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2006 GWMF Met Theatre Concert
And what a concert it was!
[Bobby Taylor] [John Lilly] [Monica Andis and Larry Spisak] [Wolf Creek Session]
[Angelle Guyette] [Kirk Judd] [Ed McDonald]
Bobby Taylor is a fourth-generation West Virginia fiddler who has played fiddle for more than 30 years.
Among Bobby's many awards is the WV State Open Championship. Bobby teaches fiddle classes, which usually focus on expanding student's repertoires and knowledge.
Bobby is the contest coordinator for the Vandalia Gathering and for the Appalachian String Band Festival. He has also served as a judge for the Galax Old-Time Fiddler's Convention.
Bobby always graciously cites and thanks his mentors, learning from Kanawha County, W.Va., neighbors such as Clark Kessinger and Mike Humphreys. He also was influenced by Doc Roberts, The Skillet Lickers, and Sam Jarvis.
Over the years, Bobby has has performed with the Morris Brothers Band, The Kanawha Tradition, and many other groups. Musicians accompanying him at the Met will include Kim Johnson on banjo and Andrew Dunlap on bass.
John Lilly is a multi-talented acoustic music performer who presents music of unusual depth and sincerity. Known for his unique style of Americana, roots country, and traditional folk music, he blends the music of earlier generations with his own colorful vision, punctuated by crisp musicianship, a lively sense of humor, and a little yodel for good measure.
According to one reviewer, "If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he'd be John Lilly.""Broken Moon," John Lilly's first CD, released in 2001, achieved the #3 position on the international Freeform American Roots radio chart. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called it one of the "most unusual and interesting acoustic disks of the year." His second CD, "Last Chance to Dance," was released in September 2003 and debuted at the #1 position on the Freeform American Roots radio chart.
John is also a powerful performing songwriter. He was a finalist in the 2002 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC, chosen from 853 entries and placing third in the "country" category for his song, "Broken Moon."
John was selected as a showcase artist for the 2001 Americana Music Association conference and for the 2002 International Folk Alliance conference. He appeared as a feature performer at the 2002 Philadelphia Folk Festival, Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, and on West Virginia Public Radio's nationally distributed "Mountain Stage."
A former member of the Green Grass Cloggers dance team, John has spent years playing traditional string band music with groups including Ralph Blizard and the New Southern Ramblers. He is a former a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and is currently editor of West Virginia's Goldenseal magazine and editor of the book, Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal.
Read more about John at his Web site: John Lilly Music
Wolf Creek Session
"...think Irish-American jam band...the arrangements sparkle ...sure to please fans of both Appalachian and Celtic music." - Sing Out!
From the mountains of northern West Virginia, Wolf Creek Session offers up an exciting and high energy blend of traditional music of Ireland, Scotland and Appalachia sprinkled with original songs and stories.
With influences from bluegrass to folk, from Celtic to mountain music, they blend songs, dance tunes and aires from the past and bring them into the new century.
Known for their taste and delicacy of arrangements, their unique melodic sound features the rich vocals and harmonies of Keith and Joan Pitzer over the intricate instrumental arrangements of fiddle (Mike Broderick), flutes and whistles (Alice Fleischman), guitar and mandolin (Keith Pitzer) supported by a solid rhythmic bass (Joan Pitzer).
Keith and Joan Pitzer also perform and record as original singer/songwriters in a traditional and contemporary folk style.
Read more about Wolf Creek Session at the Web site: Wolf Creek Session
Monica Andis and Larry Spisak
Monica Andis and Larry Spisak are longstanding performers from northern West Virginia who met each other while playing in Curmudgeon, a popular Morgantown celtic style band active in the 1990s.
The duo play a tasteful collection of traditional old time, Irish, and Scottish tunes, blending some of their former band's hard driving rhythms with more intricate and classical style sounds.
Monica, a guitarist and vocalist, has been involved with acoustic and traditional music for over 35 years, partnering with many other Morgantown musicians. She also plays blues and has participated in many old time, Irish-Anglo, and blues programs and festivals.
Larry was a founding member of Curmudgeon and has also played with the trio Morgan's Glade for over 20 years. He has most recently been playing fiddle across the country as a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Capt. Lewis' Company, commemorating the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial as one of the original expedition's two fiddlers. He also played fiddle in six seasons of the Pricketts Fort outdoor drama Pricketts Fort: An American Frontier Musical.
Angelle is a traditional Appalachian dancer who has performed in 21 states and 7 countries with groups such as "The Step-a-Tune Stompers", "The Coal Country Cloggers", and "Blue Mountain Traditions".
In 1993, she won first place at the festival at Clifftop where she was spotted by talent scouts for the BBC and invited to participate in "Atlantic Bridges"--a cross-community peace project in Northern Ireland celebrating the Scotts and Irish contributions to Appalachian culture. There she appeared on Britain's version of the Tonight Show, "Anderson in the Box." Invited to stay, she accommodated requests for performances and lessons all around Belfast. Invited to return, she stayed another 10 months and toured throughout Ireland, Scotland, England, and a ski resort in Austria.
Angelle says: "I was blessed, as a teenager with no car, that folks in Pittsburgh brought me along to dances and parties all over West Virginia. I began to see that there were variations in the style that changed from one area to the next, some places emphasizing dancing low to the ground, hardly lifting their toes or heels off the ground; others up on their toes like ballet dancers, some mostly chugging (dragging themselves forward and back, flat on the soles of their feet), some dancing heavy, others lighter, and everywhere I went, somebody taught me something."
"But the most important thing I learned came from a little old lady in Glenville. She said that traditional dancing is not about the steps, it's about the way you live. We dance the way we live, and if you're focused on yourself you're not going to be focused on anyone else, including the musicians. Traditional dance is not a show, but a way of playing with the musicians, both as an instrument and socially."
Kirk Judd is a talented West Virginia poet and performer. Between acts at The Met, he mesmerized the audience with his poetry, which deals with the Appalachian cultural experience. He helped found West Virginia Writers, Inc. and Allegheny Echoes, Inc., groups dedicated to the support and preservation of the State's cultural heritage arts.
Kirk's published poetry work includes: "Field of Vision" and "Tao Billy". His work has appeared in several regional magazines which have been used in Appalachian Poetry classes at various colleges and universities. With Dr. Barbara Smith he co-edited "Wild, Sweet Notes - 50 Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950 - 1999".
His poetry has appeared in the anthologies "Wild Sweet Notes", "Down The River" and "Kestrel". He recently published an article on West Virginia traditional musicians The Bing Brothers in "The Old Time Herald", a magazine dedicated to old time music. In 2001, he participated with other West Virginia artists, musicians and singers in a series of performances of Appalachian heritage arts in Ireland and Scotland.
Ed McDonald emceed this year's concert - introducing and interacting with the performers on stage before they begin their sets. Ed and Karen McDonald are the proprietors of EIO Productions, a home-based audio recording and broadcast production business in Keyser, WV. They produce and distribute a weekly syndicated radio show called "Sidetracks."
"Sidetracks" is a one-hour program that features what the McDonalds describe as "today's acoustic music with roots in tradition and branches into the future." This includes a mix of bluegrass, folk, blues, acoustic country, and Gospel music. The show is broadcast by many commercial, college, community, and Internet stations. Here in West Virginia, "Sidetracks" airs on West Virginia Public Broadcasting at 11 p.m. every Friday night.