Helen White & Wayne Henderson

Helen White & Wayne Henderson

Mar 2, 2013 |  0 comments
Date: Mar 2, 2013 Time: 8:00 pm Price: $18 in advance, $23 at the door Type: old time/folk

Wayne Henderson a musical legend known worldwide for both his lightning fast “pinch picking” guitar style and the beautiful guitars, mandolins and banjos he crafts in his shop in Rugby, Virginia.  Wayne was honored  at the White House in l995 for both his craftsmanship and playing as a recipient of the prestigious National Heritage Award.  He has toured widely in Asia, Africa and the Middle East under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute and the Office of Arts America.  In the U.S. he has presented his Appalachian guitar style on several tours entitled “Masters of the Steel String Guitar” (l991 – l993,1999 – 2000).  He has played in Folk Masters series in Carnegie Hall, at Wolf Trap and at the l997 Olympics in Atlanta, GA.  He has won every guitar competition in the region so many times he has quit competing.  (He holds a record for the most 1st place finishes of any contestant in the history of the huge Galax, Va Old Time Music Competitions).  He was featured in Fall 2007 and Spring 2010 on several tours promoting “the Crooked Road”, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. He teaches  or has taught at several traditional music camps including the Augusta Heritage Arts Festival in Elkins, West Virginia, The Blue Ridge Music Program at Mars Hill College, NC, California Caost Music Camp and the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in Port Orchard, WA.  Wayne has numerous recordings to his credit including  as CDs “Rugby Guitar” (Rounder), “WC Henderson and Co” (with guest Doc Watson) and “Not Much Work for Saturday” (with Winfield Champ Steve Kaufman)and “Les Pik” on Hay Hollar Records and “Made and Played”, a self produced CD..

Helen White is respected as an old time fiddler and folk singer in her current home in Southwest Virginia and her native North Carolina. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program (JAM) which introduces mountain children to their musical heritage.   Also a songwriter/tunesmith,  she wrote and produced the soundtrack for a children’s video documentary on draft horses (Big Horse)and the Frank Levering theatrical production Jewel of the Blue Ridge, a play celebrating the centennial of the City of Galax, VA.  Her album of (mostly) original songs for children (“Nobody Smiles Like Me: Songs for a Kinder World”) was awarded “Editor’s Choice” for 1999 by the American Library Association’s Booklist.  A performer at the Virginia Welcome to Queen Eliabeth II in Richmond, she composed what was  touted the “Official Tune for the Queen”.  She has won regional fiddle championships including Twin and Senior Old Time Fiddler in Union Grove, NC and Johnson City, TN and holds numerous top 5 finishes at Galax, Va, Mt. Airy, NC, Grayson County, VA and other regional contests including the award for Best Overall Performer at the l997 Grayson County, VA Fiddlers Convention.   Helen has been a fiddle or beginning guitar teacher instructor at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA , the Blue Ridge Traditional Music Program at Mars Hill College, NC, “Fiddlekids” in El Cerrito, California, California Coast Music Camp  and the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, WA.  Besides her children’s recordings, Helen appears on many of Wayne’s and other projects.

Wayne and Helen have been playing as a duo and as part of stringbands together for about fifteen years.  Their performances as a duo have led them to events sponsored by the National Center for Traditonal Arts, the Presidential Inaugural Folk Festival, the Vancouver International Folk Festival, the Carterfold, events sponsored by the BCMA (Birthplace of Country Music Association) in Bristol, Tennessee, the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Conventions in Nashville, Tennessee and Issoudun, France and many local and regional festivals in the southeastern US.   In the spring of 2000 they were sponsored in tour of Holland and Germany by the European World of Bluegrass Festival, in November 2006 they were featured performers on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion and in spring of ’09 spent 3 weeks touring in Germany and Switzerland with the premier German bluegrass band, The Looping Brothers.  Together they recorded an alubum “Live From Virginia” in the fall of 2009.

Hailing from the “mecca” of traditional  mountain music,  Wayne and Helen provide a visit to  an Appalachian porch.   Helen’s simple, strong guitar backup provides a solid foundation for Wayne’s amazing guitar wizardry.  The  folk songs,  fiddle tunes (and maybe a clawhammer banjo tune or two) allow an audience to experience a nice sample of Appalachian music.

 

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