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

October 1: Charmaine Slaven
October 8:Elizabeth LaPrelle
October 15: Charlie Beck

 

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.

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!

The Pressley Girls

Friday, July 30, 2021

 

The Pressley Girls were born and raised in Brasstown, North Carolina. They are an authentic Appalachian duet that focuses on tight harmony and lyrical meaning. They perform a wide range of music including Folk, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country. Admiring The Louvin Brothers, classic country singers, and traditional folk musicians, they hope to bring transcendent genuine music back to the world.
 
Corie Pressley plays the guitar and mandolin while singing harmony with her sister, Katie, who plays the fiddle while singing lead.
 
Visit their website here: thepressleygirls.com

Kanute Rarey and The Usual Suspects

Friday, July 23, 2021

 

Kanute Rarey is a storyteller, poet, writer and teacher. Kanute is part of a group, “The Usual Suspects”, with old friends, harmonic player, Alan Simans, and, guitarist, Turner Guidry. Together “The Usual Suspects” provide stories, music and fun at Morningsong programs at John C. Campbell Folk School regularly and always love picking up a class or two along the way.

Since 2015 Kanute also has performed oral and written stories and poetry in North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina and from Texas to Florida, and, Vermont to Minnesota and parts in between. His stories range from personal to family, to sacred, to scary, to a tall tale or two.

His wife, Kathy, and he have lived in the mountains, including Georgia, Alaska and North Carolina, for over thirty years. Kanute and Kathy now live on Lake Chatuge in western North Carolina.

He has officially been developing his skills as a storyteller since 2015 though family and friends would say “he has been telling stories all his life”. His personal goal is to write and perform stories, to promote the storytelling revival in America and to work with and support aspiring storytellers, writers, poets and singer song writers to encourage and create opportunities and audiences for the performance of their arts. 

Curtis & Kim Jones

Friday, July 9, 2021

 

Curtis reigns as the most highly-respected flatpicking guitarist on the planet, expanding on the legacy forged by musicians such as John Coltrane, David Gilmour, Doc Watson, and Tony Rice. Jones is often called by fans and critics alike, “The world’s fastest and cleanest” acoustic guitarist, an extraordinary technique that he both teaches and brings to this contemporary guitar performances and productions. Speed is only a small part of what Curtis can do though. He efficiently plays 22 instruments and is self-taught on all! Through his pure guitar mastery, he has created a new style of Music “Mountain Gypsy Music” allowing his abilities to weave in and out of Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Flamenco, and World Music. It is more original than anything that has been heard since Django Reinhardt!

Kim is an artist, singer, and songwriter. Her vocal influences growing up were Wynonna Judd, Patty Loveless, Janice Joplin, Bobbie Gentry, and Bonnie Raitt. Her musical influences include Richard Wright, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and McCoy Tyner. She plays keys and sings with the Curtis Jones’ rock band Echoes of Imagination, sings with his Bluegrass band Primal Roots, and is the manager of HigherArt Entertainment. Kim has been singing her whole life but has only just begun to perform in front of audiences within the past two years. She has recently added an additional instrument, the upright bass. Kim plays and sings with emotion and delta blues style soul. When asked about her goals through music, her response is “I just want to share it. It’s in here deep down inside, and I wanna let it out!”

Steve Keteltas & Mary McClead

Friday, July 2, 2021

 
Steve started playing guitar while attending Florida State University during the 1960s. His main musical influences come from that era, especially The Beatles, but also including The Byrds, CSN&Y, CCR, The Everly Brothers, Bob Dylan, etc. Over the years, he has enjoyed playing and singing with other musical friends in rock bands, church choir, music jams, and open mics as well as volunteering at a local nursing home where his mother was a resident in her final years.
 
Steve’s permanent residence is in Seminole, Florida, which he shares with his life partner, Mary McClead. Together they are also part-time residents in Brasstown, where Steve bought a cabin in 2014 as part of his retirement dream to have a mountain getaway. He loves doing Morning Songs whenever he’s in town for Folk School activities or while traveling to and from music and dance events in nearby NC, GA, and TN locations.
 
Since Mary began learning to play the ukulele in 2017, Steve is happy when he can coax her to join in for a few songs with her uke. Part of her learning experience that first year was in fact a beginning ukulele course at John C. Campbell. That enjoyment of the ukulele has since resulted in both Mary and Steve building their own ukuleles during a course for that at the Folk School in 2021.

Amanda Burts & Nancy Beach

Friday, June 18, 2021

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 banjolele 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.

Pattie Bagley

Friday, June 11, 2021

Pattie started basket weaving in 1993 and began teaching her friends soon after. She operated Aunt Pattie’s Basketry Shop for three years, and also became a charter member of the Georgia Basketry Association, serving as president at one point. But Pattie soon realized that teaching was her true passion. She has been a Folk School instructor since 2003 and became the school’s Resident Artist for Basketry, Brooms, & Chair Seats in 2010. Since joining the Folk School staff, she has expanded her talents into many other fields, including beading, blacksmithing, and music.

