Explore the Roots of Old Time Music and Square Dance with Raleigh’s Southern String Band

Raleigh’s Southern String Band

Come Hear NC! As the North Carolina Arts Council promotes the Year of Music, come enjoy old-time tunes and music by Raleigh’s Southern String Band, Thursday, April 25, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh, at a free “Thursday Talk.” 

Raleigh native and fiddler Michael Southern will talk about tune sources, learning old time music, and the nature of the old-time music community. Bass player Ron Raxter will discuss the ballad “Wreck of the Old 97,” give a clogging demonstration, and call a square dance. Get your dancing shoes on! The Southern String Band is a group of 12 friends who have gathered weekly to play since 2001.

Michael Southern has loved traditional American music since boyhood, but he did not take up an instrument until age 25, when he began learning the fiddle from old recordings, older fiddlers, and younger musicians in the Triangle’s lively old-time revival community. The music has been a steady source of fun and friendships ever since. He recently retired after more than 40 years as an architectural historian with the State Historic Preservation Office of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

Ron Raxter was a founder of the Apple Chill Cloggers while in law school but did not take up an instrument until age 26, when he learned the bass fiddle while playing with musicians for the Cloggers. That experience led to a lifetime of involvement with roots music. He is also a founder of PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, which produces Raleigh's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. Raxter retired after almost 40 years of practicing law and now plays music as much as possible.

For additional information about the free program, please call (919) 814-6655.The program was organized by the NCDCR EEO Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

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