Old Time Week Staff – July 21-27, 2024


Erynn Marshall | www.dittyville.com

Erynn Marshall is a fiddler known internationally for her music. She loves to teach tunes from the repertoire of traditional fiddlers she visited over the last 25 years, or to sleuth out playing secrets from archival recordings. She has won blue ribbons at Clifftop (the 1st woman to do so) and Mt. Airy fiddlers’ conventions, and has performed across Europe, Australia and China with her multi-instrumentalist/husband, Carl Jones. Erynn has produced several recordings and is featured in three books, five films and the ‘Women of Old-Time Music’ exhibit at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (VA). Erynn is Coordinator of Swannanoa’s Old-Time Music & Dance Week.

Chas Justus

A founding member of the Red Stick Ramblers, Chas has performed with such artists as T-Bone Burnett, Linda Rondstadt, Jay Ungar, Tim O’Brien, Flaco Jimenez, and Asleep at the Wheel. He tours with the Grammy-nominated Cajun/zydeco/swamp pop outfit The Revelers, and his band, Chas Justus & the Jury. He co-founded Lafayette’s Blackpot Festival and is the co-founder and artistic director of Blackpot Camp in Eunice, LA. Chas has also produced two albums of his original material, and has worked on film scores, served as a music consultant and co-produced an EP of translated Louisiana Christmas music called Joyeux Noël, Bon Chrismeusse.

Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson grew up in a family of old-time musicians in the Virginia mountains. A passionate educator and community builder, he has worked as an elementary school science instructor, naturalist, traditional music teacher, and square-dance caller. Ben has taught music and dance at Warren Wilson College, the Junior Appalachian Musicians program (JAM), and traditional music camps throughout the U.S. He is a founding member of the prize-winning young string band The Moose Whisperers, and was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 2005.

Phil Jamison  | www. philjamison.com

Founding Coordinator of Old-Time Music & Dance Week, Phil is nationally-known as a dance caller, flatfoot dancer, and old-time musician on banjo, fiddle, and guitar. He has called dances, performed, and taught at music festivals and dance events throughout the U.S. and abroad, including over forty years as a member of the Green Grass Cloggers and twenty-two years with Tennessee fiddler, Ralph Blizard & the New Southern Ramblers. His flatfoot dancing was featured in the film, Songcatcher, for which he also served as Traditional Dance consultant. A longtime proponent of traditional Southern square dancing, in 2004, he co-founded Dare To Be Square!, a weekend workshop for square dance callers. Phil has done extensive research for many years on Appalachian dance, resulting in his book, Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance. A 2017 inductee to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, and a 2022 inductee to America’s Clogging Hall of Fame, Phil has recently retired from teaching traditional Appalachian music and dance at Warren Wilson College.

Rhys Jones 

Rhys took up fiddle when he was 6 years old, and learned from the older generation of West Virginia fiddlers like Wilson Douglas, Glen Smith, Ernie Carpenter and Melvin Wine. Rhys is equally comfortable with a number of regional styles of fiddling and has appeared everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center, won the Clifftop Fiddle contest twice, recorded five albums, was featured in PBS documentaries, and appeared on the BBC. His band, Bigfoot has been performing old-time music around the world for the last 10 years, and received the Blue Ribbon at Clifftop multiple times.

Earl White

Fiddling Earl White has been a mainstay in the old-time, folk and dance community for more 45 years. An original and founding member of the famed Green Grass Cloggers, Earl is one of few Black Americans preserving and playing Appalachian style old-time music. Old-time music was once an intricate part of Black communities and formed the foundation of American music of today. Earl has played in numerous old-time string bands, and he currently leads the Earl White String Band, which has emerged as a favored dance band for both square and contra dances. The band performs at festivals and instructional music camp throughout the US and abroad.

Kelli Jones

Kelli Jones moves so effortlessly between genres, traditions, and musical concepts that it’s clear she was born with an insatiable artistic curiosity. From her deeply musical Appalachian and old-time roots, she grew into a prominent figure of the vibrant Lafayette, Louisiana music scene while studying dance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and simultaneously learning Cajun French, while writing and singing songs in dual languages with progressive Cajun bands like Grammy-nominated Feufollet and T’Monde. Queen of the In Between, her debut solo record, knits together everything from classic country to psychedelic rock to contemporary indie roots singer-songwriters.

