In an old-time ensemble the guitar plays a crucial role by providing a solid rhythmic base in support of the fiddle, banjo, and vocals. If you know a handful of basic chords and can hold on to a flat pick, then you are ready for this class. Topics will include: boom-chuck rhythm, chord choices for fiddle tunes and songs in the common keys of C, G, D, A, and E, bass notes and runs, keeping time, tuning, learning to listen, different right-hand techniques to achieve a variety of rhythmic patterns, and putting it all together to play rock-solid, back-up guitar in an old-time string band. Bring a tuner, capo, flat pick, and extra strings.
Phil Jamison is a nationally-known dance caller, old-time musician, and flatfoot dancer. He has called dances, performed, and taught at music festivals and dance events throughout the U.S. and overseas since the early 1970s, including more than thirty-five years as a member of the Green Grass Cloggers. His flatfoot dancing was featured in the film, Songcatcher, for which he also served as Traditional Dance consultant. From 1982 through 2004, he toured and played guitar with Ralph Blizard and the New Southern Ramblers, and he also plays fiddle and banjo.
Over the last thirty years, Phil has done extensive research in the area of Appalachian dance, and his recently-published book Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance (University of Illinois Press, 2015) tells the story behind the square dances, step dances, reels, and other forms of dance practiced in southern Appalachia. Phil teaches traditional music and dance at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina, where for twenty-five years he served as coordinator of the Old-Time Music and Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering.