Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 10 November 2012 19:27

Rhys Jones, Jeff Miller and Jim Nelson 11/10/12

Jim Nelson, Rhys Jones and Jeff Miller at 88.1 KDHX Jim Nelson, Rhys Jones and Jeff Miller at 88.1 KDHX Joe O'Toole
Written by Glen Herbert
Rate this item
(4 votes)

About this Media...

  • Date Recorded: November 10, 2012
  • Artist / Band: Rhys Jones, Jeff Miller and Jim Nelson
  • Hosting Show: Down Yonder
  • Sound: Dan Kinney

Today we call the kind of music that Rhys Jones, Jeff Miller and Jim Nelson play old-time music, though that wasn't always the case.

Streaming Audio

Prior to the 1920s, it was just called music, and it came to America with the English, Scottish, Irish and German settlers. In the United States, the music naturally kept growing, changing and evolving, creating a number of variant styles throughout Appalachia. In time, musical styles throughout the eastern United States were as unique and clustered as English accents are even today. You could tell, within a few miles at times, where a player was from just by hearing him play.

The old-time style that you are most likely to hear today is the Round Peak style, a highly influential music that comes from Surry County, North Carolina. Rhys Jones, Jeff Miller and Jim Nelson are in the direct lineage of the Round Peak players. They play lots of classic tunes, including "Blackberry Blossom" and "Red Bird," and they remain close to the traditional style. Up front is the fiddle, taking the melody and embellishing it through bow work and all those beautiful drones. The banjo is played clawhammer, and supports the syncopation of the fiddle melody. The guitar is largely relegated to a back seat, mostly providing rhythm for the fiddle and banjo.

What's wonderful about the music, though -— and I realize that this might take a bit of a leap of imagination for the uninitiated —- is the subtlety. Slight variations have meaning. The social aspects of the music are what make it truly unique, and perhaps are the reasons that the music persists today. You are more likely to see Jones, Miller and Nelson playing music for dancers than a seated audience. And while they are a delight to hear on a recording, the best case is to be in the room with them live. When they come to town, you owe it to yourself to go check them out and, if so moved, to get up and dance along.

All photos by Joe O'Toole.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Tuesday
14

KDHX Get Down to Business Series: How to Land, and Nail, an Interview

KDHX and Arcade Apartments present the Get Down to Business series at the Stage. Get Down to Business is a series of professional development presentations geared towards the St. Louis arts community. On Tuesday, July 14th, at 7...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 11461 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook