Sign up for newsletter
 

Folk Alliance honors Tommy Jarrell, Rounder Records, Mavis Staples

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 – The North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance (Folk Alliance) will honor late old-time fiddler/banjo player Tommy Jarrell, gospel/soul vocalist Mavis Staples and Rounder Records as recipients of the 2008 Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards (LAAwards).

Awards will be handed out at the Folk Awards Show Feb. 20, 2008. The awards are given to those who have inspired others, achieved definitive leadership in their field and contributed to the advancement of folk music and/or dance. Each year the LAAwards honor two performers, one living and one legacy, and a person or institution involved in the business or academic side of the folk world, who have devoted their life's work and talent to the advancement of the performing folk arts.

The old time sounds of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina were preserved through the recordings of fiddler, banjo player and vocalist Tommy Jarrell, who died in 1985. His nine albums of traditional banjo and fiddle tunes serve as a reminder of an influential old timey sound. One of 10children, Jarrell inherited his love of music from his father, Ben Jarrell. Jarrell bought his first fiddle, at the age of eight, with money he made gambling. Learning most of his repertoire by 1925, Jarrell performed at unpaid, informal, house parties and contests. Jarrell was little known outside the local area, however, until the mid-1960s when his son, B.F., a disc jockey in North Carolina encouraged Alan Jabbour, then a member of the Hollow String String Band and later the director of the Library of Congress' American Folklife Division, to visit the Jarrell home and record his father. Word of Jarrell's authentic playing soon spread as he was visited by numerous urban traditional music enthusiasts.

By the late-1960s, Jarrell was performing at folk festivals and concerts in the west and midwest. In 1982, Jarrell was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for The Arts. In addition to his albums, Jarrell was featured in several documentaries including, "Sprout Wings & Fly," "My Old Fiddle," and "Legends Of Old Timey Music." In 1970, with their passionate enthusiasm for American roots music lighting the way, three Cambridge, Mass. college students started Rounder. Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin, Marian Leighton-Levy began a label that now has more than 3,000 titles running the gamut from folk to world, soul to socas, jazz to juju, Cajun to Celtic.

The awards are a highlight of the Folk Alliance's annual conference. "We are delighted to announce this year's stellar recipients," says Folk Alliance Executive Director Louis Jay Meyers. "On behalf of the board and the membership, it will be a great pleasure to make these presentations at our Memphis conference in February."

Founded in 1989 the Folk Alliance seeks to create new and better opportunities for all those involved in the performance folk arts. With thousands of attendees annually, their conference offers a complete view of the business world of traditional and contemporary folk music and dance through showcases, educational seminars, films, and a networking-rich trade show.

Born in 1940 in Chicago, Mavis Staples has been lead singer for the Staple Singers. From the first two albums, "Soul Folk in Action" and "We'll Get Over" The Staples were singing entirely contemporary message songs such as "Long Walk to D.C." and "When Will We Be Paid." Starting with "Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)" and "I'll Take You There," The Staples counted 12 chart hits at Stax.

CD reviews for Tommy Jarrell

The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell Volume 1: Sail Away Ladies
The haggard wheeze of vintage mountain fiddling isn't always an easy listen. But often the payoff comes only after one applies almost archaeological attention to detail. It can be exhausting. This volume of solo fiddle (with occasional vocals) is the first such record genuinely captivating on all levels. Jarrell's technical prowess, natural showmanship, and gracious demeanor come through clearly - obliterating instantly academic concerns over metric variations, tunings, regional musical dialects. »»»
The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell, Volumes 2-4
This review covers: The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell Volume 2: Rainbow Sign The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell Volume 3: Come and Go With Me The Legacy of Tommy Jarrell Volume 4: Pickin' on Tommy's Porch One of the joys of old-time music lies in its shared repertoire. Out of a relatively small body of material comes a wealth of interpretations. Each performer illuminates a slightly different sector of an old chestnut like "Sugar Babe" or "John Hardy." That same joy is present »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile warms hearts with empathetic thoughts – Brandi Carlile, dressed festively with a Santa hat, began her mid-week concert set with Joni Mitchell's "River" and closed with the carol "O Holy Night." In between, she sang about an equal measure of old and new songs. And on this first night of a short acoustic tour, Carlile was both in fine spirits and voice.... »»»
Concert Review: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures – After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set. As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
The Cadillac Three creates its "Legacy" William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
With Stanley and Watson, sound isn't elementary Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Boom CD review - Boom
Walker Hayes has a lot of Sam Hunt in his music, in that he mixes a lot of hip-hop in with his country. Traditionalists will have trouble with his unorthodox approach. Kids, though, raised on just as much Drake as Paisley, will likely eat it up. »»»
From A Room: Volume 2 CD review - From A Room: Volume 2
There is no bigger artist in country music today, perhaps even in American music, than Chris Stapleton. His appeal reaches beyond just the commercial country fans for his gritty bluesy approach. 2015's "Traveller" set a high bar, which was met by this year's release of "From A Room: Volume 1," which won Album of the Year in the 51st CMA Awards.  »»»
Down Home Sessions EP CD review - Down Home Sessions EP

Upon first glance at the track list of Cole Swindell's fourth installment of the "Down Home Sessions" series, one may get the impression that it is a covers EP. It features several chart toppers from other artists, including Luke Bryan's "Roller Coaster" and Thomas Rhett's "Get Me Some Of That." »»»

The Rest of Our Lives CD review - The Rest of Our Lives
The first full album from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill is an inspired effort, even though some of its songwriters may surprise you. The title cut, for instance, features pop ginger Ed Sheeran on its credits, while Meghan Trainor contributed to "Roll the Dice." »»»
Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas CD review - Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas
Label holiday albums can sometimes be like office white elephant gift exchanges because there's a little bit of everything on the table. Some stuff you like, while other things may have been better left unwrapped. »»»
Texoma Shore CD review - Texoma Shore
Blake Shelton's 11th studio album finds The Voice advisor in a contented, one might even say homey, frame of mind. The opening track and first single "I'll Name the Dogs" sets the tone. It's a rollicking ode to domesticity that manages to make household chore distribution ("You find the spot and I'll find the money / You be the pretty and I'll be the funny") both romantic and amusing.  »»»