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Friday, May 15, 2009

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN GIRL




Playing fiddle is Lynn Worth, and guitar is Lynn's "feller" Eddie Bakeberg. I got this picture of them at Galax fiddler's convention a couple years ago, maybe three. Lynn plays old-time fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass. She sings too. She's an all-around old-time musician who knows a lot of songs and is good at everything she plays.

She's made music as one of the Appalachian Mountain Girls (AMG) for a number of years. In the beginning she played bass and sang harmony. The banjo player then, Amy Michaels, of Ashe County, had to leave the band for whatever reasons. Amy has a great hillbilly voice. It's her singing that makes the songs SIXTEEN CHICKENS AND A TAMBORINE and OLD RATTLER on the AMG cd they made 5 or more years ago. Amy went to the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers to replace Creed Birchfield's banjo.
AMG found Katherine for bass player and Lynn stepped up to the mic with banjo. Rita the fiddler and Lynn play well together. Amy Boucher, born Worthington, of Charleston, SC, plays guitar with AMG and sings harmony. Amy came to the mountains and took a job at the Alleghany News when Lynn was editor. I knew Amy's family when I lived in Charleston. We were the only Worthingtons in the phone book. We call each other "cousin," though there's no kinship as far as we know. Amy is now the editor of the Galax Gazette, and has been for quite a long time, and Lynn works part-time for the Gazette. It was a blow to Alleghany County when Lynn left being editor of the News. However, Lynn is a woman with a life. A job that takes every minute of your time and mind could not go on without end.

Lynn plays fiddle with another band, The Phoenix Mountain Band. Eddie plays banjo with PMB. Eddie came here from Michigan. He plays accordian sometimes with PMB. He lives by Phoenix Mountain in Ashe County. Old-time with an accordian. Katherine and Amy from AMG play bass and guitar respectively. Stacey Kelley of Whitetop VA plays bass some with PMB. Pictured above she's playing mandolin. Stacey is the band's lead singer. A good one too.

Lynn keeps a camper parked at home to pull behind her pickup to fiddlers conventions for weekends at a time, and Galax for the whole week. She rides a motorcycle too. Not a Harley. It's a practical size for her and gets her where she's going. She also is a part time editor at McFarland press in W Jefferson. Lynn has a full life and a good many friends. She's quiet and friendly, but---if you've ever had a chicken fly in your face for getting too close to her babies, you've experienced Lynn when somebody talks down about mountain people. She will set you straight. Mountain people are not lesser versions of anything. Lynn is a carrier of the mountain spirit, a keeper of it in a time when it is changing fast.




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