Winter Blues: A Celebration of Black History Month
February 19 @ 7:30 pm
Join us at the Floyd Country Store on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 7:30 pm with our good friend Fiddlin’ Earl White for some Winter Blues! Earl has invited a stellar group of friends together to celebrate Black History Month with music and stories from the Piedmont to the mountains. This celebration of the blues is in good hands with guests like Guy Davis, Phil Wiggins, Lightnin’ Wells, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker and Jackie and Resa. Earl will welcome this incredible line up to the famous Floyd Country Store stage for an evening of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, spirituals, work songs, ballads and more!. Tickets are $25 advance/$30 day of show and available for sale online and in the store.
Our host for Winter Blues, Fiddlin’ Earl White has been a mainstay in the old-time, folk and dance community for more 45 years. An original and founding member of the famed Green Grass Cloggers, he is one of few Black Americans preserving and playing Appalachian old-time string band music, which was an intricate part of Black communities and formed the foundation of American music of today. Earl White is well known for his extensive repertoire of tunes, and his heartfelt, syncopated, driving style. He has played in numerous old time string bands, and he currently leads the Earl White String Band, featuring Mark Olitsky (banjo), Adrienne Davis (guitar) and Joseph Desjarnette (bass).
His parallel careers — as an author, a teacher, and a Broadway and film and television actor—mark Guy Davis as a Renaissance man, yet the blues remain his first and greatest love. Growing up in a family of artists (his parents were Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis), he fell under the spell of Blind Willie McTell and Fats Waller at an early age. Guy’s one-man play, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, premiered off-Broadway in the ‘90s and has since been released as a double CD. He went on to star off- Broadway as the legendary Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil, winning the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive award. More recently he joined the Broadway production of Finian’s Rainbow, playing the part originally done in 1947 by Sonny Terry—an experience that helped inspire the acclaimed Terry/McGhee album.
Washington, D.C. native Phil Wiggins, a Takoma Park, Maryland, resident, blues musician, teacher and artistic director, a two time winner of the prestigious WC Handy Blues Foundation awards, is only the third harmonica player to receive the lifetime honor of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship.
Phil Wiggins is a versatile traditional harmonica player, continuing the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. Today he is the only living player of the instrument to hold the prestigious honor of being a “Master of Traditional Arts.” The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) annually awards one-time-only NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists, to recognize lifetime achievement, artistic excellence, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage.
Mike “Lightnin'” Wells breathes new life into the vintage tunes of the 1920s and depression era America employing various appropriate stringed instruments in a dynamic style which he has developed in over 50 years of performing experience. Raised in eastern North Carolina, Wells learned to play harmonica as a young child and taught himself to play the guitar as he developed a strong interest in traditional blues and folk music. His many years of public performance began in Chapel Hill, N.C. in the early 1970s. During the following decades he has presented his brand of acoustic blues throughout North Carolina, the United States and Europe.
Sparky & Rhonda Rucker
Sparky & Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. They are internationally recognized as leading musicians, authors, and storytellers. They accompany themselves with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, blues harmonica, old-time banjo, piano, spoons, and bones. Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, Civil War music, spirituals, work songs, ballads, civil rights music, and their own original
Jackie & Resa
Jackie & Resa, known by some as two-thirds of M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio, have over the years developed their own unique sound. Jackie the songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and Resa the arranger/vocalist, together they bring a distinctive blend of creativity to the acoustic blues community. In 2010, Jackie and Resa were accepted into the Library of Congress “Americana Women: Roots Musicians – Women’s Tales and Tunes” as part of the MusicBox Project collection (some of which has been catalogued in the American Folklife Center).
Per federal and state guidance, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a face-covering at this establishment. Those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 must continue to wear a face-covering to protect themselves and others.