Jerry Latell of Latell Sailmakers and his partners Lance Barton and Melanie Tennant in Deltaville have revived the local sailmaking tradition in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Latell owns and operates the only sail loft in Deltaville, once considered the wooden boatbuilding capital of the Chesapeake Bay.
Archives: folk festival 2010
Ray Rogers Virginia grew up in nearby Hacks Neck, on a waterfront farm where his family worked the land and the Chesapeake Bay. Ray became a Menhaden fisherman after his service in World War II, and soon became a boat captain.
Danny Bowden can trace his family back to the 1600s on Chincoteague and neighboring Assateague Island. Like many of his ancestors, Danny follows the seasons, gill netting for rockfish in the spring and fall, crabbing in the spring and summer, and guiding waterfowl hunters in the fall and winter, “taking whatever Mother Nature has to offer.”
Deborah Pratt’s parents first met while working in one of the many small oyster houses that dotted the Northern Neck coastline, and she has been shucking since 1976 when her sister Clementine Macon taught her.
Dudley has been in the oyster business for his entire life, and still lives beside his family’s oyster beds on the farm where he was born.
For more than one hundred years, the Butler family has been handcrafting wooden boats in Reedville. Situated between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers on Virginia’s Northern Neck, Reedville was established in 1874 as home base for a large menhaden fishery.
Grayson Chesser epitomizes the carving traditions of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The son of a game warden and hunter, and with family roots on the Eastern Shore dating back to the mid-1600s, he spent much of his childhood duck hunting in the marshes around the Chesapeake Bay and collecting hand-carved decoys.
Dale Jett is a native of Scott County, in deep Southwest Virginia. The son of Janette Carter and the grandson of A. P. and Sara Carter of the legendary Carter Family, his roots have been steeped within the heart of his family’s musical heritage.
Nat Reese is a stunning acoustic-blues singer who, at age eighty-six, plays with relentless passion and soul. Reese was born in Salem, Virginia, in 1924, but soon moved with his family to the coal camps of West Virginia. Nat learned songs from itinerant black musicians who rode the rails from one mountain coal camp to another.
Matthew Bright is a young musician from the Flatwoods community in Wise County, Virginia. He began playing bluegrass banjo as a kid when his dad bought him an old Sears and Roebuck Silvertone banjo. By age fifteen he was playing bluegrass gigs with his cousin Fiddlin’ Dale Kennedy’s band.