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Big Dan
Big Dan



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Playing Since: 1986
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Gender: Female
Age: 57

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 9/19/2011
Last Visit 5/18/2017

Helena discovered the banjo when she went to America to meet her father Luke Faust who introduced her to Old Time music. He was a musician with the "Holy Modal Rounders," an old-time string band from the ླྀs. Playing the banjo became an enduring passion. She met fiddler Jimmy Triplett and they spent the next 10 years in West Virginia soaking up the music. Helena accquired a large repertoire of songs, tunes and ballads, many of them quite rare, from local musicians and from the Lewis Watson Chapel collection. These were songs and tunes that the mountain folks were singing in the 1800s. She developed what has been called “an exceptionally pure traditional mountain style.” She has performed at festivals and lead banjo and singing workshops at events including the Augusta Heritage Center, Clifftop Appalachian Music Festival and the West Virginia State Folk Festival, both solo and as a member of the award winning old-time string band “The Raincrows”. She also formed “The Raging Acorns” whose final radio show performance was acclaimed by the producer as “uniquely authentic” old time music. I have been back in New Zealand since 2003 and have recently formed “Mountain Chain” with a group of back-to-the-landers from Wairoa. We are now NewZealand’s only Old-Time string Band and we are excited to get out there and introduce NZ to the magic of Old-Time music.

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