The State Folklorist’s Notebook: “Only limited by the size of the tree and your imagination”: Charles Steven Adams of Martinsburg

The State Folklorist’s Notebook is a regular column written by state folklorist Emily Hilliard for Goldenseal Magazine. This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue. Charles Steven (“Steve”) Adams spent almost 40 years as a social worker dealing, as he says, “with people and their problems.” When he was in his mid-50s and nearing retirement, Steve started carving…

McArts and West Virginia Folklife Present July 8 Concert with Elaine Purkey in Kimball

On the evening of Saturday, July 8, McArts, a McDowell County Fine Arts Organization, and The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, will present a concert with West Virginia activist songwriter and musician Elaine Purkey. The 7:00 p.m. event will be held at Ya’sou Greek Restaurant at 138 Main St. in Kimball and is free and open to the public.

Field Notes: Doris Fields aka “Lady D”

Doris A. Fields, aka Lady D, known as “West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul” is an R&B, soul, and blues musician and songwriter living in Beckley. She is the founder and organizer of West Virginia’s Simply Jazz and Blues Festival and previously hosted the weekly Simply Jazz and Blues radio show on Groovy94 in Beckley. In 2008, Fields’ original song “Go Higher” won an online contest sponsored by the Obama Music Arts and Entertainment Group. She performed the song as a headliner at the Obama for Change Inauguration Ball with President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama in attendance.

Building a Broom by Feel: An Interview with James Shaffer

At 87, James Shaffer of Charleston Broom & Mop Co. in Loudendale is the last handmade commercial broom maker in West Virginia. We worked with West Virginia Public Broadcasting to produce a radio & video mini-documentary about Shaffer and the changes he’s seen in his 70 years in the broom industry.

Field Notes: Carol Dougherty

Carol Dougherty is an elder in Wheeling’s Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church. She was born in Wheeling, WV in 1938 and was raised by her grandparents, who were immigrants from Lebanon. She is a traditional Lebanese home cook, a member of Our Lady of Lebanon Women’s Society, and will be teaching a folk dance and dubke class for children at Our Lady of Lebanon’s 84th annual Mahrajan Festival in August 2017.

Field Notes: Sam Rizzetta

Sam Rizzetta is a dulcimer designer, builder, and musician who moved to West Virginia in the early 1970s. He was a member of the string band Trapezoid and founded the hammer dulcimer playing classes at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis & Elkins College. He has built dulcimers for musicians including John McCutcheon, Guy Carawan, and Sam Herrmann (read our Field Notes with her). Rizzetta now collaborates with the Dusty Strings Company who build hammer dulcimers based on his designs. He lives with his wife Carrie Rizzetta in Berkeley County, WV.