The Old-Time Herald Volume 8, Number 1

Here & There

Events

The First Annual Dahlonega Bluegrass & Folkways Festival will be held Sept. 14-16 at the resort R-Ranch in the Mountains, near Dahlonega, GA. Artists will include Doc Watson, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, The Lynn Morris Band The Mark Newton Band, Ralph Blizard & the New Southern Ramblers, Ryan Holladay Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, and others. There will be workshops in harmony singing, longbow fiddle, bluegrass banjo, flatfoot dancing, and old-time banjo among others. There will also be presentations about mountain folkways, music, crafts, and customs. Info: 877-628-8674; PO Box 1415, Dahlonega, GA 30533; 706-867-6710; folkways@alltell.net; www.folkwayscenter.org.

The Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY will celebrate their 25th Anniversary this year with the Fiddlers Fair on Aug. 18-19 as part of the celebration. Info: 716-538-6822; www.geneseecountryvillage.org.

The 2001 Hardanger Fiddle Assoc. of America Annual Workshops will take place Aug. 9-12 at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. Info: www.hfaa.org.

On Sept. 15 the Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Convention in Buena Vista, VA will pay tribute to Mike Seeger, who started the festival 15 years ago as a non-competitive way to celebrate the music and dance of the region and to cap off the festival season.

The first major event of Louisiana Folk Roots, a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing the unique folkways and cultural resources in Louisiana, was the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week at Lake Fausse Pointe on Apr. 22-27. Featured performers included Walter Mouton, Geno Delafose, Steve Riley, Preston Frank, Savoy-Doucet Band, Boozoo Chavis, and Balfa Toujours. Christine Balfa is the executive director of Louisiana Folk Roots. You can get information on the organization by contacting PO Box 389, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517; 337-332-0967; christine@lafolkroots.org; www.lafolkroots.org.

The Lanesboro Barn Dance (Lanesboro, MN) is now in its seventh season with upcoming dances featuring guest fiddlers Tim Foss on August 25 and Lee Guthrie on September 22.

The Hunterdon Folk Exchange will hold its 17th Annual Old-Time Fiddle Contest Aug. 25 at Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell, N.J., easy driving distance for folks in NY, eastern PA, Phila., Delaware, MD, etc. Info: Chuck Winch cwinch@blast.net; www.virtue.nu/wilkinswinch.

The Ozarks Celebration Festival and Fiddlers Green will take place Aug. 25- 26 on the SMSU campus, Springfield, MO. Info: http://ozarksstudies.smsu.edu or contact Tobin Bushman at tobinbushman@smsu.edu.

Old-Time Music & Dance Weekend in Mentone, AL will take place Aug. 17-19. Info: Jan Sharpe, BCDSregqueen@hotmail.com; 205-595-9189.

The 7th Annual "Voice of the Mountains" Storytelling Festival will be held Oct. 11-13 at WVU Jackson’s Mill in central WV. Info: 1-800-287-8206 or Bob McWhorter, 304-269-2219 or mcwhort@earthlink.net.

A new musical saw festival will be held in Richmond, VA Aug. 18 at Dogwood Dell, in the picnic shelter. "The music will be varied, weird, homemade, and probably way, way fun." Info: sawfest@yahoo.com.

The West Harmony Annual Singing Convention at the Pleasant Ridge First Baptist Church in Gore Springs, MS will take place Aug. 18-19. Info: Chiquita Walls, 877-295-2395 or PO Box 1234, Oxford, MS 38655.

The 26th National Old Time country Music Festival will be held Aug. 27-Sept. 2 in Avoca, IA. Info: Bob Everhart, PO Box 492, Anita, IA 50020; www.oldtimemusic.bigstep.com.

The 4th Annual Harvest Music Festival ("a southeast celebration of rhythm and Americana") will take place Sept. 28-30 in Fairburn, GA. Info: 404-659-0919; www,tdawgsproductions.com.

Still Dancing dance weekend in Black Mountain, NC will be held Labor Day weekend with callers Cis Hinkle and Keith Cornett. Info: Lchase1@aol.com; www.stilldancing.com.

Artists

The Possum Haw Cloggers are looking for dancers in the Austin, TX area who are interested in hoedown style square dance, traditional Appalachian style clogging, flatfooting, buck dancing, and running sets. Info: Cheryl Dehut 512-259-1190; dehut@fmp.com.

Old-time musicians performing at the Charlie Poole VI Festival in May included Doug Rorrer and His Towne Creek Boys and Larry Sigmon and Barbara Poole.

