Erynn Marshall is an old-time fiddler known internationally as a performing artist and for her knowledge of fiddle traditions. Erynn learned the nuances of Appalachian old-time fiddling from her visits with 80-95 year-old fiddlers in WV, KY, NC and VA. She performs at festivals, teaches at music camps around the globe, and tours with her husband, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Carl Jones. She has won many blue ribbons at prominent competitions including Mt Airy and Clifftop. She has written one book, performed on/produced 10 recordings, appeared in 5 films, and is featured in recent books, As Has It and Singing at the Clothesline. Erynn is Coordinator of Old-Time Music & Dance Week and Program Director for Alleghany JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) a non-profit organization that helps children learn traditional music in afterschool programs.
Greg Canote has spent most of his musical life playing and singing with his twin brother Jere. For thirteen years, Greg and Jere were the affable musical sidekicks on NPR’s Sandy Bradley’s Potluck out of Seattle and the two have led a successful ongoing stringband workshop since 1983. Greg has been on the staff at many festivals and workshops including the Gathering, the Augusta Heritage Workshops, the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, the Festival of America Fiddle Tunes, and American Banjo Camp.
Jere and twin brother Greg Canote have been performing together since childhood. With Greg on the fiddle and Jere on guitar and banjo, they have played for concerts, dances and musical events in forty-seven states and a few foreign countries. Jere also got bit by the banjo building bug, resulting in his own open-back 5-strings, minstrel banjos, pony, piccolo, and guitar banjos, and many banjo ukes! In 2010, Jere released 5 String Circus, a collection of songs and tunes played on the Gold Tone Cello Banjo. Soon after, he released Uke Life, featuring flatpicking and clawhammer technique on the ukulele. For over thirty years, the twins have been regular teachers at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Portland Uke Fest and many more.
was featured in the October 2000 issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
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 overseas since the early 1970s, 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. Over the last thirty years, Phil has done extensive research on Appalachian dance, and resulting in his book, Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance (University of Illinois Press, 2015) A 2017 inductee to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, Phil teaches traditional Appalachian music and dance at Warren Wilson College.
Rodney Sutton has been performing and teaching traditional Appalachian step-dancing for over 40 years, first with the two-time World Champion Green Grass Cloggers, and then as co-founder of the Fiddle Puppets (now known as Footworks). Rodney is a recipient of the Asheville Folk Heritage Committee’s Sam Queen Award, and the first-ever South Arts Folk and Traditional Master Artist Fellowship, which he used to explore the roots of his flatfoot style from sean-nós dancers in Ireland. He is an adjunct professor in the Bluegrass, Old-time and Country Music Studies program at East Tennessee State University.
Eddie was born in Galax, VA and learned at an early age the old style of Appalachian singing and playing that he heard from friends and neighbors. His maternal grandmother taught Eddie to flat-foot and play the guitar. Grandpa Bond played guitar and sang duets with Eddie’s Grandma who played autoharp and taught Eddie many of the old mountain ballads. Great-uncle Leon Hill took Eddie to visit many mountain fiddlers and musicians who would visit Uncle Leon’s house in return. He learned banjo and then fiddle. Eddie has won first place in Fiddle, Banjo, and Autoharp at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention as well as many other contests, and has carried his music across the globe. In 2018, he was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship, our nation’s highest honor for a folk artist. Currently, Eddie teaches the next generation of old-time musicians at the local high school of Grayson County, VA.
Adam grew up in northern California, and was exposed to old-time, acoustic blues, bluegrass and early country music in his early teens. Proficient on fiddle, mandolin , guitar and vocals, Adam draws his greatest inspiration from early 78rpm discs and field recordings. He has toured in both the US and Europe as a member of The Crooked Jades, The Hunger Mountain Boys and The Twilite Broadcasters, and most recently The Vaden Landers Band. He has taught old-time fiddle, guitar and mandolin at The Swannanoa Gathering, Mars Hill College Blue Ridge Old-Time Week, Augusta Heritage Old-Time Week, The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop and Mike Compton’s Monroe Mandolin Camp. He’s made eight recordings and written an e-book on old-time mandolin entitled Shuffle of the Pick available in Apple iBooks and Amazon. Adam is currently on staff at East Tennessee State University’s, Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program.
