·        Series Explores Rich Musical Legacy from Southeast U.S.

·        Eight Episodes to Air on PBS from April 8, 2017 (check local listings) 

February 23, 2017– In the second season of David Holts State of Music, four-time Grammy winner David Holt introduces viewers to some amazing modern masters of American folk, bluegrass, country and gospel music. The season, consisting of seven 30-minute episodes and one 60-minute episode, will begin airing on PBS in April, May and June (check local listings). The original David Holts State of Music received a 2015 Emmy nomination in the category “Documentary-Cultural” for the mid-south region.

David Holts State of Music, Season Two was filmed on location throughout the mostly rural landscapes that nurture this organically American music. Featured in Season Two are a 19th-century textile mill near Burlington, NC, once owned by David’s distant ancestors; an historic court house in Hendersonville, a general store in the Prospect Hill community, and a beautiful farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains that once belonged to the family of Woody Platt, guitarist and singer with the Steep Canyon Rangers. The series includes whole songs by, and interview with, it’s talented performers.

The season’s final episode is a one-hour stage performance reuniting David with artists from the first season including breakout star Rhiannon Giddens, multi-faceted musician and ballad singer Josh Goforth, African-American gospel torch bearers the Branchettes, and bluegrass supergroup Balsam Range.

“This series really highlights the diversity of American traditional music and the performers who are drawn to it from different directions,” says host David Holt. “From a veteran like Doyle Lawson, who in his youth studied with the great Jimmy Martin, to a young, gifted female performer like Amythyst Kiah, who learns from the Internet. The depth of heart, soul, and talent revealed in this season’s music is bound to amaze viewers!”

All episodes, music, photography and more information is available at and 

A five-minute preview is at:

Season Two Featured Artists:

Steep Canyon Rangers, the progressive bluegrass band that got its break touring with comedian Steve Martin; the Swiss-born Kruger Brothers, virtuosos on banjo and guitar; the young band Mipso, all recent students at UNC-Chapel Hill; bluegrass legend Doyle Lawson and his band Quicksilver; powerhouse vocalist Amythyst Kiah; famous guitar-maker Wayne Henderson with bluegrass pianist Jeff Little; Dom Flemons, a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops; the Unity Choir of St. John AME Zion Church; and Alice Gerrard, grand-dame of bluegrass women, performing with fiddler Rayna Gellert and singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett.

About David Holt:

David Holt previously hosted the UNC-TV/PBS series Folkways that took viewers through the Southern mountains visiting traditional craftsmen and musicians. He also served as host of The Nashville NetworkFire on the MountainCelebration Express and American Music Shop. He was a frequent guest on Hee Haw, Nashville Now and The Grand Ole Opry. David was cast as a musician in the popular Coen Brothers film, O Brother Where Art Thou. He also hosted Riverwalk Jazz for Public Radio International and the Emmy award-winning series Great Scenic Railway Journeys on public television. In 2002, David Holt and Doc Watson won two Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Folk Recording for Legacy, a three-CD collection of songs and stories reflecting Doc Watsons life in music. Doc and David toured together from 1998 until Docs death in 2012. More information can be found at

CMT’s Sun Records: Joe Hill Louis


Photo Credit: Vania Marie Kinard Location: Sun Records, Memphis,TN 


In CMT’s new original TV series “Sun Records”, I am playing the role of “The Be-Bop Boy”, Joe Hill Louis.  His record, “Gotta Let You Go” recorded in late July 1950 was the first record produced by Sam Phillips with the intention of selling to the regional market.  He felt he had a hit and he was not alone.  Along with his dear friend, eccentric WHPQ DJ Dewey Phillips (no relation), Sam put all of his heart and soul into making this record a sure-fire hit!  When I was given the chance to re-create the sound of this record along with an original number I play in Joe Hill’s style, I jumped at the chance.  Joe Hill Louis is an enigma in the transitionary period that connects country blues, R&B, Soul and Rock ‘N’ Roll.  The audience for his music is small but the fans are all die-hards.  I hope that this role will create awareness for Joe Hill Louis and showcase his place as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer.

