Archive for February 2012

Joe Thompson (1918-2012)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012


[Photo by E. Smith, June 2010.]

On Monday February 20th, Joe Thompson passed away at the age of 93.  He was considered to be the last living traditionally schooled African-American fiddler.

On a beautiful day in early June of 2010 my band The Dust Busters paid a visit to the home of Joe and Polly Thompson.  Joe Thompson lived outside of Mebane, NC.  He started playing fiddle at 5 years old, way back in 1923.  Joe was a World War II veteran and was long retired from his job at a furniture factory.  He continued to play music until very recently at home and at gigs including taking his music to Carnegie Hall in New York City, the National Folk Festival and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the International Music Festival in Brisbane, Australia.  In 2007 Joe Thompson was honored with the National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  The Carolina Chocolate Drops have spent a lot of time with Joe and have learned a lot from him.  They continue to present many of his tunes in their performances.  Joe Thompson was a wonderful man and a very fine musician and singer, the likes of whom we will not see again.

His recordings are available.  Here are a few:

Joe Thompson: Family Tradition
Black Banjo Songsters of N Carolina & Virginia
Carolina Chocolate Drops & Joe Thompson

Click Here for the recording and interview I did with Joe Thompson in June of 2010 when we visited him at his home.

Here is a link to a nice obituary:
Joe Thompson, 1918-2012: County treasure, irreplaceable artist left lasting legacy

And clips from a film made about Joe:

The Dust Busters on tour through NC and TN…

Monday, February 13th, 2012
Fa Logo 2012 Final
Hello everybody,
Well The Dust Busters are taking a drive down through North Carolina and across Tennessee, playing shows and making our way to the yearly Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis. Once there we will be playing a bunch of showcases including our official show case on the evening of Friday the 24th…. All the information is below. See ya down the road….

Thursday Feb. 16th
All Day Records

112a E. Main Carrboro 27510
Shows starts 8pm
$$ by donation
Opening band: Ezekiel Graves

Friday Feb. 17th

House concert, potluck and old timey dance party…
33 Carolina Lane, Asheville, NC 28801.
$$ by donation
Show starts at 8pm

Sugarfoot Seranaders will be opening

Dust Busters at 9pm followed by the old timey dance party…

Sweet-treats and snacks will be provided from Firestorm Cafe.

Saturday Feb. 18th
The Down Home
300 W. Main St. Johnson City, TN
Show starts at 9:00pm – 2 sets
http://www.downhome.com

Sunday Feb. 19th
Afternoon Brunch Concert
Details TBA

Monday Feb. 20th
11am-2pm Old Time String Band workshop at Eastern Tennessee State University
6-9pm “String-Band” class in Gate City, VA

Folk Alliance Conference
Thursday Feb 22nd – Saturday Feb. 25th
Memphis Downtown Marriott, Memphis TN

Showcase Schedule:

Thursday
3:40pm Texas Sugarbaby Room
11:30pm 12×12 room #1928

Friday
Official Showcase is at 7:30pm in the Chattanooga room.
11:30pm Hootenanny Hall First Timers showcase
12:30am Realistic Recordings room #1926

Saturday
12:30am Trad Room # 1905

More gigs:

Sunday Feb. 26

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Museum is located between 4th and 5th Avenue on Demonbreun
Nashville, TN
1-2pm
Free Show**
This show will be a public program as part of the CMHFM instrument demonstration series