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 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.
Kenny is an accomplished old-time fiddler, guitarist, banjo player and singer that Old-Time Herald calls “one of the finest old-time musicians active today”. Kenny has played with such bands as Leftwich, Higginbotham, and Jackson, The Rhythm Rats, Big Medicine, and The Bow Benders. He has performed at major festivals, concert venues, dances, dodgy dives, and on notable radio and TV broadcasts, including A Prairie Home Companion. Kenny’s discography includes two solo albums: Over the Mountain and The Shortest Day, three with Big Medicine, and two with the Rhythm Rats, as well as appearing on several compilations.
A native of Christiansburg in southwest Virginia, John Hollandsworth has developed his own autoharp style incorporating both chromatic and diatonic techniques. John has performed and led workshops at festivals and schools all across the U.S. and in the UK, and in 1991, he was the first winner of the prestigious Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship. He has been named the “Best All-Around Performer” of the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention three times, the only autoharp player ever to win this recognition. In 2010, John was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame. He builds custom-made Blue Ridge Autoharps that are highly sought after by discriminating players around the world.
Ron is a performer and scholar of the music of the Appalachian region. A founding member of the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers, with whom he performed on NPR’s 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.
A seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and musician, Sheila Kay Adams was born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, NC, an area renowned for its unbroken tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing that dates back to the early Scots/Irish and English settlers of the mid-17th century. In September, 2013, Adams received the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts – the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award which recognizes folk and traditional artists for their artistic excellence and efforts to conserve America’s culture for future generations.
Carol Elizabeth Jones has taught traditional singing, harmony, and rhythm guitar at workshops across the U.S. and Canada. She performed and recorded with the Wildcats, Wandering Ramblers, Jones & Leva, and Laurel Bliss, and has toured Asia and Africa for the U.S. State Department. She sang for a season with the Hopeful Gospel Quartet on A Prairie Home Companion before deciding to stay home a bit more. She is the Youth Librarian at the public library in Lexington, VA, where she makes her home.
Whitt Mead was introduced to old-time music in college in the mid 70’s. Initially influenced by the music of North Carolina and Virginia, his appreciation soon spread to include many more regions of the eastern U.S. Playing for dances and teaching at music camps, as well as through the Ohio Arts Council has afforded him the pleasure of sharing his passion for music learned from elder musicians as well as recordings of those he never got to meet. A founding member of the Rhythm Rats, Whitt also performed with the Dan Gellert Trio and the OK Ramblers.
Paul Kovac’s a pretty versatile picker and singer and can handle himself on a variety of instruments and styles. His natural curiosity & passion for traditional music, and his respect for older pioneering musicians, has made for some interesting collaborations over the past 40+ years. A natural teacher, Paul enjoys sharing his first-hand knowledge with others equally curious.
A dedicated backup guitar player for nearly 50 years, John tries to channel the best guitar players of the 1920s and early 1930s. In recent years, he’s anchored the rhythm sections of the Hoover Uprights, the Mostly Mountain Boys, and the Sunny Mountain Serenaders, and he’s taught classes and workshops across the US and Europe at Ashokan, Augusta, Cowan Creek, Mars Hill, Gainsborough, and Fiddle Tunes. He’s also a member of the board of the Field Recorders’ Collective, a non-profit organization that tracks down rare field- and home recordings of traditional music and produces CDs and downloads for listening and learning. In 2012 John published Old-Time Backup Guitar: Learn from the Masters, which immediately became the go-to resource for learning old-time backup, based on careful listening to 78 rpm recordings.