Bob Bovee and Gail Heil’s tour schedule includes the following dates: Augusta Heritage Old-Time Week, Elkins, WV Aug. 5-11; Wild West Days in Viroqua, WI Aug. 18-19; Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, MN with Pop Wagner Aug. 23-24; Great River Folk Festival in La Crosse, WI Aug. 26; Nature Center Pioneer Days in Austin, MN Sept. 15; Rails and Trails Festival in Marysville, KS Sept. 29-30; Big Island Rendezvous in Albert Lea, MN Oct. 6-7; Heyde Art Center in Chippewa Falls, WI on Oct. 19, and public libraries in Mendota, IL Oct. 23, Morris, IL Oct. 25, Mokena, IL Oct. 27 and Columbia, MO Nov. 7. They will also be performing at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR for the Western Music Festival Nov. 2-3 along with Pop Wagner, Liz Masterson, and Sean Blackburn.

Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Becky Hall, Joyce Samples, and Kay Justice took part in the recent Avon Breast Cancer three-day walk. According to Cathy in thanking all the folks who helped raise money "it was a remarkable weekend and we collectively raised over $6,250 for the cause."

Alan Jabbour, Larry Edelman, Bruce Molsky, Paul Brown, and Beverly Smith are among those who will be featured at the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp near Denver, CO Aug. 12-26. Info: www.RMFiddle.com.

The Harmony Sisters will be performing around California’s Bay Area between Nov. 7-10. Info: Irene Herrmann, herrmann@cats.ucsc.edu; 831-459-9432.

The performing schedule for Bob & Sheila Everhart includes Red Oak, IA Fountain Square Park Music Show Aug. 9; Anita, IA Oak Tree Opry Aug. 10; Braddyville, IA Aug. 11; Farnhamville, IA Old Settlers Day Aug. 18; Lewis, IA Hitchcock House Underground RR Day Aug. 19; Avoca, IA 26th National Old Time Country & Bluegrass Festival, Pottawattamie Fairgrounds Aug. 27-Sept. 2; Anita, IA Hall of Fame Mini-Festival Sept 21-23. They will be on tour in England and Ireland Sept. 27-Nov. 12, and in Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic from Nov. 14-Feb. 3, 2002. Info: bobeverhart@yahoo.com.

Fall dates for Tom, Brad & Alice, include the Delaware Valley Old-Time & Bluegrasss Festival Sept. 1; Wheatland Music Festival, Remus, MI Sept 7-9; Laurel Theater Knoxville, TN Oct. 26; Folkways Center, Dahlonega, GA Oct. 27-28; concert and dance in Birmingham, AL Nov. 2-3. Info: www.bradleftwich.com.

Susan Cook and Marion Boatwright of the Weasel Creek String Band have opened Weasel’s Old-Time Music Dining & Dance in Brevard, NC where one can listen to old-time music, blues, country, and bluegrass music three nights a week and square and contra dance two nights a week. Info: www.weaselsoldtime.com; 828-885-2377.

The Herald Angels will be performing at the FOOTMAD festival Sept. 21-22 near Beckwith, WV. Info: www.footmad.org/venue/fm/FCP.html.

Performances for Paul & Win Grace include Hartsburg, MO Aug. 14, info 888-518-9961; Colorado, western Kansas tour Aug. 22-Sept. 9, info Paul & 573-443-2819; Columbia, MO Boone Co. Heritage Festival Sept. 16, info 573-874-7466; Columbia, MO Courthouse Square Sept. 30, info 573-874-6386; Kennett, MO community concert Oct. 4, info 573-888-6396; St. Louis, MO, Focal Point Nov. 3, info 314-781-4200. Check for updates on their web site www.folkfire.org/graces.

Jones and Leva will be performing in Wales, England and Scotland in August. In the fall, performances are scheduled from Pennsylvania to Tennessee. www.jonesandleva.com/; duo@jonesandleva.com.

Dick Kimmel’s schedule for Aug. and Sept. include Mankato, MN Ribfest Aug. 17, Minnesota State Fair Aug. 23-24, Brown Seed Co. Fest, Prescott, WI Aug. 25, Lake Superior Music Fest Bayfield, WI Sept. 2, Turkey Days Post Race Picnic, Worthington, MN Sept. 15, Riverfest, New Ulm, MN Sept. 16. Info: kimmel@newulmtel.net; 507-359-1163; www.newulmtel.net.

Performances for Leela and Ellie Grace include LaCrosse, WI, Great River Folk Festival Aug. 25-26, info 608-784-3033, grff@juno.com; Mountain View, AR Ozark Folk Center Sept. 7-8, info 870- 269-3280; Boone Co. Heritage Festival, Columbia, MO Sept. 16, info www.ci.columbia.mo.us; Berea, KY Dec. 26-31, info 859-986-1986, www.berea.edu/dance/dancehome.htm.

