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MMT musician John Wyatt singing in Richwood at the Feast of the Ramson ... See MoreSee Less

One of our amazing roving musicians, himself a flood survivor from Rainelle, regaling us with a Ramp song about Richwood and "singing for his meal!" Lol An impromptu mini concert in the Oakford Dinner. Richwood: rich in wood, people, poetry, music, and authenticity. Enjoy and share.🍒

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Developing a new generation of traditional musicians is a tough job in this media saturated world. Musician Dennis Ott lives on Fiddle Ridge in Greenbrier County, just above the Monroe County line. He has dedicated himself to helping spread the tradition through teaching young people in his area. Dennis gives private lessons at his Ox in the Mud Studio and at Greenbrier Episcopal School.
His musical inspiration was his maternal grandmother, who lived on a Jefferson County WV farm, Dennis says, " She could play piano, autoharp, guitar, harmonica, and spoons. She spent many years dressing and performing skits and music as Minnie-Pearl from the show Hee-Haw. Even on her death bed she said, "Howdee! Sure is nice to be here!", just as Minnie would say! My grandmother gave music to her whole big family. I began playing guitar and then eventually taught myself banjo."
WV Fiddler Dave Bing was his musical hero: "I moved to Monroe County in my late twenties and heard Dave Bing play fiddle for the first time. Well, when I heard this I was instantly taken. In some weird way it was familiar to me and that intrigue led me to seeking Dave out and spending time with him for many years. This is where I really got what I needed to learn to fiddle. I have performed as the fiddler for the Hell For Certain Stringband and the Allegheny Hellbenders."
Dennis offers private lessons for fiddle, claw hammer banjo, guitar, and sometimes mandolin. For a monthly tuition students receive one, thirty minute class every week (evening classes.) He describes his approach: " In class we sit "knee to knee" and explore traditional music in the traditional way. We study and learn music much like one would learn speech. You will catch me talking about the 'language of music' often. We take small musical phrases and build them into bigger ones. We then try to play them like we would speak or breathe or walk: uniformly, evenly, non-erratically, etc.!!! In class we rely on our memory and our hearing to learn and perform. This all comes without the use of written music."
You can contact Dennis at 304 645 1721 or oxinthemudstudio@outlook.com

The pictures are of Dennis' Nanny Kelly and Dennis (L) with Dave Bing.
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