Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones lead a pre-pandemic Morningsong in the Folk School Community Room.

Morningsong – it’s a great way to start the day! To watch live, all you have to do is visit our Facebook Page at 7:45 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. on Fridays.

Upcoming Schedule

Friday, May 6: Andrew Kruspe
Friday, May 13: Peter Thomas
Friday, May 20: Charlie Beck
Friday, May 27: Anne Lough

Virtual Morningsong Recordings

If you miss a Morningsong, or want to re-watch, view the recordings of each individual artist by following the links below.

Dr. Kathy Bullock

Friday, April 29, 2022

 

Jim Pankey

Friday, April 22, 2022

 

Charmaine Slaven

Friday, April 15, 2022

 

Rick Taylor & Bruce Threlkeld

Friday, April 8, 2022

 

Lorinda Jones

Friday, April 1, 2022

 

Riley Baugus

Friday, March 25, 2022

Riley Baugus first discovered traditional music through his family and an early exposure to church and ballad singing. He is now a much sought-after banjo player, maker, and instructor. Riley was the a cappella singing voice of Pangle in the film “Cold Mountain,” followed by participation in the Great High Mountain tour. He has performed or recorded with the likes of Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Alison Krauss, and Willie Nelson, and he teaches workshops both nationally and abroad. https://www.rileybaugusbanjos.com/

Susan Pepper

Friday, February 25, 2022

Susan Pepper is featured in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Traditional Artist Directory and has performed ballads alongside North Carolina ballad keepers at Mountain Heritage Day, the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival, and the Library of Congress. She loves facilitating ballad singing workshops where others can share in the deep meaning that traditional song offers. She has released three albums, including a collection of field recordings of traditional ballad singers from western North Carolina. She recently wrote a short theatrical piece on a local ballad singer that was produced by Calliope Stage in Sylva, NC. Website: www.susanpepper.com

Tom Morley

Friday, February 18, 2022

Tom Morley’s career spans over thirty years and a host of genres. He’s played Celtic, Bluegrass, classical, swing, Americana, and Country Honky-Tonk, earning an RIAA Certified Gold Record award for his work with “new traditionalist” country artist John Anderson. Classically trained with a degree in music education, Tom has followed his passion for Irish Traditional Music for the past two decades as a soloist and with various groups, including Mithril (an Alabama-based Celtic/World music quartet that released seven albums and performed concerts, including as guest artists with symphonies, across the US) and the Irish Folk trio Stringer’s Ridge, his newest project since moving to Chattanooga, TN in 2017. He has made multiple trips to Ireland, learning from and playing alongside master musicians of the genre, including Manus McGuire, Liz Carroll, Frankie Gavin, Maurice Lennon, Charlie Piggott, John Whelan, and Thomas Walsh. He’s also opened for We Banjo 3, Solas, and the Brock McGuire Band and performed with Cherish The Ladies.

Charlie Beck

Friday, February 11, 2022

Born and raised in Indiana, Charlie Beck moved to Seattle where he became a founding member & creative force of old time stringband, The Tallboys. Charlie also performs in the duo, Squirrel Butter, with his wife, Charmaine Slaven. He has recorded three albums of his own original and traditional music. He plays banjo in a number of styles. He also plays fiddle, guitar, other things with strings, and he loves to sing a song. He and his family have just moved back East to Brasstown, North Carolina and he’s stoked to be able to say that!

T-Claw

Friday, February 4, 2022

T-Claw Crawford is the Music and Dance Events Coordinator at the Folk School. He’s also a dance caller, musician, and community organizer. He grew up in Nashville, TN and played punk rock and jazz until he heard old-time string music. T-Claw has toured by bicycle across eight states and New Zealand with Fiddle Pie, and old-time variety show band. He is the “Johnny Appleseed” of square dancing, having instigated his enthusiastic brand of community music and dance get-togethers far and wide. T’s favorite foods are pie and biscuits, and he enjoys river sports, honky tonkin’, yard games, wildcrafting, and cribbage. He bops around Brasstown with his beloved wife and delightful daughters.

Dawn Davis and her “Try Tune and Song Writing Class”

Friday, January 28, 2022

 

Two Lassies

Friday, January 21, 2022

Amanda and Nancy have been playing music together for a number of years, starting with the Celtic group, known as the Bear Notes. During that time and now, they also frequently play in various settings, such as church, or background dinner music. Amanda plays the piano, recorder, and accordion. She learned the recorder in a church setting, and played in recorder ensembles throughout the years. She added the accordion sometime in the 1980s while playing in her first Celtic group, called Holly Ridge, in Columbia, SC, which primarily played for local or nearby contra dances. After Holly Ridge, Amanda joined a celtic music group, Bean Sidhe, pronounced “Banshee” out of Bryson City. Upon moving to Brasstown in 2000, Amanda and Nancy started playing with the Bear Notes. At this time, the two call themselves the Two Lassies. Amanda, originally from east Tennessee, is a clinical social worker and has a private practice in Murphy, NC. She also enjoys running, swimming, hiking, and reading. Nancy is a retired science teacher from central Florida who has been playing a number of stringed instruments; guitar, lap dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, ukulele, band jammer and bangolele since living in Murphy the last 20 years. Her inspiration to learn Celtic music began after hearing Amanda Burts play her recorder at church. Nancy was part of several folk bands in the 60s and sang and played guitar with the Manna singers in the 90’s. She also played with several dulcimer groups in the area and organized the Valley River Dulcimer players in Murphy.

