Spencer, NC (WBTV) - From the North Carolina Transportation Museum: The N.C. Transportation Museum will feature musician, storyteller, and television host David Holt this summer with a photographic exhibit in the Master Mechanic's Office and an August 3 concert in the historic 1905 Back Shop. Holt, famed for being a collector, purveyor, and historian of Appalachian Mountain music, is a four-time GRAMMY award winning musician, as well as the host of PBS' Great Scenic Railway Journeys, Folkways, and David Holt's State of Music.
Holt is currently featured in a photographic exhibit featuring titled "Mentors and Heroes." The exhibit includes more than thirty framed black and white portraits of Holt's many musical mentors and heroes in photos he took between 1974 and the early 2000s. Among those featured are Madison County ballad singers Dellie Norton, Cas Wallin, Berzilla Wallin and Sheila Kay Adams, whom Holt met when he first came to western North Carolina in the 1970s.
Captions accompanying each photo tell the story of the shot, and stitch together a unique history of the region. Holt says he began taking the photos without much money, and with black and white film being expensive, he was very selective with how many pictures he took of each subject. "I relied on intuition, trying to capture a compelling composition at the very moment the subject lets down his guard," he says.
Also featured are portraits of Doc Watson, with whom Holt traveled and performed for years. Holt calls Doc his "musical father" and most important mentor. Beside a picture of the two musicians performing together sits one of two GRAMMY awards Holt received for the three disc "Legacy" CD he created about Watson's life.
The exhibit includes several instruments from Holt's personal collection, including the "Tree of Life" open back banjo custom made by Bud Soesby and a 1953 Gibson once owned by the "Grandfather of Bluegrass" Wade Mainer.
In addition to being a musician, storyteller, and radio and television host, Holt has done important work documenting and sharing stories and images of many significant American musicians. Holt says, "These folks have a power and wisdom that you just don't see in the modern world. They grew up before self-doubt was invented."
Kids' activities will also be available as part of the exhibit, with children able to make their own "stumpfiddle," created from sticks and bells.
Holt's photos will be displayed in the Master Mechanic's Office, just behind the Gift Station, free with regular admission. The exhibit was put together with support from Hercules Guitar Stands and the Earl Scruggs Center and will be available through Sept. 3. More details can be found online at www.nctrans.org.
David Holt will also appear live at the N.C. Transportation Museum, performing with longtime partner Josh Goforth Aug. 3. Together, the musicians bill themselves as a "two man tornado of tales and tunes." The 7 p.m. concert will include old time mountain music and railroad songs, befitting the historic surroundings provided by the museum, which sits on the grounds of the former Spencer Shops railroad facility.
Preceding the show, at 6 p.m., Holt and Great Scenic Railway Journeys' creator Rob Van Camp will appear to chat with fans and sign autographs. Great Scenic Railway Journeys has appeared on PBS stations across the nation for the past 25 years. Copies of the 25th anniversary episode, primarily filmed at the museum, will be available for purchase on site, or as part of an upgraded ticket offering.
Full ticket information and purchase options for the meet and greet and the performance by David Holt and Josh Goforth are online now at www.nctrans.org. Information and tickets are also available by calling 704-636-2889.