Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.
During a hot week in August, a group of musicians well known in bluegrass circles came together in a cabin in the North Carolina woods to record a winter holiday album. The album, called The Gathering, is now on the Grammy list for Best Folk Album.
The project came about when songwriter Laurelyn Dossett was commissioned to write a series of holiday songs by the North Carolina Symphony. She recruited a number of other bluegrass stars to perform the pieces with her. Rhiannon Giddens, singer, songwriter and fiddle player, is a founding member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Guitarist Joe Newberry picked up the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association Award for Best Gospel Song for “Singing as We Rise.” Mike Compton, mandolin, is a Grammy winning artist, and nominated IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year. Jason Sypher, upright bass, performs and records with Irish musicians such as Grammy winning vocalist Susan McKeown.
The other musicians brought their own holiday pieces into the mix to create the album and to perform in a live holiday concert. The group performs at the Carlisle Theatre on Friday, December 14th at 7:30.
Along with the six original songs of Laurelyn Dossett are new songs by Joe Newberry, a Bill Monroe mandolin solo called Old Ebenezer Scrooge re-created by Mike Compton, and some traditional holiday tunes in arrangements that bring an Appalachian flavor to the music.
Below you can hear our interview with some of the group. And tune in to witf on December 24 at 9 a.m. for a special edition of Radio Smart Talk which will feature the group as guests.
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