The best country picks, Jan. 11

CorrespondentJanuary 10, 2013 


A detail shot of fiddle. Credit: Lukas Johnson

LUCAS P. JOHNSON — Charlotte Observer File Photo

  • Other highlights: • Blues legend Rory Block performs tonight at the ArtsCenter (see story, page 6D). On Thursday, Carolina Lightning plays bluegrass at Durham’s Blue Note Grill.

The fiddle has a long history from the medieval era through modern country music. Brought to these shores by immigrants from the British Isles, the instrument joined the African-derived banjo to provide entertainment for community gatherings and dances. By the early 20th century, the fiddle was the center of string-band music, finding its way to live radio broadcasts and 78 rpm recordings by such masters as Fiddlin’ John Carson. Although dubbed the “devil’s box” by some Southerners who thought it conjured sin and temptation, the fiddle carried over into bluegrass and country music. Friday and Saturday, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Southern Folklife Collection will host a symposium and concert featuring the fiddle’s history, contributions and styles. Friday’s concert at Memorial Hall will showcase Byron Berline, Matt Glaser and Emily Schaad. Lectures and discussion Saturday will take place in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library. Details and tickets to the concert: (919) 843-3333 or see News & Events at

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