44th Annual Carter Family Fold Festival
The Carter Family invites you to its 44th Annual Carter Family Memorial Music Festival the first weekend in August. Our festival is held annually to honor the historic Bristol Sessions of 1927 by the Victor Talking Machine Company. Ninety one years ago, A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter made an historic trip from their humble homes at the foot of Clinch Mountain to Bristol, Tennessee. A trip that would take 30 to 40 minutes today, took them the better part of a day. The weather was extremely hot, Maybelle was eight months pregnant, Sara was nursing baby Joe, and the car – a Packard borrowed from Ezra (A.P.’s younger brother and husband to Maybelle who was A.P.’s wife Sara’s first cousin) was jam packed full of instruments and family members. A.P., Sara, and Maybelle were on their way to make music history – unbeknownst to them. They spent two nights with A.P. & Ezra’s sister Virgie, fixed three flat tires, and then made the long journey back to Maces Springs to return to their everyday lives as mountain folk. No one could have been more surprised than the Carters when a 78 rpm record from the Bristol recordings was released by Victor several months later. Just as they changed the face of American music, their lives – and the lives of their descendants – would be forever changed as well.
Gates at the Fold open Friday, August 3rd, at 3:00 pm, and the music kicks off at 6:00 pm. On Saturday, August 4th, the doors open at noon, and the music will begin at 3:00 pm. Friday will feature Five Mile Mountain Road. Performers Saturday are Uucle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny, the Whitetop Mountain Band, Hogslop String Band, and Volume 5. Carter Family music will be featured both days with Maybelle’s granddaughter, Lorrie Carter Bennett, and longtime Carter Family friend Ronnie Williams.
Now known as the Carter Family Fold, music shows actually began in the one-room grocery
A.P. Carter built and ran as a country store in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Presenting
weekly concerts was Janette Carter’s way of honoring not only her family’s legacy and our
Appalachian culture, but a promise she made to her father just prior to his death in 1960 that
she would see that his music lived on. Starting to present music shows in 1974, as her father
had in what he called the A.P. Carter Park, the early days of the Fold’s weekly concerts were
much like the first Carter Family 78. Janette had no idea what would happen; she just did the
best she could with what she had. In the process, she created something that went further than anyone could have imagined. On this 91st anniversary of that first Carter Family recording, we
invite you to come celebrate with us. Sing, dance, jam, shop for some unique mountain crafts
that are homemade, help yourself to some good home cooked food, and take time to stroll through
the cabin birthplace of A.P. Carter and the Carter Family Museum (both historic landmarks and located on site). Each note you will hear and each dance step you take, is like stepping back in
time while embracing the future of Appalachian mountain music. Deeply rooted in the traditions
of the past, mountain music is here to stay. Come be a part of living history and join us for this very special anniversary year and our annual festival.
This year’s festival is dedicated to Frances Robinette, long-time family friend and volunteer
in the Carter Museum for many years; Fred Skeens, long-time Fold regular and supporter; to Virginia Carroll – neighbor, volunteer, and Fold supporter from the day our doors opened; and
to Stacy Strong – son-in-law of Flo & John Wolfe, husband of their youngest child, Dania, and father to Jacob and Shyanna Strong.
Tickets are available at the gate only; all seats are festival seating. Tickets are $10 for adults on Friday, $20 for adults on Saturday, or both days $25 for adults. Children’s tickets (ages 6 to 11) are $5 a day; under age 6 free. Gates open at 3:00 pm Friday and at noon on Saturday. Music on the stage gets underway at 6:00 pm on Friday night and at 3:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.
Performing on Friday, August 3:
Five Mile Mountain Road
Performing Saturday, August 4:
Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny
Whitetop Mountain Band
Hogslop String Band
Performing Friday & Saturday, August 3 & 4:
Lorrie Carter Bennett
Carter Family music will open each set – Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night. Friday’s performance by Five Mile Mountain Road will feature two sets. Saturday’s performerswill do single sets. Music begins at 6:00 pm Friday and lasts until 10:00 pm. On Saturday, it begins at 3:00 pm and runs until 6:00 pm., with a supper break from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Saturday evening’s performance starts at 7:30 pm and lasts until 10:45 pm.
Ticket gates, craft and outside food booths open at 3:00 pm on Friday and at noon on Saturday. Visitors may take chances to win a homemade quilt. The A.P. Carter Cabin Birthplace and the Carter Family Museum will be open from the time the gates open each day until 8:00 pm. There will be lots of music and jamming on the grounds in addition to the scheduled performers inside the Carter Fold. A special area for jamming will be set up adjacent to the museum. Limited rough camping is available.
