Going Down to Raleigh: Stringband Music in the North Carolina Piedmont 1976-1998
In 2009, PineCone released Going Down to Raleigh: Stringband Music in the North Carolina Piedmont 1976-1998, a collection of field recordings that highlight the distinctive music traditions of the Piedmont region, including fiddlers, banjo players and other instrumentalists and singers who learned their music from family and friends. The 2-CD anthology includes full liner notes and documentary photos of the musicians. Listen to some samples from Going Down to Raleigh.
Musicians featured in the collection are: Virgil Craven, Lauchlin Shaw, A.C. Overton, Leonard Eubanks, Marvin Gaster, Beth Hartness, Rich Hartness, Jack Jones, Smith McInnis, Robert Mitchener, Fred Olson, Gerry Overton, Evelyn Shaw, Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, Wade Yates, Glen Glass and Wayne Martin. These artists were recorded in the field by Bob Carlin, Barry Poss, and Wayne Martin.
The richness of musical traditions of the eastern and central North Carolina Piedmont comes into sharper focus when these musicians are heard together. Fiddle and banjo music have long established histories in the region, as evident from the particular tunes played, the instrumental and singing styles employed, and from the stories about where and how the pieces were learned.
Martin, who is currently the Executive Director at the North Carolina Arts Council, said, "Discovering these musicians in the Piedmont who were under the radar screen prompted us to create PineCone so that more of our citizens would start to know our heritage." Martin grew up in North Carolina but was unfamiliar with the Piedmont's musical heritage in middle and high school. In the early 1970s he became acquainted with some of the musicians he later documented. "It was fiddlers and banjo players from this area who provided the inspiration for me to make recordings and later to help create PineCone."
A limited number of CDs remain available for purchase. Call the PineCone offices at 919-664-8333 to purchase your copy today. Or purchase a copy online via the NC Folklife Institute or via County Sales. CDs can also be purchased in person at select PineCone events, the NC Museum of History Gift Shop, and at Quail Ridge Books & Music.
Crazy Barn Dance: Bluegrass Roots on Carolina Radio 1933-1940
Raleigh's Old Hat Records, with the support of PineCone, is compiling a CD anthology that explores the "Crazy Barn Dance," a Saturday-night radio show born in North Carolina that showcased some of the greatest string bands and brother duets of the Depression era, and influenced countless musicians for decades to come. Today's bluegrass and country music owes a huge debt to these pioneers of early radio on WPTF in Raleigh and WBT in Charlotte in the 1930s. These programs were first sponsored by a patent medicine called Crazy Water Crystals, a product from Texas that was sold as a cure for a variety of diseases. A lot of bands sponsored by Crazy Water Crystals added the word "crazy" to their names, like Mainer's Crazy Mountaineers.
The anthology will also include period illustrations and extensive historical notes co-written by Marshall Wyatt and Patrick Huber, author of Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South.
The project has continued to grow, and it is now conceived as a four-disc box set (80 tracks of music and four vintage Crazy Water commercials) with a large-format hardcover book in full color, and a set of 24 Crazy Barn Dance advertising cards, with different musicians on each (modeled on the 1930s originals).