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If there's a North Carolinian who is most familiar with the folktales and folk music of the South, it's David Holt. A Grammy Award winner, Holt plays ten acoustic instruments and has released several recordings of traditional mountain music and southern folk tales.
Holt is a regular participant of the annual National Storytelling Festival . In addition to Folkways, he has hosted The Nashville Network's Fire On the Mountain, Celebration Express, American Music Shop, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Riverwalk: Classic Jazz From the Landing.
His music albums include I Got A Bullfrog: Folksongs For the Fun Of It and Grandfather's Greatest Hits, which received a 1992 Grammy Award nomination for "Best Traditional Folk Recording."
Holt spent his early years in Garland Texas and moved with his family to Pacific Palisades, California when he was in junior high school. He and his family would share stories about their Texas forefathers and began collecting folktales while he searched for mountain music to play. In 1968, Carl Sprague, the first of the recorded singing cowboys, taught him to play the harmonica and relayed several old-time cowboy stories.
After graduating from the University of Santa Barbara magna cum laude in Biology and Art, Holt returned to the Southeastern mountains to pursue his interest in traditional music and storytelling. He moved to western North Carolina and began discovering a wealth of folk culture including music and stories, which he began integrating into his concerts. In 1975, he founded and directed the Appalachian Music Program at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, teaching traditional music and dance.
David Holt's audiences are familiar with his banjo playing and tunes, interspersed with homespun tales and real-life stories. He involves his spectators in his performances, awing them with his talent on several instruments, including the slide guitar, squeeze box, guitar, harmonica and others; teaching them to play the paper bag; and energizing them with his clogging.