Rachel Eddy hails from West Virginia, where she grew up steeped in Appalachian music and dance. Rachel’s multi-instrumental talents and soulful singing bring an incredibly powerful energy to the stage. She performs as a soloist in addition to touring with The Early Mays (Pittsburgh) and The Kolodner Quartet (Baltimore). Rachel was born and raised in rural WV just south of Morgantown, where her musical family inspired her to play and sing as a little girl. She grew up listening to local fiddlers, her father among them, going to old-time festivals, and attending square dances. The old-time bug bit her early in life and Rachel now performs and teaches full-time on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass. She has taught fiddle, banjo and guitar at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins WV, at Sore Fingers Summer school in the UK, and different various weekend workshops from the hills of West Virginia to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, London and Wales. Rachel’s love of music comes from the heart and she loves every part of her job from performing, to educating dedicated students, and the electrifying charge of playing in jam sessions around the world!
Trevor McKenzie is a fiddle/guitar/banjo player and singer currently residing in Deep Gap, North Carolina. He has taught workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center’s Old-Time Week, Stringendo Summer Strings, and is an instructor in the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program. Most recently, his music has been featured on the album Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition (2017) and in the film After Coal (2016)—the soundtrack of which was featured on BBC Front Row. He is an archivist in the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University where he works to preserve field recordings, ballad collections, and a host of other materials related to the history of the Appalachian region.
Becky Hill, Dance ( video )
Becky Hill grew up in Michigan, spent extensive time in West Virginia and now calls Nashville home. She has worked with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Rhythm in Shoes and Good Foot Dance Company and has studied with an array of percussive dance luminaries; Eileen Carson, Sharon Leahy, Sandy Silva, Ira Bernstein and many more. She has been awarded two West Virginia Division of Culture & History Professional Development Grants, choreographed two pieces in celebration of Wheatland Music Festival’s 40th Anniversary for the Carry it On Project, has organized Dare to be Square Helvetia, West Virginia for the past five years, serves part-time as the Events Coordinator for Augusta Heritage Center and now teaches movement at the Linden Waldorf School. You can find her calling square dances, performing with the T-Mart Rounders and two-stepping the nights away. She just produced, directed and danced in her first full length production, Shift, in Nashville this past November and hopes to present it elsewhere.
Shay Garriock is a Virginia native and has spent over 30 years studying and striving to emulate “old timers” from Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. His true love of regional styles is from the Blue Ridge of Southwest Virginia where he has lived nearly half his life, and where was fortunate enough to have visited and learned from a few old timers in the area during the 80’s and 90’s. Most notable of his direct influences was fiddler Hick Edmonds (1913-2008) from Smyth County, Virginia. Shay has become a respected old time fiddler in Southwest Virginia and has won numerous awards; most notably in 1998 he won First Place in the Old Time Fiddle category at the Appalachian Stringband Festival. He has taught and performed at workshops for the Augusta Heritage Center, Mars Hill Old Time Week, Swannanoa Gathering, the MOTBA festival in St. Paul, Hoppin John Fiddler’s Convention, and Dorrigo Old Time Music school in Dorrigo, Australia. Shay currently owns and operates a violin shop in Pittsboro, NC where he makes and repairs violins and regularly teaches individual and group fiddle lessons.
Emily Miller, Appalachian Singing ( video )
The first song Emily Miller remembers learning is the Louvin Brothers’ hit, “When I Stop Dreaming,” around age 8, which she sang as a duet with her older brother Ethan. After performing with many different groups in her teenage years (most notably Northern Harmony, with whom she toured all over the US and Europe), Emily formed the honky-tonk country band The Sweetback Sisters in 2006 with fellow singer Zara Bode. They have recorded three full-length records and have performed their renegade retro style of country music in barrooms, festival stages, and concert halls around the world, including appearances on A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage. Emily and her husband Jesse Milnes also perform as a duo, singing country and old-time music in close harmony. Emily is musical director for the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble string band in Elkins, WV, which recruits talented old-time instrumentalists and percussive dancers from around the country for a high-level student performance ensemble. She and Jesse make their home in Valley Bend, WV.
