Photo by Lisa Sutphin

The old time music of Surry County, NC has a sound all its own. In the 1960's young folks came from all over the United States and later from around the world to learn the music from masters like Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham and Ernest East. They took what they could absorb of this distinctive music back to their homes.

Over these last 40 years the music of the Round Peak area of North Carolina has dominated the sound of the old time music revival. But in the process of being prized, it has also been homogenized and standardized. Luckily, this music has a strong can't really hurt will take care of itself.

Like a language...folks learn the mother tongue and move away. The original language begins to change to fit the needs of the new place. But it is always a pleasure to hear native speakers. That is what we have here...native speakers of old time Surry County music talking musically about something they know first hand.

Best of all, you can hear the spirits of the old time masters in Kirk's performances. It is the way the best of music sounded years ago. It is full of life and rhythm.

-David Holt-
Return to Old 97 Wrecords
Marquee photo of Kirk by Deni McIntyre