 

Les Gustafson-Zook

Friday, June 4, 2021

Les is a popular autoharp instructor, performer, and multi-instrumentalist. He has been teaching since 1990 and is known for his clear and encouraging teaching style, his clean picking of tunes, energetic performances, and his compelling arrangements of hymns, waltzes, and Christmas carols. Les is the 2001 and 2018 International Autoharp Champion at Winfield, KS, the 1989 National Autoharp Champion, and was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

Bill Vespasian

Friday, May 28, 2021

Bill started playing guitar at 14. In 10th grade, he and his friends started a band called Southern Exposure and played throughout high school in the Murphy, North Georgia, and East Tennessee areas. They played at restaurants, graduations, and special event venues. While in college, he played guitar and sang for a country band and a bluegrass band and played throughout Sylva, Waynesville, and Asheville. He now plays solo, writes material now and then, but prefers performing established songs. People relate better to songs they grew up with or are familiar with already, he explains. He plays around Murphy, Andrews, Blairsville, Hayesville, and Franklin. His music consists of a mix of ’60s through recent songs from artists such as Kenny Chesney, Gordon Lightfoot, The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Dobie Gray, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Taylor, Zac Brown, Johnny Cash, Kansas, Simon and Garfunkel, Van Morrison, Hank Jr., Harry Chapin, Adele, Mike Cross, Kid Rock, The Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Jim Croce, Chris Janson, Poison, The Band, Crosby Stills Nash, and others. What he enjoys most is seeing people smiling, tapping their feet, and singing along.

 

Wyatt Espalin 

Friday May 21, 2021

With the Ocoee River in East Tennessee as the backdrop, and North Georgia on the horizon, Wyatt Espalin’s debut album, Songwriter/Singer (2015), was born. Entertaining audiences in his hometown of Hiawassee, Georgia as early as age eight, Wyatt’s passion for music was obvious, even from the music barn stage built by his grandfather on the campground where Wyatt was raised. He and his brother Matt were known as “The Fiddling Brothers.” While Matt hung up his fiddle and bow after high school, Wyatt was just getting started.
 
Armed with a guitar and a desire to write songs, he paired with his friend, Cobi Ferguson to form the acclaimed Americana duo, Trees Leave. Combining electric guitar with traditional bluegrass roots led to a noticeably unique sound and a growing fan base. Having years of touring under their belts and two successful albums, Run (2008) and The Gospel of Hurt (2010), it was time for Cobi to settle down, and Wyatt to find a new setting fit for a more personal level of songwriting. So alone began his sabbatical to the Ocoee River.
 
While working as a raft guide and caring for his ailing Granddaddy, Wyatt began writing the songs for his debut album. His songs have garnered much attention winning the New Song Songwriting competition at the acclaimed L.E.A.F. festival in 2014. He also placed twice as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest (2009, 2019), the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriting Competition (2014, 2019) and Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Shootout (2014, 2015). Wyatt won 3rd place at the 2019 Songwriter Serenade and is a finalist for 2020. Performing solo or traveling with a revolving set of talented musicians as Trees Leave, Wyatt Espalin has found a way to continue writing and performing these songs that have longed to be free; to be pardoned, like the river.
 
Visit Wyatt’s website here: https://wyattespalinmusic.com/

 

Peter Thomas

Friday May 14, 2021

Peter is a book artist, hand papermaker, and musician. He is president-for-life of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, and he plays ukulele, harmonica, button accordion, and kanzoo (a percussion instrument he invented) in a number of local bands. He and his wife, Donna, work collaboratively, writing, illustrating, printing, and binding both fine press and artist books under the imprint of Peter and Donna Thomas. Known as the Wandering Book Artists, they built a medicine show style of trailer — a book art studio-on-wheels — to travel the country, and have made multiple visits to the Folk School to teach. Peter’s Folk School students joined him for this Morningsong. 

 

Curtis & Kim Jones

Friday May 7, 2021

Curtis reins as the most highly-respected flatpicking guitarist on the planet, expanding on the legacy forged by musicians such as John Coltrane, David Gilmour, Doc Watson, and Tony Rice. Jones is often called by fans and critics alike, “The world’s fastest and cleanest” acoustic guitarist, an extraordinary technique that he both teaches and brings to this contemporary guitar performances and productions. Speed is only a small part of what Curtis can do though. He efficiently plays 22 instruments and is self-taught on all! Through his pure guitar mastery, he has created a new style of Music “Mountain Gypsy Music” allowing his abilities to weave in and out of Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Flamenco, and World Music. It is more original than anything that has been heard since Django Reinhardt!
 
Kim is an artist, singer, and songwriter. Her vocal influences growing up were Wynonna Judd, Patty Loveless, Janice Joplin, Bobbie Gentry, and Bonnie Raitt. Her musical influences include Richard Wright, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and McCoy Tyner. She plays keys and sings with the Curtis Jones’ rock band Echoes of Imagination, sings with his Bluegrass band Primal Roots, and is the manager of HigherArt Entertainment. Kim has been singing her whole life but has only just begun to perform in front of audiences within the past two years. She has recently added an additional instrument, the upright bass. Kim plays and sings with emotion and delta blues style soul. When asked about her goals through music, her response is “I just want to share it. It’s in here deep down inside, and I wanna let it out!”

 

Dog Branch Cats

Friday April 30, 2021

Brasstown’s own Dog Branch Cats are Martha Owen, David Liden, Jan Davidson, and Bob Dalsemer. They’ve been playing music around the Folk School for many years and are loved by all who hear them. 

 

Moonshine Songcatchers

Friday April 23, 2021

David Vowell, Virginia Urani, and Pattie Bagley—also known as the Moonshine Songcatchers.
 
David first saw the Folk School on May Day of 2005, and almost immediately determined to move to the area. The Folk School had just the right feel of community, and a big part of the feeling was created as each day of classes began with Morning Song before breakfast.
He has always seen the gathering of students for a week’s classes as the forming of the “magical family” the Folk School creates over and over again as it offers all comers the learning experience of their choice within an environment guaranteed to build a sense of real community. And those magical family bonds begin each morning in song and story.
 
After sort of retiring a couple of times, David has been for several years now the Executive Director of the Cherokee County Arts Council.
 
Virginia is the Assistant Resident Artist for Painting at the Folk School.
 
Pattie Bagley is the Folk School Resident Artist for Basketry, Brooms, and Chair Seats.
 
