The Music

Pickin' Up Tennessee may be dealing with litter, but it's really about the things that make Tennessee  beautiful—our music, our communities, our natural and scenic beauty. All three of these elements come together in the Pickin' Up Tennessee music performances. These performances showcase our most beloved music traditions, from country to gospel to bluegrass to barbershop to old-timey to garage band to front-porch pickin' to the traditional flute of the Cherokee. They take place in some of our most scenic natural and cultural settings, from historic town squares to the shores of iconic rivers to some of our best-known state parks to the ridgetops of the Great Smoky Mountains. Above all, these performances embody the helpful spirit of Tennessee's people. All of these music events, many of which feature songs specially written for this project, are provided to this project absolutely free of charge. They are performed by a true cross-section of Tennessee's musician-citizens, from children to farmers to old-timers. Most of them are folks who play music at the end of their day jobs; a few are folks whose day job IS their music. We're grateful to all of them, and we urge you to show that you appreciate them also, by attending their performances, visiting their websites, Tweeting your enjoyment and, of course, buying their music!



Who: Geoff Roehm, David Watson, D.W. Bledsoe, Mark Ledbetter, Tom Knowles and Reeda Best
What: The Alice Waltz, by Geoff Roehm
Time: 4 pm
Where: Winchester, Franklin County
Venue: Tims Ford State Park campground

Dave Porfiri films the performers on June 1, 2013 (left to right): D.W. Bledsoe, Mark Ledbetter, Geoff Roehm, Tom Knowles, Dave Watson, Reeda Best

Dave Porfiri films the performers on June 1, 2013 (left to right): D.W. Bledsoe, Mark Ledbetter, Geoff Roehm, Tom Knowles, Dave Watson, Reeda Best

For this first night of the Pickin' Up Tennessee tour, what could be better than sittin' around a campfire pit in one of Tennessee's award-winning state parks, listening to local pickers?  Which park could be more appropriate for this than Tims Ford, which has been hosting twice-a-month Saturday Night Pickn sessions for more than 20 years. And finally, who could be more fitting to listen to than some of the veteran Saturday Night Pickers, including Dave Watson, who originated the sessions back when he was a ranger at this park, and Geoff Roehm, a Sewannee instrument maker who wrote the waltz they'll be playing this evening. They'll be joined at the campfire by several of the other sessions regulars.    

With songs like "My Mule's Too Drunk to Ride, " "Digg'n My Own Grave" and "Throw'n Rocks at Broken Windows," Dave Watson is a classic country-music story teller. He's also the most experienced fishing guide you'll find on Tims Ford Lake. For more info:

Songwriter-guitarist Geoff Roehm of Sewanee has been immersed in traditional music pretty much his whole life. Intimately involved with New Friends of Old Time Music at Illinois State University in the 70s, he jammed with such musical greats as Utah Phillips, the Boys of the Lough, Alec and Belle Stewart, Mike Seeger, Gordon Bok and David Bromberg, and he performed with a close circle of friends that included blues player Willie Berry, bluegrass musicians Gary and Roberta Gordon and future country star Suzy Bogguss. In the midst of all this music-making, Geoff also became a luthier—a maker of handcrafted stringed instruments. By the time he married and moved to the South Cumberland mountains of Tennessee in 1979, he was well known for his exquisite guitars, dulcimers, psaltrys, mandolins and even ukuleles, custom-producing them in fine woods and often using antique hand tools. He continues this tradition today in his shop overlooking Lost Cove. For more information, visit www.Roehm



SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2013

Who: Churchyard
What: Garage rock
Time: 3 pm
Where: Nashville, Davidson County
Venue: Fond Object, 1313 McGavock Pike
Band phone: 615-516-1706 (Meghan)
Band e-mail: 
Band Facebook:
Venue Twitter:‎.


Rachel Warrick, Rebecca Cholewa, Alice Buchanan and Meghan D’Amico

Rachel Warrick, Rebecca Cholewa, Alice Buchanan and Meghan D’Amico

When the New York Times declared Nashville the nation's newest "it" city, it was probably thinking about bands like Churchyard, and locavore music collectives like Fond Object.

