DAVE "SNAKER" RAY

(August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002)

DAVE "SNAKER" RAY (August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002) was an American blues singer and guitarist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was most notably associated with Spider John Koerner and Tony "Little Sun" Glover in the early Sixties folk revival. Together, the three released albums under the name Koerner, Ray & Glover.

DAVE "SNAKER" RAY (August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002) was an American blues singer and guitarist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was most notably associated with Spider John Koerner and Tony "Little Sun" Glover in the early Sixties folk revival.

GEOFF MULDAUR

(August 12, 1943)

GEOFF MULDAUR (August 12, 1943) is an American musician and a founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band of Cambridge, Massachusetts; a member of Paul Butterfield's Better Days and an accomplished solo guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and arranger.

After establishing an impressive reputation with the Kweskin Jug Band during the 1960s, Geoff and then-wife, Maria Muldaur, recorded their first album, Pottery Pie, on Warner Bros. Records in 1969. It was on this album that Muldaur recorded his celebrated version of "Brazil" (original title "Aquarela do Brasil"), which became the title inspiration and the opening theme for Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil. After recording Pottery Pie, the Muldaurs moved to the burgeoning folk, blues, and folk-rock scene in Woodstock, New York. They separated in 1972, shortly after Geoff joined Paul Butterfield's Better Days group.

After leaving the Butterfield band in 1976, Muldaur recorded two more solo albums for Warner Bros. Records, a duo album with Amos Garrett, a solo album on the Flying Fish Records label, and a jump band album, Geoff Muldaur and the Nite Lites, for Hannibal Records. During this period, Muldaur also recorded with Bobby Charles, Jerry Garcia, Eric Von Schmidt, Bonnie Raitt, and John Cale. In the early 1980s, Muldaur left the stage and recording studio for a working sabbatical. During this period, he composed scores for film and television, winning an Emmy Award, and produced albumsfor Lenny Pickett and the Borneo Horns and the Richard Greene String Quartet.

Muldaur emerged in 1998 with The Secret Handshake. After two more albums in 1999 and 2000, he recorded the semi-classical jazz album Private Astronomy, a Vision of the Music of Bix Beiderbecke on the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2003.

In 2009, Muldaur formed a roots supergroup for work on a new album. Dubbing themselves Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks, folk and American music luminary Stephen Bruton, Grammy-winning Dobro player Cindy Cashdollar, fiddle virtuoso Suzy Thompson, guitarist Johnny Nicholas, and bassist Bruce Hughes joined Muldaur in the studio for a pair of recording sessions in 2008. Bruton died in May 2009. Texas Sheiks was released on September 22, 2009, on Tradition & Moderne. His sister is the actress Diana Muldaur. His daughters Jenni Muldaur and Clare are also musicians. His daughter Dardanella Slavin is a chiropractor.

Muldaur is the author of Moles Moan, which was recorded by his friend Tom Rush. This song has been used as a theme song for many folk music radio programs, most notably by Gene Shay. [WikiPedia]

RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT

(August 1, 1931)

RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk singer and performer.

Born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents in 1931, he attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and graduated in 1949. Elliott grew up inspired by the rodeos at Madison Square Garden, and wanted to be a cowboy. Encouraged instead to follow his father's example and become a surgeon, Elliott rebelled, running away from home at the age of 15 to join Col. Jim Eskew's Rodeo, the only rodeo east of the Mississippi. They traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. He was only with them for three months before his parents tracked him down and had him sent home, but Elliott was exposed to his first singing cowboy, Brahmer Rogers, a rodeo clown who played guitar and five-string banjo, sang songs, and recited poetry. Back home, Elliott taught himself guitar and started busking for a living. Eventually he got together with Woody Guthrie and stayed with him as an admirer and student.

"Nobody I know—and I mean nobody—has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you're about to meet right now. He's got a song and a friend for every mile behind him. Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin' Jack Elliott." Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969

With banjo player Derroll Adams, he toured the United Kingdom and Europe. By 1960, he had recorded three folk albums for the UK record label Topic Records. In London, he played small clubs and pubs by day and West End cabaret nightclubs at night. When he returned to the States, Elliott found he had become renowned in American folk music circles. Woody Guthrie had the greatest influence on Elliott. Guthrie's son, Arlo, said that because of Woody's illness and early death, Arlo never really got to know him, but learned his father's songs and performing style from Elliott. Elliott's guitar and his mastery of Guthrie's material had a big impact on Bob Dylan when he lived in Minneapolis. When he reached New York, Dylan was sometimes referred to as the 'son' of Jack Elliott, because Elliott had a way of introducing Dylan's songs with the words: "Here's a song from my son, Bob Dylan." Dylan rose to prominence as a songwriter; Elliott continued as an interpretative troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in his idiosyncratic manner. Elliott also influenced Phil Ochs, and played guitar and sang harmony on Ochs' song "Joe Hill" from the Tape from California album. Elliott also discovered singer-songwriter Guthrie Thomas in a bar in Northern California in 1973, bringing Thomas to Hollywood where Thomas' music career began.

Elliott appeared in Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour and played "Longheno de Castro" in Dylan's movie Renaldo and Clara. In the movie, he sings the song "South Coast" by Lillian Bos Ross and Sam Eskin, from whose lyric the character's name is derived.

"My name is Longheno de Castro

My father was a Spanish grandee

But I won my wife in a card game

To Hell with those lords o'er the sea"

Elliott plays guitar in a traditional fingerpicking style, which he matches with his laconic, humorous storytelling, often accompanying himself on harmonica. His singing has a strained, nasal quality which the young Bob Dylan emulated. His repertoire includes American traditional music from various genres, including country, blues, bluegrass and folk. Elliott's nickname comes not from his traveling habits, but rather the countless stories he relates before answering the simplest of questions. Folk singer Odetta claimed that her mother gave him the name, remarking, "Oh, Jack Elliott, yeah, he can sure ramble on!" His authenticity as a folksy, down-to-earth country boy, despite being a Jewish doctor's son from Brooklyn, and his disdain for other folk singers, were parodied by the Folksmen (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer) in the satirical documentary A Mighty Wind in the name of their "hit" album Ramblin'. A Mighty Wind also referred to a former member of the New Main Street Singers, Ramblin' Sandy Pitnick, a somewhat geeky-looking white man in a cowboy hat, apparently in parody of Elliott. Elliott's first recording in many years, South Coast, earned him his first Grammy Award in 1995. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1998. His long career and strained relationship with his daughter Aiyana were chronicled in her 2000 film documentary, The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack. At the age of 75, he changed labels and released I Stand Alone on the ANTI- label, with an assortment of guest backup players including members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He said his intention was to title the album Not for the Tourists, because it was recorded in response to his daughter's request for songs he loved but never played in concert. When asked why he did not, he told her, "These songs are not for the tourists." In 2012 he was featured on two tracks (4, 12) on the album Older Than My Old Man Now by Loudon Wainwright III.

ALISON KRAUSS

(July 23, 1971)

ALISON MARIA KRAUSS (July 23, 1971) is an American bluegrass-country singer and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

She has released fourteen albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, and helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album also credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards.

As of 2012, she has won 27 Grammy Awards from 41 nominations, tying her with Quincy Jones as the most awarded living recipient, second only to classical conductor Georg Solti, who holds the record for most wins with 31. She is the most awarded singer and the most awarded female artist in Grammy history. At the time of her first, the 1991 Grammy Awards, she was the second youngest winner (currently tied as the ninth youngest).

J. E. MAINER

(July 20, 1898 – June 12, 1971)

J. E. MAINER (July 20, 1898 – June 12, 1971) was an American old time fiddler who followed in the wake of Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers.

Joseph Emmett Mainer grew up on a farm in the mountains near Weaverville, North Carolina and learned to play the banjo and fiddle from an early age. Since Wade, his brother, also was interested in learning to play the banjo, he left that to Wade and concentrated on the fiddle. Soon, Mainer began performing at local country barn dances. He found work at a textile mill in Knoxville, Tennessee but moved to Concord, North Carolina in 1922 for another work in a mill.

Mainer's fame as a fiddler rose and sponsored by the Crazy Water Crystals in 1933, he and his newly formed band consisting of J. E. on fiddle, Wade Mainer on banjo, and Zeke Morris on guitar, made their radio debut on WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina calling themselves "J.E.Mainer and his Crazy Mountaineers." The band appeared on several radio stations in the following years until 1935, when they received a recording contract on. In August the same year, the Mountaineers, with the addition of "Daddy" John Love, recorded for Bluebird Records. Wade Mainer and Zeke Morris temporarily left the band in the early 1936 to form a duo. In the meantime Ollie Bunn, Howard Bumgardner and Clarence Todd replaced Wade, Zeke and "Daddy" John Love on the next recording session. In the summer of 1936, Wade and Zeke returned to record with "the mountaineers". The next year, in 1937, Wade Mainer formed the "Sons of the Mountaineers". Shortly, a new change of personnel occurred when Leonard "Lester" Stokes and George Morris became members of "the mountaineers" calling themselves "Handsome and Sambo". They added Snuffy Jenkins on banjo on the following recording session. In late 1938, Stokes and Morris were once more replaced by Clyde Moody and Jay Hugh Hall. The band continued to perform on radio stations in both North and South Carolina.

The Mountaineers disbanded at the outbreak of World War II, but Mainer continued to record in the late 1940s, together with his sons, Glenn and Curly, for King Records. Between 1967 and 1971, the year of his death, literally hundreds of post-war recordings were released on Rural Rhythm Records. Mainer will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame on October 11, 2012.

BENTON FLIPPEN

(July 18, 1920– June 28, 2011)

James Benton Flippen(July 18, 1920– June 28, 2011) was an old-time fiddler from Mount Airy, North Carolina. He was one of the last surviving members of a generation of performers born in the early 20th century playing in the Round Peak style centering on Surry County, North Carolina. His contemporaries included Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed, and Earnest East.

Flippen learned to play old-time music early in life from his father, uncles, and brothers. He composed several original tunes and performed with the Camp Creek Boys and the Smokey Valley Boys.

Flippen was a recipient of theNorth Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1990.

Flippen gained popularity among the old-time music community for his unique approach to fiddling. Having rather large hands, he discovered the best way to get around the neck was to slide his index and middle fingers, rather than fingering up and down the scale with all four fingers as most people do— including his mentor, Esker Hutchins. On some tunes, he slid up the neck with one finger as he nearly simultaneously slid down with another. Where most fiddlers make a "D" chord on the neck with the index and ring finger, Flippen did it with index and middle finger. His bowing was described as smooth and heavily shuffled, having been perfected over many years of playing for square dances. As Paul Brown describes in the liner notes to Old Time, New Times, "It cries the blues, shouts a spiritual message, resounds with the celebration of a square dance or house party. It's full of syncopation and stretch, yet solidly down-to-earth."

Flippen also had a unique two-finger banjo style. He said he found it difficult to play clawhammer banjo, and though he liked hearing it, the three-finger bluegrass style wasn't quite for him, so he came up with his own heavily syncopated two-finger picking style that combined drive and charm.

"WOODY" GUTHRIE

(July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967)

Woodrow Wilson "WOODY" GUTHRIE (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional, and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This machine kills fascists displayed on his guitar.

His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land". Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger,Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers, Sammy Walker and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.

Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when he traveled with displaced farmers from Oklahomato California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour." Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.

Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie died from complications ofHuntington's disease, a progressive genetic neurological disorder. During his later years, in spite of his illness, Guthrie served as a figurehead in the folk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk musicians, including mentor relationships with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan.

JOHN JORGENSON

(July 6, 1956)

JOHN JORGENSON (July 6, 1956) is an American musician. Although best known for his guitar work with bands such as the Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters. Jorgenson is also proficient in the mandolin, mandocello, Dobro, pedal steel, piano, upright bass, clarinet,bassoon, and saxophone. While a member of the Desert Rose Band, Jorgenson won the Academy of Country Music's "Guitarist of the Year" award two consecutive years.

Jorgenson has also recorded or toured with many artists including Elton John, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash,Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr., Barbra Streisand, Luciano Pavarotti, Roy Orbison, Patty Loveless, Michael Nesmith, and Bonnie Raitt. [Wkipedia]

MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT

(July 3, 1893, or March 8, 1892 – November 2, 1966)

John Smith Hurt, better known as MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT (July 3, 1893, or March 8, 1892 – November 2, 1966) was an American country blues singer and guitarist. Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself how to play the guitar around age nine. He worked as a sharecropper and began playing at dances and parties, singing to a melodious fingerpicked accompaniment.

His first recordings, made for Okeh Records in 1928, were commercial failures, and he continued to work as a farmer. Tom Hoskins, a blues enthusiast, located Hurt in 1963 and persuaded him to move to Washington, D.C., where he was recorded by the Library of Congress in 1964. This helped further the American folk music revival, which had led to the rediscovery of many other bluesmen of Hurt's era.

Hurt performed on the university and coffeehouse concert circuit with other Delta blues musicians brought out of retirement. He also recorded several albums for Vanguard Records.

Hurt died in Grenada, Mississippi. Material recorded by him has been re-released by many record labels, and his songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia, Beck, Doc Watson, John McCutcheon, Taj Mahal, Bruce Cockburn, David Johansen, Bill Morrissey, Gillian Welch,Josh Ritter, Guthrie Thomas, Parsonsfield, and Rory Block.