Box office opens at 7:30pm day of show.
Partial proceeds support a food bank, youth center, senior programs and more.
Whether it’s a house concert or Italy’s Umbria Folk Festival, Michael and Carrie Kline have a deep passion for authentic Appalachian music and bringing out the fascinating social context in which this compelling genre emerged. Awarded with many fellowships and accolades, including the Ora History Association Award for Folklife Recording, the soft spoken and dedicated Klines have spent years recording and preserving music and spoken narrative in Cherokee, North Carolina, the Appalachian coalfields and mountainside farms, and in industrial cities from Cincinnati to New England. Hannah Doress interviewed Carrie Kline took place ahead of the August 17th concert.
Hannah: Tell us about some of the peak experiences of your impressive careers.
Carrie: Playing at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center in August, 2012 felt like making a pilgrimage and then arriving in Mecca, with the stone in front dedicated to the soulful Kate Wolf, and the painting in a side room of Kate and her flowing hair sweeping through the Community Center with her mystical aura. And then meeting both the Center staff and the audience we felt so warmly welcomed.
Also in August 2012 we performed at a community folk festival high in the limestone mountains of the Abruzzo region of Italy. People were gathered in to the white piazza to sing together in the night, to listen to folk songs and to pass the wine, cookies and pasta fagiole. The audience sang with us and wanted encore after encore, connecting with the Appalachian song from the Crusades about the soldier and the pretty fair maid working in her garden. The group loved The Coal Tattoo, the love song of a coal miner for his work, sent on the road for employment in a boom and bust economy. And they loved Kate Wolf's Here in California, a tale of love's unanswerable questions.
Hannah: What traditions are you preserving that might not otherwise be preserved?
Carrie: We are working to save an endangered culture by re-seeding it in schools of all kinds, from West Virginia public elementary and high schools to adult community singing schools. We are preserving old ways of growing and preserving food, ways of neighboring, caring, sharing, looking out for one another and reaching out. We are trying to keep in this world a repertoire of songs and fiddle tunes that have bounced along craggy Appalachian ridgelines after crossing the seas from the British Isles on leaky, creaky sailing ships.
Hannah: Who are the communities whose traditions you are preserving?
Carrie: We preserve cultural traditions of old and new immigrants as well as Native people, particularly Cherokee. For those who do not have native ancestry or whose people came from different lands, as the song says, "We may have come here in different ships, but we're in the same boat now." We spend time in communities, with a tape recorder handy to record life stories and music. People want to share, to trust and to be heard. We offer ourselves as open to the experience of deep listening.
Hannah: What do you mean by Appalachian Music for These Times? Why is this music important now and to an audience so far away? Are there any resonances between Appalachian and Californian history/traditions?
Carrie: Traditional culture is in jeopardy everywhere. We need to reinvigorate elements of neighboring and caring for people and being stewards of land and water. We see in Appalachian culture examples of caring and sharing, putting by and saving for hard times, aspects of California's traditional life. We all still need these reminders, ideas for how to survive and thrive as communities of caring, loving, laughing people.
Hannah: Tell us about the tribute you have planned to folk icon and former SGVCC board member Kate Wolf.
Carrie: The second half of our concert will be a tribute to Kate Wolf, filled with her soulful songs of friendship, longing and hope. We play and sing them in our own way as impassioned heartfelt duets.
Carrie: One of Michael's gifts as a guitarist is creating lively and usual bass lines to back up fiddle tunes. With John Pedersen's lively incantation of some of the best of America's greatest fiddle tunes, this will be a toe-tapping celebration of two extraordinary performers of the best of American old-time music. If you close your eyes you can hear in the fiddle tunes the sounds and imagery of rives flowing into crevasses in ancient, worn-down mountains, old timers gathering water, washing clothes, being baptized and, putting the hoe down for an old-fashioned square dance.
Be baptized yourself. Let the music, fiddle tunes, traditional mountain ballads, songs of resistance in the coalfields, and the healing strains of Kate Wolf's songs wash over you and make you new, ready to rise up and face life’s challenges anew in a community of hope.
Listen, enjoy and join in on Saturday, August 17th, 8pm:Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/427473
Sixteen Tons: http://www.folktalk.org/songs/sixteen_tons.mp3
Turtle Dove: http://www.folktalk.org/turtle_dove.mp3
More about The Klines:
Michael and Carrie Kline weave West Virginia stories and folklore with spine tingling harmonies on voice and guitar. The Klines' high mountain harmony vocals meld with their intertwining bass lines on two guitars, with Michael Kline’s melodic flat-picking guitar playing and Carrie's dynamic backup.
To hear them and be invited to join in on a chorus is to be transported to a country church, a one-room school, or grandma's kitchen. From songs such as Walk with Granny One More Time, to Coal Tattoo, and gospel numbers such as Turtle Dove and Love Like This Was Never Known, the Klines convey listeners along to the times that really matter, time with family and friends, spiritual times, wrapped in a patchwork quilt of vivid images. Kitchen songs. You can smell the biscuits baking. Their unique content loaded CDs featuring regional history, music and folklife will be on hand.
Carrie explains, “… from the ancient ballads of the Hammons Family in the central highlands, to mining laments and songs of resistance in the coal fields. … our music unveils the lives of Americans not generally included in mainstream debates.”
Including Kate Wolf in their repertoire, The Klines love performing at SGVCC where Wolf performed many times was once a board member. The Center is host to an outdoor Kate Wolf stage and a striking mural in her honor by artist MOT.For more information about the show or the San Geronimo Valley Community Center please visit their website or call 415-488-8888. Like them on Facebook.
Special thanks to Mary Olsen of Inverness for introducing the Klines to Marin County.