Attached are official biographies of the acts performing at this year’s festival. If you would like more information on the acts or the festival, please contact a Fold staff member at 276-594-0676 or Rita Forrester at 423-914-2700. If there is no immediate answer on 276-594-0676, please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as possible. During festival hours, you may also call
276-386-6054. For additional information, visit the Carter Fold website at www.carterfamilyfold.org/.
PERFORMER INFORMATION ( Alphabetical Order):
LORRIE CARTER BENNETT:
When Mother Maybelle Carter began touring with her three daughters in the 1940s, listeners everywhere fell in love with the beautiful singing of Anita Carter, whom many consider to be the greatest voice in the history of country music. Anita shared the stage and recorded true country masterpieces with several music legends, including Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Snow. And though she passed away in 1999, her daughter Lorrie Carter Bennett, carries on the Carter tradition with a voice that is every bit as heartbreakingly stunning as that of Anita herself.
Born with county music in her blood, Lorrie was touring with the Carter Sisters by age 14 and
soon with Johnny Cash. Mr. Cash made sure to tell the masses how Lorrie’s voice was every bit
as breathtaking as her mother’s.
Lorrie has always done everything she could to showcase the beauty of the Carter Family’s music.
Living in Nashville, she doesn’t get the chance to perform at the Fold as often as she’d like. Her voice is unlike any other, and it’s unmistakably that of a Carter. For more info, go to Lorrie’s FB page – https://www.facebook.com/LorrieCarterBennett.
FIVE MILE MOUNTAIN ROAD:
Five Mile Mountain Road is a Franklin County, Virginia-based bluegrass, old time, and classic country band with an emphasis on music for dancing. With front man Billy Hurt sawing the fiddle, Five Mile Mountain Road is known throughout the region for superb dance tunes and world-class instrumentation. Seth Boyd (banjo & guitar), Brennen Ernst (guitar & banjo), and Steven Dowdy (upright bass) round out the group’s lineup. Named after one of Franklin County’s signature rural byways, the group is one of the best up and coming bands around. All the members of Five Mile Mountain Road have had experience playing with other well-known bands.
Five Mile Mountain Road has been featured on Song of the Mountains, at Ferrum College, at the Blueridge Music Center and at the Floyd Country Store. These are just a few of the many venues the group has played. Check out the group on Face Book and You Tube. Five Mile Mountain Road can hold their own with the best bands that ever graced the Carter Fold stage. They play with so much enthusiasm and energy that you won’t be able to resist hitting the dance floor – if you can keep up with them.
HOGSLOP STRING BAND
The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville-based old time string band comprised of four energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia and Tennessee. Featuring Kevin Martin on the fiddle, Gabriel Kelley on guitar, Daniel Binkley on banjo, and Casey “Pickle” McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.
Upon forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, the Hogslop String Band has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands of the Tennessee Valley area. Known for their rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions, and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals, and soirees.
Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by young and old alike. Their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart as it will your daughter’s.
If you love old time music and just plain fun, don’t miss the Hogslop String Band. There are unlike any other group that’s performed at the Fold. Hogslop says most places they play are places where people don’t know what slopping a hog is. Boy have they come home! Not only do we know what slopping a hog is, we know what the best old time music is. Old time doesn’t get any better than the Hogslop String Band. For more information on the Hogslop, go to their site on the internet – www.hogslopstringband.com./ Watch them on You Tube and check them out on the web.
UNCLE SHUFFELO & HIS HAINT HOLLOW HOOTENANNY:
Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny is a seven-piece, old-time string band from Rover, Tennessee, with musical influences by the Carter Family, Gid Tanner, Uncle Dave Macon, the Coon Creek Girls and many other old-time bands from year’s past. Band members emanate from the Williams and Derryberry Families. Uncle Shuffelo (Keith Williams) plays banjo. Austin Derryberry, age 19, plays fiddle, banjo, ukulele, guitar, and harmonica. Brian Derryberry plays upright bass. Conner Derryberry, age 11, plays the banjo, bones and spoons. Emma Jean Williams plays autoharp and jug. Megan Williams, age 22, plays washboard and kazoo. Courtney Williams, age 20, plays guitar, banjo, ukulele and tuba.
The Hootenanny plays old-time hillbilly music for the soul. Their first performance at the Fold nearly brought the house down. In addition to being some of the finest old time musicians around, they’re also some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. The group’s accolades are too numerous to mention. Visit https://www.uncleshuffeo.com or https://www.facebook.com/Shuffelo/ for more information.
WHITETOP MOUNTAIN BAND:
The fast-paced mountain music of the Whitetop Mountain Band of Grayson County is definitely a family affair, dominated by the presences of the nationally known Spencer family. While not every member of the group is of the Spencer clan, they may as well be, as the band is just as personally close as they are professionally solid. Whitetop, Virginia is an area rich in the tradition of old time music. This band has deep roots in mountain music. The group has done a great deal to preserve the Whitetop region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking, and they are legendary teachers of the style.
