A native West Virginian from a family that includes a long line of talented musicians, Bob Kessinger has won numerous awards at competitions and festivals around the state for his artistry on the mandolin. The nephew of famed fiddler Clark Kessinger, he was an outspoken advocate for the preservation and promotion of traditional music and culture. Kessinger was born in 1926 and grew up listening to his father and uncle play music. He learned to play the banjo and mandolin at an early age. His sons Robin and Dan have followed in his footsteps. Bob passed away in 2005. Photograph by Michael Keller.