddie Lee LeJeune Memorial, Account #09-925-50, First Bank, NA, PO Box 267, Crowley, LA 70527-0267.

Guitarist John Fahey died on Feb. 22 after heart surgery. His defining reputation is as the mercurial father of contemporary fingerpicking guitar style, which he himself described as "American primitive guitar." In 1957, he heard a Blind Willie Johnson song that mesmerized him, and he began combing the South for old blues recordings that would shape his musical mind-set. Only 95 copies were made of his first album, Blind Joe Death, in 1959. Rolling Stone magazine called Fahey’s self-published 1959 debut, The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death, "the most famous obscure album of recent times.’’

Bluegrass fiddler Benny Martin died on March 13 at age 72. Born in Sparta, TN he was especially known for his recordings with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in the early 1950s. He also played with the some of the biggest names in classic country music, including Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells, and Johnnie & Jack. In recent years, he recorded several albums, many of which featured his friend John Hartford.

Singer Ben Hawker died on March 19 at the age of 85. Primarily known for his singing of ballads and religious songs, he often sang with his daughter, Ginny Hawker, at concerts and festivals, and taught often at the Augusta Workshops in Elkins, WV. Ginny wrote: "Daddy once said that what he wanted most in his life was to follow the words of the poet and ‘live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.’ I think he did that in diamonds. And I think we will all hear his beautiful voice sing all our lives."

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