Pattie started basket weaving in 1993 and began teaching her friends soon after. She operated Aunt Pattie’s Basketry Shop for three years, and also became a charter member of the Georgia Basketry Association, serving as president at one point. Pattie soon realized that teaching was her true passion. She has been a Folk School instructor since 2003 and became a resident artist in 2010. Since joining the Folk School staff, she has expanded her talents into many other fields, including beading and blacksmithing.
David, Virginia, and Pattie recently took an online Folk School class with Susan Pepper on Mountain Music.

 

Sarah Kate Morgan

Friday April 16, 2021

Sarah started her musical journey at 7 years old and has fallen in love with traditional and folk music through the years. A native of East Tennessee, Sarah has incorporated the rich musical heritage of the area into her music. At 18, Sarah placed 1st at the 2012 National Mountain Dulcimer Championships held in Winfield, KS. A year later she went on to become a finalist in the 2013 International Acoustic Music Awards. She has also won other titles, including Mid-Eastern Region Mountain Dulcimer Champion, Kentucky State Mountain Dulcimer Champion, and Southern Region Mountain Dulcimer Champion. She currently studying Traditional Music and Appalachian Studies at Morehead State University.

 

Susan Pepper

Friday April 9, 2021

Susan honors the power of song and story to sustain us in everyday life with her performance of unaccompanied ballads, banjo, and mountain dulcimer. She learned directly from elder singers and musicians in western NC while pursuing her master’s degree in Appalachian Studies.
She has taught workshops for the Youth Traditional Song Weekend, Southeastern Regional Folk Alliance, and the Greater Washington Folk and Dance Society. She regularly teaches for the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program in Jackson County, NC.

 

Aubrey Atwater

Friday April 2, 2021

Aubury from Warren, Rhode Island is an award-winning folk musician, vocalist, writer, and dancer. A performer and teacher throughout the U.S. and beyond, she sings and plays mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, guitar, mandolin, and Irish whistle, and thrills audiences with highly percussive traditional clogging. In a scholarly yet easy-going way, Aubrey conveys the heritage behind traditional folk music and dance, and has spent years around older, source players and singers from Appalachia and the Ozarks. Aubrey and her husband, Elwood Donnelly, have produced 13 recordings and 7 books.
 
Visit Aubry’s website here: https://www.atwater-donnelly.com/
 
*Technical difficulties caused the performance to end prematurely.

 

Alex Cumming

Friday March 26, 2021
Alex is a singer, accordionist, pianist, and dance caller hailing from Somerset, UK, now living in Greater Boston, MA, USA. He performs songs and tunes from around the United Kingdom and America with a great depth of knowledge of the tradition. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic dance-able accordion style, strong voice, and fun and engaging stage presence.

Visit Alex’s website here: http://www.alexcummingmusic.com/
 

Jeff Furman

Friday March 19, 2021
Jeff is an award-winning mountain dulcimer player known for his smooth and expressive style. He has been playing old-time and traditional music since 1980, and is a multi-instrumentalist. Jeff’s gentle, humorous, and effective teaching style has made him a popular instructor at numerous mountain dulcimer workshops across the country. Although he plays a variety of music styles and genres, his particular fondness on the mountain dulcimer are waltzes, Celtic airs, and the softer side of this simple, yet elegantly complex, musical instrument.

Visit Jeff’s website here: http://www.jefffurman.com/

David Brose Tribute

Friday March 12, 2021
David Brose served as Folklorist at John C. Campbell Folk School in 1991-2019. Brose carried on in the tradition of Alan Lomax, traveling into the backwoods and “hollars” to find, document, participate in, and reveal to others the musical roots and treasures of the Appalachian culture.

Music was David’s primary passion but he was a multifaceted man as well. He greatly enjoyed cooking and eating fine foods, nostalgic old (black and white) films, corny jokes and pointed puns. And, no one was better at decorating a house and yard for Halloween.

Brose was a champion of social justice, ready and willing to treat others with respect and dignity.

To read more about David Brose visit this page.

The Pressley Girls

Friday March 5, 2021

The Pressley Girls were born and raised in Brasstown, North Carolina. They are an authentic Appalachian duet that focuses on tight harmony and lyrical meaning. They perform a wide range of music including Folk, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country. Admiring The Louvin Brothers, classic country singers, and traditional folk musicians, they hope to bring transcendent genuine music back to the world.
 
Corie Pressley plays the guitar and mandolin while singing harmony with her sister, Katie, who plays the fiddle while singing lead.
 
Visit their website here: thepressleygirls.com

Peter Siegel

Friday February 26, 2021

Born a folkie in the New York scene, Peter later made his way up to Vermont, which he now calls home. Over the years he’s shared the stage and been mentored by folks like Pete Seeger, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, Judy Collins, Utah Phillips, Noel Paul Stookey, and was a bandmate of bluegrass powerhouse Michael Daves “New Old Time” band Underbelly which the “Berkshire Eagle” called a supergroup of New England talent.
 
Peter contributed and recorded on the Grammy award-winning Pete Seeger album “Tomorrow’s Children.” His other credits include publication in “Sing Out!” magazine and the fiddle tune compilation, “The Portland Collection,” as well as a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated Etown.
 
As an educator, Peter has been writing songs and theatrical productions with children for the last 15 years and has been a contributing writer to The George Lucas Foundation site Edutopia on social curriculum and music educational practices. His Symonds School CD “Peace Place” won a Parents Choice Award in 2012.
 
When he’s not playing or recording, he is a devoted public school music educator in the great state of New Hampshire. You can find him leading stringed and vocal workshops in places like the Folk School too!

Andy Davis

Friday February 19, 2021

Andy lives in Brattleboro, Vermont. He calls New England style contra and square dances. He also sings traditional songs and has composed many original songs and tunes in the traditional style. He plays accordion, piano and banjo.
 
