PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, Inc. is dedicated to preserving, presenting, and promoting all forms of traditional music, dance and other folk performing arts.
Normally they are the force behind a lot of live music events throughout the Triangle, but right now, you’ll find their influence on the internet.
They are presenting a number of online workshops and other streaming events. They are all free, but donations are appreciated. Please remember that the people offering the workshops are working musicians whose livelihood has been cut off.
Here’s what’s coming up:
All Levels Ukulele Workshop with Grammy Winner Marcy Marxer
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This workshop will take your ukulele playing to the next level as GRAMMY Award winning musician Marcy Marxer shares tips and techniques for playing this wonderful little instrument. We’ll look at chords, theory, strumming and improvising to get the most out of your uke.
Marcy Marxer is half of the renowned musical team with Cathy Fink. They are master musicians with a career spanning over 35 years. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on guitar, five-string banjo, ukulele, mandolin, cello-banjo, and more. Their repertoire ranges from classic country to Western swing, Gypsy jazz to bluegrass, and old-time stringband to contemporary folk (including some original gems). In their ukulele concerts, Cathy and Marcy explore their versatility on the ukulele as they travel through blues, swing, old time county, folk and original songs – all in virtuoso style. Marcy and Cathy are both experienced instructors, and Marcy is sure to leave you with a new appreciation for the versatility of the ukulele after this workshop!
There will be time for Q&A at the end of the workshop. Space is limited.
An Evening of Stories and Songs with Tommy Edwards
Wednesday, August 12th, 2020
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tommy Edwards is a fixture in the North Carolina bluegrass scene – next year will mark his 50th anniversary performing with his band The Bluegrass Experience. Edwards is lead singer and guitarist for The Bluegrass Experience, one of the Southeast’s most respected traditional music groups. Having performed professionally for over 35 years, Edwards was twice named World Champion Bluegrass Guitarist at the storied Union Grove Old Time Fiddlers & Bluegrass Festival. He has recorded or performed live with an array of bluegrass greats.
He has recorded multiple albums with The Bluegrass Experience as well as several solo discs, and he is the host of Life 103.1’s Bluegrass Saturday Night. In addition to performing with The Bluegrass Experience, pre-COVID, Edwards regularly performed with Carolina Lightnin’, Leroy Savage, and as a solo musician.
A Siler City native, Edwards was raised in a musical family. His mom was a piano player and his father played harmonica and ukulele and sang in choirs and quartets. Even though he is “as old as bluegrass”–having been born in 1945, the year that Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys–Edwards listened to rock and roll and R&B as a child, and doesn’t remember listening to much country music in his home.
But the folk revival hit just as he was a teenager, and he followed the sounds of the banjo from the Kingston Trio to Earl Scruggs and finally discovered Bill Monroe, a life-changing experience that also had important implications for Piedmont music history. In addition to music, Edwards ran an antiques store in Pittsboro with his wife Cindy for over 25 years; taught middle school, coached, and was an administrator in the Randolph and Chatham County Schools; and served in the North Carolina National Guard.
Tommy has been playing music professionally for nearly 50 years and owns and runs an antiques, art and music store in his hometown of Pittsboro, NC.
Appalachian Ballad Discussion with Donna Ray Norton
Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Earlier this year, Donna Ray Norton was part of a special PineCone concert celebrating the rich ballad singing tradition found in Western North Carolina. When folklorist Cecil Sharp came to North Carolina to collect ballads, he found a treasure trove in Madison County, which he called “A Nest of Singing Birds.” Today, NC’s Appalachian Mountains are widely recognized for a long-standing, unbroken tradition of ballad singing.
There will be time for Q&A at the end of this event. Space is limited – register today!
An eighth-generation ballad singer, Donna Ray Norton is the granddaughter of fiddler Byard Ray and Morris Norton, who played the banjo and mouth bow, daughter of singer Lena Jean Ray, as well as cousin to Sheila Kay Adams and many other prominent Madison County musicians. Like her forebearers, Donna Ray grew up hearing her family’s music and stories in her home; but it did not always appeal to her. “It was just one of those things that you grew accustomed to, and you learned from hearing them.”
When she was 17, however, a senior project in high school “was what really got me interested in my heritage.” Researching the tradition of ballads led to learning them—from her mother, from Adams, Marilyn McMinn McReady, and Mary Eagle—and then to performing.
Songwriting Workshop with Joe Newberry
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Award-winning songwriter Joe Newberry will help you focus on making your good ideas even better, or get you started if you only have a trunk full of ideas. If workshop participants have any pieces in progress, or are stuck on a lyric, Joe loves to brainstorm. Through exercises and discussions, the workshop will work to uncover the heart of the song, letting the song in your head become the song on your lips!
Known around the world for his exquisite clawhammer banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” Award. With Eric Gibson, he shared the 2013 IBMA “Song of the Year” Award for “They Called It Music.”
A long-time and frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, he was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the United Kingdom with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas, and at the Transatlantic Sessions’ debut at Merlefest in 2017 with fellow singers James Taylor, Maura O’Connell, Declan O’Rourke, Sarah Jarosz, and Karen Matheson.
In addition to performing solo, Newberry plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch. Growing up in a family full of singers and dancers, he took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers.
He moved to North Carolina as a young man and quickly became an anchor of the incredible music scene in the Tar Heel state. He does solo and studio work, and plays and teaches at festivals and workshops in North America and abroad.
There will be time for Q&A after this workshop. Space is limited – reserve your spot today!
Upcoming Events in the Triangle -- both virtual and in-person
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Friday, August 21, 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020