David Holt's State of Music: Introduction (03:00)
Music originating in the Southern Mountains has been called Bluegrass, Hillbilly, Roots, and Folk music. Ralph Stanley told David Holt to travel to the Blue Ridge mountains to learn this art form. Guitars changed how music was performed; Doc Watson learned how to play fiddle tunes with a flat pick.
Meet Bryan Sutton (04:54)
Sutton has played guitar on Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Ricky Scaggs' albums and has won a Grammy. Holt, T. Michael Coleman, and Sutton perform on a live radio show. Doc Watson and Wade Manier wrote "The Train that Carried My Girl from Town."
Rooted in North Carolina (03:02)
Sutton's father played guitar in a band with his grandfather, Grover Sutton, a fiddle player. The Pisgah Pickers featured Sutton, his sister, and his father. Sutton describes how he teaches student's to perform this type of music.
Oldest Folk Songs (04:02)
Ballad singing is dying out because it is unaccompanied and not flamboyant. Cecil Sharp traveled to Madison County, North Carolina to hear English ballads performed. Josh Goforth performs "Young Emily" and explains how he learned a two-finger banjo style.
Banjo and Guitar Duet (03:16)
Goforth and Holt perform "Pretty Peggy-O," a song about a woman who rejects a man's proposal.
Mixing Cultures (04:44)
Southern music mixes songs from the British Isles with the music from Africa. African-Americans began performing on fiddles and banjos before the Civil War. The Thomson brothers inspired The Carolina Chocolate Drops; Joel Sweeney played the banjo in blackface as part of the minstrel show.
Bluegrass Performance (05:46)
Rhiannon Giddens performs "Georgia Buck" and "Julie," traditional mountain songs.
Rhythmic Style (06:59)
Bruce Molsky and Holt perform "Sally Ann" and "Down the Road" in Low Gap, North Carolina. Fiddle players flocked to Surry County in order to learn from Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Benton Flippen, and Earnest East. Molsky describes differences between traditional folk playing and mountain music.
Gospel Singing (06:02)
St. Philips African Moravian Church is the oldest African American church still standing in the state of North Carolina and one of the earliest in the entire country. Listen to The Branchettes perform "I'll Tell It Wherever I Go." Lena Mae Perry and Wilbur Tharpe describe how they became involved in gospel music.
Influence of Music (10:59)
Bluegrass music evolved from mountain music in 1945. Earl Scruggs created a different way of playing the banjo known as Scruggs' Style. The Balsam Range perform "Backdraft (You Light It, You Fight It)" and "Trains I Missed"; the band discusses how it formed, its influences, and western North Carolina music.
Credits: David Holt's State of Music (01:34)
Credits: David Holt's State of Music
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