His specialty is calling for dancers of all ages and abilities. He taught music and dance in Vermont public schools for 32 years until retiring a couple of years ago. He joined the Folk School’s Dance Musicians Week staff in 2019.
 
Andy is a founding member of New England Dancing Masters, publishers of dance books and recordings for the teaching of traditional dance. For 30 years he was part of the group Nowell Sing We Clear, a Vermont-based group that performed and recorded mid-winter songs, carols and customs.
 
For many years Andy and his wife Robin were program directors for Country Dance and Song Society “Family Weeks” in West Virginia, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His Morningsong includes lively dance tunes and songs.
 
 

Frank & Allie Lee

Friday February 12, 2021

Frank and Allie Lee are a vocal-driven old-time duo. With nylon-string fretless banjo, guitar, slide guitar, and steel-string banjo, fiddle, harmonica, and harmony vocals, they give a wide variety of heirloom songs and tunes new life. They sing lead and harmony in the duo and their band The Freight Hoppers. Treat A Stranger Right is their new album.
 
Visit their website here: https://www.frankandallie.com/
 

Peter & Donna Thomas

Friday February 5, 2021

Peter is a book artist, hand papermaker, and musician. He is president-for-life of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, and he plays ukulele, harmonica, button accordion, and kanzoo (a percussion instrument he invented) in a number of local bands. He and his wife, Donna, work collaboratively, writing, illustrating, printing, and binding both fine press and artist books under the imprint of Peter and Donna Thomas. Known as the Wandering Book Artists, they built a medicine show style of trailer — a book art studio-on-wheels — to travel the country, and have made multiple visits to the Folk School to teach.
 
Visit Peter and Donna’s here: http://www2.cruzio.com/~peteranddonna/

Jennifer Rose Escobar

Friday January 29, 2021

Jennifer Rose is a true folk singer who learned her songs as she learned to speak growing up in the small town of Berea, Kentucky. As an educated performer with a degree in vocal music from Berea College, Jennifer unites her heritage with her classical training to give listeners an experience of the true integrity of Appalachian singing. Her strong, clear soprano voice and sparkling personality continue to mesmerize audiences the world over.
 
Her training in dance from an early age inspired her to share traditional dance with anyone who was interested – especially young people. She is hailed as one of Kentucky’s best dance educators and has published two manuals for teachers. She is one of the instructors for the Berea College Country Dancers and is enjoying being the new Director of the Berea Festival Dancers, a teen folk dance group that she and her friends started when they were in high school back in 1984. She directs the Spring Mountain Folk Festival, a traditional dance event for young people hosted by Berea College, which began in the 1930s.
 
Jennifer and her family are continuing her family’s tradition of hospitality, and fulfilling her father’s vision of a family retreat center in the hills outside Berea, by living at and managing Happiness Hills Farm & Retreat Center in the Red Lick Valley.

Marvin Daniels & Grandkids​ Mollie and Jackson

Friday January 22, 2021
Marvin is a regular woodcarving instructor at the folk school. Marvin has also taught ukulele with Mollie as co-instructor.

Marvin has been playing and singing most of his life, when his grandchildren, Mollie and Jackson, came along they just joined right in. Marvin will be on guitar and vocals, Mollie on ukulele and vocals, and Jackson on percussion and vocals. The trio has been playing fun and familiar songs for the last 10 years.

Tom Morley

Friday January 15, 2021

Tom, a professional violinist & fiddler since the late 1970s, has a distinguished musical resume, ranging from fiddle work with top country artists in Nashville to classical work and performances with his Celtic & world-music bands across the Southeast and beyond. He regularly leads Irish fiddle workshops at camps, including American Music Camp, Maine; Fiddle Hell Massachusetts; and Strings Without Boundaries. His new Chattanooga-based string band, Stringer’s Ridge, has wide-ranging and eclectic influences, with a focus on Irish & Celtic, old-time, and folk tunes and songs. Tom is a regular contributor to “iFiddle” e-magazine. His highly praised method book, “Learn to Play Irish Trad Fiddle,” is distributed by Shar Music.
 
Visit Tom’s website here: http://www.irishtradfiddle.com
 
 
 

Jim & Cheri Miller

Friday January 8, 2021

Jim Miller has been playing and performing traditional music for the past 45 years. An accomplished instrument builder and teacher, he has taught workshops at numerous festivals and won many musicianship awards, including first place hammered dulcimer at both Galax and Fiddler’s Grove. He has played with Celtic, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues, and Old-Time bands and has done session work on many recordings. He plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, mandocello, bass, steel drum, percussion, hammered, and mountain dulcimer. He holds a master’s in elementary education with an endorsement in instrumental music and recently retired from teaching fourth grade, where he led an after school traditional string band. Jim is also an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University, teaching mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer, and autoharp.
 
Visit Jim’s website here: http://www.jimmillerdulcimer.com/
 
 

Martha Owen & David Liden 

Friday December 18, 2020

Martha and David are Brasstown locals and long-time participants in the goings-on at the Folk School, Martha and her husband David have been telling stories and playing traditional music together for over 35 years. In this Morningsong they share seasonal stories and songs from a simpler time.
 
 

Curtis & Kim Jones 

Friday December 11, 2020

Curtis reins as the most highly-respected flatpicking guitarist on the planet, expanding on the legacy forged by musicians such as John Coltrane, David Gilmour, Doc Watson, and Tony Rice. Jones is often called by fans and critics alike, “The world’s fastest and cleanest” acoustic guitarist, an extraordinary technique that he both teaches and brings to this contemporary guitar performances and productions. Speed is only a small part of what Curtis can do though. He efficiently plays 22 instruments and is self-taught on all! Through his pure guitar mastery, he has created a new style of Music “Mountain Gypsy Music” allowing his abilities to weave in and out of Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Flamenco, and World Music. It is more original than anything that has been heard since Django Reinhardt!
 
