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At some point you have to take responsibility for who you are and where you are and being able to listen to other points of view, whichever side of the tracks you're on.
Each song has its own way that it likes to be done, but it can be more than one way. If you tap into it, you can feel it.
Getting into the banjo and discovering that it was an African-American instrument, it totally turned on its head my idea of American music - and then, through that, American history.
I grew up listening to country music. I got into traditional stuff later, but I listened to the commercial stuff of the '90s, especially the women who were so strong, like Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kathy Mattea. It's a great art form.
I love the U.K. folk scene. In the States, nobody knows what to do with me. There's still a very narrow definition of Americana.
I think it's important that everybody has access to music, and not just people who live in cities or who can afford to drive to the nearest city.
I'm not gonna force something or fake something to try to get more black people at my shows. I'm not gonna do some big hip-hop crossover.
It's really funny how I've come round to classical music around the back door with my banjo in my hand, and I love it.
My work as a whole is about excavating and shining a light on pieces of history that not only need to be seen and heard, but that can also add to the conversation about what's going on now.
People say, I'm tired of thinking about race, it's a drag. Yeah, well, welcome to my life! I don't care who you are. We have the time and the headspace for this stuff. The least you can do is take a moment.
Separation in culture and arts does nobody any favors except for the people in power. That's just it... So I feel like I'm in the business of challenging that narrative.
For me the bare feet are grounding. I'm connected to the Earth in a way that I cannot be any other way.
So my mom's folks are from one side of Greensboro - and, you know, outside of Greensboro. And my dad's folks, the white side, is from another very small town outside of Greensboro. So both sides are coming from the country.
Well, you know, the original banjos were all handmade instruments. Gourd - it would be made with gourds and whatever, you know, materials would have been around. And, you know, first hundred years of its existence, the banjo's known as a plantation instrument, as a black instrument.
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