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About the video
Virginia based White Top Mountain Band performing 'Green Pastures' @
Bournemouth Folk Club, Centre Stage, Dorset, UK.
Thursday 25th September 2008.
About the artists
Whitetop Mountain Band originated with Albert Hash in the 1940s, a well-known
and beloved fiddler and luthier. When he was a teenager, Albert played fiddle
with Henry Whitter of “Grayson & Whitter” which recorded during the 1920’s.
Albert had a tremendous impact on the old time and bluegrass scene. The tune,
“Hangman’s Reel” that Albert recorded is the version played by so many old time
musicians today. He also taught such luthiers as Wayne Henderson, Audrey
Ham, and many others to build instruments. In the 1970s, Albert’s brother-in-law,
Thornton Spencer (twin fiddle), and his wife, Emily Spencer (banjo, vocals),
joined Albert in the Whitetop Mountain Band. The three also started an old time
music program at Mt. Rogers School, a small k-12 public school, in Whitetop.
The students learn fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and dancing. Emily Spencer
carries on the program and it has much regional and national attention for its
uniqueness, including features on CMT, numerous articles and radio shows and
a Grammy Award nomination.
Band members include:
Thornton Spencer - fiddle
Emily Spencer - vocals, banjo & guitar
Martha Spencer - vocals, guitar, banjo & fiddle
Jackson Cunningham - vocals & mandolin
Debbir Bramer - upright acoustic bass
Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the
Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over
Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter
Family Fold. In addition to local venues, the band has also performed at the
Smithsonian Folk life Festival, National Folk life Festival, World Music Institute in
NYC, Dock Boggs Festival, World Fair, Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle
Reed Festival and Merlefest. They recently were featured on the 2007 NCTA
Crooked Road Music tour of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho. Members
also toured the United Kingdom and Ireland playing the Cornish Bluegrass
Festival and Open House Festival along with venues through England, Wales,
and Ireland. In January 2008, members of the band also performed at the
Illawarra Folk Festival and Tamworth Country Music Festival in New South