 

Charmaine Slaven

Friday, January 14, 2022

Originally from Western Montana, Charmaine is the Music & Dance Programs Coordinator at the Folk School. She’s spent the last 16 years working as a professional musician, flatfoot dancer, dance caller & instructor, specializing in traditional American roots music and dance. She takes great joy in sharing her love of music and dance with people of all-ages & abilities and has been teaching at music events for over a decade. Charmaine has gained a great reputation for her fun and engaging method of getting folks dancing and playing music together. More at: charmaineslaven.com www.squirrelbutter.com www.thetallboys.com Flatfooting Instructional DVD available for purchase or streaming – http://charmaineslaven.com/Charmaine_Slaven/Flatfooter.html

 

Wyatt Espalin

Friday, December 17, 2021

 

Recently, Wyatt Espalin returned to his roots to live at the rustic campground where he was raised by his grandparents in the North Georgia Mountains. There he found a setting that would inspire “DIAMONDBACK”, a collection of mysterious songs that gives his audience a bird’s eye view of an artist rediscovering himself. Like a ghost-writer in his own autobiography, the former frontman of Americana group Trees Leave approaches these song as an outsider looking in at his own stories. Taking it all back to the beginning has left the fiddler/singer and champion clogger evaluating where he came from and trying to recognize who he has become. After releasing his solo debut album “Songwriter/Singer” in 2015, Wyatt went on to win the 1st Annual New Song Songwriting Contest at North Carolina’s popular L.E.A.F. festival. He has also spent the last couple of years sharing the stage opening for some of his songwriting idols Indigo Girls, Jennifer Knapp, Kevn Kinney, Chely Wright, Michelle Malone, Shawn Mullins, Patty Loveless, to name a few. During his performances, the haunting, intimate songs juxtaposed with the hilarious stories that he shares in the banter between them create a beautiful tension. It may not always be clear who Wyatt is addressing in his songs, but maybe this line from the last verse from the last song from last year’s record “The Last Leaf” can give some insight: “It won’t phase me if you never hear these words. See, I wrote them down for me, a way to measure up my worth.” The listener will be glad that he chose not only to write them down, but to share them with us all. Visit Wyatt’s website here: https://wyattespalinmusic.com/

 

Melissa Weaver Dunning and Martha Owen

Friday, December 10, 2021

 

Melissa Weaver Dunning is a ballad singer and a traditional handweaver. She has been singing for as long as she can remember and making things with her hands for almost that long. Melissa is an avid tartan and linen weaver, a compulsive knitter, and a contented spinner. She loves to teach people how to unleash their creativity and make cool things. She lives with her husband, Peter, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Martha Owen is the Folk School’s Resident Artist in Spinning, Knitting & Crochet, Feltmaking, Dyeing, and Surface Design. Her adventure in spinning began at this very school in 1978. Since then, her extended family has included sheep (mostly Corriedale, Shetland, Romney) and Angora rabbits (French). A banjo player known to tell a story or two, Martha’s interest in sheep and wool, music and dance has carried her quite literally and joyfully to Shetland and around the world. She reads historical fiction for sheep references and rewinds movies to see the shape of a hat or to draw a color repeat. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and was co-owner of Yarn Circle in Murphy, North Carolina, until deciding to close in 2016. Find her on Facebook and Instagram @marthaowenwoolens.

 

Cara Wildman & Dawn Davis

Friday, December 3, 2021

 

Cara Wildman is a musician and dancer from Dorchester, Texas. She has performed and taught around the world in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Ireland and across the United States including with Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps, Celtic Thunder, Donal Lunny, Joanie Madden, Dave Curley, Sean Gavin, and The Irish Memory Orchestra. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Texas Christian University, and a second Master’s in Irish Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick in Ireland.  Cara’s playing has garnered international accolades, including winning senior bodhrán at the 2021 All Ireland’s – the world championships for Irish music. She is the first American ever to medal, as well as to win in this category.

