Mark your calendar!
Breakin’ Up Winter 22 / March 2-5, 2017
2017 Presenters & Performers
NOTSBA’s annual Breakin’ Up Winter retreat is a time we devote to learning from musicians and educators at the backbone of traditional music. Over the years, we’ve had the honor of hanging with some pretty heavy hitters.
Some of our previous presenters & performers
*= no longer active, or deceased
Our presenters and performers put together casual workshops, talks and concerts for Breakin’ Up Winter. We get to enjoy their company and maybe gain a little deeper understanding of old-time music and related topics. We attempt to feature artists from Middle Tennessee as well as from other parts of the country so we can study a variety of regional styles. Attendees are treated to awesome concerts and sometimes a way-fun square dance on Saturday night.
Here’s our lineup for Breakin’ Up Winter 2017…
Paul BrownMany words have been used to describe Paul Brown – fiddler, historian, broadcast and print journalist, banjo monster, newscaster, reporter, singer, performer, producer – but none seems as accurate as the word “legend.” You might have heard him on “Morning Edition” or “Talk of the Nation” but today, his focus is on passing along the music styles he grew up with. His interest in traditional tunes began when he was just a boy and it became his lifelong passion; over the years, he’s pulled together an enviable collection of field recordings of folk life and musicians in North Carolina and Virginia.
Paul currently hosts Across The Blue Ridge, a program centered around Appalachian sounds he created for WFDD, an NPR affiliate in Winston Salem, North Carolina, nearly 30 years ago. The show promotes old-time, bluegrass and traditional country music available on several NPR stations or by podcast, with Brown himself sometimes appearing via taped performances from the Muddy Creek Music Hall.
Paul learned old-time fiddle directly from the old masters of North Carolina and Virginia: Benton Flippen, Luther Davis, Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham. Over the years he’s played fiddle with The Toast String Stretchers, The Bent Mountain Band (with Andy Cahan and Mike Seeger), and now The Mostly Mountain Boys. He also appears regularly with his wife, Terri McMurray. You can find them onstage or behind the scene at numerous festivals, and on the staff at music camps across the country.
Click here to listen to a selection of Across The Blue Ridge shows.
Terri McMurray, a former physics and chemistry teacher in the UNC School of the Arts high school program, plays the devil out of the clawhammer banjo, guitar and the banjo uke. She’s a lifelong musician who studied “Round Peak” style banjo with North Carolina master musician Tommy Jarrell in the 1980s; she’s played with many other great banjoists including Earnest East, Benton Flippen, Fields Ward, Dix Freeman and Kyle Creed. Terri co-founded the Old Hollow Sting Band (with Riley Baugus and Kirk Sutphin) and often appears with the Mostly Mountain Boys.
She won the Galax, Virginia, old-time banjo contest in 1982. Terri played for more than 20 years with the Toast String Stretchers, the most active band in the well-known metropolis of Toast, NC, between Round Peak and Mount Airy. She currently plays with Paul Brown in the Mountain Birch Duo and is known for her welcoming and encouraging teaching style. She excels as a string band banjo player, and has taught at camps from Pinewoods in Massachusetts to FOATMAD in England.
Sheila Kay Adams
The legacy of female ballad singers continues today thanks to Sheila Kay Adams who learned to sing and to tell stories from her elders in the community of Madison County, North Carolina. She’s become one of the most widely recognized of the traditional artists from the Appalachians. Sheila recorded several CDs showcasing her award-winning accomplishment on the 5-string banjo. Her talent at storytelling led to a second career writing novels based on her childhood and the region in which she grew up. Come Go Home With Me, won the 1997 North Carolina Historical Society’s award for historical fiction.
In April, 1998, Sheila received the prestigious North Carolina Folklore Society’s Brown-Hudson Award in recognition of her valuable contribution to the study of North Carolina folklore. Sheila also served as consultant and vocal coach in the 2000 movie Songcatcher, a fictional story about collecting the old ballads in the area in the early 1900s.
Sheila wrote My Old True Love (published in 2004), a fictional novel based upon a true family story which became a finalist for the Southeastern Booksellers Association’s 2004 Book of the Year Award and a finalist for the Appalachian Writers Association’s 2004 Book of the Year Award.
In 2013, Adams was one of nine individuals to receive a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently, she was named one of eight North Carolina artists to receive the 2016 North Carolina Heritage Award for outstanding contributions to the state’s cultural heritage.
Click here to go to sheilakayadams.com
Erryn Marshall & Carl Jones
Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones are old-time musicians and inspired tunesmiths from Galax, Virginia. They are married – in life and music. Southern song-duets and powerful fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo tunes comprise their diverse sets. Erynn and Carl play with ease, spontaneity and vitality. While rooted in the traditional sounds of older players, this duo stays true to their own muse by composing new, tradition-rooted music. Their original tunes and songs are played by many musicians play around the world and Carl’s song, Last Time on the Road was featured on the Grammy-award winning album “Unleashed” by the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Instrumentally, Marshall and Jones have won many awards for their playing including Erynn’s first place fiddle win at Clifftop and Carl’s third place fingerpicking-guitar win at Winfield – both premier festivals in the United States. In the last two years they have released a duo album: Sweet Memories… Never Leave, Erynn’s Greasy Creek CD (of all-original tunes), and their new recording Old-Time Jubilations with the Galax Bogtrotters comes out in March 2017. For more information on Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones, please visit www.dittyville.com
Erynn Marshall is an old-time fiddler well known nationally and beyond for her traditional music. She learned the nuances of old-time fiddling from visiting 80-95 year-old southern fiddlers. Her fieldwork culminated in the book, Music in the Air Somewhere about West Virginia fiddle and song traditions (WVU Press). Erynn teaches and performs at festivals and music camps around the globe and has appeared in three films (Voices of Virginia, The Clifftop Experience and I’ll Fly Away Home). Erynn won first place fiddle at “Clifftop,” The Appalachian Stringband Festival, and was the first woman and the person born outside the US to do so. She is also the new coordinator for Old-Time Music & Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering. Erynn lives in Galax, Virginia and will tour Australia and China with Carl Jones and the Galax Bogtrotters in 2017.
Carl Jones is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Born in Macon, Georgia, Carl presently lives in Galax, Virginia. He 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 Unleased 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 with his wife, fiddler Erynn Marshall, the Bow Benders and the Galax Bogtrotters. Carl is known for his fine musicianship, sense of humor, songwriting, and as a charismatic teacher.
Thomas Maupin and Daniel Rothwell
A recipient of the Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award, Thomas Maupin is one of America’s best known buckdancers. He has won over sixty first place titles including the National Championship (six times) as well as state championships in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. He has been the subject of numerous articles and has appeared on television multiple times. His grandson, Daniel Rothwell, is a National Champion banjo player in the tradition of Uncle Dave Macon who campaigns for the recognition of the traditional Old-Time music styles of Tennessee. They have shared the stage on the Grand Ole Opry and other prestigious venues such as the Newport Folk Festival. Although they are true-vine ambassadors of Old-Time music and dance, they encourage individuality and innovation.
Martin Fisher comes to every Breakin’ Up Winter (and other NOTSBA events) to share his passion and expertise in old-time recording technologies. His wax-cylinder recordings are as authentic as it can get, and he’ll show you how those are made and record you in true old-time style.
Rick Fretter will again lead the Sunday Morning Shape Note and Hymn Singing. Rick is a multi-instrumentalist who is very knowledgeable in shape note, old-time, and other traditional singing genres.