Originating from the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia, Cary Fridley’s dedication to upholding and sharing the musical traditions of the mountains began at an early age when she started playing the banjo. In her 20’s she served as the lead vocalist and guitarist for The Freight Hoppers old-time string band for 6 years during its influential period in the late 1990s, traveling internationally and creating 3 albums with the group. Now living in Asheville, NC, Cary performs as a singer and instrumentalist, collaborating with renowned musicians like Travis Stuart in the Haywood Ramblers and fronting her own band, Down South. Cary holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from UNCG, and her teaching blends academic acumen with 30+ years experience in the old-time and traditional mountain music community.


Reed Stutz | www.reedstutz.com

Multi-instrumentalist and singer Reed Stutz is recognized for his soulful delivery of stringband music and powerful rhythmic sensibility. He plays with a variety of groups including Molsky’s Mountain Drifters (Bruce Molsky, Allison de Groot), the Alice Gerrard Band, the Nokosee Fields Trio, and Steam Machine. Close attention to early recordings anchor Reed’s sound, through which he relays essential qualities of stringband music that blur the lines between old-time and bluegrass. “I love the fact that Reed deep dives into his music, searching for the secrets that might reveal its soul.” – Alice Gerrard.

John Hollandsworth 

John Hollandsworth of Christiansburg, VA, has performed and led autoharp workshops at festivals and schools all across the U.S. and in the UK. In 1991, he was the first winner of the prestigious Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship, and was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 2010. He has been named the “Best All-Around Performer” of the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention three times. His custom-made Blue Ridge Autoharps are highly sought after by discriminating players around the world.

Ron Pen

Ron is a performer and scholar of the music of the Appalachian region. He was a founding member of the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers, with whom he performed on A Prairie Home Companion. Ron began fiddling fifty years ago in Rockbridge County, VA and has since participated in various workshops and festivals across the region including Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Family Folk Week, Augusta’s Old-Time and Singing weeks, Berea’s Christmas Dance School, The Dulcimer Homecoming, and many times at Swannanoa. He also performed music across the globe with the Red State Ramblers and collaborated on a social art project sharing shape note singing with Sufi chant in Lancashire, England. He loves weekly participation in the Lexington and Berea weekly old time jams.

Rina Rossi | AJ&Rina

Rina was born in Ann Arbor, MI and grew up immersed in the local traditional dance scene. She studied classical bass and later she moved to Minneapolis, joined the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, and fell deep into the vibrant midwest old-time scene. She toured with WGCC for 10 years, learned to call square dances, took up fiddle and guitar, and returned to bass. Currently, she plays guitar with the old-time/bluegrass project, Steam Machine, and bass with a number of other bands. She has taught guitar, bass, and dance workshops at many camps and festivals.

Tessa (Dillon) McCoy is a five-time WV State Fiddle Champion and is the current Grand Master Traditional Fiddle Champion. Her driving and intricate style comes from a long lineage of fiddlers from the Kanawha Valley such as Bobby Taylor and Clark Kessinger. She is a passionate educator and teaches and performs year round. Tessa, along with husband Chance and step-son Edwin, won 1st place in the traditional band contest at Clifftop in 2023 as The McCoys. She now lives in Greenville, WV where she and Chance run a recording studio near their home.

Chance McCoy | www.chancemccoy.com

Chance McCoy is a Grammy-winning old-time and Indie Folk musician, music producer and film composer. Well-known for his debut old-time album, Chance McCoy and the Appalachian Stringband, Chance was also a member of Old Crow Medicine Show for 7 years. He now resides in Greenville, WV with his wife, Tessa, where they run Hunter Springs Studio – a world class audio and video recording studio.

Ellie Grace | www.elliegracearts.com

Ellie Grace was born into a deep musical tradition and began her life-long love affair with Appalachian clogging at the ripe old age of five. She has spent her life touring internationally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and dancer. Ellie holds an MFA in Dance and has directed schools of folk music and dance in Missouri and North Carolina as well as being on faculty at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and University of North Carolina. She holds an undying commitment to using the performing arts to build community and lift others up. When not on the road, Ellie leads a folk community chorus in Kansas City. At the end of 2019, she released a highly-anticipated solo album of all original songs, On the Side of Love. At the end of 2021, Ellie became a mama and is delighted to be bringing her kiddo for his second summer at Swannanoa!

Rodney Sutton | www.rodneyclaysutton.com

For over 50 years, Rodney Sutton has arguably taught more folks the basics of clogging and flatfooting than any other dancer! He is particularly known as a traditional step-dancer, adept at both flatfooting and clogging, and also as a dance caller. He continues to teach locally, online, and nationally at workshops and festivals! Rodney prides himself on being able to teach anyone who can walk how to do clogging and flatfoot dance steps that will turn them into percussive dancers and allow them to be a foot drummer to any kind of music!

