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Alice Gerrard, others, to perform at CCSA in Galax

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Folk/bluegrass pioneer and Old-Time Herald founder to perform, offer workshops.

A woman who helped blaze a trail for other female musicians in folk and bluegrass will perform this Saturday at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in Galax.

Alice Gerrard, a former Galax resident and founder of the Old-time Herald magazine, is considered an influential musician for her time recording and performing with Hazel Dickens and Mike Seeger.

CCSA will host a concert on Nov. 15 from 7-9 p.m., with Gerrard, Gail Gillespie, Kay Justice and Joe Dejarnette.

During the concert, the musicians will swap tales and tunes and answer questions from the audience and homemade goodies will be served. Admission is $15.

Gerrard grew up singing with family and friends around a piano, and was first introduced to folk and traditional music in college. She moved to Washington D.C. after college, where she met and played with many now-famous bluegrass and old-time musicians, including Hazel Dickens and Mike Seeger.

Hazel and Alice began singing together as a duo and were considered to be the first female-led band in bluegrass. Their harmonies and repertoire have been credited as having inspired artists such as Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, the Judds and Gillian Welch.

Gerrard lived in Galax for several years, and spent time learning from many musicians of a previous generation. In 1987, while she was living in Galax, she started the Old-time Herald, a magazine devoted to old-time music, and served as editor-in-chief until 2003.

Gail Gillespie plays an old-time finger-style banjo that was prevalent in the mountain and piedmont areas of Virginia and North Carolina. In addition to the Herald Angels, she has played and recorded with several bands including the Bucksnort Barndance Band, County Commissioners, Haw River Reelers, Carolina Catbirds and New Southern Broadcasters. Gillespie was editor of the Old-time Herald from 2003-2010.

Kay Justice sings and plays guitar, and has also recorded with singer Ginny Hawker as well as the Herald Angels.

Joe Dejarnette is known as one of the premier bass players in the area. He toured with the jugband the WIYOS for several years, and has played formally and informally with many current old-time stringbands, including the Bucking Mules. He has a recording studio, Studio 808a, in Floyd, where he has produced many recordings of traditional music.

Gerrard, Gillespie and Dejarnette will be teaching workshops in intermediate fiddle, old-time finger-style banjo and bass for all levels at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts on Nov. 15 and 16.

For more information about the Music of the Crooked Road weekend workshops and concert, go to www.chestnutcreekarts.org or call (276) 236-3500. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is located at 100 N. Main Street in Galax.