Dom Flemons visits Orange Correctional Center

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February 23, 2016, Hillsborough NC:
 
To commemorate the donation of bluegrass instruments to “The Never Ready Band”, composed of inmates at Orange Correctional Center in Hillsborough NC, grammy award winner and  Music Maker Relief Foundation board member,  visited the honor grade prison yesterday.  It was an inspirational session of song, community, conviviality and education, marking the conjunction of bluegrass music and black history month.  The educational event was organized by Simone, teacher of an ongoing writing workshop at the correctional center.  The event was supported by Orange Prison Ministries and Tofu Dave of WCOM Community Radio, and the instruments donated by the Music Maker Relief Foundation.
 
Music Maker Relief Foundation  in Hillsborough NC, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time. Music Maker will give future generations access to their heritage through documentation and performance programs that build knowledge and appreciation of America’s musical traditions.  Contact:www.musicmaker.org411@musicmaker.org
 
WCOM is a non profit community radio station in Chapel Hill and Carrboro NC.  The mission at WCOM is to educate, inspire, and entertain the diverse populations of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and nearby areas. We cultivate local music and facilitate the exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas, with particular regard for those who are overlooked or under-represented by other media outlets.  We provide a space for media access and education by providing equipment and training to our community.  Contact:  Tofu Dave Bellin, Programming Director, wcom@davidbellin.com
 
Dom Flemons  is a Grammy Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet.  In his recent solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and  jug-band music.  In 2005, Flemons co-found the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a Grammy for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig.  Today, he tours throughout the United States and internationally as “The American Songster. In February 2016, Dom performed at Carnegie Hall for a Tribute to LeadBelly. In September 2016, Dom performed at the opening ceremonies for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.  More information: www.americansongster.com
 
Alamance-Orange Prison Ministry is a 501c-3 which exists to provide and promote spiritual comfort and growth to the men assigned to Orange Correctional Center through services rendered by a full-time community funded Chaplain. The Board of the Ministry is responsible for giving guidance and financial support so that the Chaplain can carry out his/her duties.
The Ministry strives to better prepare OCC residents with skills, abilities and motivation to successfully reintegrate into their communities and families upon release and, where possible, provide support and encouragement to those receiving them. Information: aoprisonministry.wordpress.com
 
Links to photographs follow (Dom Flemons with Orange Prison Ministries Chaplain Love, Dom Flemons with Simone, Dom Flemons with Simone and Tofu Dave)
 

AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC FROM THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS SPOTLIGHTED IN “DAVID HOLT’S STATE OF MUSIC” SEASON 2

AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC FROM THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS

SPOTLIGHTED IN “DAVID HOLT’S STATE OF MUSIC” SEASON 2 

·        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 www.DavidHoltTV.org and http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/d/DAVID-HOLT-Season-2.aspx 

A five-minute preview is at: https://vimeo.com/185562062

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 davidholt.com.

CMT’s Sun Records: Joe Hill Louis

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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.

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

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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