Dawn began composing on piano, documentary style, in the early 90s; and soon had pieces appearing in various films, including The Vaquero Series by J&S Productions of Santa Barbara, Ca., and family ancestry films produced in Australia. Her later involvement with the John C. Campbell Folk School led to learning and performing traditional music on other instruments, and being part of a local Contradance band. It has come full circle in her Folk School classes for Tune and Song Writing; where ideas become notes, feelings become ballads, and “Grammy Band” collaborations bring folks together as they experience a new level of personal expression.

 

Rick Taylor & Bruce Threlkeld

Friday, November 12, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Rick Taylor & Bruce Threlkeld!

 

Rick Taylor has been performing with various bands, singing and playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin for the past 30 years. As a session player, he has played on recordings by Bob Dylan and the Black Crowes. Rick has been featured in four productions of “Cotton Patch Gospel” and most recently in Woody Guthrie’s “American Song” at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. He has enjoyed teaching private instrument lessons throughout his career.

A self-described journeyman musician, multi-instrumentalist Bruce Threlkeld has spent time in Texas, Georgia, Montana, and Florida teaching thousands of hours and performing and recording with dozens of bands. These experiences have helped him to develop a teaching style that is personalized, adaptable, practical, and fun!

Lorinda Jones

Friday, November 12, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Lorinda Jones!

 

Lorinda is an adjudicated member of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Arts Directory and is actively involved with Arts Thrive, a program of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. With a childhood background in piano and oboe, she holds degrees in music education and music therapy. Lorinda teaches and performs across the U.S. on the Irish harp and mountain dulcimer. She has produced numerous CD recordings and has instructional material published by Mel Bay Publications and Lo’s Notes Publications. Lorinda has taught and performed all over the U.S. as a solo performer and as a member of the Irish trio, Na Skylark. Visit her website at: https://lorindajones.com/

Ash Devine

Friday, November 5, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Ash Devine!

 

Ash Devine is an award-winning songwriter, accomplished guitar and ukulele player, humanitarian performance artist, and teacher based in Asheville, NC for over 15 years and recently relocated back to her hometown in Blacksburg, VA. Devine’s music is influenced by growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of SWVA, music of the folk revival, and her international travels with M.D. and activist Patch Adams. What sets Ash’s music apart from other Americana artists is Ash’s ability to engage with audiences with unique yet relatable material. A true folk troubadour, her performances are dynamic and steeped in story, historical references, universal messages of hope, calls to action, and a longing for a better world. Devine’s guitar playing is complex and satisfying as accompaniment to her breathy rich vocals, combining styles of Appalachian country blues with innovative rhythmic strumming and world music influenced fingerstyle picking. In 2015, Ash starred as the legendary Maybelle Carter and musically directed Esley: The Life and Music of Leslie Riddle, a play about Leslie Riddle’s contributions to the music of the Carter Family. In 2019, Devine accompanied a group of renowned ballad singers to perform at the Library of Congress American folklife center. Over the years, Devine has performed and studied alongside numerous award winning folk tradition carriers such as Sheila Kay Adams, David Holt, and Andy Cohen. Ash has also designed and implemented numerous community-based music programs for elders and for youth. According to legendary songwriter and producer Tret Fure, Ash Devine’s music is, “a rich folk sound that is non pretentious, Ash Devine is the real deal.” Folklorist and Grammy nominee David Holt commented on Ash Devine’s performance in Esley, “Ash and Saro did a great job of recreating that dry, yet driving Carter Family sound.”

Visit Ash’s website at http://www.ashdevine.net/

 

Géraud Barralon

Friday, October 29, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Géraud Barralon!

 

Géraud Barralon comes from Ardèche in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. Now married to a Brasstown native, he makes his home outside of Murphy, NC. He has a background in Django Reinhardt style, rhythmic swing guitar and has performed for many swing dances in Lyon with a group, Djoukil. He sings original and traditional French song accompanying himself on guitar, fiddle or octave mandolin publishing his first solo album in 2012 called “Comment faire du feu….avec ce qu’il reste” (How to make a fire with what is left). As part of the French Appalachian old-time band, Ida Red Trio, Geraud has played the bass for many contra and square dance both locally and abroad and is now also the director for the Cherokee County Junior Appalachian Music program.

 

Dave Wright

Friday, October 22, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Dave Wright!

 

Dave Wright was born and raised in Shelby, NC. After high school, he joined the Marines which lead him to Southern California. While there, he raised two beautiful daughters and pursued his passions of art and music. He’s glad to be back home working on his first album as a singer/ songwriter.

 

Charlie Beck

Friday, October 15, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Charlie Beck!

 

Born and raised in Indiana, Charlie Beck moved to Seattle where he became a founding member & creative force of old time stringband, The Tallboys. Charlie also performs in the duo, Squirrel Butter, with his wife, Charmaine Slaven. He has recorded three albums of his own original and traditional music. He plays banjo in a number of styles. He also plays fiddle, guitar, other things with strings, and he loves to sing a song. He and his family have just moved back East to Brasstown, North Carolina and he’s stoked to be able to say that!

