Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them,” he says as he recounts tales and more tales learned from a family of traditional storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. Davis grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales and most importantly, nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin.
Bil Lepp tells original, hilarious, tales that will bring a smile to the face of even the most ill-humored person around. Bil has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival several times, and at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Bil is an award-winning author and recording artist, and has been featured at venues across the nation, including a recent appearance for Comedy Central. Lepp is the recipient of the Storytelling Circle of Excellence Award. He recently won the 2013 Parents’ Choice Gold Award for The King of Little Things, his first picture book.
Bill Harley is a children’s entertainer, storyteller and author who has been called “the Mark Twain of contemporary children’s music” by Entertainment Weekly. He uses a range of musical styles and his songs appeal to both children and adults. Harley began singing and storytelling in 1975 while still in college. His work has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators. Much of his material is autobiographical, focusing on vignettes from childhood.
With over 30 recordings to his credit he received two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album For Children (albums consisting of predominantly spoken word versus music or song) for his albums Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs and Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live in 2007 and 2009, and five additional Grammy nominations. He has also won numerous Parents’ Choice awards, ALA (American Library Association) awards and the highest award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for his concert DVD Yes to Running.
Harley has also published numerous books. His latest books are a series about the trials and tribulations of fourth grader Charlie Bumpers. The first book in the series, Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year won the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice award and is part of the One School One Book programming from Read to Them. His first novel for elementary students, The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher was chosen by Bank Street School of Education as one of the best children’s books of the year . His second novel for children, Night of the Spadefoot Toads, was released in October 2008 and won a Green Earth Book Award. His picture books, based on his songs, stories and poems also stand out with recognition from Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. They include: Sitting Down To Eat (illustrated by Kitty Harvill) which was selected as an American Booksellers Association Pick of the list; Dirty Joe the Pirate: A True Story (illustrated by Jack Davis) and Lost and Found (illustrated by Adam Gustavson).
With her signature quick wit and warm humor, storyteller and educator Geraldine Buckley specializes in weaving true tales to make people laugh, think deeply, and leave wanting more.
For over thirty years she has shared her storytelling performances and workshops across the U.S. and abroad, including in Canada, Holland, South Africa, Spain and New Zealand. Her honors include three Gold awards from Storytelling World.
"Just what kind of music do you play?"
It's a great question. Norton likes to say that we're a vocal string band who happens to own bluegrass instruments. Truth be told, bluegrass bands do not usually have pianos, clarinets, accordions, strum sticks or many other such crazy instruments that the Dill Pickers use in their wide variety of music and frivolity.
"Coming from our combined theatrical backgrounds it just makes sense to us to entertain instead of just singing and playing."
Couldn't have said it better myself.
So, don't let the banjo and fiddle fool you. The Dill Pickers will flat out entertain you and you'll leave with a smile on your face.