CFS Logo
Listen to Polecat Creek
From their CD "Ordinary Seasons"
  • Hills of Mexicomusic notes
  • Kiss Me Over the Garden Gatemusic notes
  • Sweet Nandinamusic notes

    From their CD "Leaving Eden"

  • Leaving Edenmusic notes
  • Take What You Getmusic notes


    Kari Sickenberger and Laurelyn Dossett
    Kari Sickenberger and Laurelyn Dossett
    Laurelyn Dossett and Kari Sickenberger, the North Carolina-based duo known as Polecat Creek, will make their Charlotte concert debut on Friday, September 14, at the next Charlotte Folk Society Gathering. Their hour-long concert will begin at 7:30 PM in the Bryant Recital Hall of the Sloan-Morgan Building, 1220 Elizabeth Avenue, on the Central Campus of CPCC. Admission is free. However, donations are greatly appreciated and are used entirely to pay the performers and sound professionals. A refreshment break, jam sessions, and a song circle will follow the concert. Free parking is available in the CPCC Staff and Theater Deck, accessed from 4th Street, between Charlottetown Avenue (formerly Independence Boulevard) and Kings Drive.

    Polecat Creek started small, much like the piedmont North Carolina stream that bears its name. In the mid-90s, Kari Sickenberger and Laurelyn Dossett, both natives of the South, were living in the Greensboro area. Through some mutual friends they ended up in a book club together. A guitar standing in the corner of Kari's apartment led to an evening of harmony singing Carter Family songs and some early Gillian Welch. They haven't stopped singing since. Kari and Laurelyn started writing their own songs and eventually formed the roots duo known as Polecat Creek.

    Winners of the neo-traditional contest at the 2006 Appalachian String Band Festival, Laura and Kari are best known for their singular style of harmony singing and their fine crafting of original material. Laurelyn's Come by Here won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest in the gospel category at MerleFest 2004. Her Leaving Eden has been featured on the BBC and by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in articles about the decline of the textile industry. Kari's Take What You Get has been featured on several compilation CDs and has had extensive play in the United Kingdom. In recent years, Laurelyn has written the music for Triad Stage's Brother Wolf, Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Adventure, and Bloody Blackbeard, which will premiere in Greensboro in June 2008. Most recently, one of her songs has been recorded by Levon Helm for his 2007 release, Dirt Farmer.

    Riley Baugus, Natalya Weinstein,Kari Sickenberger & Laurelyn Dossett
    Polecat Creek (Riley Baugus, Natalya Weinstein, 
Kari Sickenberger & Laurelyn Dossett)
    Frequently featured with Polecat Creek, Riley Baugus and Natalya Weinstein will join Laurelyn and Kari on the Folk Society stage. Riley, a Sugar Hill recording artist and veteran old-time banjo, guitar, and fiddle player, joined the group in early 2001, after sitting in at a local gig. He adds the distinctive old-time sound which is characteristic of Polecat Creek recordings. The North Carolina native's singing and playing are featured on the soundtrack of the Academy Award-winning film Cold Mountain. (Visit Riley's website at The most recent addition, Natalya joined the band after coming south to Asheville and moving in next door to Kari. She adds her heartbreaking fiddle to current Polecat Creek shows; Riley joins them when he is not touring elsewhere.

    Polecat Creek has just released their third recording, Ordinary Seasons. Made in the summer of 2007, it was recorded and produced by Grammy-winning Steven Heller, known for his work with artists ranging from Doc Watson to Toubab Krewe. Ordinary Seasons follows on the heels of Polecat Creek's critically acclaimed Leaving Eden, produced by Dirk Powell in 2004. The band's first CD, Salt Sea Bound, was released in late 2001.

    More personal than its predecessor, Ordinary Seasons grabs the tough subjects death, temptation, and old age - with both hands and stares them down. Laurelyn and Kari are true roots musicians rooted in ordinary life as they see it around them where cardinals fly through the yard, hurricanes happen, temptation is tough to resist, and people around you might speak Spanish. Where ultimately you will grow old and die, and the only thing that matters is what's in your heart. This album takes these seemingly ordinary things and reveals the extraordinary within them.

    "With Ordinary Seasons, Polecat Creek fuses traditional mountain melodies with new lyrics and the result is sublime. The production is nicely transparent, allowing Laurelyn and Kari's beautiful duet singing to shine brightly through a fresh acoustic weave. The group has the knack of fitting new songs and old songs seamlessly together. Simply put, this is plain good music."
    -- Tim O'Brien

    Visit Polecat Creek at their website (new window will open)