AJ grew up in a musical Wisconsin household and began fiddling at age 10. The great Wisconsin fiddler, Chirps Smith introduced him to the rich old-time repertoire of the midwest, and he was also influenced by Dwight Lamb and Al Murphy who in turn played with Missouri fiddlers Cyril Stinnett, Lyman Enloe, and Gene Goforth. His fiddling has earned ribbons in various fiddle and band contests, including first place at Clifftop and second in bluegrass at the Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention. Currently touring regionally and nationally with various projects including Steam Machine and The Old Fashioned Aces, he has taught private lessons for over 10 years and taught fiddle at many music camps and festivals.

Gina Dilg is a fiddler, flatfoot dancer, and visual artist who grew up in an old-time music-playing family. She found her voice in the driving fiddling of Southwest Virginia upon moving to the area in 2017. She was inspired by musicians and dancers at the Floyd Country Store, and was soon teaching dance workshops at the Friday Night Jamboree, and winning ribbons at the Clifftop, Mt Airy, and Galax Fiddler’s conventions. Her dance style is percussive yet smooth, and has been described as “fiddling with her feet.” Gina plays in a duo with her husband Jason Dilg as The Lovely Mountaineers and in an all-woman driving string band, The Mustard Cutters.

Gordy Hinners

Gordy Hinners, known for his driving fretless banjo style and his masterful, rhythmic flatfooting, has been performing traditional Appalachian music and dance for over 50 years. He spent many years touring with the well-known and influential dance company, the Green Grass Cloggers, and for over 20 years with the New Southern Ramblers and master fiddler and National Heritage Fellow, Ralph Blizard. He has won many awards for both his dancing and banjo playing, and has participated in every edition of our Old Time Week but one. Gordy lives in the high country of North Carolina with his wife, musician and dancer, Rebecca Keeter.

Meredith McIntosh

With a degree in music education and a great love for old-time music, Meredith is known as a patient and enthusiastic teacher who will make you laugh. She teaches how to think and play music with ease to hopefully prevent injury. Meredith is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who has played bass with the New Southern Ramblers and Bigfoot, as well as with Alice Gerrard, Balfa Toujours, The Freight Hoppers, and The Bucking Mules. She has recorded with a variety of people including Art Stamper, Dirk Powell, and Si Kahn. She lives in Asheville, NC where she is a certified Alexander Technique teacher and a licensed massage therapist.

John Herrmann

John has been traveling the world playing old-time music for over forty years. He plays fiddle with the New Southern Ramblers, but he has performed with many bands including the Henrie Brothers (1st place Galax, 1976), Critton Hollow, the Wandering Ramblers, One-Eyed Dog and the Rockinghams. Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass, in Japan he is known as the “Father of Old-Time Music”(!), and the originator of the ‘slow jam.’ John has been on staff at numerous music camps from coast to coast. He lives in Madison Co., NC.

Carl Jones | www.dittyville.com

Carl Jones is a southern American songwriter and musican widely respected for his instrumental talents and original songs about the joys and tribulations of life in the south. Carl’s songs have been recorded by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins w/ Tony Rice, and others. His song “Last Time On The Road” was on the Grammy Award-winning album Unleashed, by The Nashville Bluegrass Band. He has recorded with Beverly Smith, James Bryan, and with Norman & Nancy Blake’s Rising Fawn String Ensemble. For many years now, he has recorded and tours with his wife, fiddler Erynn Marshall. Their latest releases are entitled Old Tin and Old Time Sweethearts Vol 1 & 2.

Jackie Merritt | www.jackieamerritt.com

‘Renaissance Woman’ Jackie Merritt is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and visual artist. She is a member of M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio with Miles Spicer & Resa Gibbs, and the duo, Jackie & Resa. The trio was featured in Living Blues magazine, and Jackie had an original song featured on the CD, Blues Harp Women, which celebrated female harmonica players from around the world. Jackie & Resa were accepted into the Library of Congress’ “Americana Women: Roots Musicians – Women’s Tales and Tunes” as part of the MusicBox Project collection. An instructor of harmonica and rhythm bones, she has taught at numerous music camps, and has taught painting/drawing at the university level.

