Join us for The Floyd Radio Show on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm for a night of music by three different groups, interviews, comedy skits, jokes, wacky sound effects and more!
Guests for our May season finale episode include Frank and Allie Lee, Joe Thrift & The Yeehaw Ramblers and more. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.
Frank & Allie Lee
Frank and Allie Lee (Bryson City, NC) are a harmony-powered old time duo. Their April 2018 release, Roll On, Clouds, showcases their favorite songs from over two years of performing together. These pieces range from blues tradition (“Somebody On Your Bond,” “Roll and Tumble”) to bluegrass classics (“Standing on a Mountain,” “Cabin on a Hill”), yet remain rooted in the old time aesthetic. Frank’s nylon string fretless banjo is the dominant instrument, with guitar, slide guitar, and Allie’s banjo and harmonica adding to the musical texture.
Frank and Allie, core duo of longstanding string band The Freight Hoppers, have traveled extensively as touring musicians. Frank, a founding member of The Freight Hoppers, has impressed audiences all over the United States, Canada, and northern Europe with his signature clawhammer sound. Allie is a founding member of The Whipstitch Sallies, a band from Indiana that toured in the Midwest, North Carolina, Colorado, and Hawaii. Together, the pair is a powerhouse duo with appearances planned across the country, and they toured France for two weeks in May 2018.
In addition to performing, Frank and Allie screen print music-themed t-shirts, available on their website. They also organize an old time music retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains in the spring called the Banjo-Fiddle Frolic.
Roll On, Clouds is available at www.frankandallie.com, as well as CD Baby, iTunes, & Spotify.
Joe Thrift & The YeeHaw Ramblers
Joe Thrift is a violin maker and fiddler who has steeped himself in all aspects of the instrument. Born in Winston-Salem, Joe grew up in a family that was sympathetic to his musical interests. His father was a pipe organ builder, and his mother an organist and choir director. In the early 1970s, Joe became interested in building instruments and playing music. “After building several small instruments myself,” he recalls, “I apprenticed to a local maker and worked in his shop, visiting as many other makers as I could find.” The local maker was Dave Sturgill, who had a shop in Alleghany County. Other young musicians with similar interests worked at Sturgill’s shop, and they formed bands to play at the local and regional festivals. Joe also visited with Albert Hash of Whitetop, Virginia, a fiddle player and maker who heightened Joe’s interested in playing and making fiddles.
In 1976, Joe moved to Newark-On-Trent, England, to attend the Newark School of Violin Making. After graduating, he returned to Winston-Salem and opened a violin shop, making, repairing, and restoring violins, violas, and cellos. As he became more interested in playing fiddle, he made regular visits to Tommy Jarrell‘s house near Mount Airy. Joe learned a host of tunes from Jarrell, as well as an approach to playing. “I play the notes they way they sound to me,” he says. “I like driving fiddle with hard-driving but simple guitar playing.” In addition to playing with Jarrell, Joe was busy listening to recordings of early old-time musicians and bands such as Luther Strong, the Skillet Lickers, and Dykes Magic City Trio.
By 1982, Joe was performing with his fiddling friend Rich Hartness and Rich’s band Too Wet to Plow. Soon Joe and Hartness formed the Red Hots, which also included Tom Riccio and Riley Baugus. The Red Hots made several recordings and have performed in the region for years. Joe has recorded and performed with other groups also, including a period as keyboard player for the nationally-touring group Donna the Buffalo in the 1990s. In 2000, Joe started the band Man Alive with Bill and Nancy Sluys and guitar player David Long. Next, he played in the group jimmyjohnnyjoe with Mark Olitsky, Jason Sypher, and Debra Clifford.
Joe’s newest project, The YeeHaw Ramblers, consist of Tammy and David Sawyer, Gina and Jason Dilg. Together the band revives the original tunes that Joe has written over the years, and plays energetic traditional tunes and songs of the area.