Kinney Rorrer grew up listening to the old Victrola 78rpm records that his dad’s uncles, Charlie Poole and Posey Rorer, made with the well known old time musician Charlie Poole in the 1920’s. He was inspired by that music to take up the banjo, playing in the Charlie Poole style. Kinney and his brother Doug sought out musicians who played with Charlie Poole to learn the music and lore that went with that style of old-time music. They were fortunate to get to play with the likes of Lonnie Austin and Norman Woodlieff who had recorded with Charlie Poole. Kinney has written extensively about the region;s old time music as well as hosting “Back to the Blue Ridge,” a staple on WVTF public radio for over 25 years.
Wayne and Margaret Martin add fiddle and guitar to Kinney Rorrer’s banjo playing to create the sounds of the string bands that flourished in the piedmont and foothills of North Carolina and Virginia. The Martins learned directly from older musicians throughout North Carolina and performed with the late Etta Baker, A.C. Overton, Lauchlin Shaw, Algia Mae Hinton and Joe and Odell Thompson, among others. Wayne has produced influential recordings of traditional artists as well as recording with Margaret on “ Birdie,” with the late Craig Johnson, and “Happy Valley Pals,” with Gail Gillespie and Dwight Rogers.