folkways episodes
The Banjo
Host David Holt examines the origins of this popular southern instrument while sharing some of its most faithful local players.

Coastal Carvers
Visit Harkers Island to meet some of the most talented wooden duck decoy carvers and explore the local fanaticism for these freely-formed fowl.

Conversations with Doc Watson
David Holt sits down with his longtime friend and seven-time Grammy winner.

The infectious energy of square dancing, flat footing, and clogging from a Swannanoa gathering at Warren Wilson College truly steps up.

Earth Skills
Meet the people who flock to the mountains of Georgia for a one-of-a-kind retreat during which participants live in teepees, make their own dishes and utensils, cook over a fire made by rubbing two sticks together, learn how to form weapons to hunt for their food and live solely on what the earth provides.

Face Jugs & Folk Pots
View some of the very best in the southern Appalachians’ authentic folk art practiced with local potter Burlon Craig from his kilns in Lincoln County.

The Fiddle
Host David Holt spotlights the musical heritage of this homegrown instrument through the prolific picking of four local fiddlers who exhibit the wide range of styles involved in fiddle playing.

Fire & Forge (Blacksmithing)
As one of the foremost blacksmiths in the nation, Francis Whitaker provides a fascinating look back at this part of our cultural heritage with his works from the John Campbell Folk School.

Gospel Music
Hear two eastern North Carolina pastors sharing their different styles for spreading musical messages of faith.

The Guitar
Host David Holt demonstrates the range of guitar playing styles and sounds by calling on talented players Dale McCoy, Bryon Sutton, Paul Graybeal, as well as the legendary Doc Watson, for a taste of their finger-picking devotion to making and playing guitars.

Learn more about the idea of moving away from modern conveniences and growing your own food from the state’s own homegrown homesteaders who have turned living off the land into a lifestyle.

Homestead Living
Homesteader Eustace Conway introduces activities nearly forgotten by most people: building a shelter, blacksmithing, raising horses and gardening—all taking us back to a time before modern conveniences and towards a firm appreciation for the land around us.

The Legend of Tom Dula
Explore the song and the story that have been passed down over the years by everyone from romantic storytellers to folk singers and the true and tragic tale behind them.

Music From the Hills
Examine how musical instruments brightened the hard existence experienced by early settlers in the southern mountains with visits by three venerable makers of instruments in the old, traditional style: Edd Presnell, maker of the four-string mountain dulcimer; Stanley Hicks, purveyor of the fretless banjo; and Albert Hash, maker and player of fine fiddles.

Music of Surry County
Explore how a group of talented fiddle and banjo players from this small Southern hamlet came to have a worldwide impact on old-time music.

Old-Time Fiddlers Convention
Travel to this annual Mount Airy event as David Holt introduces some of the people—men and women, young and old—who bring their fiddles, banjos, guitars, or bass to life and keep the music of the hills alive in North Carolina.

Piedmont Blues
Host David Holt talks to the talented array of artists responsible for keeping alive the whole spectrum of Piedmont Blues, including well-known mountain musician Etta Baker, guitarist George Higgs, and Durham’s own John Dee Holeman of Durham.

The Potters of Seagrove
Renowned potters Sid Luck, Ben Owen, Vernon Owens and the King Family show off their unique wares and relate how pottery is more than simply an art or a job—it's a local way of life.

Pottery Revival in Catawba Valley
The revival is on as renowned local potters show off their unique wares and relate how pottery is more than simply an art or a job—it's a way of life.

Seed To Supper
Naturalist Ila Hatter visits Inez and Marlon Johnson of Graham County, who, like generations of Appalachian families, provide most of their food by growing and preserving it themselves.

Spinning, Dyeing, and Weaving
From reading patterns to warping the loom and weaving the finished product, meet many of the craftspeople behind the south’s heritage of fine traditional weaving and rural art.

Enjoy the veteran tale spinners of the annual National Storytelling Festival, including an hour full of prized stories that will make you chuckle, gasp, and hang on every unforgettable word.

Toys from the Field
Host David Holt introduces the characters and creativity behind the craftspeople who turned living from the land into entertainment.

Traditions of the Cherokee Indians
Meet the Cherokee natives responsible for keeping alive the traditions of exquisite weaved basketry and made pottery, pre-dating the first English settlers on the North American continent.

Wade Mainer
Enjoy an unprecedented taste of the old-time mountain music made by the man known as the “Grandfather of Bluegrass.”

Naturalist and wildcrafter Ila Hatter shares the many plants in our local habitat that are easily transformed into simple foods, common remedies, helpful medicines and creative crafts.

Wildwood Produce with Ila Hatter
From the sweetest honey to savory mushrooms, Naturalist Ila Hatter introduces the best foods available at our fingertips in the wild.

Workers in Wood
Get a new appreciation for life before assembly lines, as wood carving artisans share their passion and products stamped with tender Tar Heel care and talent.