Updates to their schedule can be found at www.folkfire.org/graces.

In Print, In School & On the Net

For those of you in the northern Michigan area who want to know about music events and other happenings, the Hiawatha Music Non-Profit Co-op publishes, "irregularly," a newsletter. Info: PO Box 414, Marquette, MI 49855; 906-226-8575; www.portup.com/~hiawatha; hiawatha@portup.com.

The Athens (GA) Folk Music & Dance Society publishes a newsletter. Info: PO Box 346, Athens, GA 30603. They also have a web site at www.uga.edu/folkdance.

The folknik is a publication of the San Francisco Folk Music Club and is chock full of news about events in the SF Bay Area and environs. Info: 885 Clayton St., San Francisco CA 94117; 415-661-2217; www.sffmc.org.

Joyce Cauthen’s book, With Fiddle and Well-Rosined Bow: A History of Old-Time Fiddling in Alabama (reviewed in OTH vol. 2 no. 5) has been issued in paperback in May by the University of Alabama Press. Charles Wolfe wrote: "This is a major piece of American music scholarship. . . It belongs on the bookshelf of every old-time music fan." Info: www.uapress.ua.edu; 205-348-9534.

Bluegrass banjoist Murphy Henry publishes a newsletter, Women in Bluegrass, which contains articles, issues, and items of particular interest to women. Info: PO Box 2498, Winchester, VA 22604; nmhenry@visuallink.com.

The Charlotte Folk Society Newsletter lists music events of interest to those in the Charlotte, NC area. Info: Charlotte Folk Society, PO Box 36864, Charlotte, NC 28236-6864; 704-563-7080; phubicki@carolina.rr.com.

There have been several articles recently in North Carolina publications about the North Carolina Music and Community Project, The project uses traditional music as a way to connect schools with communities and communities with schools, and involves teachers as well as students. Dwight Rogers, banjoist and associate professor of education at UNC Chapel Hill, NC is co-director of the project. For info on the project contact Dwight at dlrogers@email.unc.edu.

If you want to find out what’s happening (including old-time and bluegrass music) in southwestern VA go to virginiablueridge.org and click on calendar of events. This will give you a monthly detailed listing of events and contact numbers.

Rafe Stefanini has two new web sites, one for his luthier business and the other for his music business: www.stefaniniviolins.com; www.rafestefanini.com.

If you need to find resources on Southwest Virginia history, genealogy, or folklife, the Southwest Virginia Heritage Guide is now online at www.virginiaheritage.org. The site provides a county-by-county listing of museums, archives, historical societies, genealogical repositories, walking/driving tours, and landmark structures in Southwest Virginia.

’MugwMugwumps Online has started a centralized Stolen Instrument list. Several other, existing stolen lists have joined with Mugwumps to produce one place where people can post or check about stolen instruments. The consolidated list can be found at www.mugwumps.stolen.html.

Some listings for camps, contests, and dances can be found at the website link http://oldjoebobclark.homestead.com/Clndr_Txt.html.

Recordings, Instruments & Labels

Emily Spencer, banjo player and singer from Whitetop, VA took a high school string band from Mt. Rogers High School to an Appalachian Conference at the Snowshoe Resort in West Virginia back in March. The young folks had a wonderful time playing the old-time string music for all the folks until they realized that one of Emily’s instruments, a hand made fiddle, was missing. It was made by Audrey Hash (daughter of the late Albert Hash), and it has a carved headpiece (a woman’s head). You can contact Emily at ESPENR@tcia.net.

Fiddler and scholar Lisa Ornstein has started a fiddle program for 4th graders at the Fort Kent Elementary School in Aroostook County, ME for the 2001-2 school year, and has put out an appeal for donations of half or 3/4-size fiddles. If any of you know of or have fiddles of this size, please contact Lisa Ornstein, Director Acadian Archives/Archives Acadiennes, University of Maine at Fort Kent; 25 Pleasant St., Fort Kent, ME 04743; 207-834-7536; ornstein@maine.edu.

A new CD by Man Alive! (Joe Thrift, Nancy Sluys, David Long, and Bill Sluys)—Ever What You Want, is out on the Yodel-ay Hee label. Info: Nancy Sluys, 197 Minglewood Rd., Westfield, NC 27053; www.bobvillemusic.com.

Banjo player Dave Landreth (formerly of the Allen Street String Band) is currently at work on a CD. Featured guests include Garry Harrison, Chirps Smith, Fred Campeau, Steve Rosen, Geoff Seitz, Pat Egan, and Jim Nelson. It will be available sometime later this year.

