Host Frank Stasio and Béla Fleck prepare for their conversation.
Hady Mawajdeh (WUNC)


 The relentless Béla Fleck is known for taking his banjo on a wide array of sonic journeys. 


The Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina are the center of a rich history of music and dance, from musicians like Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs, to traditions like ballad singing and square dancing. 


Earl Scruggs was a North Carolina native, a banjo virtuoso who was instrumental in the development of the classic bluegrass banjo sound.  There's a new museum, the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, North Carolina, which honors his legacy. Annmarie Reiley-Kay is the curator. We asked Annmarie what she's most excited by in the new collection. She immediately told us about two of his instruments.

The Super Earl

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle

While many popular musicians today seek out the newest digital technology to enhance their performances, there’s a young musical duo from rural Virginia who are moving in the opposite direction. Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle call themselves simply “Anna and Elizabeth.”  Both accomplished traditional Appalachian musicians on a variety of instruments, together they have resurrected a storytelling tradition called the “crankie,” whose technology outdates their combined age (which is 50).

Riley Baugus

Aug 24, 2012

Musician Riley Baugus has devoted his life's work to playing, making, and studying the banjo. Baugus’ new CD is called “Long Steel Rail.” He regales host Frank Stasio with old-time songs and stories from North Carolina.