Kim is an artist, singer, and songwriter. Her vocal influences growing up were Wynonna Judd, Patty Loveless, Janice Joplin, Bobbie Gentry, and Bonnie Raitt. Her musical influences include Richard Wright, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and McCoy Tyner. She plays keys and sings with the Curtis Jones’ rock band Echoes of Imagination, sings with his Bluegrass band Primal Roots, and is the manager of HigherArt Entertainment. Kim has been singing her whole life but has only just begun to perform in front of audiences within the past two years. She has recently added an additional instrument, the upright bass. Kim plays and sings with emotion and delta blues style soul. When asked about her goals through music, her response is “I just want to share it. It’s in here deep down inside, and I wanna let it out!”
 

Jim Lloyd

Friday December 4, 2020

Jim is a singer, old-time banjo player, public radio host, music teacher, bluegrass rhythm guitarist, storyteller, banjo museum curator, and a barber of Rural Retreat, Virginia. He puts his mountain guitar expertise front and center on his cd “Play Guitar in 7 Days.” From the jazz standard, “St. James Infirmary,” to traditional tunes like “Darlin’ Cory,” humor with “Uncle Hiram’s Homemade Beer,” gospel “Must Come in at the Door,” and even the 1960s pop hit “Little Red Riding Hood.”
 
Jim has established himself as a towering figure in Appalachian music today.
 

The Pressley Girls

Friday November 20, 2020

The Pressley Girls were born and raised in Brasstown, North Carolina. They are an authentic Appalachian duet that focuses on tight harmony and lyrical meaning. The Pressley Girls perform a wide range of music including Folk, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country. Admiring The Louvin Brothers, classic country singers, and traditional folk musicians, they hope to bring transcendent genuine music back to the world.
 
Visit their website: thepressleygirls.com

Karen Mueller

Friday November 13, 2020

Karen is one of the top autoharp and dulcimer players/teachers in the country. She has taught at Western Carolina University and the Swannanoa Gathering in NC, the Augusta Heritage Center (WV), the Ozark Folk Center (AR), Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering (PA), the California Autoharp Gathering, Sore Fingers Week in England, and Seattle Autoharp Week, and more. Winner of the 1986 International Autoharp Championship and member of the Autoharp Hall of Fame, she has released six solo CDs, authored two books, and contributed to several anthologies. She is known as a patient and inspiring teacher.

Visit Karen’s website here:  www.karenmueller.com

Dawn O. Davis 

Friday November 6, 2020

Dawn has been composing since 1992. Her music has appeared in numerous films and documentaries, such as “Sanctuary,” a short film by renowned wildlife photographer, Scott McKinley of Jackson Hole, WY; and the “Vaquero Series” of DVDs by J&S Productions in Santa Barbara, CA. At the Folk School, Dawn’s piece, “A Composer’s MorningSong” has been sung in the Keith House at daylight many times. Her original music, “The Oldest Hemlock,” inspires preventative disease treatment for the species. As a resident contra-dance musician at the school, she currently writes tunes in traditional style and structure. Her instruments include piano, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, Celtic folk harp, and Irish tenor banjo.

Anne Lough

Friday October 30, 2020

Anne is an internationally known traditional musician who performs and teaches at the Folk School and at schools, workshops, and festivals throughout the country and in Europe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Murray State University (Kentucky) and a master’s in music education from Western Carolina University (North Carolina). She is well known in the dulcimer world for her artistic and sensitive style of playing, as well as her skill as an instructor. In addition to many recordings, Anne has published over 10 books of dulcimer arrangements, including “Old-time Hymns & Gospel Favorites for Mountain Dulcimer,” through Mel Bay.

Visit Ann’s website here: www.annelough.com

Lee Knight

Friday October 23, 2020

Lee is a long-time resident of the Southern Appalachians. He has been a folksinger/folklorist by trade for over 30 years. He has studied Cherokee and Appalachian history and culture with leading historians on these topics, as well as doing fieldwork on his own. Lee’s credits include journal articles, appearances in documentary films, and playing music from Tashkent to Carnegie Hall. Lee’s latest recording with the Kronos Quartet was recently released “Long Time Passing-songs of Pete Seeger.” The recording is on Smithsonian Folkways. Along with the Kronos Quartet, Lee filmed a concert in Los Angeles to celebrate the album.

Aubrey Atwater

Friday October 16, 2020

Aubrey from Warren, Rhode Island is an award-winning folk musician, vocalist, writer, and dancer. A performer and teacher throughout the U.S. and beyond, she sings and plays mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, guitar, mandolin, and Irish whistle, and thrills audiences with highly percussive traditional clogging. In a scholarly yet easy-going way, Aubrey conveys the heritage behind traditional folk music and dance, and has spent years around older, source players and singers from Appalachia and the Ozarks. Aubrey and her husband, Elwood Donnelly, have produced 13 recordings and 7 books.

Riley Baugus

Friday October 9, 2020

Riley 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.

Kathy Bullock 

Friday October 2, 2020

Kathy is a professor emeritus of Berea College, after serving as a music professor for almost thirty years. A scholar, teacher, performer, choral conductor, accompanist, and arranger, she specializes in gospel music, spirituals, and classical music of the African diaspora. Dr. Bullock provides workshops and performances in African American sacred music throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. Additionally, she has studied and presented workshops on African American and Appalachian Musical and Cultural Connections. Dr. Bullock earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Theory from Washington, University, MO, and a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, MA, and has performed and studied spirituals and gospel music for over fifty years. Awards/Honors include the Mary McGaw Endowed Professorship, the Seabury Teaching Award, and Honorary Alumni Award from Berea College. She is currently teaching African American music at the University of Kentucky, School of Music.

