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Calling old-time music lovers! The featured performers at the next Charlotte Folk Society Gathering on Friday, May 9th, are the New Southern Ramblers. Music gets underway at 7:30 PM in the beautiful listening room of the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in the edge of Uptown Charlotte. Doors open at 7 PM.
Monthly second-Friday Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated and essential to holding Gatherings in the Great Aunt Stella Center. Refreshments, a song circle, a slow old-time music jam, other open jam sessions, and an Appalachian dulcimer group follow the hour-long concert; visitors are welcome to join in or simply listen.
Free parking is available in a deck adjacent to the Stella Center. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground floor door on the parking lot side of the building. Note: Elizabeth Avenue is now open from Kings Drive only; the intersection with McDowell Street remains closed. Free parking is available in the Great Aunt Stella Center surface parking lot and in the adjacent county parking deck. Exit the deck after 8 PM without charge.
The New Southern Ramblers are a dynamic old-time Appalachian stringband from the mountains of western North Carolina. With lively southern dance tunes, traditional vocals, and flatfoot dancing, they have entertained audiences and inspired dancers from Florida to Alaska and New England to California. For more than twenty years, they accompanied legendary Tennessee fiddler Ralph Blizard at concerts, festivals, and workshops throughout the United States. Recent performances include the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Merlefest, and the Swannanoa Gathering. The band consists of John Herrmann (fiddle), Gordy Hinners (banjo), Phil Jamison (guitar), and Meredith McIntosh (bass).
The New Southern Ramblers made several recordings with Ralph Blizard, including Ralph Blizard Fiddles, Blizard Train (June Appal Records), Southern Ramble (Rounder Records), and Fox Chase (Yodel-Ay-Hee Records). Most are available through CountySales.com. In 2012, the Ramblers released Old-Time Mountain Music, available on Amazon.com.
John Hermann has been traveling the world playing old-time music for over thirty years. He plays fiddle with the New Southern Ramblers, but he has performed with many bands, including the Henrie Brothers (1st place Galax, 1976), Critton Hollow, the Wandering Ramblers, and the Rockinghams. Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass, he is known as the "Father of Old-Time Music" in Japan! John has been on staff at numerous music events from coast to coast, and has completed several European tours with dancer Ira Bernstein. He lives in Marshall, North Carolina.
A veteran of the old-time music and dance scene, Gordy Hinners is known for his distinctive clawhammer style on the fretless banjo and his masterful rythmic footwork as a buckdancer. He plays banjo with the New Southern Ramblers and for many years was a mainstay of the Green Grass Cloggers. Gordy has taught at workshops throughout the country. He lives in Weaverville, North Carolina, and teaches Spanish at Mars Hill College.
Nationally-known as a dance caller, musician, and flatfoot dancer, Phil Jamison has been calling dances and performing and teaching at music festivals and dance events throughout the U.S. and overseas for more than thirty years. A longtime member of the Green Grass Cloggers, his flatfoot dancing was featured in the film Songcatcher, for which he also served as Traditional Dance consultant. In addition to playing guitar with the New Southern Ramblers, Phil plays fiddle and banjo, and he teaches mathematics and Appalachian music at Warren Wilson College, where he also coordinates the Old-Time Music and Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering.
With a degree in music education and a great love for old-time music, Meredith McIntosh is known for her rock-solid bass playing. She also plays fiddle, guitar, flute, and piano. Over the years she has performed with numerous groups including the Wildcats, the Heartbeats, Balfa Toujours, and the Forge Mountain Diggers. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a certified massage therapist and teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Sure to be a lively toe tapping event, don't miss this great presentation of Old Time Music and Song!
We have a special addition to this month's Gathering. Come downstairs to the Café' after the concert to enjoy a display of quilts made by Karen Ponischil. After spending more than twenty years in the graphic design and advertising world, Karen discovered the world of art quilts in 2001. She is now a full-time fiber artist and quilter, creating quilts using wholecloth painting or raw edge appliqué. She then thread paints the quilts to bring them to life. Her quilts have been juried into local, national, and international quilt shows. Karen won an honorable mention in the miniature art quilt category at the International Quilt Association Show in Houston, Texas last year. The quilt, entitled Princess Daphne. Is currently on tour with other award winners. You can see more of Karen's artistry on her website at www.karenponischil.com/. Karen was a recent Charlotte Observer's Small Business Selfie Winner. Check out the article here.
CFS Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.