Amy Alvey had been playing in orchestras in southern California when she discovered old time and bluegrass fiddling while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since graduating with a Bachelor’s of Music in Violin Performance, she has dedicated her summers to traveling to different fiddler’s conventions around the southeast, winning ribbons at prestigious fiddle contests like Clifftop, Surry County Fiddlers Convention, Mount Airy and Galax. She tours internationally with her duo, Golden Shoals, and has taught fiddle at Blackpot Camp, Dare to Be Square DMV, the Handmade Music School, Old Town School of Folk Music, Louisville Folk School, the Bellingham Folk Festival, and the Dorrigo Folk School in Australia. She now makes her home in Nashville, TN.
A spectacular mountain dulcimer player who can match the fiddle note-for-note on tunes, Don has been collecting, preserving and performing Appalachian music for more than fifty years. He has spent most of his life working, playing music and living alongside old-time musicians in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. He has developed a playing style that translates the older style fiddle and banjo tunes, ballads, and songs to the dulcimer, while maintaining traditional rhythms and stylistic sensibilities. Don has performed at many festivals across the country, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. He played music and appeared in the films, Songcatcher and The Journey of August King. Since 1985 Don has championed traditional music as an on-air host at Blue Ridge Public Radio, in Asheville, NC.
A veteran of the old-time music and dance scene, Gordy is known for his distinctive clawhammer style on the fretless banjo and his masterful rhythmic footwork as a clogger and buckdancer. He plays banjo with the New Southern Ramblers, and for many years was a mainstay of the Green Grass Cloggers. Gordy has taught at workshops throughout the country, and has been a part of the Gathering since its inception. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina.
Janie Rothfield is an award winning fiddler and clawhammer banjo player, educator, recording artist and touring musician who has been immersed in old-time and other traditional music styles since her early teens. Janie has played with many older-generation clawhammer banjo players (Eddie Lowe, Paul David Smith, Jimmy McCown) and has developed her own driving, melodic and lyrical style of tune playing and song accompaniment. With over 35 years of playing and teaching around the world, Janie has developed a compassionate and supportive approach for teaching that focuses not only on good technique but primarily on rhythm and musicality to enable her students to reach their musical potential and have fun doing it!
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, he is known as the “Father of Old-Time Music” in Japan(!), 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.
Becky Hill is a percussive dancer, choreographer and square dance caller, currently seeking her MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland. She has studied with many percussive dance visionaries, organizes Helvetia Hoot, and was a U.S. State Department OneBeat Fellow in 2018. She performs with the T-Mart Rounders, calls square dances and teaches throughout the country.
Brian began attending fiddler’s conventions in 1967, and one day he asked to borrow his father’s banjo, and has been hooked on the music, dance, and culture of the southern Appalachian Mountains ever since. He toured for 12 years with the Green Grass Cloggers, in venues around the world. He has lectured and led workshops on southern Appalachian music, dance, and culture, and continues to play, teach and call dances. His book of original dances, Hands Four And Square Your Sets was featured in two international music and dance publications. He has been a banjo, band, and flatfooting judge, and a caller at Clifftop in WV many times, and has been on staff at many music and dance camps around the country.
Vivian Leva was born and raised in Lexington, VA by respected old-time musicians James Leva and Carol Elizabeth Jones. She spent all of her summers at regional fiddlers conventions and camps, including the Swannanoa Gathering, developing her singing, songwriting, and guitar playing from a young age. Since 2016, she has toured across the U.S. with her old-time stringband, The Onlies, and has performed across the U.S., Canada, and U.K. with her duo partner Riley Calcagno. She has also released two albums of original music and taught at camps across North America, including Nimblefingers, Fiddle Tunes, and Big Sur Fiddle Camp.