Visit Kathy’s website here: www.drkwb.com

Dr. Dave & The Nowbillies

Friday September 18, 2020

Dave Peters is a retired psychologist who lived in Brasstown for over 20 years and has served on the Folk School board of directors. Dave has written a number of songs with humorous and ironic themes and has won several regional and national songwriting awards. He and his friend Peter Thomas teach ukulele at the Folk School. His wife Elizabeth plays a washtub bass, called a Tub-a-Tone, that Dave made in a Folk School class taught by Jack Smoot. While she and Dave form the core of the Nowbillies, there are several Now & Then Billies that often play with them. Currently, these Now & Then Billlies are social distancing so well that Dave’s not sure where they are.

Lorinda Jones 

Friday September 11, 2020

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.

Geoff Hohwald and Rick Taylor 

Friday September 4, 2020

Geoff has been playing and teaching the 5-string banjo for over 40 years. He has played with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre Orchestra, and has been with the Greater Atlanta Bluegrass Band for the last 18 years. He is known in the bluegrass world for authoring five banjo instruction books and one DVD through Watch & Learn Inc., a company that distributes instructional materials worldwide and offers web-based music lessons. Geoff loves to teach and never tires of seeing the satisfaction of beginners learning to play their first tune.

Rick 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.

David Vowell

Friday August 28, 2020

David first saw the Folk School on May Day of 2005, and almost immediately determined to move to the area. The Folk School had just the right feel of community, and a big part of the feeling was created as each day of classes began with Morningsong before breakfast.
 
David had left behind many years of involvement with classical music, but with the help of the old Folk School Song Book he fell in love with the rich traditions of the music to be discovered in Appalachia.
 
Songs imported from the British Isles and songs home grown in the Carolinas or his home state of Kentucky, soon were learned and put into use as David began doing Morning Song programs in 2006.
 
He has always seen the gathering of students for a week’s classes as the forming of the “magical family” the Folk School creates over and over again as it offers all comers the learning experience of their choice within an environment guaranteed to build a sense of real community. And those magical family bonds begin each morning in song and story.
 
After sort of retiring a couple of times, David has been for several years now the Executive Director of the Cherokee County Arts Council.

Curtis & Kim Jones

Friday August 14, 2020

Curtis Jones reins as one of the most highly-respected flatpicking guitarist on the planet. Expanding on a legacy forged by musicians such as David Gilmour, Pat Metheny, Paco De Lucia, Doc Watson and Tony Rice,  Jones is often called by fans and critics alike, “The World’s Fastest and  Cleanest” acoustic guitarist. This is an extraordinary technique that he both teaches and brings to his contemporary guitar performances and productions.  However, speed is only a small part of what Curtis can do.  Through his pure guitar mastery, he has the ability to weave in and out of Jazz, Rock, Bluegrass, Flamenco, and World Music styles in a way that is more original than anything that has been heard since Django Reinhardt, while taking the listener to a world of complete beauty, passion, grace and fire.​

Kim is an artist, singer, and songwriter. Her vocal influences growing up were Wynonna Judd, Patty Loveless, Janice Joplin, Bobbie Gentry, and Bonnie Raitt. Her musical influences include Richard Wright, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and McCoy Tyner. She plays keys and sings with the Curtis Jones’ rock band Echoes of Imagination, sings with his Bluegrass band Primal Roots, and is the manager of HigherArt Entertainment.

Marvin Daniels & Grandkids

Friday August 7, 2020

Marvin is a regular woodcarving instructor at the folk school. Marvin has also taught ukulele with Mollie as co-instructor.

 
Marvin has been playing and singing most of his life, when his grandchildren, Mollie and Jackson, came along they just joined right in. Marvin will be on guitar and vocals, Mollie on ukulele and vocals, and Jackson on percussion and vocals. The trio has been playing fun and familiar songs for the last 10 years.
 

Janie Rothfield & Allan Carr

Friday July 31, 2020

Scottish ballad singer and guitarist Allan Carr (From Aberdeen, Scotland) and American Old-Time fiddler and clawhammer banjo player/singer, Janie Rothfield have been performing their unique blend of traditional and original music from Scotland and America since they met in 1978. Since then, they have performed throughout the UK, USA and Canada and now live in Staunton, VA. They will present a program of old ballads and humorous songs from Allan’s native North East Scotland and instrumentals and songs from the American Appalachian tradition. Great singing, soulful harmony’s, hot tunes, and beautiful melodies-and stories, too!

 

Ann Whitley & John Day

Friday July 24, 2020

Raised in the Piedmont of North Carolina, Ann was privileged to learn violin in public school. The violin went into the closet after high school, but at age 35 she found herself in the world of contra dancing in Atlanta, where most of the bands at the time played old-time music. She got out the violin and worked hard to keep the best of what she’d learned from her schooling while transforming her bowing to make the instrument turn into a fiddle. She spent years playing fiddle and singing with the Peavine Creek String Band, the Atlanta Swamp Opera Cajun Band, Whistlin’ Rufus, The Rosin Sisters, and Good in the Kitchen. She is Curriculum Director for the Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School, an after-school program teaching Appalachian Music to 4th graders through high schoolers in Dahlonega, Georgia. For twelve years now she has co-directed the Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week at Mars Hill University in North Carolina, and with The Rosin Sisters, she taught harmony singing there for over a decade.

