Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Little Margaret" - Sheila Kay Adams (1982)

You never can tell where you might run into music. In this case I ran across the name of Sheila Kay Adams while reading about the murder of a young VISTA volunteer in Marshall County, North Carolina. Curious as to who she was I went to You Tube to find out. This was the very first thing I watched and listened to.

North Carolina is rich in mountain music and folklore. Ms. Adams has spent the better part of her lifetime chronicling that culture and keeping it alive. In this film, from You Tube; of course; Ms. Adams is singing a sad mountain ballad to a group of children. I’m sure that some people will find the song inappropriate for children, but it speaks to the history of mountain culture more than anything else. This kind of singing and storytelling is the backbone of what Ms. Adams does.

Ms. Adams is also a skilled “claw hammer” style banjo picker and composer, and her agility and expertise with her own “drop thumb” style of playing have won her much acclaim. She has been featured on NPR’s “The Thistle & Shamrock” program with Fiona Ritchie.

According to the information on Wikipedia, as well as her own website; which is listed below; Ms. Adams hails from the town of Sodom Laurel, located in Madison County, which is near Asheville. She comes from a long line of traditional storytellers and balladeers. 

She has actually learned; and promulgates; the Irish, Scottish and English versions of just about every ballad that arrived in our country from the late 1700’s and on. As such, she is the repository for much of the culture which unites us all as the pioneers our ancestors once were. In today’s world of division, this is an awesome achievement.

Please take the time to visit Ms. Adams web site at;

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