West Virginia-born multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, piano, ukulele) and vocalist Paula Bradley has been involved in old-time and roots music for many years. Known for her strong, spirited vocals, as well as her joyful, percussive clogging, she has toured with old-time darlings Uncle Earl and recorded and toured with Tony Trischka and Bruce Molsky as part of the acoustic roots trio, Jawbone. She was a member of the acclaimed old time trio, The Rhythm Rats, with whom she made two CDs, and, with her late husband, Bill Dillof, the old time duo, Moonshine Holler, as well as the popular New England honkytonk combo Girl Howdy. She has been an instructor at many music camps, including: Augusta, Swannanoa, Ashokan, Mars Hill, and MBOTMA; and presented various historical programs, including: “Women in Traditional Music,” “The Multicultural Roots of American Traditional Music” and “The Music of the Carter Family.”
Riley Calcagno is a fiddle, banjo, and guitar player, originally from Seattle, WA. He grew up going to fiddle festivals and camps on the west coast, where he soaked up old-time music going from jam to jam and learning from older masters of the style. At age 7, he co-founded The Onlies, a stringband that is somehow still playing and performing together. In 2018, the band released a collaborative record with mentors and friends John Herrmann and Meredith McIntosh as the band The Ruglifters. Riley also plays in a duo with guitar player and singer, Vivian Leva. They released a critically acclaimed album of original songs on Free Dirt Records in 2021. Riley is an experienced teacher and has a passion and patience for passing along tradition and technique.
Mattias was born and raised in Oslo, Norway and has been immersed in old-time music from an early age. After years of travelling to various old time festivals in the Appalachian mountains with his parents, he started playing fiddle at the age of nine. He has learned from some of the most experienced old time fiddlers including Eddie Bond, Bruce Greene, and Bruce Molsky. Mattias has performed and taught in Norway, USA, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, and England. He is a founding member of The Moose Whisperers who won the Clifftop Old-Time Band contest in 2016. He has also won the Galax Old-Time Band contest with the New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters. In 2019, he won first place in the Galax Fiddle Contest and was selected as the festival’s Best All-Around Performer. In addition to old-time music, Mattias plays Norwegian folk music on violin and Hardanger fiddle and is now a student at the Norwegian State Academy of Music.
Janis Ian keeps a sign above her workspace that guides her after more than five decades as a revered songwriter who dares to say what no one else w ill. “Do not be held hostage by your legacy.” When you’ve written, starting at age 14, some of pop music’s most evergreen songs – “Society’s Child,” “At Seventeen,” “Jesse,” and “Stars,” among them – it’s no wonder she’d need a reminder to shake free of expectations. Now, at 71, Ian is embracing a new milestone: the art of the farewell. Calling The Light at the End of the Line her “last solo studio album”, it bookends a kaleidoscopic catalog that began with her 1967 self-titled debut. Her first album of new material in 15 years, Light also sets the stage for her final North American tour in 2022. These 12 new songs present intimate portraits of getting older but wiser: (“I’m Still Standing”), knowing when to stand up and not take any more crap: (“Resist”), celebrating life’s fleeting beauty: (“Swannanoa”), paying homage to a lifelong influence and that artist’s own demons: (“Nina,” as in Simone). Ian is at her most primal as a vocalist here. Every note, every cadence, every beat is in the perfect place. If The Light at the End of the Line ends up being Ian’s swan song, it’s as graceful an exit as fans could want. She’s always cut through to the heart of things, striking a universal chord as timely then as it is today. We’re still having the same conversations around race and racism that she ignited in 1966’s “Society’s Child,” her teenage ode to a white woman who brings home a black boyfriend. And in the age of social media, 1975’s “At Seventeen” is more resonant than ever as a meditation on feeling isolated and ostracized. She has been a regular columnist for two national magazines, and ringleader of a lively online fan community. She’s dabbled in science-fiction short stories and for the past thirty-plus years devoted much of her time and effort to her philanthropic endeavors, the Pearl Foundation and the Better Times Project. If there has been any common thread, it’s this: Ian has always been down for the ride. “The journey has always been more interesting to me than wherever I end up,” she says, which brings us back to that sign above her desk. “The idea of not being held hostage by your legacy lets you move forward. You have to acknowledge them, but you don’t have to stay there. And I never have.”