This category contains 44 posts

Cary’s Classes at Swannanoa Online

Here is some more information about Cary’s singing classes at Swannanoa Gathering Online Old-Time Week, July 18-23, 2021. Click here to register: https://swangathering.com/register/information/

Cary Is Teaching Mountain Singing Classes at Swannanoa Gathering Online ~ July 18 – 23

I am excited to be part of Swannanoa Gathering Online this year! I will be teaching Ballads in Full Voice and WNC – A Sense of Place (singing songs from around Asheville). There are spaces available if you are interested, the classes are July 18 -23. https://swangathering.com/catalog/ot/old-time-week/



Cary is now offering online lessons via the Zoom video conferencing app. Sign up now via the Contact page at http://www.caryfridleymusic.com to receive Zoom lessons in Singing, Bass, Old-Time Guitar, Old-Time Banjo, Band Skills, and Creativity Coaching.

Photet at Wedge Studios May 12, 2019

Photet – Cary Fridley and Dave Perkins

Photet will be playing live music (weather permitting) Sunday May 12, 2019 from 5:30 – 8:30 at the Wedge Brewery. Come join us for some blues, jazz, and new originals while enjoying the best beer in Asheville.

Old-time Music with Kyle Smith Saturday 3-6PM

This Saturday at Jack of the Wood in Asheville, NC from 3 to 6PM, Dave Perkins and Cary Fridley will be playing guitar and bass with Kyle Smith on fiddle and Bill West on banjo.

Ashe County Lament – for Piano and Electronics by Paul Elwood

Thanks to Paul Ellwood for sending me this track of his modern classical music composition, featuring an electronically altered version of my voice singing (and speaking) “I’ve Always Been A Rambler.”

Live Music for a Good Cause!

I am excited to get to play the bass with The Red Hot Sugar Babies for a cool party coming up, please join us!

Fridley to Highlight TN/NC/VA Regional Mountain Songs at Steve Kaufman Trad Kamp This June 11-17

This June 11-17 for the singing class at Steve Kaufman’s Maryville, TN Kamp, we are only using traditional songs from the mountain areas of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.  It’s been a fun project picking the songs and realizing the patterns of sharing music up and down the mountains.

My favorite old-time recordings are the earliest examples of a traditional performance that I can find.  I have to wonder when and who made the first impression on the world through this special song. The earliest recordings to choose from are from the 1920s and 1930s, and sometimes folklorists’ accounts songs before the age of recordings.  Not surprisingly, the same names come up again and again, of both performers and of the most popular songs.

I was born in Covington, VA (near the center of the West Virginia line), and lived there until I went to college.  Since then I haven’t strayed too far from the southern Appalachians.  As the ballad singer Berzilla Wallin said, “I’ve traveled all over these mountains.”  My musical life has taken me to Eastern Kentucky, to teaching at ETSU for 3 years in Johnson City, TN near the Carter Family Homeplace, to 6 years living on the edge of the Smoky Mountain National Park in Bryson City, NC playing for the trains,  to 20+ years of festivals like Clifftop, WV and Mount Airy, NC, and now to beautiful Asheville for 17 years, home of folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford, not far from the famous traditional ballad singers still living in Madison County.  After all these years of going and singing and playing and dancing and being a music history nerd, I’ve noticed there are some songs you hear a lot, and when you look up who sang them first, you find some key groups that tend to stand out.

In the Clinch Valley in Virginia, The Carter Family catalog is a great representation of old songs from that area.  They recorded more than 300 songs together.  AP Carter collected the songs, travelling to visit with singers near his home to learn from them, like Leslie Riddle in Burnsville, NC.  Later the Stanley Brothers (also from Clinch Valley) sang a lot of the same songs, and some more that they knew from growing up there.  A little west of there is Ashe County, home of the 78 recording artists Grayson & Whitter, who recorded over 40 songs together in the 1920’s and 30’s.  Not far is Galax and Mount Airy, homes to famous fiddlers conventions, and Deep Gap, home of Doc Watson.  Songs, songs, and more songs.

There are still spaces left in the class, so please join us if you are interested: http://www.flatpik.com/Steve-Kaufman-Acoustic-Kamp.  Our goal is to meet every day and sing the songs of the mountains, try to ring the hills with the familiar sounds of their favorite songs.

~Cary Fridley

Excited to sing at the 16th Annual Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival in Palestine, TX March 23-25 2017

palestaine-dulcimer-festivalI’ll be heading to Palestine, Texas this March for the first time to participate in this year’s Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival.  I hope to see some old friends from the Freight Hoppers days and get in some good singing.  Here is a rundown of the weekend’s festivities.

Special Thursday Evening Concert – Ann Kirrane will emcee a variety program with guest performers featuring songs and tunes that emphasize the age-old musical and cultural connections between Ireland, England and America. It will be a fun night!

Friday and Saturday Schedule.  
9:00 to 10:15 AM             Workshop/Jams
10:45 to12:00 noon         Workshop/Jams
12 Noon to 1:15 PM          Break for Lunch
1:30 to 2:30 PM Day        Concerts
2:45 to 4 PM                      Workshop/Jams
4:00 to 6:45 PM                Free Time & Dinner
6:45 to 10:05 PM              Evening Concerts
10:05 PM till….                 Jamming

Other musical guests include:

THE DOVE BROTHERS (Sound guys extraordinaire and rock and roll)

DAVID AND ANNETTE LINDSEY (hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer pioneers)

MARSHA HARRIS (gifted mountain dulcimer and bowed dulcimer, lovely lady)

LLOYD AND APRIL WRIGHT(my own gifted and talented son and daughter in law)

DANA AND JUDY HAMILTON (champion hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer trailblazers)

ANNE KIRRANE (Irish concertina player)

ROGER DIGBY (English concertina player)

CARY FRIDLEY (Old time vocalist, guitar, and bass player from the original Freighthoppers)

ALICE GERRARD (Vocalist, guitar, fiddle, and 2015 Grammy nominee)


KAY JUSTICE (Vocalist)

STEPHEN SEIFERT (Mountain dulcimer)

GARY GALLIER (Mountain dulcimer)

RICK THUM (Hammered dulcimer)


CASSANDRA DAMPER (Texas State Champion and 2nd Place National Mountain Dulcimer Champion)

The Wright Family (Mountain dulcimer, banjo, banjo uke, mandolin, bass, fiddle, guitar, vocalists)

STEVE AND SHERYL HARTZ (Fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, historians)

Hope to see you there!