John Day has become a mainstay of Dahlonega’s old-time and Celtic music community. He and his wife Cathy moved from Del Rio, Texas to Dahlonega close to six years ago. He began playing guitar as a young boy and became accomplished at everything from The Beatles, to leading worship in church, to Bluegrass, but he quickly immersed himself in the old-time and Celtic communities in Dahlonega, playing an integral part in organizing and leading those regular jams. He is now on the Board and teaches guitar and mandolin for Georgia Pick & Bow. John has become an important part of the staffs of Dahlonega’s Bear on the Square, the Swannanoa Gathering, and the Blue Ridge Old-time Music Week, and shares his wealth of musical knowledge and his excellent vocal skills wherever he can.​

Peter Siegel & Andy Davis

Friday July 17, 2020

Peter Siegel and Andy Davis live blocks apart in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Born a folkie in the New York scene, Peter later made his way up to Vermont, which he now calls home. Over the years he’s shared the stage and been mentored by folks like Pete Seeger, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, Judy Collins, Utah Phillips, Noel Paul Stookey, and was a bandmate of bluegrass powerhouse Michael Daves “New Old Time” band Underbelly which the “Berkshire Eagle” called a supergroup of New England talent.

Peter contributed and recorded on the Grammy award-winning Pete Seeger album “Tomorrow’s Children.” His other credits include publication in “Sing Out!” magazine and the fiddle tune compilation, “The Portland Collection,” as well as a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated Etown.

As an educator, Peter has been writing songs and theatrical productions with children for the last 15 years and has been a contributing writer to The George Lucas Foundation site Edutopia on social curriculum and music educational practices. His Symonds School CD “Peace Place” won a Parents Choice Award in 2012.

When he’s not playing or recording, he is a devoted public school music educator in the great state of New Hampshire. You can find him leading stringed and vocal workshops in places like the Folk School too!

In the fall of 1976, Andy Davis walked into a small dance hall in Unity, New Hampshire. A contra dance was in progress and, having recently moved to new england from Virginia, Andy was looking for a way to fit in. Finding the musicians friendly, he volunteered to play piano to accompany the fiddler and concertina player. This joyful evening of traditional dance music, plus an entirely unexpected twelve dollars, led to a steady schedule of dances for the next forty years.

A retired music teacher, Andy now plays accordion, piano and banjo, as well as calls dances. Andy has appeared as a dance musician, leading dance and song at many well-known traditional music and dance camps throughout the United States.

Andy’s calling of square and contra dances is often for the benefit of community dances where dancers of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to join in. His commitment to promoting traditional dance in schools and communities led him to start, along with Peter, Mary Alice Amidon, and Mary Cay Brass, New England Dancing Masters, publishers of books, recordings, and a video for teachers and recreation leaders.

For thirty years Andy performed throughout new England with Nowell Sing We Clear, a concert of mid-winter carols, with Tony Barrand, John Roberts, and Fred Breunig. The group specializes in traditional songs, shape-note hymns, and instrumental dance music and customs from Christian and pagan traditions.

Sarah Kate Morgan

Friday July 10, 2020

Sarah Kate Morgan started her musical journey at 7 years old when she was introduced to old-time music through a dulcimer that her grandfather built. From there, she has gone on to develop a uniquely intricate and virtuosic style inspired by the traditional Appalachian music she grew up with in rural East Tennessee.

At 18, Sarah placed 1st at the 2012 National Mountain Dulcimer Championships held in Winfield, KS. She recently graduated from Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky with degrees in Traditional Music, Appalachian Studies, and Arts Administration. You can find her living in a little hippie camper on a farm in Olive Hill, Kentucky, playing lots of music, trying her best at gardening, and calling the occasional square dance.

Sarah Kate also performs as a regular member of the Michelle Canning Band supports Kentucky songwriter Jasmine Fouts on bass, calls square dances, and runs an afterschool program in Haldeman, KY focused on traditional music, dance, and fostering mental health through creative expression.​

Ivan Stiles

Friday July 3, 2020

Ivan is known in autoharp circles across the country as an autoharpist of unique ability; not just as a performer, but also as a recording artist, instructor, author, and co-founder and co-editor of Autoharp Quarterly® magazine from 1988 until 1997. He performs nationwide at fairs, festivals, coffeehouses, colleges and clubs. In addition to the autoharp, he plays the Appalachian dulcimer, bowed psaltery, musical saw, and hurdy-gurdy.

Ivan is an International Autoharp Champion and in 2000, was inducted into The Autoharp Hall of Fame. Ivan won first place in the 2006 Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering Autoharp Contest, the 1991 International Autoharp Competition, the 1987 World Autoharp Championship, and the 1985 Great Lakes Regional Autoharp Championship.

He has five recordings, four featuring autoharp and one featuring musical saw. Last year, Ivan teamed up with Chuck Kupfershmidt to form the Acoustic Coots. The duo released its first CD entitled “The Early Years” in 2019.

On the festival side, he was program director for the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering in Newport, Pennsylvania for over 20 years. He also served on its board of directors from 1990 until 1995.

Jack Smoot

Friday June 26, 2020

Jack Smoot was drawn to the Brasstown community by his love for his wife, Sally Blankenship, and her love of the John C. Campbell Folk School. After learning about the construction of mountain dulcimers during his first visit in 1991 to the Folk School, Smoot has continued to teach hundreds of students for the last twenty-four years to build and play this instrument so ubiquitous in Appalachian culture. He continues to learn by taking classes at the Folk School.

Smoot works in his home woodworking shop building mountain dulcimers and ukuleles. He has recently started teaching a weekend class at the Folk School to build a fancy washtub bass called the Tub-O-Tone. He and his wife also lead a local group in learning the basics of playing the mountain dulcimer.

Steve Hickman & DeLaura Padovan

Friday June 19, 2020

Steve Hickman is known throughout the land as a master Hambone artist. His fiddle music has been an integral part of Little Middle at John C. Campbell Folk School for decades. In life as-we-used-to-know-it, Steve performed with John Devine to the delight of everyone who has had the good fortune to hear their beautiful and often funny songs.

