Harold MitchellSights & Sounds

The Voice: Remembering Harold Mitchell

All of us at the Virginia Folklife Program are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Harold Mitchell: emcee extraordinaire, master storyteller, and keeper of an encyclopedic knowledge …

Sights & Sounds

Emily Spencer and Lisa Ring

Returning to the Folklife Apprenticeship Program in 2019 is the beloved Grayson County clawhammer banjoist Emily Spencer. The clawhammer banjo style is an essential aspect of old time music, an …

News

Fiddlin’ wins Commonwealth Award at Virginia Film Festival

The Virginia Film Festival awarded Fiddlin’ its first-ever Commonwealth Award for Best Virginia Feature Film, honoring the achievements of Virginia filmmakers Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic at the 31st annual …

News

Fiddlin’ the Movie at the Virginia Film Festival

The Virginia Folklife Program is proud to present the award-winning documentary film Fiddlin’ at this year’s Virginia Film Festival. Fiddlin’ is an old time and bluegrass music documentary that takes place …

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Eddie Bond receives 2018 National Heritage Fellowship

The Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities is proud to announce that Eddie Bond, celebrated old-time fiddler from the small southwestern Virginia town of Fries, has been honored with the …

Sights & Sounds

Nate Leath and Aila and Eli Wildman

A long-time resident of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Nate Leath grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, a town in the heart of bluegrass and old-time music country. Nate picked up his …

News

A new World Record at Galax

The Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention is the largest and oldest fiddlers’ convention in the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. …

Sights & Sounds

Spencer Family & Friends: Greetings from Whitetop

Deep in the most rugged mountains of southwestern Virginia, on the slopes and in the hollows of Mt. Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, a rich tradition of old-time music has endured through many decades of changes. As the popularity of bluegrass, rock, and rap flooded the country, and as the popularity of old-time music came and went, and arose again throughout the Appalachians, the old-time musicians of the Whitetop area maintained their pure, rich musical heritage like burning embers in a banked fire.

Sights & Sounds

Eddie Bond: Take Me Back

As this recording demonstrates, Eddie Bond has talents that can bring an audience out of their seats. He is a powerful singer in a soulful Blue Ridge Mountain tradition, as well as one of the most respected old-time fiddlers in the Blue Ridge.

Sights & Sounds

Tyler & Marty: Bringing It!

On a hot summer night in 2006, two friends took the stage at the storied old-time and bluegrass music festival in Galax, Virginia. One would would sing while the other played along. When the next friend’s turn to compete arrived, they would switch roles. While neither friend is a musical virtuoso, their love for the music and their belief in each other resulted in a very special sound that embodies much of the great musical tradition of southwest Virginia.

Sights & Sounds

Anya Hinkle & Jackson Cunningham: Old Time Duets

It’s easy to forget that most songs—particularly those in American folk, traditional, or popular music—rarely last more than three and a half minutes. We often forget this because the best of songs exude a timeless quality, and tend to unexpectedly revisit us—some might say even haunt us—throughout the course of our daily lives. A good song exists in a kind of “time out of time.”

Sights & Sounds

Jimmy Boyd and Jared Boyd

The “clawhammer” banjo style is an essential aspect of “old time,” an ensemble-based, hard-driving music form which has inspired dancers across Southern Appalachia for generations. Unlike the more popularized bluegrass …

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