Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt and Josh Goforth, rising acoustic music star and Grammy nominee, are set to join together to bring to life the joy and spirit of old-time mountain music and stories at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton.
Between them, Holt and Goforth combine the virtuosic sounds of guitar, banjo, fiddle, slide guitar, mandolin and a world of exciting rhythm instruments from hambone (body slapping) rhythms, to spoons, stump-fiddle, rhythm bones, jaw harp - and even paper bag. The program of songs, stories and amazing musicianship will appeal to all ages.
Holt is recognized as one of the nation's foremost folk musicians and storytellers. For 35 years, he has been collecting and performing the music of the old-time Southern mountaineers.
The Opera House Performance Series is set to host four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt and Josh Goforth, rising acoustic music star and Grammy nominee, during a concert this Saturday.
Goforth is descended from many of the old-timers Holt learned from in the late 1960s in Lonesome Mountain, N.C.
"Josh is one of the finest musicians in North Carolina and is helping bring the music that is his birthright into the 21st century," Holt said. "Our show is about folk traditions that are exploding with creative energy and fun."
Holt is well-known for his television and radio series. He is host of public television's "Folkways," a North Carolina program that takes the viewer through the Southern Mountains visiting traditional craftsmen and musicians. He served as host of The Nashville Network's Fire on the Mountain, Celebration Express and American Music Shop. He has been a frequent guest on Hee Haw, Nashville Now and The Grand Ole Opry. Holt also took to the silver screen, as a musician in the popular film, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
Holt also hosts Riverwalk Jazz for Public Radio International. Riverwalk, in its 22nd year, is broadcast nationally from San Antonio, Texas, and combines stories of the jazz greats told by Holt with the traditional jazz music of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and guests including Lionel Hampton and Benny Carter.
In 2002, Holt and the late Doc Watson won two Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Folk Recording for their collaborative album, "Legacy," a three-CD collection of songs and stories reflecting Watson's inspiring life story.
Goforth already was playing piano in church at the age of 4 - but it was an experience he had in the sixth grade that really lit the fuse of his precocious and explosive musical career. A performance at Goforth's middle school by Holt and Sheila Kay Adams caused him to start thinking about the musical heritage of his native Madison County.
A couple of years later, he began to learn guitar from his great-uncle. The great-great-great-grandson of Madison County fiddler Asbury McDevitt then launched on a career in traditional and acoustic music.
In the next few years he learned to play at least 10 different instruments by ear, learning from such local masters as Gordon and Arvil Freeman.
After high school, he went to East Tennessee State University to study music education, and to be a part of ETSU's famous Bluegrass and Country Music Program. In 2000, he played fiddle for the movie "Songcatcher," both onscreen and on the soundtrack.
Goforth has performed all over the United States as well as Europe and Asia. In 2000, 2003 and 2005, he was named Fiddler of the Festival at Fiddler's Grove, making him the youngest-ever three-time winner. This secured him the title Master Fiddler.
Doors for the Opera House performance will open at 6:30 p.m. Children 17 and younger are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available in advance at pocahontasoperahouse.org and at the Green Bank and Marlinton galleries of the Pocahontas County Artisans Cooperative.
The Pocahontas County Opera House is located at 818 Third Ave. in Marlinton. Performances at the Opera House are informal, family-friendly and open to all. The entrance and main seating are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend; special accommodations can be arranged upon request by calling 304-799-6645.
The Opera House Performance Series is presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Financial support is also provided by Pocahontas County Drama, Fairs and Festivals, Pendleton Community Bank and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. This performance also is made possible in part by the generous support of Brightside Acres.