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Oct 20, 2020 - 1:17:20 PM
15 posts since 9/14/2020

Hi, I am a music production student from the UK and I am doing my final dissertation on Appalachian Folk music. I want to get some additional insight into Appalachian folk from either people from the region or specialise in it and potentially conduct a short email interview to be used in my dissertation?

Is there anyone here who would be up for taking part or know of anyone who would be a good source of information into this topic?

Thanks in advance~

Oct 20, 2020 - 2:31:02 PM

2373 posts since 12/31/2005

That is very broad. Appalachia covers a lot of different regions actually and musical styles as well. In the Blue Ridge area (Northern Ga, Western, NC), two artists who have studied musical styles and know the history are Laura Boosinger and David Holt.  The folks at East Tennessee State University  might be able to help you refine your focus a little.  Appalachian State in Boone, NC has a Appalachian Studies program with some music related classes.  

Oct 20, 2020 - 3:02:30 PM



548 posts since 7/30/2004

Roy Andrade, a talented banjo player and mult-instrumentalist, teaches a course in southern music at a college in Tennessee, I believe. He used to play with The Reeltime Travelers, which was a great string band. He is a BHO member. Perhaps he could help you out or point you in the right direction.

Here is his website:

Oct 20, 2020 - 3:08:19 PM



548 posts since 7/30/2004

My mistake on the website link I gave to you. It looks like that link is for Radio Bristol, not Roy Andrade's personal website. That being said, it looks like a great link!

Oct 20, 2020 - 4:07:02 PM
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1023 posts since 1/9/2012

Several years ago, I decided to try to learn more about Otto Wood, a real-life bank robber and prison escape artist, memorialized in song.  [I learned it from a great Harvey Reid recording, Steel Drivin' Man (]. On-line, I found a long essay by a fellow named Trevor McKenzie (  He's a fine fiddle and banjo player.  The essay turns out to have been a master's thesis, and his subsequent day-job has been as an archivist at Appalachian State University.  They have a serious collection.  He or someone there might be a help.

Oct 20, 2020 - 6:40:48 PM
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3285 posts since 4/16/2006

What are the questions you are asking?  Just curious.  

Oct 21, 2020 - 3:42:48 AM



2166 posts since 12/16/2007

Originally posted by timacn

My mistake on the website link I gave to you. It looks like that link is for Radio Bristol, not Roy Andrade's personal website. That being said, it looks like a great link!

Some hosts on the Birthplace of Country Music give email addresses, Roy's is not there, but it is here.

Oct 21, 2020 - 3:55:59 PM
Players Union Member



558 posts since 3/5/2009

I'm curious. Are you focusing on banjo only or other instruments as well? From what I've read, it appears that banjo was a late addition to Appalachian folk music at least in southern Appalachia.

Oct 26, 2020 - 12:48:36 PM



15 posts since 9/14/2020

I'll be analysing a body of songs that I'll pick during the planning stage of my project, whether or not a banjo is used is irrelevant to me I just thought this would be the best place to ask :)

Oct 26, 2020 - 1:00:46 PM
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966 posts since 8/30/2012

I'd reach out to Clifton Hicks. He's a member here on BHO. 

Nov 1, 2020 - 9:41:20 AM

231 posts since 8/11/2007

You should contact George Gibson:

Gibson was born in 1938 in Knott County, Kentucky, in a hewn log house. His family, friends, and neighbors consisted of a great many traditional musicians/singers. Besides living it for over 80 years now, he has extensively researched and written about traditional Appalachian music.

To begin scratching the surface of his vast knowledge, read some of his old essays here:

Gibson's most recent research is published in the peer-reviewed book, Banjo Roots and Branches (ed. Winans, University of Illinois Press, 2018):

Nov 15, 2020 - 5:10:26 AM

7 posts since 6/2/2020

You might try Jean Haskell (Speer). She’s the director of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State, formerly at Virginia Tech where she was a colleague of mine. She’s really nice, and she’s a banjo player as well.

Nov 15, 2020 - 6:01:24 AM



9169 posts since 7/1/2006

To the list of excellent contacts above, let me add AppalShop (Appalachian Film Workshop), a nonprofit cooperative based in Whitesburg, Kentucky, which has as its core mission documenting and preserving Appalachian culture, which includes not only the film division but also a public radio station, a traveling theater group, and of course, lots and lots of music through their label June Appal Records.

I would also direct you to Dr. Bradley Hanson with the Tennessee Arts Commission, who has done excellent work documenting and archiving the historical east Tennessee music scene which helped shape a lot of the music we're familiar with today.

I am sure that both AppalShop and Dr. Hanson (as well as many others previously mentioned) will be delighted to hear from you and can certainly point you in other scholarly directions.

All the best in your endeavor.

Edited by - banjoy on 11/15/2020 06:02:23

Nov 16, 2020 - 3:35:19 PM



3429 posts since 3/12/2006

Write me off list with more info. I  might be interested.

Play Nice,
Dan Clawdan Levenson
Author of Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch  a Mel Bay publication

Nov 18, 2020 - 9:40:17 AM
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62 posts since 10/20/2011


I'd also add Dwight Diller to the list as a potential contact and resource of information regarding West Virginian Appalachian Traditional music, culture & history.

Best of luck in your digging! 


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