 

Aubrey Atwater

Friday, October 8, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Aubrey Atwater!

 

From Warren, Rhode Island, award-winning musician, vocalist, writer, public radio commentator, and dancer, Aubrey Atwater presents captivating programs of folk music, dance, and spoken word. Aubrey is in great demand for performances and classes and has performed throughout the United States as well as England, Ireland, and Canada. She sings and plays the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, guitar, mandolin, and Irish tin whistle, and thrills audiences with her highly percussive flatfoot clogging. In a scholarly, yet humorous way, Aubrey conveys the heritage behind traditional folk music and dance, showing a deep passion and understanding of folk history and its key players. Part of the acclaimed duo Atwater-Donnelly, Aubrey and her husband Elwood Donnelly perform with up to eight other band members and have thirteen recordings and six books to their credit.

To learn more about Aubrey and her collaborators and projects, visit www.atwater-donnelly.com

 

Doctor Paul

Friday, September 24, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Doctor Paul!

 

Doctor Paul, as he’s known to his fans, is a troubadour in every sense of the word. After appearing on NBC’s The Voice in Season 9, the Doctor has been traveling on his “I Ain’t Done Yet” tour, bringing his music to as many new fans and friends as possible. From the Gulf coast of Florida, to Music City and all points in between, fans of his acoustic solo performances have fallen in love with his utterly original interpretations of the work of songwriters great and small. In his deft hands familiar songs are rendered fresh, as though being heard for the first time, and lesser-known songs are thoroughly owned and yet oddly familiar. The Doctor has collaborated with some of the great names in the business, and has recorded with some of Nashville’s top session players, but it is in his live shows that you’ll experience him as nature intended: Unadorned, accompanied by only his acoustic guitar, his unique, powerful voice carried by a flurry of finger-picked notes that pass like mile markers on a very heady trip. So here is an invitation to join him as he takes you somewhere new yet familiar, and anyone who has experienced one of his intimate performances knows one thing for certain: You will both treasure the company.

Doctor Paul’s latest release, “The Old Home Place”, and others, are available at his web store at https://squareup.com/store/doctor-paul/

 

Felipe Pérez y Sus Polkeros

Friday, September 17, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Felipe Pérez y Sus Polkeros! During Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, the Folk School is honoring the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino American through special events and programs. We invite you to celebrate with us.

Felipe has been playing professionally since 1950, when he started performing in South Texas cantinas at 10 years old. He learned to play from, and long accompanied, the legendary Juan López, known as “El Rey de la Redova.”  Felipe played with Los Sargentos in the 1950s, when he recorded to 78 rpm records, and has been performing as Felipe Pérez y Sus Polkeros for decades. He has recorded a series of albums backed up by NEA Traditional Arts Master Santiago Jiménez Jr. Felipe was inducted into the Conjunto Hall of Fame in 2018. Now in his 80s, Felipe is still performing, playing concerts and dances across the country. We were so impressed with his performances at the Folk School in August that we recruited him to pre-record a set to be livestreamed Morningsong series. We hope he plays his newly composed Coronavirus Polka! 

Friend Felipe on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/fcperezjr

You can buy his CD here: https://secure.touchnet.com/C20134_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=777

Dawn Davis

Friday, September 3, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Dawn Davis!

Wyatt Espalin

Friday, August 27, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with Wyatt Espalin!

T-Claw and Gabe Strand

Friday, August 20, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with our Music and Dance Events Coordinator T-Claw Crawford and our Studio Coordinator in Woodcarving, Woodturning and Woodworking Gabe Strand!

The Nowbillies

Friday, August 6, 2021

 

Enjoy this wonderful Morningsong with The Nowbillies!

For a complete archive of Morningsong performances, check out our YouTube playlist here.

About Morningsong

Morningsong, a Danish custom of singing, folklore, and camaraderie, is how we start class days at the Folk School. Before breakfast, from 7:45 to 8:15, folks congregate in the Community Room to listen to music, stories, and jokes. All are encouraged to sing along. During a typical week, every Morningsong is hosted by a different musician or group.

Here are a few words from Martha Owen about Morningsong…

Morningsong is a time when all the people of the week, both student and the community, get together and have an experience together outside of the class. It is something shared by all who choose to get up in the morning!  At the John C. Campbell Folk School this generally includes singing. It is a time for jokes and stories and history and sometimes even magic!
 
All the Liden young people went to a folk school in Denmark that specialized in leadership training, outdoor education, and sports. There, Morningsong was before lunch and included singing, but also announcements and watching international news.  Just like at our Folk School in Brasstown, the whole student body and the teachers stopped and sat together in the same room, and sang, and listened together.

 

John C. Campbell Folk School
About John C. Campbell Folk School

The Folk School transforms lives, bringing people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.