Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Roots and Branches of Bluegrass: From Ancient Ballads to WV Songs at the Augusta Heritage Center

July 31, 2017 @ 8:00 am - August 3, 2017 @ 5:00 pm


Roots and Branches of Bluegrass: From Ancient Ballads to WV Songs at the Augusta Heritage Center

Augusta mini-class July 31 to August 3.

Michael & Carrie Kline

View the teachers and classes at https://augustaheritagecenter.org/. Registration is currently available by calling the Augusta office at (304) 637-1209 and will open online at https://www.dewv.edu/augusta/ by March 1. Mini-Workshop Tuition is $60.

Roots & Branches of Bluegrass: From Ancient Ballads to WV Songs of Work & Freedom – All Levels: Prepare to immerse in rich imagery and melodically haunting songs, making deep connections with the culture, landscapes, and history of Appalachia, and connecting with singers from generations past. Who were these singers, and how did these songs come to dwell in them? What are the hidden powers of the oral tradition in these Allegheny Highlands? How and why does it persist into our own times?

Participants will finish this course with a new tote sack full of Appalachian songs learned by heart. The Klines are known for teaching songs so that the singers come to own them. From passionate coal mining laments to ancient ballads Michael learned from local singers over the past four or five decades, the class will learn to sing with precision and gusto.

Bio: Michael and Carrie Kline weave West Virginia stories and folklore with spine tingling harmonies on voice and guitar. They live and breathe Appalachian music and culture. Their voices carry the songs with truth and authenticity. The Klines present their music both as entertainment and social history, with engaging ease and hard-hitting passion. They have spent years recording music and spoken narratives from Cherokee, North Carolina, coalfields and mountainside farms of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia, and Pennsylvania’s anthracite country.

The Klines’ high mountain harmonies meld with their intertwining bass lines on two guitars, with Michael’s melodic flat-picking and Carrie’s rhythmic backup. They have performed in Italy, Germany, and across the United States in living rooms, and concert halls, prisons to picket lines from Maine to Ohio, New York City, and Washington, DC, Wisconsin, and California. To hear them and join in on a chorus is to be transported to a country church, a primeval forest, a coal miner’s picket line, or grandma’s kitchen. From songs such as “Walk with Granny One More Time”, to “The Coal Tattoo”, the Klines evoke emotions that touch the soul. Kitchen songs. When they sing, you can smell the biscuits baking. The Klines’ have 15 CDs featuring Appalachian history, music and folklife.

Michael and Carrie Kline have been studying and chronicling the history and culture of Appalachia for thirty years, Michael, with a Ph.D. in Public Folklore from Boston University, and Carrie, with a Master’s Degree in American Studies from SUNY/Buffalo. Michael was employed during most of the 1980s as Folklife Specialist for the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins. His experience in creating public programs extends to Cullowhee, North Carolina, and later with new American cultures of Western Massachusetts.

Carrie joined the research shortly before the duo contracted to complete an ethnographic survey of the City of Wheeling from 1994 – ’96. Carrie received the Spring 2001 Rockefeller Fellowship at Marshall University to document Appalachian Resiliency in LGBTQ people. Michael’s recent article on coal camp life in West Virginia, published in Appalachian Heritage, won the Plattner Award in 2011 published in the magazine. He is a recipient of the Tamarack Foundation Fellowship and the 2015 winner of the international Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Award granted by the Oral History Association for, in the words of the award letter, his “sizable contributions to oral history for social change in … Appalachia.”


July 31, 2017 @ 8:00 am
August 3, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, ,


Augusta Heritage Center, Davis & Elkins College
100 Campus Drive
Elkins, WV 26241 United States
+ Google Map