Churchyard is squarely in the niche music tradition of all-girl garage rock bands. Its members, all twenty-somethings, are Meghan D’Amico (vocals and guitar), Alice Buchanan (guitar, violin and vocals), Rachel Warrick (bass) and Rebecca Cholewa (drums). The band's sound is heavy rock, but with haunting vocals, dissonant guitars and earthy drums evocative of bayou blues or mystic excursions. Churchyard enjoys shoestring or sweet potato french fries as tips. 

When Fond Object opened in a former East Nashville dog-grooming shop in April 2013, the Nashville Scene  welcomed it as "the latest addition to one of the coolest crossroads in Nashville, Inglewood's Riverside Village." Owned and operated by local rock 'n' rollers, the more-than-just-records record shop hosts performances by indie bands, promotes local food and drink, sells locally crafted jewelry, art and clothing, and is a record collector's dream with a base collection of more than 20,000 LPs. It is also probably the only boutique in the state with a resident pot-bellied pig.


MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2013

Who: Gretchen Priest-May and friends
What: Celtic / Bluegrass
Time: 5:30 pm
Where: Pegram, Cheatham County
Venue: Fiddle & Pick Building, 456 Hwy 70, Pegram, TN 37143
Venue phone: (615) 646-9131
Venue URL:

Gretchen Priest-May and husband Tim May

Gretchen Priest-May and husband Tim May

Fiddle & Pick is the home of the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee. Founded by music educator and Pegram resident Gretchen Priest-May, it is a place where people old and young come to discover the joy to be found in making traditional music—mainly, but not limited to, music played on fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars and similar instruments—especially music historically played in the Middle Tennessee region. In addition to affordable private and group lessons, the Fiddle & Pick featured workshops in advanced instrumental study. 



Who: Friends from The Farm (Chuck McCarthy, composer and vocals; Rick Diamond, bass; Betsy Harris, vocals)
What: Old-time jazz
 Time: 4 pm
Where: Lewis County
Venue: The stage at The Farm Store, The Farm, 100 Farm Road, Summertown
Venue phone: (931) 964-3574 
Harvest at The Farm, mid-1970s

Harvest at The Farm, mid-1970s

 The Farm is Middle Tennessee's original "intentional community." Founded in 1971 by 321 San Francisco hippies as an experiment in sustainable, developmentally progressive human habitat, today it is a thriving community of around 250 people still committed to simple living and self-reliance while continually improving sustainable social and physical practices, from composting, mushroom cultivation and science-based midwifery, to solar design, straw-bale construction and photovoltaics.

The Farm was settled on 1750 acres of rolling hilltops in what was then the poorest county in rural Tennessee, 75 miles from the nearest major city. The formative settlement was built entirely from salvaged, recycled and local materials. A road grader purchased for $1 cut the roads. A $1 railroad tower provided the public water supply. Scrapped school buses and army tents provided shelter from below-zero temperatures until the sawmill could begin milling native oak and salvage crews could harvest old tobacco barns, factories and condemned houses. Large orchards and vineyards were planted, as well as fields of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. A tree nursery was set up to propagate useful varieties of fruit trees and hard- and softwood species to be used in forestation. Terracing and engineered drainage halted soil erosion from the tillable lands, apiaries were constructed to pollinate fields, nurseries and orchards, and use of polyculture and heritage seeds, cover-cropping, crop rotation, hand-picking, beneficial insects, snakes, lizards, toads and turtles provided organic pest control. On a budget of $1 per person per day and no grants, no food stamps and no welfare, the 320 original settlers bought the land, erected the buildings and became agriculturally self-sufficient within 4 years. 

Harvest at The Farm, mid 2000s

Harvest at The Farm, mid 2000s

Today The Farm has all of the usual implements of village life: a grocery store, medical clinic, filling station, schools, water systems, pharmacy, post office, cemetery and scores of businesses and residences. The difference between this community and others, however, is in the way the community functions. All agriculture on The Farm is organic. All members of The Farm are expected to contribute to the financial upkeep of the community through their earnings. Members maintain their own roads, municipal buildings and public water system, and vote on community policies. The Farm has no poverty, little domestic violence, and virtually no crime. Guns and other weapons are forbidden on The Farm.

About a third of the adults in the community work in nearby towns to support themselves and their families. The others make their living within the community, working for cottage industries like the Book Publishing Company, the Birth Gazette, Village Media, the Farm Catalog, the Mail Order Company, the Soy Dairy, the Dye Works, the Tempeh Lab, and Mushroompeople. Others are involved in land conservation efforts, such as the Big Swan Headwaters Preserve; others in community services like The Farm School, the Farm Store, the Gate, the Clinic and WUTZ-FM; and some work in global transformation efforts through Farm-based or Farm-connected charities and initiatives, including the Ecovillage Training Center, the Institute for Appropriate Technology, Plenty, the Peace Roots Alliance and Gaia University. 



Who: Greg, Marcia and Maddie Denton
What: Traditional guitar, fiddle and banjo
Time: 6 pm
Where: Chapel Hill, Marshall County
Henry Horton State Park RV campsite #3


Greg and Marcia Denton have been playing various stringed instruments, together and solo, for decades (Marcia is many times a  fiddle champion), and their affection for traditional music is shared by their daughter. Maddie Denton began winning awards with  fiddle and old-time banjo almost as soon as she could stand on a stage—and over the years, those stages have ranged from the Grand Ole Opry to "the Weiser"--the prestigious National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho, where in 2009 Maddie, then a student at Seigel High in Murfreesboro, won the National Junior Championship. Now at MTSU, she divides her time between music and championship-level golf. The family will play "The Girl I Left Behind," a popular folk ballad that originated in Ireland but has come to be known (with some changed lyrics) as a Civil War song. 





Holt family.JPG

Who: The Holt Family
What: Pickin'
Time: 1 pm
Where: Savannah, Hardin County
Venue: Cherry Mansion, 101 East Main St. 

The Holt Family is a traditional bluegrass/bluegrass gospel band from Gillis Mills. This family band was started more than 30 years ago by Danny Ray and Martha Lynn Holt; today, they are joined on stage by their children Melody (great name!) and Daniel. The Holt Family enjoys pickin' and grinnin' at festivals and churches around the region, and they strive to live by the verse, "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving," Psalm 69:30.

Cherry Mansion

Cherry Mansion

SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 2013

Who: New Olivet Sanctuary Choir
What: Gospel   
Time: 11 am (worship service starts with singing)
Where: Memphis, Shelby County
Venue: New Olivet Baptist Church, 3084 Southern Ave, Memphis

Mt Olivet gospel.jpg

The gospel choir at New Olivet Baptist Church is internationally known not only for its powerful singing and enormous energy but its local and global connectedness under Pastor Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr.


MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013

Who: Joe Bone and the Front Porch Pickers
What: Traditional pickin'
 Time: 4:30 pm
Where: Rutherford, Gibson County
Venue: Davy Crockett Cabin & Museum, 219 N. Trenton St., Old Hwy 45 W.
Venue phone: (731) 665-7253

Davy Crockett Cabin.jpg

In addition to being a talented picker and harmonica player, Joe Bone is manager and curator of the Davy Crockett Cabin and Museum in Rutherford. The replica log cabin, built with timbers from the original Crockett farm, commemorates the 13 years Colonel Davy Crockett spent in Gibson County—including his three terms in Congress—before leaving for Texas in 1835 and dying in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. Joe regularly oversees local pickers who gather to play bluegrass, Civil War tunes and other traditional music on the cabin's front porch.


TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

Who: Larry and Elaine Conger
What: Mountain dulcimer
Time: 2:30 pm
Where: Paris, Henry County
Venue: Eiffel Tower Park (pending)


Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer


Larry and Elaine Conger make their home in Paris, Tenn., where they operate a private music studio, teaching piano, voice, guitar and drums as well as the mountain dulcimer. Some of their instruction includes long-distance learning via Skype and Larry's "Tune of the Month," a CD lesson by mail for mountain dulcimer enthusiasts.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Larry has been involved with music as a vocation for more than 35 years. Besides being a popular instructor at various dulcimer workshops around the country, he has also been a participating artist for the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts In Education program as well as the Kentucky Arts Council’s Teacher Incentive Program, bringing dulcimer music into the public schools.

In 1995, Larry won the Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Mountain View, Ark. Three years later, he won the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, Kan. Larry has authored fourteen dulcimer books and has three recordings to his credit.

Elaine Conger is a professional music educator and Orff-Schulwerk specialist who has a passion for instilling a love for the arts in young people. Her years as a professional musician, combined with her experience as a classroom teacher, give her a unique perspective when working with students.

Her past musical experience includes performing on the General Jackson showboat at Opryland in Nashville and touring as pianist and back-up vocalist with country music superstar Faith Hill. She has served as Music Director for The Renaissance Center in Dickson, Tenn., and the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center in Huntingdon, Tenn. More recently, she has directed and accompanied numerous musical theater productions and even starred in a few herself. Her favorite role to date is as Patsy in “Always Patsy Cline.” Elaine also serves as organist/music director for Grace Episcopal Church in Paris



Who: Doug Bartholomew
What: Country
Time: 5:30 pm
Where: Lexington, Henderson County
Venue: Courthouse Square

Doug Bartholomew.jpg

Doug Bartholomew is the register of deeds for Henderson County, owner of a livestock feed store, a farmer and a popular local country musician and songwriter.  






Liberty Hill School.jpg

Who: Roger Neely and Junior Dodson
What: Spiritual
Time: 4 pm
Where: Spencer, Van Buren County
Venue: Liberty Hill School at Andy Field Picnic Area, Fall Creek Falls SP, near north entrance 

Like many of Tennessee's local pickers, Roger Neely and Junior Dodson play for their church, which in this case is Mooneyham Free Will Baptist. 


SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2013

Who: The Mainstage Players
What: Bluegrass, squaredance and more
Time: 4 pm
Where: Crossville, Cumberland County
Venue: Cumberland Mountain State Park Recreation Lodge
Mainstage band.jpg


MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2013

Knoxville News Sentinel photo (used without permission!)

Knoxville News Sentinel photo (used without permission!)

Who: Leonard Anderson and siblings
What: Guitar and harmonica
Time: 2 pm
Where: Jamestown, Fentress County
Venue: Anderson residence, 207 Hull St.

“I love the people around here, and I’m not just talking about kinfolk,” Leonard Anderson told a visiting reporter in 2007. “I plan on living here ’till I die.” According to the newspaper profile (click here to read it), Anderson wrote his first composition—a cowboy tune called Boots and Saddles—when he was nine years old. Today, dozens of songs, TV specials and at least one CD later, he still sings on his front porch for the friends and family he loves.


TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

Who: Scott County High School Museum Band
What: "Whole World Round," traditional bluegrass
Time: 3 pm
Where: Huntsville, Scott County
Venue: Scott County High School's Museum of Scott County

Scott High Band.jpg
Museum of Scott Co.jpg

The Museum of Scott County, showcasing the Appalachian heritage of the area, is the only museum in the nation designed, built and curated by high school students. Anthropology students uncover artifacts; history and science students design exhibits; drama students take elementary pupils back in time as they act out the role of early inhabitants of Scott County; English classes publish folk tales and anecdotal stories of the area's people and traditions.

Started with a few cases of relics and artifacts donated by area residents and a Barna Log Home Systems building in which to display them, the Museum of Scott County—which is on the high school property—has grown to include more than two acres of grounds and several ancient buildings, including a blacksmith shop, general store, homestead and replica of the old Baker Law Office, as well as two additional museums, one housing the USS Tennessee Battleship Memorial Museum and one housing a new science and energy museum.




Who: Booker T. Scruggs, II
What: "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," clarinet
e: 4 pm
Where: Chattanooga, Hamilton County
Venue: Chattanooga Aquarium plaza

To his current and former students, Booker T. Scruggs, II, is a professor. To Chattanooga's children and their advocates, he is a legendary community leader. To 43 years of viewers of  WDEF-TV and Comcast Cable 3 in Hamilton County, he is the host and producer of the world's longest-running local television show, Point of View. 

BT Scruggs II.jpg

But to the many thousands who have listened to his six CDs of gospel-infused clarinet, or who have felt the passion and faith of his live performances, B.T. is pure musician. For decades, he has been playing in churches and on college campuses throughout the United States and beyond (in 2006 he played in Vienna for a regional conference of the United Methodist Church.) He is creator and clarinetist of the Maxtiam Trio, which plays gospel, jazz and classic standards for various local and out-of-town events. He’s a member of the Chattanooga Clarinet Choir, saxophonist with the Chattanooga Gospel Orchestra and the Spectrum Jazz Band, offertory player at Bethlehem-Wiley United Methodist Church and leader of the B.T. Scruggs Ensemble, which in 2009 was named Best Jazz Band by the Chattanooga Times Free Press FYI Music Awards. 

But B.T. Scruggs is also defined by his heart for service, especially to young people. An adjunct professor of sociology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Scruggs recently retired as director of UTC’s Upward Bound program after 36 years. All proceeds from the sale of his two solo albums—My Tribute (in memory of his father) and Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled  (in memory of his grandmother)—have gone to support this program. In 2005, he produced Maxtiam Trio’s A Salute to The Duke, a collection of favorite Duke Ellington songs that has generated more than $10,000 for scholarships to deserving students throughout the Southeast. For this initiative, Scruggs was recognized as an "Unsung Hero" by the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, a regional educational organization. Proceeds from B.T.'s most recent release, In the Spirit, are already benefiting the youth group at his church, Bethlehem-Wiley. 

A life member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the NAACP, Scruggs has received numerous awards for leadership and service, including the M.L. King, Jr., Birthday Celebration Community Service Award presented by The Unity Group; the Local Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the 89th Annual Convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians; and induction into the African American Educators Hall of Fame by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  






Who: Smokyland Sound
What: Barbershop harmony
When: 1 pm
Where: Knoxville, Knox County
Venue: Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville

Smokyland Sound.jpg

Smokyland Sound is a men's chorus from Greater Knoxville, a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society and a member of the Dixie District. Its great joys are singing, performing and keeping the great American tradition of Barbershop Harmony alive and well for future generations to enjoy. (It recently launched a youth chorus called Note Torius!)

Smokyland Sound members sing a variety of music from classic barbershop tunes to contemporary songs, all in 4-part harmony. Their performance for Pickin' Up Tennessee may not feature the entire chorus, but we're assured of at least a "very large quartet"!


SUNDAY, JUNE 23, 2013

Who: Rhody Jane Meadows with T.V. Barnett and his Roan Mountain Moonshiners
What: Old-timey
When: 4 pm
Where: Carter County
Venue:  The Miller Homestead, Roan Mountain State Park

Rhodyjane Meadows is a Tennessee original.  According to her website, she is a “native of the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, cultural interpreter for the Roan Mountain State Park—and witness protection program poster child” whose rumors of being raised by wolves are "greatly exaggerated … it was actually possums.”


From her "cottage on Croonin' Creek" in the Upper Burbank Community of Roan Mountain, Rhodyjane sings and plays with T.V. Barnett and his Roan Mountain Moonshiners, teaches individual and group lessons at Croonin' Creek Studio, writes songs and murder mysteries “& mostly just enjoys Life!”

Playfulness aside, Rhodyjane is seriously accomplished. She earned a master's in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., taught there as an adjunct faculty member, has taught extensively in the public schools,  and was a featured presenter at Boone's Appalachian Cultural Museum. Her current teaching includes instruction in oldtime stringband music at the Avery Campus of Mayland Community College in Newland, N.C.; classes (“in ARTS & LIFE”) to nursing and criminal justice students at Lee's McRae College; and artist-in-residence programs in storytelling and mountain music.

She is also deeply kind. Last December, she hosted a holiday gathering at Roan Mountain State Park for inmates from the local jail (the same folks who pick up Tennessee's litter). As a certified Tennessee Activities Director who once worked at an assisted living facility, Rhodyjane frequently gives programs and workshops for adult long-term care facilities, senior centers and civic and church groups. After she completes an internship to become an Advanced Certified Clinical Musician, she’ll offer therapeutic harp and lap dulcimer at the bedsides of those "in various stages of transition."

As for her own music, she notes that “being somewhat kin to Mother Maybelle Carter (her Granny Honeycutt's 2nd Cousin twice removed on her Mommy's side from Across the River … or something that-a-ways),” she plays and teaches “most-anything” with strings, including Appalachian autoharp, lap dulcimer, Celtic harp and piano (by "ear"), Carter-style guitar, clawhammer banjer and "doghouse" bass—“all of which she learned by sitting at the feet of those much older and wiser than she.”  


MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013

 Who: Spirit of Smoky
What: Traditional mountain music
When: 5:30 pm
Where: Newport, Cocke County
Venue: Serenity Garden 

Spirit of Smoky.jpg

By day, Tina Kilgore, Teresa Buckner, Denise Ball and Susan Burgin work together for a caregiving business called Smoky Mountain Home Health and Hospice. After hours, as the music group Spirit of Smoky, they focus on a different kind of nurturing, sharing their love for the music of the mountains with audiences in and around Newport. 


TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2013

 Who : Mark Durand and friends
What: Old-timey fiddle
When: Evening
Where: Maryville, Blount County
Venue: Private residence


As a specialist in public health systems in the South Pacific, Mark Durand spends a lot of his time in places far removed from, and a lot flatter than, the Southern Appalachians. For instance, in the mid-2000s he was director of health services for Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia, where he spearheaded the rebuilding of a medical library destroyed in 2004 by Typhoon Sudal. But Mark’s heart has always been in the foothills of east Tennessee, where he spent countless weekends from high school through medical school backpacking in the Smokies, fishing in the mountain streams and sampling botanical edibles. So it’s fitting that over the years and across the miles, he has stayed in touch with his Tennessee self by learning to play a pretty impressive old-timey fiddle. He and some friends will play for the Pickin’ Up team at the farm he now lives on with daughters Zoe and Alex and wife Beverly Green; the team will spend this one night of the tour not in a state park. 




Who: Playing On The Planet
What: Cosmic Rockin' Boogie Grass ...
When: 3 pm
Where: Copperhill, Polk County
Venue: Ocoee Whitewater Center, 4400 US 64
Venue URL:  www.ocoeeriver/ws/
Band URL:
Band e-mail:
Band phone: (706) 455-0694

Playing On The Planet is a globe-wandering group of musical multi-instrumentalists from the Ocoee River region of Ducktown, Tenn. At this mountain crossroads of Appalachia-intrigue, three state lines and varied musical genres intersect. The five bandmates  make the most of what they refer to as regional "schizo-graphy," creating original songs and a dynamic acoustic sound derived from the rich heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Kentucky’s bluegrass pastures, Rainbow Children gatherings, Gypsy alleys in Romania and the "Urban Streetscape Sound” heard in clandestine warehouse districts. The band’s attention-grabbing remake of “Dueling Banjos” is found on network TV shows all over the planet. The musicians use mountain-bred instincts to convince disparate audiences (traditionalists and newcomers) into believing they all arrived at a performance in the same mode of transportation, whether on foot, by bike or in a pickup truck. Hula Hoops & dancing encouraged!

Playing On The Planet has three CDs to date: Playing on the Planet, Ocoee Road and Tennessee Twister and are currently heard on PBS' Roadtrip Nation, NBC Sports, in popular outdoor adventure DVDs, in the whitewater documentary Call of the River and in the televised coverage of Le Tour de France. A short list of performances includes the U.S. Olympic Road to Sochi Tour, the Chattanooga Riverbend Festival, North Georgia's Boogie & HemlockFest, the Red Clay Theater, the Purple Fiddle in West Virginia, Atlanta’s Peachblossom Festival, Riverfront Nights in Chattanooga, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Knoxville’s WDVX Blue Plate Special and too-numerous-to-count rural oprys & urban warehouse stages. Have a listen at,, on the band's website or on their YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Formerly known as Steel String Session, the band has five musicians and a Hula Hoop Artist. Lisa Jacobi sings, composes and plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar and upright bass. (She also paints rocks and whitewater kayaks.) Pete Dasher (vocals, resonator guitar) sometimes lives in a tool shed on 15 acres. Denny Mixon writes songs, does vocals, plays upright bass and guitar, rows stuff and refinishes furniture. Jarrod (JRod) Payne sings. composes, plays banjo and guitar and is a black belt in Taekwondo. Bill Fleming does vocals, plays steel guitar and herds a successful intentional community. And Ame’Lie Rouse is master of the Hula Hoop Arts.




Who: Matt Tooni
What: Native American flute
When: 3:30 pm
Where: Copperhill, Polk County
Venue: Ocoee Whitewater Center, 4400 US 64
Venue URL:  www.ocoeeriver/ws/

Matt Tooni Right-Path-graduation.jpg

Indian flutist Matt Tooni of Cherokee, North Carolina, is a young and vital member of the effort to keep alive Cherokee history and culture. As much a teacher as a performing artist, he leads a group of dancers and singers and has often appeared in the outdoor drama Unto these Hills. In 2011, he was a member of the first graduating class of The Right Path, an adult leadership program developed by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and grounded in Cherokee traditions and values, from language, tribal governance and the environment to artistic expression, storytelling and Cherokee history.