Mack Samples is a well-known folklorist, musician and square dance caller. A native West Virginian, he has spent his entire life learning, collecting and sharing the traditional stories, songs, dances and folk culture of the Mountain State. He is well known in Appalachian music and literature circles and has traveled the folk festival circuit for a number of years as a singer, guitarist, fiddler and square dance caller. Samples is a regular at the Vandalia Gathering, the West Virginia State Folk Festival and the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee, both as a member of the popular Samples Brothers band and as a solo performer. He is the author of four books set in West Virginia, and he has written a number of newspaper columns and magazine articles on a variety of subjects related to the traditional folk arts. Photograph by Michael Keller.