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American Roots: Folklore Treasure
By Dan Gore
Here’s something that our folkies might enjoying watching: an Internet free-access site to many films and documentaries from the field to the studio throughout the Southern Appalachians. The site states its mission as “A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures.” It is streamed with essays about the traditions and filmmaking. The site includes transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites.
This is largely the work of folklorist Daniel Patterson, a Kenan Professor Emeritus of English and former chair of the Curriculum in Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Fellow of the American Folklore Society. He has taught courses in "British and American Folksong" and "Folklore in the South," is a founder of the Southern Folklife Collection in the UNC library, has published ten books, three sound recordings, and articles on American folklore, and has collaborated with Tom Davenport on five folklife documentary films.
Daniel is also a close friend of my Chapel Hill family and was roommates long ago with my dad as graduate students in the English department at UNC. Here are some of his picks, in a recent letter:
When you find time to look at Folkstreams.net, I hope you will take a look at "A Singing Stream" and "Being a Joines" and "Born for Hard Luck." These are the three best we've done. The new one is "Reunion"—you can find trailers for that on-line, I believe. But I think the Folkstreams website will hold many films that will interest you.
On March 15th the new and improved Jam Band filled the stage with musicians and the Woman’s Club with great contra tunes. Callers Nora, Ray, and Nancy kept the dancers moving.
Dancer AABB said, “Wow—this is like going to the gym, except better!”
Meets on Sunday, April 9, at KayCee Brennick’s home. Contact her at (509) 994-0639 or email@example.com for information. We have dropped the potluck and now play from 6-8 pm, focusing on the tunes for the next jam band dance. Come and join us for tons of fun!
Spotlight on Bands
By Carla Carnegie
Crooked Kilt has been around some 20 years and got its start with Carla and Tom playing together. Carla married Tom's older brother, so over the years their music interests led to episodes of jamming together. Their beginnings as a group officially started because of St. Patrick's Day requests to play at Conley's Family Restaurant in Spokane Valley. They were joined by Carla's eldest daughter, Anna, who played percussion in the school bands, and loved the bodhran and djembe sounds with her mom and Uncle Tom.
There was much collaboration in arranging, songwriting, and eventual recording of their first album, "Crooked Kilt: Complex Presence," featuring the Carnegie Clan Crest, and Castle in Scotland on its album cover. "Crown & Hamster" followed, released some ten years ago. Tom is the chief engineer in recording, as he has his own recording studio in his home where the CD's are recorded, start to finish.
Over the years, Tom, Carla, Kevin Jones, and Anna Carnegie Marx played at Wyoming's Oyster Ridge Music Festival, Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Basin Summer Sounds Music Festival, Seattle Folk Life, Athena Oregon Scottish Highland Games, Spokane Scottish Highland Games, and of course, many contra dances locally.
After Anna moved away, Sara Green took her place with percussion, also Taylor Belote, Dusty Thomas and now Sarah Carter. Playing in concert with Irish Stepdancers, or Highland Scottish Dancers has been a favorite. This year marks the 22nd year playing annually at Conley's, with the band performing in many iterations. Sometimes there have been three members, sometimes four, but Crooked Kilt has always been at least Tom and Carla. Sometimes, if Tom wasn't available to play, Carla would get a few musicians together as "Twisted Kilts."
At this date, Crooked Kilt is in the final stages of completing a third album—the finest yet, featuring Sarah Carter's angelic voice, and Celtic Harp on a number of tunes, as well as her bodhran playing on others. Each album features one of Carla's many piano compositions. This latest includes yet another, with piano, flute, guitar, trombone, drums, timpani, bass, and harp in "Thunder on the Mountain". Nearly all of the past members contribute instrumentally or vocally. Crooked Kilt wanted to honor them in this way, as they have all had a deep impact on the group as a whole over the years. Stay tuned for announcements of a CD release party.