Arts & Culture

Noted Old-Time Musicians Team Up for Concert


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2009) - Legendary singer/songwriter Alice Gerrard will join well-known old-time duo Carl Jones and Beverly Smith for the next concert presented as part of "Appalachia in the Bluegrass." The free public concert is scheduled for noon Friday, Nov. 13, in the Niles Gallery of the University of Kentucky's Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

In a career spanning some 40 years, Alice Gerrard has known, learned from and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. She is particularly known for her groundbreaking collaboration with Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and '70s. The duo produced four classic LPs, recently reissued by Rounder on CD, and influenced scores of women singers — even The Judds. Gerrard's first solo album, "Pieces of My Heart," was released on the Copper Creek label in 1995 to critical acclaim in Billboard, Bluegrass Unlimited, New Country and other publications. This recording showcases Gerrard’s many talents: compelling, eclectic songwriting; powerful, hard-edged vocals; and her instrumental mastery on rhythm guitar and banjo. To hear samples of Gerrard's music, visit

As a musician, Gerrard has appeared on more than 20 recordings, including projects with many traditional musicians such as Tommy Jarrell, Enoch Rutherford, Otis Burris, and Matokie Slaughter; as an expert with in-depth knowledge of mountain music, she has produced or written liner notes for a dozen more. Gerrard also co-produced and appeared in two documentary films. A tireless advocate of traditional music, she has won numerous honors, including an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement Award, a Virginia Arts Commission Award, the North Carolina Folklore Society’s Tommy Jarrell Award and an Indy Award.

In 1987 Gerrard founded the Old-Time Music Group, a nonprofit organization that oversees publication of The Old-Time Herald. She served as editor-in-chief of The Old-Time Herald from 1987 to 2003.

Together Beverly Smith and Carl Jones have appeared on the traditional music scene at festivals, on recordings, at contests and dances, and in various bands and formations playing just about anything with strings or tossing in vocal harmonies. In their recordings they bring years of experience in the art of the duet. To hear Smith and Jones perform "Somewhere Over Yonder" from the duo's CD of the same name, visit online at

Smith, one of the most respected guitar players in old-time music today, is also in demand as a singer, fiddler and dance caller. She has made numerous recordings backing up fiddlers, vocalizing with Irish musicians, and singing with bluegrass great Laurie Lewis. Smith also plays with old-time band The Rockinghams and has shared her knowledge of the bluegrass music form by teaching and playing many camps and folk festivals.

Jones, who often plays as part of a duo with James Bryan, can sometimes be found pickin' as a part of a trio with Bruce Green and Don Pedi. He also has toured with Norman and Nancy Blake playing the mandolin, banjo and fiddle. Jones, whose songs have been recorded by the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Rickie Simpkins and others, has served as an instructor at Pinewoods, Port Townsend's Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Mars Hill Old Time Week and the Swannanoa Gathering. 

The "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series, presented by UK's John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, showcases a diverse selection of traditional musical expression. This series focuses on the many faces of indigenous American folk music, celebrating its roots in old-time music. All "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concerts take place in the gallery of the Niles Center in the Little Fine Arts Library on UK's central campus. Niles Gallery concerts are scheduled on Fridays at noon and are free and open to the public.

The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center of the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music, and UK Libraries, is the host of the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass."  

For more information on the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert featuring Alice Gerrard, Carl Jones and Beverly Smith, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by phone at (859) 257-8183 or e-mail to