Fiddle

From left: Robert Thornhill, Pattie Hopkins, Ben Parker, Scott E. Warren, and Hank Smith
Courtesy of Hank, Pattie and the Current

Classically-trained violinist and fiddler Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw and bluegrass banjo player Hank Smith might seem like an unlikely duo. But Hank Smith grew up testing the limits of his instrument and bending the conventional genre in unexpected ways. 

Composer and musician Jenny Scheinman wrote the score for a film comprised of 70-year-old archival footage.
Jenny Scheinman

North Carolina photographer Herbert Lee Waters created more than 200 films of people in communities across North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

He called the collection Movies of Local People, and he showed the films at small theaters so the subjects could see themselves on screen. 

Now, more than six decades later, his work is being revived as part of an experimental documentary project called Kannapolis A Moving Portrait.

Fiddler Bobby Hicks
Eric Mennel / WUNC

Bobby Hicks had no intention of playing fiddle as a kid. He was playing mandolin in a band with his brothers when one of them asked for some help.

"My brother had a friend he wanted in the band, but he couldn't play anything," said Hicks. "So he talked me into teaching him to play the mandolin, and then they fired me."

It was to all our benefit.

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle
annaandelizabeth.com

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).

The Legacy of Joe Thompson

Apr 5, 2012
picture of fiddler Joe Thompson
http://www.ncarts.org/artist_page.cfm?ser=1255&num=755&

Joe Thompson was a legendary fiddler, teacher and cultural icon. He passed away earlier this year after bringing new life to old-time string band music for many decades.

Old Time Fiddler Joe Thompson has died at the age of 93. Thompson was one of the last of a generation of African American string band musicians in North Carolina. As a young man he played for square dances in Orange and Alamance Counties. Thompson told WUNC in 2008 that those dances got wild at times, and made him question whether a good Christian should be playing this kind of music.

Joe Thompson At 90

Dec 9, 2008
David Persoff

Legendary North Carolina fiddler Joe Thompson turns 90-years-old today. He is widely recognized as being the last living link to a time when African American String Bands played for square dances nearly every weekend around here. Thompson's toured the world with his music and is still playing, but now mostly, at home with friends and neighbors.

Additional Links: