You might not be impressed by David Holt’s four Grammy Awards, or by his resume as musician, storyteller, artist, historian, radio and television host. But you like the Coens brothers’ movie O Brother Where Art Thou? Well, David played the village idiot.
And you like traditional American folk music? Well, then you must come to see and hear David in person on Fripp Island, Sunday November 19. He will tell stories, clog dance, sing, and play several of the many instruments he has mastered: banjo (a 122-year old mountain banjo), guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, washboard (which a 100-year woman from Bamberg, SC taught him to play), a paper bag (you read that right, a brown paper bag. Bring one to the concert and ask him to play it), cow bones, the jaw harp, the clawhammer (wait, that is not an instrument, it’s a fascinating banjo-picking style you can learn to play from David on YouTube because he is a music teacher, too). Oh, let’s not forget, he plays the spoons, which he also wields in the kitchen because he loves to cook. “Mostly,” he says, “I am a ‘play it by ear cook’… same way I play music. I do it by feel.” You can get his recipes on his website.
After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara in biology and art (magna cum laude, no less), Holt moved to western North Carolina to pursue his growing interest in traditional music and storytelling, and he immersed himself in the vital folk culture there. While collecting the traditional music of the mountains, Holt discovered fascinating folktales and unusual anecdotes and true-life stories from mountain folks, which he began to integrate into his concerts. He has been exploring and performing this unique form of entertainment all over the world. The U.S. State Department has sponsored Holt’s American folk music performances in many parts of the world such as Nepal, Thailand, and South America.
From 1998 to 2012, David toured with the legendary Doc Watson. ÃÂ¢A highlight of my career,’ says Holt. In 2002, Doc and David won two Grammy Awards in the category Best Traditional Folk Recording for Legacy, a three-CD collection of songs and stories about Doc Watson‘s inspiring life.
In addition to making numerous acclaimed recordings, Holt has been hosting popular television programs including the PBS series David Holt‘s State of Music, Riverwalk: Classic Jazz From the Landing, Great Scenic Railway Journeys, and, for over 30 years, the North Carolina PBS series Folkways, which takes the viewer through the southern mountains to meet traditional craftsmen and musicians. In 2016, David was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
David currently tours the country performing either solo, with his band called David Holt and the Lightning Bolts, or with Josh Goforth.
On Sunday, November 19, at 5 pm, the Fripp Island Friends of Music, supported by the SC Arts Commission, will bring David Holt to the Community Centre, 205 Tarpon Boulevard. Tickets at the door: adults $25 (cash or check only), students free. You get a free pass at the Fripp gate and are invited to join David at a catered reception after the performance. www.frippfriendsofmusic.com or call 843-838-1777.
P.S. As always, on Monday after the concert, the musicians – in this case David Holt – will visit Beaufort schools to entertain and teach the students. And FIFOM will use part of the proceeds from the concert to support young musicians in Beaufort.ÃÂ