Charlie Poole Festival Names Honorary Advisory Board

(Eden ,NC) – The Charlie Poole Festival is proud to announce the formation of an Honorary Advisory Board in support of the important cultural legacy of American music pioneer, Charlie Poole.  The board is made up of some of the stellar names of Americana music today – Riley Baugus, Dick Connette, Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, John McEuen, Tony Rice, Kinney Rorrer, Happy Traum, and Loudon Wainwright III.

As the festival anticipates its move in 2018 to a new date (Memorial Day Weekend) and a new location (on the campus of Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, NC), we are encouraged by the ongoing support of this board, and the many fans who have attended throughout the years.  Plans are underway for an event worthy of this support, and it is hoped you will mark your calendars to join us next year for a great celebration.

If you aren’t already well familiar with our distinguished board members, please take a minute to read more about them.  Charlie would be proud of their support!

Riley Baugus   As both a builder of banjos and a performer, Riley Baugus embodies the very spirit of traditional American music.  Notable appearances and collaborations have included the singing voice for the character of “Pangle,” in the movie “Cold Mountain;” the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss album “Raising Sand;” and the Willie Nelson recording “Country Music.”

Dick Connette   New York composer, performer and producer, Dick Connette, has devoted the last 20 years to writing music and songs based on American folk and popular traditions.  He received a Grammy award for his work on “High Wide and Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.”

Dom Flemons   As a founding member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, Flemons has reinvigorated the African-American traditions within old time music.  A Grammy Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet, Flemons tours nationally and internationally billed as the “American Songster.”

Rhiannon Giddens   As a founding and current member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens has helped to reclaim the African-American heritage within old-time music.  Her numerous awards include being named the first American honored as Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and as a recipient of the coveted Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and most recently, was named a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellow.

John McEuen   Recipient of multiple awards including the Grammy, and founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, McEuen has performed continuously since 1960.  His collaborations have been with everyone from street musicians to Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, and Levon Helm.  Perhaps his most important legacy may be his initiating what Rolling Stone called “The most important record to come out of Nashville” and what the 2004 ZAGAT survey called “the most important record in country music” – Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Tony Rice   One of the most influential living acoustic guitar players in bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass, and flattop acoustic jazz, Rice is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Grammy.  Over the course of his career, he has played alongside J. D. Crowe, David Grisman, and Jerry Garcia, led his own Tony Rice Unit, collaborated with Norman Blake, recorded with his brothers Wyatt, Ron, and Larry, and co-founded the Bluegrass Album Band.

Kinney Rorrer    The author of “Ramblin’ Blues: The Life and Songs of Charlie Poole,” the definitive biography of Poole, Rorrer is also a practitioner of Poole-style three-finger banjo and leads the old-time band, the New North Carolina Ramblers.  He is the great-nephew of Poole’s wife, Lou Emma Rorer Poole, and her brother, Poole’s fiddle player, Posey Rorer.

Happy Traum   Recognized worldwide as a performer, writer, editor, session musician, folklorist, teacher and recording artist, Traum has performed for the past five decades, both nationally and internationally.  His first appearance in a recording studio was at a historic session in 1963 when a group of young folk musicians, including Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, gathered in Folkways Records’ studio for an album called “Broadsides.”  Happy with his group, the New World Singers, cut the first recorded version of “Blowin’ In The Wind”, and Happy sang a duet with Dylan on his anti-war song “Let Me Die in My Footsteps.”

Loudon Wainwright III   Loudon Wainwright III is an artist on multiple fronts.  A songwriter, his songs have been covered (in addition to his own performances) by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Mose Allison, Big Star, Freakwater, Norma Waterson, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and Rufus Wainwright.  His numerous movie and television acting credits include collaborations with directors such as Judd Apatow, Martin Scorsese, and Tim Burton.  He was presented a Grammy award in 2010 for his two cd project “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.”

Charlie Poole Festival News Release  •  October 11, 2017  •  L. Price

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