How time does fly! The three months since our last post here have been filled with camps, swimming, a new mandolin DVD release, the IBMA convention, and one huge award for Murphy. The IBMA honored her with a Distinguished Achievement Award recognizing her groundbreaking work writing the history of women playing bluegrass: Pretty Good For A Girl: Women in Bluegrass. They give out five each year and her co-recipients this year were Pete "Brother Oswald" Kirby, Alison Brown, Steve Martin, and the International Bluegrass Music Museum.
Murphy Henry hugging Missy Raines as she goes to accept her Distinguished Achievement Award. Photo by Ted Lehman.
Missy Raines made the award presentation with a fabulous speech. I knew she would do an amazing job, but I was still blown away by how over-the-top amazing it was.
After the ceremony Murphy got introduced to Steve Martin by Alison Brown (who sits on the board for his Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo) and they got a picture of all three with their awards.
Murphy Henry, Steve Martin, and Alison Brown with their Distinguished Achievement Awards plaques.
...and their shoes!
Here is the entire presentation by Missy and Murphy's acceptance speech following. It is a great overview of Murphy's life and career. Her acceptance starts around the 9:00 mark. Thanks to Kathy Holiday for the video work!
Murphy and Casey appeared at the after-lunch roundup during Bluegrass Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, July 29, 2014. "Lonesome Road Blues" was the first tune ever recorded by a woman playing Scruggs-style banjo. That woman as Roni Stoneman.
Tuesday evening during Bluegrass Week all the female instructors played a set at the evening concert. What a fun show! Here is "Banjo Pickin' Girl". Murphy and Casey Henry (banjos), Kathy Kallick (guitar), Mary Burdette (bass), Laurie Lewis and Tammy Rogers (fiddles), Sharon Gilchrist (mandolin).
Here's a video featuring the Snow River String Band from Alaska playing at the Anchorage Folk Festival on January 17, 2014. The banjo player, Max, is one of my Skype students. We've only had about six lessons, but he's catching on fast, especially because he has other people to pay with regularly. Also, kids learn fast anyway! The banjo break starts at 2:14.
Check out this youtube link to see Sally Ann Forrester, who played accordion with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys back in the 1940s, playing accordion with Tommy Scott. This is wonderful footage and really shows off her playing!!!!! And she is a gorgeous woman!
Here are a couple videos from the faculty concert at Midwest Banjo Camp in June of this year. The first tune is "Leroy and Liza," an original. The second is "Liberty", played as a duet with the wonderful Riley Baugus.
Part Three of Chris Henry's documentary is now up for viewing. If you missed them you can find parts one and two here.
Part Three focuses on the dynamics of creative expectations, creating for an audience, the psychic/telepathic connection between creators, the editing process, aboriginal songlines, impacts of technology and urbanization on creativity, parallels with ecology, environmental influences, the balance of art and commerce, birth and death, using secondary or unfamiliar tools, Bill Monroe, and more.
New characters include Darrell Scott, Todd Phillips, and Roni Stoneman.
Yes, folks, as we mentioned last week, Christopher's song "Walking West to Memphis" is up for the "Song of the Year" award at SPBGMA. (That's the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.) Everybody attending the convention is eligible to vote, so if you're going to SBBGMA, PLEASE VOTE!
"Walkin' West to Memphis" is getting lots of airplay, and is now #3 in the National Bluegrasss Survey in the new edition of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine! I believe that's up from #4 in January.
For those who enjoy good songs and original mandopicking, here's Chris singing and playing W.W.T.M. with Shawn Camp at the Station Inn in Nashville:
Here's a link to a post on the No Depression website about a project that both Murphy and I participated in. Previously we've posted the videos (here and here and here and here) that Dyann Arthur filmed of both of us, but this nice little article has an overview of the whole project as well as some of the clips of the other women that she recorded.
Here are some clips from YouTube that you may not have seen. (Or you may have if you're an inveterate haunter of YouTube.) This first one comes from The Music Box Project, an oral history project compiling stories of women who play traditional music. Murphy and Red play Murphy's original song "When My Mama Sang To Me" in their studio in Winchester, VA.
This second clip is from the Spirit of the Suwanee festival in 1989. Red and Murphy sing "East Virginia Blues" with Karen Spence on tenor and playing bass, George Custer on fiddle, and Tuck Tucker on dobro.
This third clip is from the same festival. It's Murphy's song "How They Loved to Sing"