Roots of Fiddle Symposium

Red Clay Ramblers (Chapel Hill Stars Calendar)

Red Clay Ramblers from the Chapel Hill Stars Calendar (Dave Robert Papers, 20504)

A Roots of Fiddle Symposium starts tonight at Nightlight featuring a number of friends of the Southern Folklife Collection. The symposium features three nights (over 4 days) of old time fiddle music at the Nightlight organized by folklorist Cece Conway. We’re excited to be able to enjoy and learn from so many excellent musicians in 3 stacked shows. The final night features CRAVER HICKS WATSON & NEWBERRY who are 3 former RED CLAY RAMBLERS (piano player Mike Craver, fiddler Bill Hicks, Jim Watson on mandolin) and award winning songwriter Joe Newberry on banjo. We pulled some items from the Dave Robert Papers (20504) in honor of this rare event. Dave Robert was the owner of the Cats Cradle when it existed at 405 1/2 West Rosemary, the current location of Nightlight. As the Ramblers were something of a house band at that venue, the symposium is an opportunity for a welcome homecoming celebration.

Above is the Red Clay Ramblers page from a unique calendar of “Chapel Hill Stars” (Red Clay Ramblers were February, in case you are curious).  We also found this monthly calendar from the Cradle, which shows the Ramblers playing at the venue virtually the same days almost 40 years ago. (Also check out that four night run of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee! WOW!).  Details on the Roots of Fiddle Symposium are below.

September Cat's Cradle PosterThursday, September 21
7:30-8:45 round robin featuring: JON NEWLIN, PETER WHITE, JOSEPH DECOSIMO, BOB HERRING, CARY MOSKOVITZ, ANDREW SMALL, and ASHLEE WATKINS

8:45-10:30 ANDREW SMALL and ASHLEE WATKINS with BOB HERRING – Presenting a range of traditional dance music from North Carolina and Virginia, mountain ballads, and early country songs, the New Macedon Rangers offer a fresh and compelling take on classic repertoire. The duo, comprised of Ashlee Watkins and Andrew Small, taps into the essence of traditional mountain music while also moving the tradition forward with original songs and instrumentals. Performances feature stirring vocal harmonies accompanied by driving fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and guitars.

Friday, September 22
7:30-9:30 – round robin featuring JOSEPH DECOSIMO, PETER WHITE, BOB HERRING, CARY MOSKOVITZ, JAKE BLOUNT, and TATIANA HARGREAVES.

9:30-10:30 fiddle and banjo duo TATIANA HARGREAVES & JAKE BLOUNT. Their “Reparations” CD presents tunes from Black and Native American communities as stripped-down duets for banjo, fiddle, and voice. In 2016, Jake became the first African American to win in the traditional band category at Clifftop, WV and in 2009, Tatiana was the second woman to win the Clifftop Fiddle contest.

Sunday, September 24
We’ll start with a round robin of fiddlers:
7:00-7:20 – PETER WHITE – “Native American Roots & Spanish Influences on Fiddle.” Peter teaches fiddle making at the University of New Mexico. In 1989 in Albuquerque, Peter’s fiddle shop had a shrine to NEA Heritage Fiddler Tommy Jarrell. He has a fascinating theory that New Mexico Native Americans, taught by Jesuits, may have been the first makers and players of the fiddle in this country.

7:20-7:30 – JON NEWLIN

7:30-8:10 – fiddle and banjo duo TATIANA HARGREAVES & JAKE BLOUNT. Their “Reparations” CD presents tunes from Black and Native American communities as stripped-down duets for banjo, fiddle, and voice. In 2016, Jake became the first African American to win in the traditional band category at Clifftop, WV and in 2009, Tatiana was the second woman to win the Clifftop Fiddle contest.
plus: CARY MOSKOVITZ and FIDDLIN’ AL McCANLESS !!!

8:30-10:00 – CRAVER HICKS WATSON & NEWBERRY featuring 3 original members of the RED CLAY RAMBLERS (piano player Mike Craver, fiddler Bill Hicks, Jim Watson on mandolin) and award winning songwriter Joe Newberry on banjo!!! Do not miss!!!