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The Floyd Radio Show
February 1 @ 7:30 pm| $15.00
Join us for The Floyd Radio Show on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 7:30 pm. The show celebrates American roots music through various musical guests, comedy skits and jokes, stories, jingles and more. This month’s guests include Twin Creeks Stringband, Riley Baugus with DaShawn and Wendy Hickman, and New Standard Bluegrass. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.
Twin Creeks Stringband
In the late 1970s, a group of neighbors and friends got together to play the music that had been passed down in the Dry Hill and Ferrum areas of Franklin County. Some of the musicians were falling behind on their timing one day while playing and having some fun, and one spectator commented that he was going to call the group the Dry Hill Draggers. Banjo player Jimmy Boyd and his brother Billy Boyd started the official Dry Hill Draggers band in 1981. The group flourished, and more than thirty years later, some of the Dry Hill Draggers members formed Twin Creeks Stringband, including Jared Boyd, grandson of Jimmy Boyd, a third-generation clawhammer banjo player; his dad Stacy Boyd on upright bass; Jason Hambrick on guitar and vocals; and Chris Prillaman on fiddle. Twin Creeks Stringband has a particularly driving old-time beat that is irresistible to dancers, and they are popular performers at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, as well as at the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.
New Standard Bluegrass
New Standard was founded in October, 2011 by Zach Brown, Spencer Blankenship and Mason Thomas. One month later, Stewart Scales was asked to be a part of the band as the bass player. Jason Wheeler was added on banjo in 2016. New Standard brings together a variety of styles and influences ranging from traditional artists to contemporary bluegrass and gospel artists.
Riley Baugus represents the best of old time American banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition.
Riley first came to music through his family. His father had left his roots in the mountains of North Carolina in the search for work, settling near Winston-Salem and bringing with him a love of old time music and a record collection that included, amongst others, the works of fellow North Carolinian Doc Watson, which touched the young Riley on a molecular level. His family’s attendance at Regular Baptist church gave him early exposure to the unaccompanied singing that is a time-honored tradition for ballad singers throughout the Appalachians. Starting on the fiddle, Riley quickly moved on to the banjo, building his first instrument from scrap wood with his father.
With friend and neighbor, Kirk Sutphin, Riley began honing his musical skills. Together they visited elder traditional musicians throughout North Carolina and Virginia, learning the Round Peak style at the knee of National Heritage Award winner Tommy Jarrell and other traditional musicians of the area, including Dix Freeman, Chester McMillian, and former Camp Creek Boys members Verlin Clifton and Paul Sutphin.
Over the years, whilst working as a welder and a blacksmith by day, Riley played with many old time string bands, including the Old Hollow String Band and the Red Hots. His self-produced recording, “Life Of Riley” (Yodel-Ay-Hee, 2001), showcases his masterful, elegant banjo playing and his rich, raw-boned singing voice.
One fateful day, Riley got a call from longtime friend and collaborator Dirk Powell. Dirk was involved in the music direction for the Academy Award-winning film “Cold Mountain” and had convinced the producers that they needed Civil War era banjos made in the Carolina hills, specifically Riley’s handmade banjos. They also needed an authentic acapella ballad singer for the voice of Pangle, played by Ethan Suplee. Riley put the hammer down on the anvil and didn’t look back. A whirlwind Hollywood experience ensued, culminating in a place on the star-studded “Great High Mountain” tour.
From there, Riley has made his own path, building in-demand instruments and performing at festivals all over the world. He made musical contributions to the Appalshop film, “Thoughts In The Presence of Fear”, and to a film by Erika Yeomans; “Grand Gorge: No God But Me”. He has worked with the Lonesome Sisters as producer and performer on their recording “Going Home Shoes”. Riley collaborated with Laurelyn Dossett and Preston Lane of Triad Stage on theatrical presentations featuring original and traditional southern Appalachian music.
His next recording, “Long Steel Rail” (Sugar Hill Records, 2006), produced by Tim O’Brien and Dirk Powell, appeared to critical acclaim, with Billboard Magazine heralding it as “..quintessential American old-time music. The instrumental component is impeccable, while Baugus’ vocals sound like they’ve been echoing through the Appalachian Mountains for about 150 years”.
In 2008, a call from T-Bone Burnett put Riley back in the studio in Nashville, this time as a contributor to the Grammy award-winning Album of the Year, “Raising Sand”, the multi-million-selling album by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Riley can also be heard on Willie Nelson’s “Country Music” album. Late 2019 put Riley Baugus back in the studio for a new solo album “Little Black Train’s A’Coming” recorded in Floyd, VA with DaShawn and Wendy Hickman, and Joseph Dejarnette.