Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Sam Gleaves create a unique blend of the music they love from Appalachia as well as contemporary songs that keep alive the tradition of singing for social justice. Joining the trio tonight is Sheila Kay Adams, seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and claw-hammer banjo player.

Sheila Kay Adams sings traditional ballads brought from Scotland and England by her ancestors, plays clawhammer and Madison County two-finger style banjo and is a celebrated storyteller sharing stories about growing up in Madison County, NC. Traveling extensively here and abroad, she has received the North Carolina Heritage Award and the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award

Sheila Kay Adams


A seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and musician, Sheila Kay Adams was born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina, an area renowned for its unbroken tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing that dates back to the early Scots/Irish and English settlers in the mid-17th century. In September, 2013, Adams received the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts – the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award which recognizes folk and traditional artists for their artistic excellence and efforts to conserve America’s culture for future generations.

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer


GRAMMY® Award winners Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and Appalachian artist Sam Gleaves have built their programs on a musical friendship already five years old. Featuring the music they love from Appalachia as well as contemporary songs that keep alive the tradition of singing for social justice, they combine fiddle, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and guitar to accompany their honed trio harmonies or driving square dance tunes.Each live performance by the trio brings energy, entertainment and engaging stories that surround the songs. Their diverse influences, featuring original songs by Fink and Gleaves, old time country songs, songs written by celebrated songwriters Alice Gerrard, Tom Paxton, and Jim Beloff as well as new interpretations of songs from the repertoire of folk music matriarchs Elizabeth Cotten, Jean Ritchie and Maybelle Carter.

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are master musicians with a career spanning over 35 years. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the guitar, five-string banjo, ukulele, mandolin, cello-banjo, and many other instruments. An eclectic folk festival on their own terms, their repertoire ranges from classic country to western swing, gypsy jazz to bluegrass, and old-time string band to contemporary folk including some original gems. Their versatility defies a brief description. Perhaps “well rounded Americana” does it bes

Sam Gleaves


Born and raised in Wythe County in southwest Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam writes new songs in the Appalachian tradition, telling stories about love, the home place, working people and present social issues in the mountains. Appalachian author Lee Smith has deemed Sam as “courageous as hell and country to the bone . . . the best young songwriter around.” Sam’s music has been featured by National Public Radio, Kentucky Educational Television, West Virginia Public Radio, Appalshop’s WMMT FM, KEXP, Exclaim!, The Windy City Times, Sing Out!, The Bitter Southerner, and Still Journal.

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