Larks and Ravens

I want to talk about Larks and Ravens. I know that there is lot confusion and controversy about the current push to switch to non-gendered terms. I know that a lot of people who...

Bad Festival Neighbors

When you roll up to an old time festival, you know you aren’t checking into the Presidential Suite at the Ritz. It’s going to be crowded and noisy and dirty, and some of the normal...

First Annual Queer and Trans Oldtime Music Gathering: an interview

“A shared vision.” “Healing and transformative.” “Exceptional togetherness.” When Clive North and Willi Carlisle talk about the First Annual Queer and Trans Oldtime Music Gathering, it’s easy to see this event has the potential to...

Finding My Tribe

Most of my life, I never felt like I had a tribe.   I was always an outlier. I was voted “Most Intellectual” in ninth grade in one of the worst schools in one of...

The Cabin: tradition & place in Romney, West Virginia

Traditional Appalachian musicians from Hampshire County, West Virginia and the surrounding area are fortunate to have a great venue where they can share their music and friendship. The Cabin, as it is known by these...

What is oldtime anyway? Heresy and Orthodoxy

The joke goes something like this: Two Old-Time oldtimers are taking their sweet old time on a morning constitutional through the sunny glades of Clifftop. They pass a tent with a fiddle-and-bongo duo. “That...

The Functional Art of Old-Time Back-Up Guitar

One thing I love about playing old-time music is that a good tune or a good session is a collaborative effort. Each individual plays a part in creating the overall sound. This is how...

Fiddlin’: an interview with the makers

Fiddlin' (2019) is the first full-length documentary about one of the greatest oldtime festivals around: The Old Fiddler's Convention in Galax, Virginia. Directed and produced by two sisters local to the area, the film...

Decolonizing the Music (Room)

Brandi Pace is an African-American music educator, now teaching elementary music in Fort Worth, Texas for almost a decade.  She is also an accomplished instrumentalist and singer focusing on jazz, oldtime, and "the Black...

The Bones and Musical Repatriation

Dom Flemons, quoted frequently in last week’s article by Timothy Jones on rhythm bones and old-time music, here tells his story of discovering bones, and how he has integrated them into his vibrant and...