Debuting on PBS stations in April, David Holt’s State Of Music features the namesake four-time Grammy winner interviewing and playing tunes with modern masters of traditional music in the Southern mountains and their foothills. The new series features Balsam Range and Bryan Sutton prominently. Available to public television stations nationally, the series will expose millions of viewers to today’s bluegrass and traditional music, since 2,200,000 watch the average PBS program.
The first season also presents Rhiannon Giddens, the breakout star from Carolina Chocolate Drops and the New Basement Tapes, along with old-time fiddle virtuoso Bruce Molsky, multifaceted musician and ballad singer Josh Goforth, and African-American gospel torch bearers Lena Mae Perry and Wilbur Tharpe who perform as The Branchettes. Screened at the 2015 Bluegrass Film Festival in Raleigh, the original one-hour David Holt’s State Of Music earned a nomination for best Documentary/Cultural in the Mid-South Regional Emmy Awards.
Holt described the concept. “Our goal is to get people fired up about mountain and bluegrass music. We are eager to broaden the audience. We thought the best way to do this was to present tremendous musicians who are getting ready to ‘break through’ on a national level. Rhiannon Giddens and Balsam Range are both good examples of that. We also wanted the television audience to hear several songs from each performer or group, all the way through without interruption. On most TV shows, the artist plays about thirty seconds, then the host starts talking over the music. We wanted a show that really featured the music.” Read entire article »