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 Holt’s 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 Holt’s State of Music received a 2015 Emmy nomination in the category “Documentary-Cultural” for the mid-south region.
David Holt’s 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 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 Network’s Fire on the Mountain, Celebration 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 Watson’s life in music. Doc and David toured together from 1998 until Doc’s death in 2012. More information can be found at .
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.
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.
Folks and Friends!