The Charlotte Folk Society celebrates Groundhog Day at our next Gathering on Friday, February 8th, when naturalist, storyteller, and champion harmonica player Doug Elliott entertains and informs us with Groundhogology: Whistlepigs and Politics. Join us at 7:30 PM in the Bryant Recital Hall, Sloan-Morgan Building, 1220 Elizabeth Avenue, on the Central CPCC Campus. Enjoy the hour-long program and stay afterwards for refreshments, a song circle, and slow and fast jams. CFS Gatherings are free and open to the public; donations are appreciated. Take advantage of free parking in the CPCC Staff/Theatre Parking Deck, accessed from Fourth Street, between Charlottetown Avenue (formerly Independence Boulevard) and Kings Drive.
Doug Elliott will take us on a rollicking and revealing journey, not only through the natural world, but also into folklore, history, mythology, philosophy, and into the lives of people of different cultures, past and present. You?l hear how groundhogs have been a source of food, clothing, medicine, and music for generations of Appalachian folks. You'll learn the mystical aspects of groundhogs how they are woven into Native American and European mythology. You will find out the real story of Groundhog Day. You'll get clues to the great riddle: ?ow much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? You will learn how groundhogs can teach us about ourselves and even give us perspectives on society and world politics, today! Elliott? telling is flavored with traditional songs, regional dialects, lively harmonica riffs, and more than a few belly laughs.
Doug Elliott has a passion for nature. Although he earned a bachelor? degree in art, Doug spent the next ten years as a ?raveling herbalist, collecting and selling herbs, teas, and old-fashioned remedies at folk festivals across the country. With the folk culture at its height, he met hundreds of people who willingly swapped folklore and tales about plants, possums, and groundhogs. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore, and traditional ways of relating to plants. But his skills extend far beyond his knowledge of plants.
In recent years Doug Elliott has performed and taught from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and has conducted workshops and programs at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He has trained rangers for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from Downeast Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler's Grove Festival in Union Grove, North Carolina.
Doug Elliott has authored four books and produced a number of award-winning recordings of stories and songs. His most recent CD, Looking for America: A 20th Century Hero? Journey, recounts his own fascinating three-month odyssey of hitchhiking and freight hopping from Maine to California in the 1960s. His first book, Wild Roots, An Underground Botany and Forager's Guide, has been around for thirty years and is considered an underground classic. In 1995, it was given a new cover and re-released by Healing Arts Press.
A resident of Rutherford County, North Carolina, Doug and his wife, Yanna, along with their son, Todd, raise most of their own food on a small homestead near Asheville, and the performer hasn? held a nine-to-five job for most of three decades.
Learn more about Doug Elliott at www.dougelliott.com.
Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, through a Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.