The show celebrates American roots music through various musical guests, comedy skits and jokes, stories, jingles and more. This month’s guests include Whitetop Mountain Band, Nora Brown, Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Purchase online.
Whitetop Mountain Band
The Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop, Virginia is an area rich in the old time music tradition; this band has deep roots in mountain music. The members have done much to preserve the Whitetop region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.
At the same time, Whitetop Mountain Band shows are very versatile and entertaining containing everything from fiddle/banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, and four part mountain gospel songs. Shows also include flat foot dancing. The band is well known for their high energy and charisma on stage.
The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Family Fold. The band has also performed at all sorts of venues throughout the United States from festivals to concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in NYC, Carter Family Festival, Dock Boggs Festival, World Fair, Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals the band has performed at. They were featured on the NCTA Crooked Road Music tour of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho in October 2007 and the East Coast tour of MD, VA, PA, NJ, WV and D.C. in 2010. The band members have toured overseas in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. WTMB has also taught and been master musicians/dancers for workshops and classes in fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocals, and dance all over the US. Some of these include Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC, Cowan Creek Music School in KY, Mountain Music School in Big Stone Gap, and Mt. Rogers Combined School.
The band currently has recordings on the Arhoolie Record Label and Virginia Foundation of the Humanities. The band members have also been recorded by JuneAppal, Heritage and been on fiddle compilations for Rounder Records.
The Whitetop Mountain Band has been featured in many books, magazines, and tv/radio shows about Appalachian music such as The Guide to the Crooked Road, A Hotbed of Musicians, Strings of Life, In Good Keeping, Country Music Television, Travel Channel, PBS, Old Time Herald, and many tv news and radio programs.
Nora Brown started learning uke at age 6 from the late Shlomo Pestcoe. With a focus on old time music he laid a foundation of love of music and the community it creates. He instilled in her the lesson that music is meant to be shared. Now 14 years old, Nora plays banjo and sings ballads – She plays solo and also with many of her mentors including her friend, fiddler Stephanie Coleman, as a duet under name Little Leatherwood.
Today Nora is being mentored by many of her favorite old-time musicians including Alice Gerrard, Lee Sexton, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Sammy Lind, Mark Simos, KC Groves, Courtney Hartman, Mac Traynham, John Haywood and Brett Ratliff. One of her most important mentors is the late John Cohen. In the last 3 years, Nora has won blue ribbons in the youth banjo competition at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Music Festival in West Virginia. In 2018 she also placed 3rd in the Adult Banjo Finals at Clifftop. In July 2019 she received 1st place in the Folk Song competition (all ages) at the 52nd Annual Grayson County Old- Time and Bluegrass Fiddlers Convention in Elk Creek,VA. She has taught both beginning and advanced banjo at the famed Ashokan Center’s long-standing old- time camp known as Southern Week. Nora continues to travel and learn from old masters and regularly to eastern Kentucky to visit with 90-year-old master banjo player and former coal miner Lee Sexton and master banjo player and historian George Gibson. Nora sings ballads and plays traditional music with a heavy interest in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee banjo playing.
She has played the Floyd Radio Show in Floyd VA., the Washington Square Park Folk Festival, Brooklyn Folk Festival, Brooklyn Americana Festival, Oldtone Roots Music Festival, both Summer and Winter Hoots at the Ashokan Center, NYC Trad Fest and has had multiple month-long residencies at famed Barbès in Brooklyn NY. In October 2019, Nora released her first record of 11 traditional songs and tunes called Cinnamon Tree produced by Alice Gerrard. In June 2019 Nora was on the cover of the Banjo Newsletter Magazine and has been published in Sing Out! “Murder Ballad Monday” and more recently The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redifined “10 Young Banjo Players You Aren’t Paying Enough Attention To.”
”Little Nora Brown has a host of roots music legends pouring out of her fingertips and through her lips.”
Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones
Erynn Marshall is an old-time fiddler who lives in Galax, Virginia and is known internationally for her traditional music. Erynn learned the nuances of Appalachian old-time fiddling from rare recordings and visiting 80-95 year-old southern fiddlers. Still she puts her own spin on the traditional music she plays – sounding authentic, archaic and transportive while playing in a smooth and effortless way. Erynn performs at festivals, teaches at music camps around the globe, and tours with her husband – songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Carl Jones. Her tunes are becoming common repertoire in fiddle circles. Erynn won 1st place fiddle at “Clifftop” (The Appalachian String Band Festival) and was the first woman to do so. She has recorded six albums and appeared in five films (Voices of Virginia, the Clifftop Experience I’ll Fly Away Home, Conversations with Old-Time Musicians,” plus the upcoming Never Met a Stranger). She is coordinator for Swannanoa Old-Time Week near Asheville, NC.
Carl Jones is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Born in Macon, Georgia, Carl presently lives in Galax, Virginia. He studied music near Muscle Shoals, Alabama and was influenced by seeing Roy Orbison, Steve Goodman, and Mac Macanally record there. Carl is widely respected for his instrumental talents and original songs about the joys and tribulations of day-to-day life in the South. Carl’s songs have been recorded by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins with Tony Rice, and others. His song Last Time On The Road was on the grammy-award-winning album “Unleashed” by the Nashville Bluegrass Band. In the 1980’s he played mandolin with James Bryan, Norman and Nancy Blake as part of the Rising Fawn String Ensemble. Today he tours the world with his wife, fiddler Erynn Marshall. Carl is known for his fine musicianship, charismatic teaching, sense of humor, and powerful songwriting. He has recorded on a couple dozen recordings including his original songs CD “Traveling Star” and Norman Blake’s “Original Underground Music of the Mysterious South.”
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