Dom Flemons is a GRAMMY Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying on the songster tradition, Flemons strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach, to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences. In his recent solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and jug-band music. He began his career as a performer in the Arizona music scene, where he produced 25 albums for singer-songwriters and slam poets in Pheonix. In 2005, Flemons co-found the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a Grammy for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig. Today, he tours throughout the United States and internationally as “The American Songster. In February 2016, Dom performed at Carnegie Hall for a Tribute to Lead Belly. In September 2016, Dom performed at the opening ceremonies for the National Musuem of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Dom has been touring internationally and has released his latest album called “Ever Popular Favourites” with British Guitar player, Martin Simpson. The album was released on Fledg’ling recordings in October 2016. Dom’s newest album to be released through Smithsonian Folkways will be celebrating the stories and songs of the black cowboys. Dom has released two instructional DVDs through Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop. Dom has a new podcast called American Songster Radio and it is in conjunction with WUNC North Carolina Public Radio.
Washboard Slim and the Bluelights
The music the Bluelights perform is at the very root of traditional American popular music. For over thirty-five years bandleader Peter Menta has been expanding the concept of what a Jug Band can sound like. Drawing on a wide variety of traditional music forms, the Bluelights have created a new musical style respecting equally the past and present. A typical Bluelights performance might include original music, early jazz, blues, swing, standards, jug band, gospel, pop music from the turn of the century and roots rock’n’roll. Starting in 1986, they continue to perform at festivals, concerts and clubs through out North America. Their most recent triumph was to win the 2008 State of CT Blues Challenge and the opportunity to represent their state in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee. They continue to be available for a wide variety of settings from private parties and dances to educational shows.