Sponsored by long-time partners Morrow Insurance, the Songcatchers Music Series are summer concerts held at the outdoor amphitheater at Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest. This series celebrates the musical traditions of the Southern Appalachians, ancient and new. The Songcatchers Music Series draws its name from the film of the same name that tells the story of Olive Dame Cambell, founder of the John C Campbell Folk School, who traveled the southern Appalachian Mountains in the early 20th century to capture the musical traditions preserved by the secluded mountain communities. This series seeks to share those traditions that still thrive within the talented regional artists that grace the cozy little stage at The Cradle of Forestry.
July 16: Carol Rifkin’s mountain music and dance are engaging, spontaneous and full of tunes or songs with themes more likely to reference hobos, moonshine, or the Great Depression than current events. She’s danced with both Doc and Merle Watson (“That’s the best dancin’ I ever heard,” said Doc), fiddler Tommy Jarrell, Taj Mahal, toured with the early Green Grass Cloggers, recorded with Dick Tarrier, Roger Howell, Arvil Freeman, David Holt, appeared in the movie “Songcatcher,” documentaries and Emmy Award winning TV shows. A longtime member of the mountain music community and host of everyone’s favorite radio program ‘This Old Porch’ on WNCW 88.7 FM, Carol continues to appear at festivals and events across the region.
July 30: The Foreign Landers is a duo hailing from opposite sides of the Atlantic united by their love of bluegrass and traditional folk music and their love for each other. Together they combine the musical styles of their respective homelands, along with their instrumental prowess and haunting vocals to create something new.
It was more than unlikely circumstances that brought these two together. David Benedict grew up in South Carolina playing with the only Celtic folk band in town, while Tabitha Agnew was perhaps the only 12 year-old in Northern Ireland who started playing the 5-string banjo after a chance hearing of an Alison Krauss & Union Station record. Ironically, it took each a while to discover the traditional music of their own countries, but they eventually came around. Both excelled at their instruments and found themselves playing with some of the most promising young acoustic bands on the scene today—David with the Boston-band Mile Twelve and Tabitha with both Cup O’Joe and Midnight Skyracer from the UK. With such unique common threads, there was an instant connection when Tabitha and David finally met.
Now married and based in the States, the Benedicts are finally making music on their own. Their forth-coming debut EP marks the first chapter in their journey together, and the release of the title track “Put All Your Troubles Away” will take you along with them to uncharted musical territories.