Bruce Molsky has a new video on Homespun Tapes: Southern Old Time Fiddle Tour: An In-Depth Lesson in Traditional Styles. Info: www.homespuntapes.com.

The new CD by James Reams and the Barnstormers, Barnstormin’, is available on Copper Creek Records (www.coppercreekrec.com). Info: www.jamesreams.com; 540-563-5937.

Rafe Stefanini’s new CD, Glory on the Big String, has been issued on County Records.

Two new Copper Creek releases include old-time music: the new Wolfe Bros. CD: 2001, An Old-Time Odyssey, and Bill and Libby Hicks’ new CD, South of Nowhere.

The Deering Banjo Company has relocated to 3733 Kenora Dr., Spring Valley, CA 91977-1829. Phone and fax numbers are still the same.

James Leva’s new CD on Copper Creek Records, Memory Theatre, was released in July. 888-438-2448; www.coppercreekrec.com.

Organizations

The University of North Carolina Center for the Study of the American South explores" regional traditions and identity in a rapidly changing world. . . " and publishes a newsletter, Southern Voices. Info: CB#3355, 03 Manning Hall, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3355; 919-962-5565; Harry L. Watson, dir. at hwatson@email.unc.edu.

There are lots of fiddle contests in Missouri. The Missouri State Old-Time Fiddlers Assoc. puts out a newsletter/calendar listing them. MSOTFA, PO Box 7423, Columbia, MO 65205.

The Bill Monroe Foundation is sponsoring a ribbon cutting and bluegrass show near Rosine, KY. Monroe’s boyhood home has been restored by the Foundation. Among those appearing at the show will be Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show, and others including appearances by various Blue Grass Boys.

Nominations for National Heritage Fellowships for 2002 must be postmarked no later than Oct. 1, 2001. Individuals nominated "should be worthy of national recognition and must be actively engaged in preserving the folk and traditional arts . . . and must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S." Each fellowship award is $10,000. For info on how to submit a nomination call 202-682-5428 or write National Heritage Fellowships, Folk & Traditional Arts, NEA, Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Rm. 270, Washington DC 20506-0001.

Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee has agreed to become a member of the 2003 Birthplace of Country Music Alliance and Smithsonian Folklife Festival Advisory Council. The Council will advise and offer general direction to the Smithsonian 2003 Folklife Festival and the Curatorial Committee, which is responsible for developing the festival program, based upon the theme of the musical heritage of the heart of Appalachia. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is held annually in Washington DC on the Capital Mall between the Washington Monument and the Capital Building. The Festival is held the last week of June and the first week of July.

You can join the Rhythm Bones Society (mantra "may your bones be with you")by contacting them at 1060 Lower Brow Rd. (like the name!), Signal Mountain, TN 37377 for info.

Jams & Sessions

There is an old-time jam every Tues. at 8 pm at the Red and Black Caf& in Portland, Oregon, S.E. 22nd and Division St. Info: Dickel Bros., 503-235-9678; dickelbrothers@excite.com.

There is an Irish and old-time music jam at O’Niell’s Pub, 3211 Central NE in Albuquerque, NM on Sundays. Info: 256-0564.

The old-time jam formerly held in Mountain View, CA has moved. It is now being held at The Bean Scene, 186 S Murphy St., Sunnyvale on the 1st and 3rd Mondays, 7:30-10:30 PM. Info: 408-243-7001; Paul@Barnettfamily.org.

Mark Brissenden notes that there is no formal Colorado Old-Time Fiddlers Association, but there are regular old-time jams in Boulder, on Tues. and Wed. nights, and there’s an afternoon beginner’s jam the last Sunday of the month in Denver. For jam and dance info: Mark at 303-449-4319; markb@glosa.com; http://cfootmad.org.

In Our Thoughts

WV fiddler Melvin Wine, 92, suffered a heart attack on June 12. The doctors verified that there was damage to his heart. He was taken to the hospital and remained alert and spunky throughout the entire ordeal. Back home, he appreciates hearing from his friends. Melvin Wine, HC 36, Box 7, Copen, WV 26615.

Robert Stripling of the Stripling Bros. (Robert and Lee) recently underwent surgery for an aneurism and is recovering nicely. Cards and letters may be sent to him at: Robert Stripling, 412 Willa Lane, Gardendale, AL 35071.

