Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus

Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus
Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus
Appalachian old-time
“Two of the most visionary old-time musicians today. A joy to listen to and discover. Depth that is so often lacking these days in any genre.” – Bluegrass Situation
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Concert at 7:30 pm
Free Children’s Program at 6:00 pm
Calvary Center
801 South 48th Street
(at Baltimore Avenue)
Philadelphia, PA 19143
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Children’s Program

Children’s programs begin at 6:00, last 30-40 minutes, and are free to children under 12 and their parents or other caregivers. Unless otherwise noted, they take place at the same location as the concert. Seating is first come, first served.

Please note: children must be accompanied by parents or other adults at all times as we do not have the staff or legal clearences to supervise unaccompanied children.


Dirk Powell has expanded on the deeply rooted sounds of his Appalachian heritage to become one of the preeminent traditional American musicians of his generation, displaying a vibrant creative energy that crosses many boundaries while remaining grounded in the rural traditions of his heritage. His formal musical training, deep-running roots, and dedication to self-expression as a necessary part of life combine to make him one of the most important artists in America today. In his early teens, Dirk formed a musical bond with his grandfather, James Clarence Hay of Sandy Hook, Kentucky. Here Dirk discovered a personal resonance with traditions that stretch back to Scots-Irish ancestors who came to the mountains in the middle of the 18th century, and, in continuation of this line, learned banjo and fiddle firsthand. His live performances of powerful Appalachian music with The Dirk Powell Band have inspired audiences across the globe in venues ranging from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music thorough Berkley’s Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center to the Eastman Conservatory in Rochester. While best known as a oldtime musician, Dirk is also an accomplished fiddler in the Cajun tradition and performs with his wife Christine Balfa (the daughter of the legendary Dewey Balfa) in the band Balfa Toujours

In addition to acclaimed releases on Rounder Records, Powell has recorded and performed with artists such as Loretta Lynn, Jack White, Levon Helm, T-Bone Burnett, Ralph Stanley, and Linda Ronstadt. He was featured as part of “The Great High Mountain Tour,” an outgrowth of the Academy Award-winning film Cold Mountain, for which he acted on screen, arranged traditional material, and served as musical advisor and consultant. Other dramatic films featuring his performances include Ang Lee’s Ride With The Devil, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, and Edward Burns’ The Brothers McMullen. He has also scored including the award-winning films Stranger With a Camera, The Unfinished Civil War, and Thoughts in the Presence of Fear. He also appeared in the BBC/RTE documentary series “The Irish Empire” as an expert on the culture of early Scots-Irish immigrants to Appalachia. He recently collaborated on a fusion of Appalachian music and Hip Hop with Richmond producer/rapper Danja Mowf for the film From the Holler to the Hood, which explores tension between guards and inmates in the new maximum-security prisons in Appalachia.

Riley Baugus is a North Carolina native who began singing and playing music at an early age. He grew up attending the Regular Baptist church, where unaccompanied singing was a strong tradition, began playing the fiddle at age 10, and switched to playing the guitar. By the time he was 12, he and his father built a banjo from scrap wood and he once again began to learn another instrument. As a teenager, Riley honed his musical skills with close friend and neighbor, fiddler Kirk Sutphin and by visiting elder traditional musicians in and around Grayson County, Virginia and Surry County, North Carolina. He often visited, played with, and learned from fiddlers Tommy Jarrell (a National Heritage Award recipient) and Robert Sykes and from banjo player Dix Freeman. During these visits he also met and learned from many other traditional musicians of the area, including former Camp Creek Boys Verlin Clifton and Paul Sutphin.

Riley has played with numerous old-time stringbands, including The Red Hots, Backstep, and the Old Hollow Stringband, and currently plays with the Dirk Powell Band and Polecat Creek. He teaches banjo, guitar, and fiddle at music camps throughout the US and tours regularly with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien and with Ira Bernstein. Recently, Riley worked with the Lonesome Sisters, both as producer and performer, on their CD Going Home Shoes. His singing is featured on the soundtrack to the recent Academy Award winning film Cold Mountain. He makes his home near Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Dirk Powell
Riley Baugus