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.)

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