Workshops & Hosted Jams


2017 Workshop Schedule

All workshops are included in your admission.
Thank you to our expert panel of teachers!

Clawhammer Banjo
with Kirk Sutphin

Harmony Fiddle
with Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer

Freestyle Flatfooting
by Ruth Alpert and Rebecca Stout

Flatfooting, Buck Dancing and Clogging are related, but different styles, of foot percussion. Freestyle flatfooting is improvised, in which every dancer finds their own expression. I will start by teaching you some basic steps to get you going, and then we will focus on playing the tune with our feet!

Old-Time Mandolin
by Pat MacSwyney

The workshop will be geared for both novice and seasoned mandolin players alike. We will focus on applying fiddle-friendly ornament and chording to a classic breakdown from West Virginia Fiddler Henry Reed (1884-1968) and a 1930s-era rag from the repertoire of mandolin player Ted Hawkins from the seminal Georgia string band, The Skillet Lickers.

Old-Time Fiddle Tunes & Bowing
by David Bragger

This workshop is for all levels! The objective is to get the fiddler playing some incredible tunes with a focus on rhythm and interchangeable variations.  I’ll be drawing from a vast repertoire of Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina fiddle tunes that are rhythmic and easy to grasp. As always, my workshops emphasize the key ingredient to old-time fiddle: Bowing!! All workshop attendees will receive audio files of the tunes with phrase by phrase instruction.

Early Banjo Workshop
By Clarke Buehling

2017 Jam at the Festival

At the heart of any great old-time festival is the jamming! Fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, washtub basses, and other stringed instruments are picked, plucked, strummed and banged on in jams that vary in size, from 2 to 25 people!

Musicians are free to start old-time jams anywhere around the grounds. Additionally, there will be assigned areas for jams too. This year we’ll even have 5 hosted jams for musicians and beginners who are just breaking into the world of playing with others OR who simply want to meet new folks to make old-time music with!

Led Jam Sessions

Old-Time Jam
hosted by Skillet Licorice

West Virginia Old-Time Jam
hosted by Joe Wack

Old-Time Jam
hosted by TBA

Beginners Old-Time Jam
hosted by TBA

Old-Time Jam
hosted by TBA

Meet our talented teachers

Kirk Sutphin

Howard Rains

Tricia Spencer

Clarke Buehling

Pat MacSwyney is a Los Angeles based multi instrumentalist who plays Old-Time with The DEAD ROOSTER Memorial String Band; Traditional Jazz with The SWING RIOTS Quirktette; and Balkan with the eastern European women’s choir NEVENKA.

David Bragger, festival artistic director, teaches old-time fiddle, banjo and mandolin to students of all ages and levels. He is also the host of the Old Time Tiki Parlour which produces concerts, workshops, CDs and films by the best old-time musicians alive, including Kirk Sutphin, Dan Gellert, Bruce Molsky, Paul Brown, Bob Carlin, Eric & Suzy Thompson, Mike Compton, Joe Newberry, Scott Prouty, etc. David is in high demand as a fiddle teacher at festivals and has private students in four continents! He is renowned for his ability to break down tunes and bowing with ease and clarity. David also plays banjo, fiddle and mandolin in the old-time stringband Sausage Grinder and in several local dance bands.

Ruth Alpert has been flatfooting for 35 years. She has taught workshops, danced with old-time Appalachian string bands, busked (street performed) in various cities in at least 6 states, and is a two time National Champion in Senior Buck Dancing, 2013 and 2014. Currently, Ruth is the percussion section of The Honeysuckle Possums, an all-female string band playing original and traditional music.