Congratulations

Among the recipients of the 2001 National Heritage Fellowships are Hazel Dickens, traditional singer and songwriter from Montcalm, WV and Washington, DC, Eddie Pennington, thumbpicking-style guitarist from Princeton, KY, Joe Wilson, folklorist, advocate, and presenter from Silver Spring, MD and Trade, TN, Wilson "Boozoo" Chavis, Creole zydeco accordionist from Lake Charles, LA. Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the awards will be presented in late Sept. in Washington, DC.

Paul and Win Grace are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

Final Notes

West Virginia fiddler Glen Smith died on Apr. 5. Betty Vornbrock wrote that Glen was always very sharing with his music, and enjoyed attending the festivals and contests around West Virginia. He was born in Woodlawn, VA in 1923, and moved to Elizabeth, WV in the ‘60s. Musical events in West Virginia will miss his presence, and his driving mastery of the fiddle.

Joe Wilson reports that Lou Ella Menard, wife of Cajun musician, D. L. Menard and "earth mother and loving friend of all waifs and fans who found their way to her door," died on Apr. 7. Joe added, "we predict a considerable improvement in the quality of the coffee served in Paradise." Friends may write to D.L. at Route 1, Box 9, Erath, LA 70533.

Lake Charles, LA zydeco accordionist Wilson "Boozoo" Chavis died on May 5 at the age of 70. The son of tenant farmers, Chavis learned accordion from his father. He started performing in a family run dance hall in the late 1940s. Along with Clifton Chenier he "provided a bridge between the older Creole music called ‘la la’ and the harder zydeco that rules today. . . . Chavis played hard accordion, maintaining a stripped-down sound that could ride a one-chord vamp to exhaustion. Some thought it archaic, and Chavis did sound pretty much the same in the ‘90s as he had in the ‘50s. He once said, ‘I speak from my heart and I play from my heart.’"—Richard Harrington, Washington Post May 13, 2001.

Bay Area Cajun accordionist Danny Poullard died on Apr. 27 at the age of 63. Suzy Thompson wrote: "After nearly two decades of playing music with Danny I have remained fascinated by the way he ornamented Cajun tunes. He was a master at taking the simple and embroidering it in a completely natural sounding way. Danny’s way of embellishing the tunes is exactly like Danny himself: stylish, but not flashy, elegant, full of power and grace. Danny was incredibly generous with his music and I know that all of us feel grateful to have experienced that generosity."

Bobby Fulcher writes: "Bob Douglas, one of the last fiddlers from the golden age of old-time music, died in Dayton, Tennessee on May 2 at age 101. Although he has remained obscure to many fans of old-time music, he was a great exemplar of the regional fiddling style made famous by the Skillet Lickers, a vessel for his father’s astounding 19th-century sound and style, and an adaptive, creative, wonderful musician, who found steady work as a fiddler from 1923 to 2001.

"Robert McKinley Douglas was born in a tenant house in Sequatchie College, TN in 1900. His father, Tom Douglas, was known throughout southeastern Tennessee as an unbeatable fiddler, and he recruited Bob as an accompanist in 1917. Their lengthy music tours, always afoot, covered the southern end of Walden’s Ridge, the Sequatchie Valley, and the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.

"His radio appearances must have numbered above a thousand broadcasts, maybe several thousand, as he was a daily fixture on the Chattanooga airways for decades, and, for a couple years in the early 1930s, a full-time performer on Atlanta’s WSB with the Tennessee Firecrackers and Bill Gatin’s Jug Band. In 1928, he recorded for RCA Victor with the Allen Brothers. He took Curly Fox along on the White Owl Medicine Show, Curly’s first job in music, and toured with Clayton McMichen and Carl Cotner. In 1942, he hired and recorded with teenagers Charlie and Ira Loudermilk, who later, as the Louvin Brothers, became the most influential male duet in country music history. In 1975, he won the Smithsonian Institution’s National Fiddle Contest and Convention in Washington, D. C.

"At age 99, his schedule was triumphant, including a live performance on national radio for A Prairie Home Companion, before hopping a jet for a weeklong stint at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. After passing age 100, he performed on the Grand Ole Opry (the only centenarian to do so in the Opry’s 75 years,) completed an hour-length music performance video [see review on pg.50], and gave several full concerts. On his 101st birthday, he bore down with a full set of fiddle tunes at The Mountain Opry in Signal Mountain, TN, a stage he had frequented for the past 25 years

"As a friend of Bob’s, I was touched to hear from many of his musical friends from around the county who send word that they had played a Bob Douglas tune in his memory after hearing of his death. His services were filled with beautiful music by friends Ed and Delmore Brown, Tom and Jim Atkins, Fletcher Bright, and Mike DeFosche. He was buried in a lovely old Chattanooga cemetery, in full view of Lookout Mountain." n

 

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