The Piney Woods Boys play southern stringband music that arose before the labels of “old-time” and “bluegrass” were used to differentiate styles of playing. This was the sound that caught the ear of Jim Collier, Matt Haney, and Wayne Martin beginning in the 1960s and 70s and led them on journeys of performing, teaching, and documenting this music.
This trio of expert and inspired musicians will come together at the Jones House on Saturday, February 18 for an afternoon workshop and an evening concert. The afternoon workshop, which begins at 4:00 p.m., will feature the fiddle and banjo styles of Gaither Carlton, Doc Watson’s father-in-law, and one of Collier’s old band mates from the 1970s. The evening concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and it will feature music from the region, including songs learned from Clint Howard, Fred Price, and Clarence Ashley, musicians from east Tennessee who performed and recorded with Doc Watson in the 1960s.
The Piney Woods Boys came together in 2012, and the trio has committed themselves to performing the songs and tunes learned from older musicians and mentors who liked good traditional music, whatever its source.
Jim Collier has been playing old-time and bluegrass music on banjo fiddle, guitar, autoharp and mandolin since his high school days in Raleigh, N.C. Influenced early on by visits with Roscoe Holcomb and Gaither Carlton he developed interests in the deep musical traditions of the North Carolina and Kentucky mountains. While living in Boone NC, Jim had the good fortune to spend several formative musical years with Arnold Watson and experience the rich musical legacy of the Watson family. Jim spent much of the last twelve years renewing his love for early bluegrass music by studying mandolin, banjo, singing and exploring regional two and three-finger styles as well as old time up-picking on the banjo. Jim was a founding member of the Tarheel Hot Shots and appeared on Prairie Home Companion with the stringband Big Medicine. He was also the mandolin player with the bluegrass band the Rye Mountain Boys.
Matt Haney was introduced to bluegrass and old-time music by his parents in his home state of Minnesota. Inspiration to take up the fiddle came in 1969; when faced with the decision of attending Woodstock or the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Matt hitchhiked east and saw Bill Monroe perform with Kenny Baker and Tex Logan. Further inspiration came from travels south to fiddlers conventions in the 1980’s. Trips to Southwest Louisiana since 1983 fostered a continuing interest in Cajun music that he has performed and recorded with Tracy Schwarz and Midwestern favorites the Bone Tones. Since moving to North Carolina in 2002 Matt has continued playing fiddle as well as studying steel guitar styles and renewing an interest in singing and flatpicked guitar.
Wayne Martin spent his early childhood in Georgia where he heard family members sing shape-note hymns and play country music. While attending high school in Raleigh, NC he heard Jim Collier and friends play stringband music at the intermission of a screening of Citizen Kane. He began to visit old-time fiddlers and eventually learned from musicians in the mountains, piedmont and coastal regions of North Carolina. Wayne has recorded with Etta Baker, A.C. Overton and Lauchlin Shaw and is featured on the CD Birdie with his wife, Margaret Martin and friend Craig Johnson and with Dwight Rogers and Gail Gillespie as the Happy Valley Pals. In addition to performing music, he has produced numerous recordings of traditional musicians including Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Marcus Martin, Doug and Jack Wallin, and Joe and Odell Thompson.
The fiddle and banjo workshop starts at 4:00 p.m. The workshop is free for participants of the Jones House music lessons and anyone attending the evening concert. If others are interested in participating in the workshop, please contact Mark Freed at [email protected] or 828.268.6282.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, in the Mazie Jones Gallery of the Jones House. Tickets for the concert are $20 per person. The venue can seat 40 people, and due to the limited seating, advanced reservations are recommended. All open seats will be available at the door, which opens at 7:00 p.m. on the night of the concert.
The Jones House is located at 604 W. King Street in downtown Boone. For more information on the community center or the Indoor Concert Series, including a complete schedule of performances, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call828.268.6280.