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John Boulware.com » Blog Archive » Appalachian String Band Music Festival - Clifftop, WV

Appalachian String Band Music Festival - Clifftop, WV


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Hi there. I just got back from the Appalachian String Band Music Festival in West Virginia (a festival commonly known as ‘Clifftop’). It is quite possibly the largest old-time music festival in the South-Eastern United States. This was a truly incredible experience for me.

People came from all over the world to join together in what I think is some of the world’s greatest music. At first I was surprised when I heard that people had come from as far as Pennsylvania and Minnesota, but then I met people who had driven from Canada, and even flown from Australia! It was amazing to see so many different people who were so passionate about this great music.

There were several contest categories throughout the week. I ended up competing in the Traditional Fiddle category, but there were so many awesome players there (I think about 90 fiddlers in the contest) that I didn’t get my hopes up too much. It was truly interesting to see the different styles of playing between the people from different regions. Some tunes that were common in one region would be unheard of in others. Also, certain stylistic traits or “licks” would vary from region to region. Needless to say, I picked up all the licks I could here.

I saw several familiar friends at the festival, but I also made lots of new friends. Again, just about every aspect of the festival was a great experience for me. I had a lot of fun and learned so much. I am definitely going back next year, and I would recommend it to anybody. I’ll be posting some pictures soon so keep checking back. If you have any questions about my trip feel free to email me.

4 Responses to “Appalachian String Band Music Festival - Clifftop, WV”

  1. Brad Waggoner Says:

    I was at Clifftop too. We arrived on Saturday before the festival began and camped there for 8 days. It was my first Clifftop, but it won’t be my last. You are right there were people from so many different places. I too play the fiddle and was humbled by the amount of talent that was in attendance.

  2. eh Says:

    JL: I’m sure the music was great, BUT…..how did you like my native land? Clifftop is just a few miles from my home town of Summersville.

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