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David Holt, Old Time Music and Storytelling

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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I stumbled across the video above of David Holt presenting at the TED Conference in 2004. David comes out of the southern vein of the folk tradition that I grew up in, which conceives of music as a genealogy of sorts – songs and styles evolve across generations, mutating across original Irish and Scottish tunes into something wholly different but intimately connected.

Folk musician and storyteller David Holt plays the banjo and shares photographs and old wisdom from the Appalachian Mountains. He also demonstrates some unusual instruments like the mouth bow — and a surprising electric drum kit he calls “thunderwear.”

David did a series of interviews with the legendary Doc Watson. I was working for Grove Norwood at the time, who knew David from North Carolina and got me a copy autographed by both Doc and David. It remains a treasured possession. It illustrates the unique place David holds as both a practitioner and a documentarian of the the music.

David Holt interviews Doc Watson

David Holt and Doc Watson, New River Train, Philadelphia Folk Festival (2007)

David Holt on washboard

Oh Brother Where Art Thou

Appropriately enough, David might be best known from a bit part in O Brother Where Art Thou?, the Coen Bros. film that reintroduced American roots music to the mainstream.

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Category: music i like

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