Miburg was on hand to cover the festivities of the night, enjoying the music and heritage of the Appalachian region. The following information comes from the Appalachian Studies Association Showcase Concert Program from March 19, 2016. Learn more about Shepherd University PASS events, the Appalachian Studies Association, and our companion article 39th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference.
Shepherdstown’s resident storyteller Adam Booth blends traditional folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. His original voice, both humorous and touching, is influenced by generations of diverse storytellers from West Virginia. He is founder of the SPEAK Storytelling Series in Shepherdstown. He also studied folk music with old-time traditional Appalachian musicians.
You will likely find Blue Yonder playing at the Bluegrass Kitchen on the weekends in Charleston, WV. John Lilly (vocals, rhythm guitar, songwriter) lives in Charleston, WV, where he recently retired after 18 years as editor of West Virginia’s Goldenseal magazine. John is an award-winning and prolific songwriter, a talented singer and guitar player. He has served as host for Shepherd University’s Appalachian Heritage Festival for more than 15 years.
Serving as a special guest artist with Blue Yonder was Russ Hicks (pedal steel guitar). He is originally from the Beckley area, but Russ moved to Nashville in 1974 to begin a long and successful career as a musician. He was a member of the elite group of Nashville sidemen, playing and recording with artists including Ronnie Milsap, Tom T. Hall, Mickey Gilley, Billy Joe Shaver, Larry Gatlin and many others. He was a staff musician on the Hee-Haw television show for more than 20 years and is a member of both the Steel Guitar and the West Virginia Music Halls of Fame.
Jupitor Little (snare drum) lives in Charleston, WV where he is one of the area’s premier drummers. He has been a member of the Carpenter Ants band for 25 years. He was also a special guest artist with Blue Yonder for the concert.
Will Carter (acoustic bass) hails from the Culloden area of Putnam County, WV. He is a veteran bass player and music organizer. Will is the founder of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival at Clifftop. He is also a longstanding member of one of the most popular contra dance bands in the region – the Contrarians.
Lloyd Arneach was born and raised on the Qualla Boundary; attended Guilford College and served in the United States military, including a year in Vietnam. He moved to Atlanta in 1967 and began sharing Cherokee history and culture through storytelling. His uncles, David and George Owl, were his earliest storytelling influences. Lloyd has published another book of stories, Long-Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee, which is now in its fourth printing. His CD Can You Hear the Smoke? is a collection of stories and Native America legends.
Good Foot Dance Company
From Irish step dance to Appalachian clogging, Good Foot Dance Company explores the complex cultural mix of the root system of American vernacular dance. At their core is the partnership of Emily Oleson and Matthew Olwell. They began working together in 2004 and continued to perform and teach at festivals, theaters, schools, and camps. They are co-program directors of the Augusta Heritage Center’s American Vernacular Dance Week, and founders of The Beat Retreat and Smiling Mountain. Oleson also directs a new major in American Vernacular Dance at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.
Becky Hill is a percussive dancer, musician, and dance caller who coordinates The Mountain Dance Trail at Augusta Heritage Center. She has won several flatfoot dance competitions throughout Appalachia including the Appalachian String Band Festival. She directs the Davis & Elkins College Dance Ensemble.
The following videos are the finale for the Good Foot Dance Company and an encore event.