Long before country and bluegrass conquered the world, the music from little communities of farmers and then of miners from the east of the USA already made people dance and dream. This rural music became widely accepted in the beginning of the twentieth century under the name Hillbilly music, and later “old-time”. Its origins are to be found in the European and African folk traditions, where many dances, ballads and other songs were also created.
In the USA – and more recently in Western Europe – we have been witnessing for several years the emergence of a new generation of old-time musicians. It’s also the case in Belgium, where a nest of musicians made themselves known and offered a musical revival. This phenomenon also allowed contacts over the borders, with the result that several artists from across the borders will stand on the podium during the American Roots Night. Prepare yourselves for an exciting night, travelling from West Virginia ballads to the dance music from the Stringbands, passing through revisited classics or original compositions.
The Belgo-American contrabassist and singer Annick Odom, who mainly plays in the Netherlands, has been exploring for years the music from the Appalachians, learning songs from the previous generation’s musicians. In her solo ‘West Virginia, My Home’, she combines the melodies and ballads with storytelling. Hills of Belgium, Lorcan Fahy (violin, vocals) and Jeremy Fraboni (banjo, vocals), are the Belgian ambassadors from the Belgian mountain music, as evidenced by their EP ‘Hills of Mexico’. Leo Divary and the Pig Society are the French reference for American Roots Music. With singer Leo Dibary, they have an outstanding singer who navigates without fail between her French roots and the music for the Appalachians.