Dom Flemons, who bills himself as “The American Songster”, with “Big Head Joe”, the giant banjo-guitar he plays on this Across the Blue Ridge episode. Flemons performs repertoire from European-American and African-American traditions, pointing out what Americans of various ancestries and walks of life have in common.
Dom Flemons brings to life music of America’s past from black and white traditions – and their shared repertoire and styles – as he travels the world pointing out what people have in common, rather than what separates them. His engaging shows prompt us to see, as he calls them, the pieces of the American puzzle in the hope of creating “a more perfect union”. This week we hear selections from his November, 2017 Muddy Creek Music Hall performance, and we find out a bit about his life story and how he came to be the musician he is – from a Phoenix, Arizona kid exposed to country music, rock, R&B, and gospel, to a founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and now a solo performer. He describes how the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, NC in 2005 changed his life, and much more. Also on the show, banjo songs from Gina Clowes, and a new album from bluegrass stalwart Peter Rowan, honoring Carter and Ralph Stanley.