Ben Nelson, Intermediate Banjo ( video )
Ben Nelson grew up in a family of old-time musicians in southwestern Virginia, tagging along to fiddlers conventions and square dances throughout his childhood. After he began playing old-time music as a teenager, Ben was awarded a Watson Fellowship to spend a year immersed in traditional music communities in Ireland and West Africa, studying the historic heritage of the fiddle-banjo duet. A passionate educator, Ben works as a naturalist, elementary school science instructor, and traditional music teacher. He has taught at the John C. Campbell Folk School, the Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, and the Junior Appalachian Musicians program. He also loves to dance, and is a square dance caller and performer with the Green Grass Cloggers.
Allison de Groot combines love for old-time music, technical skill and a creative approach to the banjo forming her own sound – unique and full of personality. Although firmly rooted in old-time and music, she loves to collaborate and create outside this genre, pushing the boundaries of the clawhammer banjo. Allison has toured all over the world with various groups, performing at venues such as Newport Folk Festival, Rockygrass, Hardly Strictly, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Tønder Festival. The music scene in her hometown of Winnipeg, Canada, immersion in Appalachian old-time communities, a performance degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and touring extensively throughout North America and Europe have all had a great impact on her playing. She is currently performing with Bruce Molsky’s new project Molsky’s Mountain Drifters and The Goodbye Girls and Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves.
Mac Traynham, Old Time Music Heritage of the Blue Ridge ( video )
Mac Traynham is an accomplished fiddler and banjo player as well as a fine guitar player and singer. Influenced by well known and obscure musicians of the past, Mac has developed a hard-driving style of playing which keeps the rhythm going strongly and delights dancers! He teaches at numerous music camps and has won many ribbons from various Fiddler’s Conventions.
Andy Buckman, Old Time Music Heritage of the Blue Ridge ( video )
Andy has played clawhammer banjo and sung in church since childhood. He has performed and recorded with Mac and Jenny Traynham, the Reed Island Rounders, and the Wolfe Brothers, and has taught at numerous workshops. His music is rooted in the playing of Wade Ward, Abe Horton, and Harold Hausenfluck. Andy teaches both fretted and fretless banjo in traditional Blue Ridge clawhammer and thumb lead styles.
Joseph “joebass” DeJarnette, Coordinator, Audio Tech, House Bass Player #1 ( video )
Originally from Madison, Virginia, Joebass discovered old-time music through 78 rpm records which he began collecting at age 6. Eventually he traveled to Brooklyn, NY, and spent a decade playing music full-time throughout the US and internationally, concluding with over two dozen shows on the 2009 Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson tour. He now lives back in Virginia where he runs Studio 808A, a “band and breakfast” recording studio that specializes in traditional music. He has taught in the JAM program (Junior Appalachian Musicians), Music Lab Floyd, The Carnegie Hall Neighborhood concert series as well as festival workshops around the world. He runs sound at the Swannanoa Gathering, CROMA and Rockbridge old-time music weeks and in 2015 he was selected to become coordinator of the Old-Time Music Week at the Augusta Heritage Center. At Studio 808A, DeJarnette has worked with many master Appalachian musicians in the studio such as Alice Gerrard, Bruce Greene, Eddie Bond, and Gerry Milnes, up and coming young traditional musicians such as Anna and Elizabeth, as well as more mainstream acts such as Lake Street Dive, Sxip Shirey, Curtis Eller and Rhiannon Giddens.
Tatiana Hargreaves grew up playing violin in Oregon, but steeping herself in the archives of Appalachian music and studying with the masters, she has become a well-known name in the world of old-time music. In 2009, she became the second woman to win first place at the Clifftop Appalachian Fiddle Contest, and since that time, she has toured with a number of prominent musicians, including Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch, Laurie Lewis, Bruce Molsky, and Darol Anger. She released her first solo album, “Started Out To Ramble,” in 2009, and more recently, she played on Laurie Lewis’s Grammy-nominated album, “The Hazel And Alice Sessions.” Tatiana, who has a degree in Ethnomusicology from Hampshire College, is dedicated to respecting and preserving old-time and bluegrass traditions while simultaneously seeking her own musical voice and exploring new ways of approaching these styles.