June 27, 2009

YPM Edition 5D: West Virginia Festivals

Notes from Yew Piney Mountain Edition 5D: West Virginia Festivals

The final entry in my series on WV festivals is on the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville, WV. Everyone I've heard refer to it just calls it the Glenville Folk Festival.

Anyway, this is one of the smaller festivals as well, but there are lots of great players that have played there, including Dave Bing, Joe Dobbs, Lester McCumbers, Buddy Griffin, and Dave O'Dell. I really like these smaller festivals that feature mostly people from the area. You get a real sense of the unique repertoire of central West Virginia and of how people play the tunes. Everywhere does it a little differently.

Like the Jackson's Mill Festival, it has struggled in recent years with attendance, especially when compared to Clifftop. For the sake of the towns that support these smaller festivals and for the music they preserve, I hope they recover.

Anyhow, here are a few clips from Glenville. First up is Lester McCumbers, a relatively well-known old-time player from West Virgina.

Next, the video quality is poor, but the sound is worth it. Here's Gerry Milnes playing "Give the Fiddler a Dram."

Credits: Videos from YouTubers YewPiney and 1angolier

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