Continue reading

Catch Dom Flemons on CMT’s New Show ‘Sun Records’


Dom Flemons, the host of WUNC’s American Songster Radio Podcast, has a role in the new CMT TV series Sun Recordswhich premieres tonight (Thursday 2/23) at 10 PM on CMT.

Flemons plays the role of Joe Hill Louis.  Also known as the Bebop Boy, Louis was one of a handful of one-man blues bands to record commercially in the 1950s.  Louis worked for a time as a session musician at the legendary Memphis Record Label Sun Records.  The television drama also tells the stories of the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Click here for a behind the scenes look at the series.



National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV, February 2nd- 4th, 2017


Folks and Friends!

Make sure to check out my photos from my tour out to Elko, NV. It was great to be invited back to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering! This year I hosted a bones workshop for people of all ages. I performed at the Roots of the Cowboy session with Brian Farrow, Cowboy Celtic, Sourdough Slim and Robert Armstrong. Brian and I even got the chance to perform for a group of kids outside the Western Folklife Center. It was a fun time!
One of the highlights of the tour was driving through the mountains and stopping off at the Pony Express Trail rest area. It was great to read about the history of the early pioneers and learn about how they discovered America. Driving on these historical highways is one of the best parts about traveling.
See you folks down the road!
Location: Ely, Nevada and Elko, Nevada
People: Dom Flemons, Brian Farrow, Cowboy Celtic, Sourdough Slim, Robert Armstrong
Photo Credit: Vania Marie Kinard

Sun Records Viewing Party, Santa Monica, CA, February 11, 2017

Hello Folks! I’m excited to share a couple of photos from the Sun Records viewing party with the cast and crew. We spent the whole day at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA watching the entire season one episodes. It was a grand time!
My character in the TV series is blues musician Joe Hill Louis ” The Be-Bop Boy” King of the One Man Band! It was great to share the set with actor Chad Michael Murray who plays Sam Phillips and Margaret Anne Florence who plays Marion Keisker in the show. Special thanks to the Music Director, Chuck Mead for inviting me to play this role.
I had a fun time hanging out with the many talented actors, musicians, and entire production crew in Santa Monica, CA. Plus, it was great to celebrate the release of this original CMT series with everyone at the ThinkFactory Media office too. Everyone did a fantastic job at making this show memorable and enjoyable.
I’m so honored to have a part in this new hit TV series on CMT because it showcases the excitement and enduring history of early Rock and Roll music.
Make sure to tune in!
Sun Records airs on CMT on February 23rd, 2017 at 10PM EST.
People: Dom Flemons (Joe Hill Louis), Chad Michael Murray (Sam Phillips), Keir O’Donnell (Dewey Philips), Drake Milligan (Elvis Presley), Chuck Mead (Music Director), Jerry Phillips
Photo Credit: Vania Marie Kinard
CMT & ThinkFactory Media

Folk Alliance 2017, Day 1: Inclusivity, Roots Music, and Late Night Jams



Photo credit: Vania Marie Kinard
People: Dom Flemons and Michael Kiwanuka at the Dranouter Festival in Belgium, 2016

Michael Kiwanuka & Inflo were presented the Song of the Year Award for “Black Man in a White World” at Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO, 2017. 
The halls, hotel lobby, and hotel rooms are alive with the sound of music here at the 29th annual Folk Alliance International Conference at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City from early every morning to early the following day. Nearly everyone in the elevators, strolling the walkways between hotels, carries a guitar or banjo strapped to his or her back, or carries along a ukulele, fiddle, mandolin, an upright bass, an autoharp, or rolls a small harp. At any moment you can find musicians gathered around in a circle calling out a tune and jamming. In an American culture quickly going to hell in a handbasket, these enduring strains of music foster unity and harmony, offering solace and reminding us that well-played tunes and passionately written lyric continue to tell a story that touches our human spirit. From out of the cacophony of voices in every hall emerges a sweet chorus lifting to the heavens to wonder at the vagaries of love, to ponder the abysmal vagaries of the human character, and to praise the resilience of human nature. This music is all about community, and it’s nowhere more apparent than at this year’s Folk Alliance International.
Read more.