Meet the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention pickers: 1st of 3 parts

Aug. 29, 2013 @ 05:41 PM

Following a community dance on Friday and a slate of competitions on Saturday, the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention will present a lineup of nine bluegrass acts on Sunday. Here's a little bit about three of them, the South Carolina Broadcasters, The Edwards Family, and the David Wiseman Band, in a question-and-answer format. Learn about more in the Friday and Saturday editions.

South Carolina Broadcasters – 10 a.m.

Q: Describe the South Carolina Broadcasters’ sound in one sentence.

A: Heart Stompin’ love songs and rowdy gospel.

Q: What’s your favorite song to play live?

A: Oh gosh, that’s tough. We love them all, from dance tunes to rowdy gospel. I think “When God Dips His Love in My Heart” holds a special place for us because it’s the first song the three of us sang together. And Hank Williams’ “I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing” pretty much sums us up.

Q: What’s the number-one thing you’re looking forward to at the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention?

A: The creek! I’ve been going to Happy Valley since the second Fiddlers Convention. The Tonys (Jones and Deal) make it a really special place. Every year Tony Jones comes by our camp and we learn a little more about the history of the area and his land. I like that personal connection. The sound is always top-notch, a real treat for the musician and listener. We also love that there aren’t any lights.

The Edwards Family – 10:45 a.m.

Q: How has the group’s sound developed since it got started?

A: The main way our sound has developed since we started playing over 11 years ago is the kids were very young then, and now they are young adults who have developed into accomplished musicians. Though we stay grounded in our love for playing and singing the old gospel songs and hymns, we have also written many original songs through the years. The Kruger Brothers and Bela Fleck have definitely been the ones to influence Alex's style of banjo playing, which has given our family a unique bluegrass sound. Last year we also added another band member outside of our family, Daniel Wright, who comes from a musical family background. He blends well with us playing guitar, mandolin and bass and adds great vocal harmonies to our singing.  

Q: What’s the number-one thing you’re looking forward to at the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention?

This will be our first year performing at Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention, so that in itself is what we are most looking forward to. Hearing other fantastic musicians like Wayne Henderson, Laura Boosinger and Michael Cleveland is just icing on the cake. Meeting new friends and visiting old ones at bluegrass festivals is a great thing. It’s good for the soul.

Q: What inspires your music?

A: We are deeply rooted in our Christian faith. Growing up in our grandparents’ church, we played and sung on a weekly basis. We know how the gospel songs can touch a heart and we love singing music that matters. Bluegrass music bridges the generations and we love that aspect of it, too.

David Wiseman Band – 11:30 a.m.

Q: Describe your sound in one sentence.

A: Bluegrass. A little touch of country and bluegrass, pretty much is it.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about performing?

A: The audience. The crowd. It’s something I’ve done since I was a child – I’ve played since I was 10.

Q: What’s the number-one thing you’re looking forward to at the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention?

Seeing a lot of young players and people that I haven’t seen in a while. It’s kind of like a homecoming for a lot of players.