Sights & Sounds

Spencer Family & Friends: Greetings from Whitetop

Deep in the most rugged mountains of southwestern Virginia, on the slopes and in the hollows of Mt. Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, a rich tradition of old-time music has endured through many decades of changes. As the popularity of bluegrass, rock, and rap flooded the country, and as the popularity of old-time music came and went, and arose again throughout the Appalachians, the old-time musicians of the Whitetop area maintained their pure, rich musical heritage like burning embers in a banked fire.

Sights & Sounds

Eddie Bond: Take Me Back

As this recording demonstrates, Eddie Bond has talents that can bring an audience out of their seats. He is a powerful singer in a soulful Blue Ridge Mountain tradition, as well as one of the most respected old-time fiddlers in the Blue Ridge.

Sights & Sounds

Tyler & Marty: Bringing It!

On a hot summer night in 2006, two friends took the stage at the storied old-time and bluegrass music festival in Galax, Virginia. One would would sing while the other played along. When the next friend’s turn to compete arrived, they would switch roles. While neither friend is a musical virtuoso, their love for the music and their belief in each other resulted in a very special sound that embodies much of the great musical tradition of southwest Virginia.

Sights & Sounds

Anya Hinkle & Jackson Cunningham: Old Time Duets

It’s easy to forget that most songs—particularly those in American folk, traditional, or popular music—rarely last more than three and a half minutes. We often forget this because the best of songs exude a timeless quality, and tend to unexpectedly revisit us—some might say even haunt us—throughout the course of our daily lives. A good song exists in a kind of “time out of time.”

Sights & Sounds

Jimmy Boyd and Jared Boyd

The “clawhammer” banjo style is an essential aspect of “old time,” an ensemble-based, hard-driving music form which has inspired dancers across Southern Appalachia for generations. Unlike the more popularized bluegrass …

Sights & Sounds

In loving memory of Audrey Hash Ham

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia have lost one of their most cherished jewels with the passing of Audrey Hash Ham. Audrey was truly a “friend of the music,” …

Sights & Sounds

Mark Campbell and Barrow Wheary and Isaac Akers

The early folk song collecting expeditions of Cecil Sharp and others informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in southern Appalachia, many of which closely …

Sights & Sounds

Thornton Spencer and Martha Spencer

The early song collecting journeys of folklorists informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, many of which closely resembled …

Sights & Sounds

Mike Seeger and Seth Swingle

Mike Seeger has devoted his life to singing, playing, studying, teaching, and documenting the old-time music of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Over the years, Mike has absorbed a wide range …

Sights & Sounds

Brenda and Shannon Joyce

Flatfooting, an old-time dance style closely associated with traditional string band music, is quite distinct from its closest cousin, clogging, in that the dancer’s feet barely leave the floor. Distinct …

Sights & Sounds

Kinney Rorrer and Jeremy Stephens

Kinney Rorrer is considered the premiere scholar and performer of the three-finger banjo style first popularized by the great “North Carolina Rambler,” Charlie Poole. “Three-finger” banjo playing consists of deftly …

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