The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue its monthly
cultural heritage lecture series with musician and scholar Joe Dobbs on Wednesday,
Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., in the West Virginia State Theater at the Cultural Center,
State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The talk, “Appalachian Folk Music and
Tunes,” is free and open to the public.
Dobbs will present a historical music lecture about the evolution of melodies and ballads that have been preserved here in the region of Appalachia. He will trace the origin of common tunes back to Europe in the mid-1500s. He also will discuss music of the Civil War era. In addition, he will play songs on the fiddle, banjo and flute.
Well known for his fiddle music, Dobbs was born in Mississippi where his grandfather also was a fiddler. He started playing the instrument when he was 10 years old and living in Louisiana. He lived in many states throughout the South and Southwest and moved to West Virginia in 1967.
Dobbs has been active in the Mountain State’s folk music scene for 30 years as a fiddler, recording artist, instructor and lecturer. In addition to performing at festivals and universities in the United States and Canada, he has toured Africa, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, performing traditional Appalachian folk music.
As owner of Fret’N Fiddle in St. Albans, Dobbs became well known as a master guitar technician. Over the years, the store has become one of the nation’s most familiar music stores for vintage instruments. Since 1983, Dobbs also has served as host for the West Virginia Public Radio Network’s Music From the Mountains. Whether he’s playing recorded music or presenting a live musician, he celebrates Appalachian music and heritage in all its diverse forms.
For more information about the Joe Dobbs talk, “Appalachian Folk Music and Tunes” or the cultural heritage lecture series at the Cultural Center, call (304) 558-0162.
The next lecture in the series will be held Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., featuring James Mitchell, curator of the West Virginia State Museum. Mitchell will present the talk “Antiques as Christmas Presents,” and have several tables of objects from the West Virginia State Museum collection on display.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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