Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
Our newest album “Fees Ridge” was just released in January 2015. It has a mix of traditional mountain music and originals. We have been on tour for the last 6 weeks, started at Port Fairy, went to the Blue Mountains Folk Festival, National and our last show is at the Flying Saucer Club in Melbourne. We have had a great tour so far.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Maybe cornbread and beans, a Southern Appalachian mountain food staple. Our music is down home, country rooted, honest, what you see is what you get. And with a touch of Virginia moonshine kick.
Which song resonates most strongly and why?
Blue Ridge Mountain Lullaby is a song Martha wrote and we just recorded. It is song about her life and parents, growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the music and childhood.
Any on the road anecdotes?
We have made a lot of miles this trip and seen a lot of great friends and sights along the way. When we were in Yinnar, Victoria, we were driving back from a show and saw a koala bear in the middle of the road with a baby on its back! Martha jumped out of the car to take some photos until a cop car came behind us with its lights on and we had to move on. That was a pretty exciting experience!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of our music comes from local tradition and sources in the Appalachian Mountains. There is a big musical tradition and cultural heritage in Virginia where tunes, playing styles and songs are passed down in families, communities and generations. We both grew up in musical families and music & dancing has always been a big part of life. The Carter Family, Stanley Brothers, and Doc Watson all are from the same area and were influences. We also pull from old country like George Jones, bluegrass, and whatever music we like. Martha also enjoys writing a lot of songs that we perform.
What’s next for you?
When we get back to the States, our festival season will be getting into swing. We have shows and festivals lined up back in the States with the duo as well as the Whitetop Mountain Band and a few other projects in the works. Jackson will also be working on making some fiddles and archtop guitars!
What’s your scene?
Country roots, old time, bluegrass, folk, Americana scene Traditional plus :)
About Whitetop Mountaineers
For fans of American old time mountain music (and roots music lovers alike), the Whitetop Mountaineers from the hills of Virginia are the genuine article. Martha Spencer and Jackson Cunningham return to Australia by popular demand. On their previous 5 visits the duo stunned and delighted audiences across the country with their performance of American mountain music, song & dance – they are the ‘real deal’. Both are skilled multi-instrumentalists – Jackson on guitar, mandolin & claw hammer banjo, and Martha on fiddle, guitar & banjo.
They are both strong vocal performers and their close harmonies are indicative of the old time and bluegrass traditions from which they draw their repertoire. In addition to being a talented musician & singer, Martha is also an exceptional dancer and teacher of the art of Appalachian dance. There is no better way to spend a Sunday arvo than seeing one of the most finest international acts and one that will definitely wow you with their musicianship!
SUN 12TH APRIL, 2015
The Flying Saucer Club
RS – $27 + bf, GA – $20 + bf, Door: $22 (GA)
Doors open 3PM
For more info visit www.flyingsaucerclub.com.au
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