The Players

Jake Book 
Jake Book is an old time musician, documentarian and songwriter from the wild midwestern state of Iowa. Growing up on a farm in the rolling hills of the southern part of the state, Jake learned about the banjo from his mother who played in the old frailing style.  Since founding Historic Records, Jake has become a documentarian and field recordist, traveling to several states meeting with people like Arthur Rosenbaum and Frank George among others. He also began a video series called "Kitchen Songs" that have featured such artists as Dom Flemons, Pokey LaFarge and The Tillers. Through these experiences he has learned about the music in a deeper way and continues to do so.

Dom Flemons 
Dom Flemons is the "American Songster," pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people just within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry. 

John Haywood 
 John Haywood is an award winning painter, musician and tattoo artist from in the mountains of East Kentucky. He grew up in Risner, a small town that was named for his mother’s family. After spending several years in Louisville, where he received his MFA at the University of Louisville. He is recognized by the Kentucky Folklife Pragram as a banjo master. He was a Kentucky Folklife apprentice to George Gibson, a master banjo player from Knott County. He is a regular musicianer at the Carcassone Squaredance. John preforms regularly with Lee Sexton and Rich & the Po’ Folk. He can be heard on their June Appal recording When the Whistle Blew. He can also be heard on the album "New Young Fogies" playing "Hook and Line". Haywood’s artwork pays tribute to lifestyles that make Kentucky and Appalachia one of the most unique and celebrated places in the world. His paintings tell stories of hell raising hillbillies, hardened mine workers, mountain musicians, and more. Haywood's skill as a tatoo artist in his shop Parloom Tattoos in Whitesburg, KY attracts clientele from all over the world.

Brett Ratliff 
Raised by a coal miner and teacher in Van Lear, Kentucky, Brett Ratliff grew up with a love for the mountains, its people, and its culture. As a youngster, Brett starting singing in church and sang along to recordings of Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. As a teenager he began playing guitar for bluegrass bands. But when Brett met musical father and son Jamie and Jesse Wells he became hooked on the moving, emotionally charged mountain music of his home. Since then, Brett has learned banjo tunes and ballads from some of the masters of old time music, like knock-down banjo player George Gibson of Knott County or Pike County fiddle and banjo player Paul David Smith.

Andru Bemis (photo by Aaron Geil) 
 Since 2001, Andru Bemis has wandered the ends, edges, and in-betweens of North America more times than he can count. A musician misplaced in time, Bemis travels almost exclusively by public transportation, foot, and thumb. Wearing his Sunday best, he carries his battered instruments — guitar, fiddle, banjo, and occasional banjolele — on his back. Call him a “folk” musician if you wish. Wherever he goes, Bemis plays music for folks — simple as that. His unmistakable voice, lightning-fast banjo and expressive finger-picked guitar styles, quirky humor, engaging stage presence, and exquisitely crafted tunes of travel, love, and longing have earned Bemis a dedicated following throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond. 
George Gibson 
 George Gibson on George Gibson: "I was born in 1938 at Bath, in Knott County, Kentucky. Bath was a rural post office, now discontinued on Little Carr Creek. I learned to play and sing the old songs, in the old tunings, from my family and neighbors. I left Knott County in the 1960's, taking with me a Kay benjo and a Vega Whyute Laydie guitar banjo. I have been mostly a couch banjo player since leaving. I believe that continuing to play banjo was my way of holding on to a past that I glimpsed only briefly. That past is part of a world and time in Knott County that has vanished forever. As far as I know, I am the last person left playing the old Burgeys Creek banjo music. I am the last possum up the tree."


No comments:

Post a Comment