Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vagabonds, late '40s

OK, name THESE Virginia Vagabonds. Note the electrically-amplified mandolin, piano, and drum kit. Hint: this photo ( by Rip Payne) is displayed at a prominent business on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. Bonus points: What event was it that they were performing for?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Daniel Womack, blind gospel singer, guitarist

This is a photo I took at the Ferrum Folklife Festival in 1976 or 1977 of my friend and mentor, Daniel Womack. Womack was a blind gospel singer and "Piedmont-style" guitarist who lived near the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. When I met him, he had recently retired after working at the hotel as a dishwasher for many years. Kip Lornell introduced me to Daniel, and I spent many hours visiting him in his neat little apartment, listening to him play and sing and witness. I studied Daniel's repertoire and playing style, and wrote several undergrad papers on him. What a gentle gentleman he was! I still miss him. (For recordings of Daniel Womack, look up the Blue Ridge Institute's recordings of traditional music of Virginia.)