The festival celebrates the life and music of Charlie Poole and his bandmates, The North Carolina Ramblers. Poole was a pioneer in music and an early entertainer in the country and bluegrass music genres. Poole and the band went to New York City in 1925, auditioned for Columbia Records, and recorded four tracks for the label. Poole played banjo and performed songs that are creeping back into notice such as "White House Blues."
In 1931, Poole was supposed to write and record music for a film, but died of heart failure before he could make the trip to Hollywood. His legacy is carried forward through the music of the new North Carolina Ramblers and their leader, Kinney Rorrer. The band makes use of the sounds of the original band, including banjo and other stringed instruments popular in the 1920’s. Rorrer and his brother, Doug, are nephews of Poole. The group continues to focus on old-time music. Don't miss it - visit www.charlie-poole.com for more info and to buy your tickets
Through the years, this event has featured many of the legends in Americana music – Mike Seeger, Norman & Nancy Blake, Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, the Osborne Brothers, Alice Gerrard, Tony Trischka, and Bryan Bowers – as well as some of the brightest stars of today – The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Wiyos, and Uncle Earl – all in honor of a true icon in American music – Charlie Poole.
This year we are proud to welcome David Holt, Grammy-winning master musician and storyteller, who will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Join us in historic Eden, North Carolina - the place where Poole and his North Carolina Ramblers worked in the textile mills when not out rambling and making music that would live forever.
The Charlie Poole Music Festival, now celebrating its 19th year, is a project of Piedmont Folk Legacies, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and preserve the musical and cultural legacy of the Piedmont region and to celebrate its influence on the development of American vernacular music, as exemplified by Charlie Poole. The festival is held each year on the second weekend of June in Eden, North Carolina, home and final resting place of Poole. Fans come from far and wide to celebrate the special contribution that Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers made to American music.
Also a project of Piedmont Folk Legacies is the development of the National Banjo Center. Proposed facets of this center would include permanent and changing exhibits, an archival repository for banjos and related materials and documents, classroom space for workshops and music instruction, a performance theater, recording studio, and incubator space for music instrument makers. The center is to be housed in the historic textile mill complex where Charlie Poole worked.