The Whitetop Mountain Band has been performing for over three decades, first making a name for themselves at the Carter Family Fold back when the A.P. Carter Store concerts began. The band features Kilby Spencer on fiddle. Kilby is the son of the late Thornton Spencer and his wife, Emily. Emily picks a hard-driving old-fashioned claw hammer banjo, while her daughter Martha Spencer plays everything from guitar to fiddle to banjo. Martha can’t resist the urge to join in on the dancing during the fast numbers, either. Debbie Bramer plays bass for the band and dances. Ersel Fletcher helps out on rhythm guitar and vocals. All the band members grew up immersed in old time Appalachian musical tradition from birth. Anyone can pick up a fiddle or banjo and learn to play, but the Whitetop Mountain Band proves that to truly excel at mountain music you must be “born into it.”
One of only two bands still performing at the Carter Fold from 1974 when shows began, the Whitetop Mountain Band has a dedicated fan base and receives high critical acclaim locally and throughout the nation. They have had the honor of playing such recognized events as the World’s Fair, the National Folklife Festival, Merlefest, and the Smithsonian Institution. The band has toured England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia. The group has a variety of recordings to their credit, and several members of the group have taught classes and programs on old time music. For more information on the group, go to http://whitetopmountainband.tripod.com/.
Volume Five is certainly blazing a red-hot trail on the bluegrass scene with their live stage performances and chart topping albums. Their newest release Milestones celebrates the band’s 10th anniversary. Their various styles of bluegrass has definitely earned them critical acclaim from media, radio and their peers.
Volume Five was founded by leader Glen Harrell in early 2008 and has now grown into one of bluegrass music’s most unique new acts. His goal was to establish a bluegrass band that wouldn’t be just another band that would move onto the scene and then be gone in a few years. Glen wanted a band with a unique sound that players and listeners would remember for many years to come – one that sounded like no other band in the business. Glen plays fiddle and does vocals; Chris Williamson plays bass and does vocals; Patton Wages does the banjo playing as well as vocals; Colby Laney plays guitar and does vocals; and Jacob Burleson plays mandolin and does vocals for the group.
One thing fans can count on with Volume Five is that they will never be let down with their live performances and that those live performances will be every bit as impactful as their recorded music. Their level of quality musicianship is constant and is making an impact on radio. Each member of Volume Five has held tenure with a national touring band, giving them the stage experience needed to entertain any crowd.
While Volume Five is a traditional band, their soulful singing, dead-on harmonies, and precision picking set them apart from other bands of their style. Having released four CDs, they have won so many awards along the way that it’s impossible to list them all. To name a few – IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year Award, IBMA Song of the Year Award, Bluegrass Gospel Song of the Year, Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart, Bluegrass Album of the Year, and an unbelievable four SPIGMA nominations in 2017. Volume Five represents the future of bluegrass music in the best possible way. This will be their debut at the Carter Family Fold, and we’re honored to have them play our annual festival. For information on Volume Five, go to www.volumefivebg.com/.
Ronnie has been playing since 1975. One of his best memories is playing for Sara and Maybelle at the Fold in 1976. He remembers playing Gold Watch and Chain and Black Mountain Rag for “Mommy and Maybelle” at Janette’s request. Ronnie plays a Gibson guitar similar to Maybelle’s, and he also plays autoharp and sings beautifully. He’s been a friend of the Carter Family for years – covering three generations. He often visited various members of the family – a tradition he continues to this day. A great cook, Ronnie often helps out in the Fold’s and the Carter Family’s kitchens. You won’t find anyone who knows more about the Carter Family and their music or anyone who plays it with more reverence than Ronnie Williams does.
44th Carter Family Memorial Festival
Friday – August 3, 2018
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Lorrie Carter Bennett & Ronnie Williams
7:30 pm to 8:30 pm Five Mile Mountain Road
9:00 pm to 10:00 pm Five Mile Mountain Road
Breaks between sets allow time for sound set up and a chance for audience members to visit our outside vendors and artists’ merchandise tables.
Saturday – August 4, 2018
3:00 pm to 3:30 pm Lorrie Carter Bennett &, Ronnie Williams
3:45 pm to 4:45 pm Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Whitetop Mountain Band
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm Supper Break
7:30 pm to 8:15 pm Lorrie Carter Bennett & Ronnie Williams
8:30 pm to 9:30 pm Volume Five
9:45 pm to 10:45 pm Hogslop String Band
Breaks between sets allow time for sound set up and a chance for audience members to visit our outside vendors and artists’ merchandise tables.