2022 Appalachian Heritage Festival – Saturday, September 24
The Appalachian Heritage Festival at Shepherd University was founded 26 years ago. Over that time, thousands of community members, schoolchildren, and students have been introduced to the diverse culture of Appalachia and our state through workshops, lectures, and concert performances by our region’s most outstanding artists, historians, and cultural ambassadors. This year’s Festival will offer a great FREE series of events on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
The Schedule of events for Saturday include:
- 11 a.m.—Community Sing, Reynolds Hall, 109 N. King Street, Shepherdstown. Shared singing is an important part of Appalachian traditional culture. Join us for songs and learn a little about the stories they tell. Free and open to the public. Donations accepted.
- 12:30 p.m., Contemporary Appalachian Songwriting: A Conversation with Olivia Ellen Lloyd, Reynolds Hall. Lloyd’s first album has garnered critical acclaim and earned her recognition as one of the most significant emerging voices in Americana music. Get a sneak peek into the process and mind of a songwriter as well as hear some of the songs that inspire her. Free and open to the public. Donations accepted.
- 2 p.m. Film Screening of “Those That Came Before” followed by a discussion with filmmaker Lady D, Reynolds Hall. “Those That Came Before” is a 45-minute documentary-style look into the musical history and heritage of Black West Virginians featuring interviews with artists such as jazz musician Bob Thompson and poet Crystal Good. Free and open to the public.
- 3:30 p.m. —”Fiddle and Banjo Music in West Virginia,” Reynolds Hall. Clifftop, Vandalia, and Galax champion-musicians Tessa Dillon, Cody Jordan, and Andy FitzGibbon will share an overview of the unique fiddle and banjo traditions of West Virginia.
- 7 p.m.— “Showcase Concert: Women’s Voices in Appalachia,” Butcher Center Plaza. Bring your favorite lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an outdoor concert featuring The State Birds, Lady D, and Olivia Ellen Lloyd. Free and open to the public. Donations accepted. In case of inclement weather, the concert will move into the Frank Arts Center Theater.
About the Festival artists:
The State Birds are the next iteration of West Virginia’s traditional music scene. Composed of Kanawha Valley musicians Tessa Dillon, Cody Jordan, Andy FitzGibbon, and Nick Blake. The State Birds have learned from some of West Virginia’s most legendary string band players including Bobby Taylor, Kim Johnson, Jake Krack, and more. Last month, Tessa placed first in the fiddle contest at Clifftop String Band Festival as well as at the Vandalia Gathering fiddle contest in 2019, and her band won 1st place in the traditional band competition at Clifftop in 2019 and 2nd place in 2022.
Soul and blues artist Doris Fields, better known as Lady D, grew up in Cabin Creek, West Virginia, as the daughter of a coal miner. She grew up singing in the church but found that music would be a lifelong passion. As part of her love for the blues, she wrote a one-woman play about Bessie Smith that she has toured for more than 17 years and loves teaching about how the blues have profoundly influenced American popular music. She has been a mentor in the West Virginia Humanities Council Folklife Apprenticeship Program and released five CDs including 2020’s Disturbing My Peace. Recently she completed a documentary-style look into the musical history and heritage of Black West Virginians. The video features interviews with artists such as jazz musician Bob Thompson and poet Crystal Good.
A third-generation musician and native daughter of Shepherdstown, Olivia Ellen Lloyd is a rising star of the alt-country/Americana movement whose poetic lyrics, powerful voice, and driving rhythms leave audiences wanting more. Olivia’s original songs proudly draw from her experiences growing up in West Virginia. Her intellect and her heart are on full display in her acclaimed debut album Loose Cannon. Don’t miss Olivia as she shares original songs and some classics from some of the legendary women of country music.