Banjo Billy’s “500 Fiddle Tunes: Old-Time Archive”

When I was nine years old, my fiddle teacher sent me to a workshop from the “Famous Fiddlin’ Banjo Billy Mathews.” Having played less than a year and being deathly shy, the workshop was...

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...

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...

Ola Belle’s Banjo: A Banjo Story with Cathy Fink

From the early 1980’s until her passing, my partner Marcy Marxer and I paid many a visit to Ola Belle Reed and her family. Each visit included Ola Belle’s soup and big hospitality, songs,...

Memories of Clyde

I grew up listening to Clyde on the old LP's my dad got when he was working as a seasonal at Pickett State Parkin 1979 under Bobby Fulcher. The album was "Tough Mountain Music,"...

Bill Peterson on Midwest Fiddling Legend Dwight Lamb

I spent 1973 on the small island of Adak, Alaska as a communications operator for the U.S. Navy. A buddy of mine bought a copy of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle...

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...

Antisocial Media

These 19th century cowboys dancing to fiddle tunes, posted to a Facebook group, is but the latest case in point. A kindly member of our oldtime community ran across the photograph, found it interesting,...

Can Old-Time Community Save the World?

The staff door popped open as I careened in to work two minutes late with bean skins still stuck in my unbrushed teeth from the drive-through burrito I’d gulped down in the car. I...

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...