A Great Week in North Carolina

We drove all day from Paris, TN, to reach our new base camp down on Beaver Dam Road in the community of Vilas, NC.Beaver Dam
Our first visit was with Audrey Ham Hash, of Whitetop Mountain area of, VA. She is, and her father Albert Hash was, some of the finest fiddle builders in the area.
Audrey Hash in her shop
We were shown the process of fiddle building and the many of the tools in the shop that were built by Audrey’s father Albert – a truly ingenious man.  We were even treated to some great music in the afternoon from Martha Spencer and Matt Kinman.Martha Spencer and Matt Kinman
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Our next visit was with Leniavell Trivette of Beech Mountain, NC.  She and her mother and sister had been making rugs, clothes, fabrics and all kind of hand sewn items since the depression.  She is truly a one of a kind woman, full of kindness and tales life and growing up in the area.Leniavell Trivette and Matt Kinman
Leniavell saved a great surprise for last.  While we were leaving she declared we needed to see her hot rod.  We were all expecting a classic car – but no – she knows no boundaries – we heard the revving of the engine and there she was with her Mustang!liniavell-and-her-car
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The next day we drove into Boone, NC, and stopped by the coffee shop downtown to meet Arthur Grimes – a Boone native and an exceptional clogger.Doc Arthur and Matt
Arthur told us about growing up in Boone, and how Doc Watson had inspired much of his life, and definitely his dancing and love of music.  We asked Arthur back to Beaver Dam with us for some demonstrations of his steps, and we were joined by Josh Hayes and Trevor McKenzie to help out with the music.Arthur Grimes Dancing
That was a very fun day – and man did we eat good that night!
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Our last stop on the trip was to the Phipps Country Store out in Lancing, NC.Phipps Country Store
The store has been in the family for years and we got to meet Rita, her mother Robertine who grew up on the farm, and Rita’s husband Dawg (who is a great artist and sells his prints and t-shirts there).Rita_Dawg_Robertine_Matt

For the last handful of years the store has been hosting a weekly music jam. Phipps Store Jam
We heard some GREAT music – and met some friendly folks…oh and Levniavell and Martha were there too!
Leniavell Martha and Matt

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4 Responses to A Great Week in North Carolina

  1. Jaime Williams says:

    Wow Matt! Looks like you are having a great summer so far. We can’t wait until you are back around our neck of the woods. Miss ya!

  2. Shirl Shaw says:

    I know most of these folks! Danced with Arthur a few times (although not on stage). He is an excellent dancer. Martha Spencer is quite an entertaining performer, with her music and her dancing. The White Top Mountain Band is one of my favorite ole’ time music bands. I often find myself at their performances… and I stay on the dance floor. You just have to ‘cut a rug’ when they play! I see Levniavell everywhere! She loves music as much as I do! Her mustang was a surprise to me, as well! I find myself at the Phipps Store on many Friday nights, where talented musicians provide hours of listening pleasure. Dawg and Rita are amazing human beings… and her sweet mother is always there! Love all of these fine folks! Thanks for sharing your visit with us! You made my heart smile. :)

  3. I am planning to leave LA and move to a small town, probably in South America, in two or three years. Your project is making me even more excited about small town life, and I thank you for that!

  4. Guy Tanczos says:

    Hi Matt, great stuff. Whats the name of the tune in the opening part of your video?

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