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AAFFM Presents: Joe Penland
October 24, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT$8 – $10
November 17, 2018
Fiddler’s Green Coffeehouse
Deep in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, there’s a front porch that has been the destination of many folk who love these mountains, their music and their stories. Grammy winners and kids with their first guitar, banjo or fiddle, Hollywood producers, writers, and folk music collectors from all over the world have made their way to the place Joe Penland simply calls “the farm.”
Joe has been deemed a “cultural treasure” by The Asheville Citizen Times. AAFFM is proud to lure him from “the farm” for his second full-concert appearance at Fiddler’s Green.
Joe Penland was born and raised in rural Madison County in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. He is the proud steward of twelve generations and over 350 years of the rich oral tradition of his Scottish and English ancestors. From his birth he has listened to and learned the stories and ballads these travelers brought with them across the ocean, then southwest to the narrow coves and high meadows that many consider the richest repository of Great Britain’s folk songs in the world. He inherited the instruments of his grandfather who died long before his birth and was taught to play by his aunts.
Joe was content to continue this tradition in his front room, the porch or campfires of his secluded farm. But eventually his daughter Laurin and lifelong friends Sheila Adams, Mary Eagle and David Holt convinced him to share his life and music with a broader audience. Since then he has appeared at numerous festivals, toured Great Britain eight times, and received the coveted Bascom Lunsford Award (named for his cousin and founder of the longest running folk festival in America) for his “significant contribution to preserving our mountain music.”
We first saw Joe when he captivated a grateful Atlanta audience at the 2012 Emory University symposium “Making Connections: The Celtic Roots of Southern Music,” organized by Prof. James W. Flannery. Joe has recorded four CDs including his latest, The Mary Sands Project, Volume 1.
Determined that folk music includes the present as well as the past, Joe also writes and sings his own songs, which he calls “just more stories of love and life here in the mountains.” Whether singing the traditional ballads of the mountains of western North Carolina or performing his original and stirring folk songs, Joe Penland offers an honesty and power that is a testament to both his unique character and our shared humanity.