Jean Ritchie, largely responsible for the revival/survival of traditional ballads and mountain dulcimer as living folk arts in the United States, tradition-bearer of Appalachian culture, national treasure, has passed away at the age of 92. [more inside]
From the mountains of Western Maryland and West Virginia comes a series of short films about Appalachian traditions in our changing world. This one is about the Appalachian dulcimer.
Chaconne from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita no. 2 for violin (BWV 1004), played on the hammered dulcimer by Mihail Leonchik. Youtube.
Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia provides an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region's traditional musicians. Once you know what you like, it's easy to find the music live with Blue Ridge Music Trails. Meet musicians who have grown up with that music, visit settings in which Blue Ridge folk music thrives, see traditional dancing, and in many cases, take part in the festivities. The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Along the trail, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. [previous 1, 2]
The Sling Shot Man is Rufus Hussey, a man who's awesome with a beanshooter. This is a segment from 1985 of Down Home with the Carolina Camera which is a long-running part of Charlotte's WBTV's Top o' the Day variety show. There are a total of 22 videos on the YouTube channel which all feature interesting but non-famous Carolinians. Here are some other stories I liked: The Dulcimer School, Alligator Catchers, The Checker Players, The Gourdman of Angier and Backwards Man.
Jean Ritchie, Mother of folk music. Abigail and Balis Ritchie of Viper, Perry County, Kentucky had 14 children, and Jean was the youngest... [more inside]