CTM Performers

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Performers and speakers at the 2020 Celebration of Traditional Music include

Alice Gerrard

Alice Gerrard is a legend in old-time and bluegrass music circles. Alice is particularly know for her collaborations with Hazel Dickens during the 1960’s and 70’s. She created to solo albums Pieces of my Heart and Calling Me Home. She is a tireless advocate of traditional music earning her numerous awards, and in 1987 she founded the Old Time Herald.

To learn more about Alice check out her website here!

Guy Davis

As Guy Davis himself once said, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.” Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty years of songwriting and performing. Guy’s new album, Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train – A Look Back at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, is an homage to these two hugely influential artists, not only on Guy’s career, but to thousands of musicians around the world.

To learn more about Guy check out his website here

Big Possum String Band

Big Possum Stringband is the 21st century’s answer to the question, “whatever happened to Appalachian music?” Formed in 2017, the Possums are young, excited, and passionate about the rich legacy of traditional music of the American South. Contest winners Tessa Dillon (fiddle) and Seth Swingle (banjo) are joined by multi-instrumentalist Evan Collins to make oldtime country music’s hottest new band. Fresh off their 1st place win at the 2018 Clifftop festival (generally regarded as the most prestigious contest in the genre), the Possums are bringing their mix of breakdowns, showpieces, ballads and rounder songs to audiences around the nation and the world. With three-part harmonies, electrifying fiddle breaks and a pounding square-dance beat, the Big Possum will have you stamping, yelling and dancing along.

Check out their music here!

Jake Blount

is an award‐winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and ethnomusicologist based in Providence, RI. He specializes in the music of Black and Native American communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of Ithaca, NY. A versatile performer, Blount interpolates blues, bluegrass and spirituals into the old‐time string band tradition he belongs to. He foregrounds the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work.

Check out his music here

Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold has been telling stories since she was eight years old. She has been a full-time Storyteller for seventeen years traveling through the United States and sharing a variety of stories – “whatever fits in her mouth”, as well as doing Historic Character Presentations and Christian Monologues. At her core, Ms. Sheila, as she is commonly called, is a Professional Imaginator with a passion, vision and ministry of healing hearts, unifying communities and reminding people to share their stories. To learn more about Shelia click here

Kevin Howard

Kevin Howard is a self taught banjo player from Whitesburg Kentucky. He believes Mountain Music is “an oral tradition that’s been passed down so long that we don’t even really know who wrote most of these songs, but we know that they are our people and we’re going to keep on doing it.” He understands the importance of passing on tradition and shares his passion for old time music by teaching others in his community.

The Gibson Family

The Gibson Family from Richmond, Kentucky, performs religious music from Appalachia.  Using rich harmonies and moving vocals, they love sharing their music with local and regional audiences.  Headed by patriarch Virgil Gibson, this group is making its CTM debut and exemplifies the best of local music-makers.