Thanks to quarantine, Steve now sings with DeLaura Padovan, his wife of many years. DeLaura, a homeschool mom, local foods activist, dance caller, and music educator, is currently a full-time nursing school student who looks forward to launching herself in a new career as an RN in 2021. Steve and DeLaura are delighted to share some of their family’s favorite songs, many of which they learned at the Folk School.

Jennifer Rose Escobar

Friday June 12, 2020

Jennifer Rose is a true folk singer who learned her songs as she learned to speak growing up in the small town of Berea, Kentucky. As an educated performer with a degree in vocal music from Berea College, Jennifer unites her heritage with her classical training to give listeners an experience of the true integrity of Appalachian singing. Her strong, clear soprano voice and sparkling personality continue to mesmerize audiences the world over. Jennifer’s training in dance from an early age inspired her to share traditional dance with anyone who was interested – especially young people. She is hailed as one of Kentucky’s best dance educators and has published two manuals for teachers. She is one of the instructors for the Berea College Country Dancers and is enjoying being the new Director of the Berea Festival Dancers, a teen folk dance group that she and her friends started when they were in high school back in 1984. She directs the Spring Mountain Folk Festival, a traditional dance event for young people hosted by Berea College, which began in the 1930s. Jennifer and her family are continuing her family’s tradition of hospitality, and fulfilling her father’s vision of a family retreat center in the hills outside Berea, by living at and managing Happiness Hills Farm & Retreat Center in the Red Lick Valley.

Bob & Amy Buckingham

Friday June 5, 2020

Husband and wife duo, Bob & Amy Buckingham are regular instructors at the Folk School for mandolin, fiddle and banjo.

Bob Buckingham started playing guitar and banjo in the 1960s. By the ’70s, he had branched out to fiddle and mandolin. Bob has played in several old-time and bluegrass bands and on more than a dozen recordings under his own name, as a sideman.

Amy Buckingham sings and plays guitar, banjo and fiddle. She and Bob specialize in close harmony duets and hard driving dance tunes.

Leah Dolgoy

Friday May 29, 2020

Leah is a Montreal-based indie folk musician who plays, teaches, records, and writes/arranges music on the autoharp.  She also plays folk harp and dulcimer.

Leah picked up the autoharp when she was 25, after randomly hearing someone playing it on the radio, and thinking it sounded so beautiful. It was love at first strum. She didn’t know at the time that the autoharp would turn from a crush to a long term relationship.  Seven years later, she plays in several bands and musical projects, has toured extensively across Canada and parts of the United States, and extols the virtues of the instrument whenever she takes it out in public.  Maybe it’s because autoharp holding technique involves hugging the instrument? Who knows, but they’re together forever.

Bob Dalsemer

Friday May 22, 2020

If you love the Folk School this Morningsong is a must see. Bob will share the fascinating story of how the school was founded. Bob Dalsemer has been calling square, contra, and English country dances for more than 40 years. He has called throughout the U.S. and in a number of foreign countries. In 2011, Bob received the Country Dance and Song Society’s Lifetime Contribution Award. He served as the Folk School’s Music and Dance Coordinator for 22 years until his retirement in 2013 and is a true friend of the Folk School.

Jim Lloyd

Friday May 15, 2020

Jim is a singer, old-time banjo player, public radio host, music teacher, bluegrass rhythm guitarist, storyteller, banjo museum curator, and a barber of Rural Retreat, Virginia. He puts his mountain guitar expertise front and center on his CD, Play Guitar in 7 Days. From the jazz standard, “St. James Infirmary,” to traditional tunes like “Darlin’ Cory,” humor with “Uncle Hiram’s Homemade Beer,” gospel “Must Come in at the Door,” and even the 1960s pop hit “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Emolyn Liden, Martha Owen & David Liden

Friday May 8, 2020

David, Martha and family have been part of the Folk School for decades. Everyone plays music, dances, and loves handmade work.  Martha is the Folk School’s Resident Artist (Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Felt Making, Dyeing, and Surface Design), and a frequent instructor, as well as a banjo player, storyteller, and Morris Dance team member. Her family on her mother’s side came from Murphy, 6 miles down the road from Brasstown. David is a former Folk School Development Director and Board Chair but now is an active musician playing for dancing and frequent programs. Emolyn, the youngest musician in the Liden/Owen family, grew up at the Folk School and now enjoys teaching knitting and clogging. She also does programming for kids of all ages for Little/Middle Folk School and Intergenerational Week. Currently, she is facilitating online Zoom programming for children of south Louisiana, where she currently lives and works. Emolyn was visiting in Brasstown when the world shut down and we were lucky to have her still here for Morningsong.

 

Frank & Allie Lee

Friday May 1, 2020

Frank and Allie Lee are a vocal-driven old-time duo. With nylon-string fretless banjo, guitar, slide guitar, and steel-string banjo, fiddle, harmonica, and harmony vocals, they give a wide variety of heirloom songs and tunes new life. They sing lead and harmony in the duo and their band The Freight Hoppers. Treat A Stranger Right is their new album.

Jim Pankey

Friday April 24, 2020

Jim has taught many classes at the Folk School over the years and there’s not many instruments that he doesn’t play – or at least dabble with. Jim started out playing at home, with family, then with friends in high school, and although he may have started out as most hometown musicians do, he continued to pursue music as an art and a career. The love that he has for his music has afforded him many opportunities; Jim has played stages ranging from the Black Box in Belfast to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

 

The Pressley Girls

Friday April 17, 2020

The Pressley Girls were born and raised in Brasstown, North Carolina. They are an authentic Appalachian duet that focuses on tight harmony and lyrical meaning. The Pressley Girls perform a wide range of music including Folk, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country. Corie Pressley plays the guitar and mandolin while singing harmony with her sister, Katie, who plays the fiddle while singing lead.

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.