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JOE PENLAND Appearing Sun Oct 23rd 2016 at 7:30pm

$10 in advance

$12 at the door

Deep in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina there's a front porch that has been the destination of many folk who love these mountains, it's music and stories. Grammy winners and kids with their first guitar, banjo or fiddle, Hollywood producers, writers, and folk music collectors from all over the world, have made their way to the place Joe Penland simply calls "the farm". An invitation ain't that easy to get.

Joe has been singing the ballads and telling the stories over half a century, but says with enthusiasm: "Privacy is pretty precious." And he has maintained that for a long time now. Occasionally coming out of "the shelter of these mountains" to sing at some festival or other, until recently he has been content to do it on the porch after the work is done.

Deemed a "Cultural Treasure" by The Asheville Citizen Times, and the recipient of the coveted Bascom Lunsford Award (named for the founder of the longest running folk festival in America), Joe preferred the simple life of hard work and family.

Joe Penland was born and raised in rural Madison County NC, in the Appalachian Mountains of NC.  He is the proud steward of twelve generations and over 350 years of the rich oral tradition of his Scotch and English ancestors.

From his birth, he has listened to and learned the stories and “love songs” these travelers brought with them across the ocean, then southwest to the narrow coves and high meadows that many consider the richest repository of Great Britain's folk songs in the world .

He inherited the instruments of his grandfather who died long before his birth and was taught to play by his Aunts. He learned the “love songs” from them and the great singers of Sodom Laurel. Thee singers include Lee, Berzilla, Doug and Cas Wallin and Berzilla’s sister and brother Dellie Norton and Lloyd Chandler.

Joe was content to continue this tradition in his front room, the porch or campfires of his secluded farm. His daughter Laurin along with lifelong friends Sheila Adams, Mary Eagle and David Holt convinced him to share his life and music with a broader audience. Since then, he has appeared at numerous festivals, toured Great Britain eight times, and has been awarded the coveted Bascom Lunsford Award, named for his cousin and founder of the longest running folk festival in America, for his “significant contribution to preserving our mountain music."

Determined that folk music includes the present as well as the past, Joe writes and sings his own “love songs," which he calls “just more stories of love and life here in the mountains."

Whether singing the traditional ballads of the mountains of western North Carolina or performing his original and stirring folk songs, Joe Penland's music offers an honesty and power that is a testament to both his unique character and our shared humanity.