Cary Moskovitz | www.carymosk.com

Cary grew up in Greensboro, NC in a family of musicians. He began playing guitar at age 12, joined his first band at 15, and began giving guitar lessons while still in high school. Cary performs a variety of American string-band genres including old-time, blues, and swing. He has won many competition ribbons for guitar, banjo, harmonica, and singing–and is the author of How to Play Old-Time Fiddle Tunes on Harmonica. His recordings include Papa Charlie Done Sung That Song: A Tribute to Papa Charlie Jackson; North Carolina Breakdown: Old-Time Fiddle Tunes on Harmonica, and two albums of banjo duets with Mark Olitsky—Duets and Pretty Little Cats.

Mark Olitsky began playing clawhammer banjo after being introduced to old-time string band music while in art school in Cleveland, Ohio. He has played and recorded with various fiddlers and string bands in Virginia and North Carolina and taught workshops in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia – along the way being interviewed and reviewed in the Old-Time Herald, Banjo Newsletter and Bluegrass Unlimited. Mark was awarded a Seth Rosenberg prize for his playing by the Creative Workforce Fellowship program presented by the Cleveland Community Partnership of Arts and Culture and was selected to represent old-time banjo in PBS’ Idea Stream First Voice film project showcasing Ohio roots musicians.

Aaron O’Rourke 

Aaron O’Rourke has been teaching and performing on the mountain dulcimer for the last two decades. He has authored over 20 instructional books for the mountain dulcimer covering topics such as old-time and Celtic repertoire, accompaniment, and improvisation, as well as more technique-focused subjects like exercises and etudes. Aaron has won numerous competitions including the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship and Southeastern Regional Dulcimer Competition. Aaron currently lives in Signal Mountain, TN.

Melissa Hyman | www.themoonandyou.com

Children’s Program coordinator Melissa Hyman is involved with kids and music in all the many facets of her working life. She has taught music to elementary students at Asheville charter schools and coordinated children’s programming at regional music conferences. Her main gig is as a musician on the folk/indie circuit with The Moon and You, working full-time as a touring and recording artist, cellist, singer and songwriter. She is also the Music Teacher for the Asheville chapter of Arts for Life (artsforlifenc.org), a non-profit providing art and music programming for patients in NC’s major children’s hospitals and outpatient clinics. In 2016 Melissa founded Arts For Life’s Heartbeat Sessions program (heartbeatses- sions.org), in joyful collaboration with Echo Mountain Recording Studios and many talented members of the Asheville music community. Melissa looks forward to many more unforgettable summers in Swannanoa, leading a ragtag crew of amazing kids and counselors on adventures through space and time. She feels right at home in this world of messy games, silly songs, amazing crafts and fast friendships.




Betty Vornbrock & Billy Cornette

Betty and Billy met in 1990, and their band, Reed Island Rounders, is well-known for lively and haunting music of WV, VA, KY and southwest VA. They will draw on their friendships with elder masters to share stories and tunes from a bygone day.


Emily Spencer & Friends

Emily Spencer has been playing music and singing since childhood. She came to SW VA in the 1970’s and met her husband, fiddler Thornton Spencer. They formed the Whitetop Mountain Band, one of the most popular dance bands in the Blue Ridge. Emily began teaching mountain music in 1980 at public schools, colleges and JAM ( Junior Appalachian Musicians). Along with Albert Hash, Audrey Hash-Ham and Thornton, Emily started the Albert Hash Memorial Band program which has influenced generations of area musicians, including her own children, Kilby and Martha Spencer.


Bruce Greene & Don Pedi

Bruce Greene, fiddle, and Don Pedi, mountain dulcimer, have been friends and musical partners for more than twenty years, working, playing music, and living alongside old time country musicians in NC, TN, and KY. They love the old fiddle tunes, and will share music and stories of several musicians they got to know.


Thomas Maupin with Daniel Rothwell

Thomas Maupin is a self-taught buckdancer who has won first place in the senior flatfooting competition at Clifftop and the Silver Stars contest at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Thomas was featured in a recent documentary film, Let Your Feet Do the Talkin’, and in 2013, he was inducted into the American Clogging Hall of Fame. Joining him is his grandson, Daniel Rothwell, who plays banjo, sings, and tells stories. The two have appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, the Museum of Appalachia’s Fall Homecoming, Uncle Dave Macon Days, the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention, and the National Folk Festival. Thomas has received a Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award, and the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship, this country’s highest award for traditional artists.


Mick & Evan Kinney

With their family band The Griddle Lickers, Mick and his son Evan are dedicated to the preservation and performance of Georgia old-time tunes and songs. As collectors of material from local fiddlers and field recordings, they have been featured instructors at many traditional music camps and folk schools.