Athens Alabama Storytelling Festival Promo Video
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.
Entertaining thousands of adults and children alike with her ultra-energetic and charming style, Carmen Deedy has recounted her tales of growing up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia for over a decade. A large number of her published works are award-winning, including Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal Winner (honor book). This is one of the highest honors for books by and about Latinos and their culture.
The Dill Pickers began as a group of individual musicians brought together by their mutual casting in a local Birmingham company's performance of the off-broadway musical Snow on the Mountain. They gained state-wide renown for their yearly performances and soon grew into a band of storytelling, instrument-wielding performers whose popularity transcended the Birmingham stage to bring about the touring and talented group of tale-tellers they are today.
A native of Covington, GA, Andy Offutt Irwin started out in comedy, but added music and storytelling because he had a lot more to say. In storytelling circles, he is especially known for relating the adventures of his eighty-five-year-old aunt, Marguerite Van Camp, M.D. In July, this summer,
he was Teller in Residence for a week in Jonesborough, TN and sold out all of his shows! Also, he was the recipient of the 2013 National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Circle of Excellence Award and all five of his storytelling CDs have won Storytelling Word Awards.
Kevin Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and his storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log, delivers hilarious, often tender stories. Kling’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, to name a few.
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.
John McCutcheon is America’s balladeer. His songs sing of the nation’s heritage, his words channeling the conscience of our people into streams of poetry and melody. He writes about subjects small and great, from a child’s haircut to freedom and human dignity – issues equally eternal and enduring. A songwriter, historian, musician and storyteller, he is a most versatile and compelling performer.
John hosted the 2014 inaugural John McCutcheon Songwriting Camp at the historic Highlander Center in New Market, TN. The long-awaited all-Woody Guthrie by John McCutcheon, "This Land: Woody Guthrie's America" is slated for release September 15th, 2014.