Alex Caton founded the Mountain Road Fiddle Camp in 2005 after she fell in love with the Brazenhead Inn in West Virginia. Her aim was to create a musically productive and fun atmosphere for her fiddle students to learn new material and jam on familiar tunes, plus try their hands at something new–such as dance, drum or guitar. The camp has outgrown her wishes to become an annual event that teachers, family members and students (fiddle as well as singers, dancers, guitarists, bassists, Irish drummers and banjo players) all look forward to with excitement.
Alex Caton is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and music teacher who has dedicated her life to passing on the tradition of old-time and Irish music. She teaches privately out of her home, in workshops and camps throughout the States, and plays with a wide variety of groups across the globe. Alex’s recent Cds, that span from traditional Irish, Old Time to Early Country and Bluegrass sounds, have received many accolades and praise from reviewers of folk and traditional music worldwide. In 2009, at only 34 years of age, Alex was nominated for a Virginia Heritage Award for her dedication to the preservation and continuation of traditional forms of music. Though known for her respect for the traditions, she is most highly praised for her ability to keep the traditions alive by adding her own personal style and interpretation. For Mountain Road Fiddle Camp she teaches primarily Irish and/or Old Time fiddle, banjo, and singing.
Alex Davis was an original member of BRIMS during its formation in the early aughts. Alex initially studied Irish fiddle with Tes Slominski and Sara Read and concertina with Paddy League and Aaron Olwell. More recently Alex has learned from Rose Conway Flanagan and Andy Cleveland. In addition to working with BRIMS, Alex teaches reading at Jack Jouett Middle School and is an announcer for WTJU’s Celtic themed Atlantic Weekly Part 2, heard on Saturday mornings.
Pete Vigour has enjoyed learning and playing old-time music since his childhood in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He and his wife Ellen have resided in the Charlottesville area since the 1970’s. Pete is an experienced music teacher, at local music stores and schools for 25 years, and also at Augusta, Pinewoods, Sierra Swing, Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week and his own music camps. He has won first place ribbons in both fiddle and clawhammer banjo at fiddlers’ conventions in Virginia and West Virginia. With his wife Ellen, Pete has played with the old-time string band, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, since 1985. He loves the guitar and other stringed instruments, and enjoys playing with the Lovell Coleman Band and Zuzu’s Hot 5, and attending informal jam sessions.
Dick Harrington I’m a retired college writing teacher who loves old-time mountain music. The homey atmosphere at Mt Road Music Camp really appeals to me, and I and look forward to working with kids and adults in the variety of classes Alex has signed me up for. What’s more fun than making music together? Making even more music together!
My passion for American roots music sprouted in the 1940’s when I learned folk songs from my playful Scots-Irish grandma. In the mid-1950’s I took up the guitar. During my last 18 months of college, I built a large repertoire of songs, performing 3 sets a night, 6 nights a week, as the house musician at a buzzing 1960’s-style coffee house.
In the mid-1960’s, while working on my master’s degree, I taught guitar students at the Denver Folklore Center, where I also performed. After moving to Virginia for my first college teaching job and then to Charlottesville to begin a Ph.D., I got flat-out hooked on the archaic fiddle and banjo music at the Prism Coffee House jams, soon taking up the fiddle.
I’ve been lucky to perform/record with Victoria Young, the Afton Mountain String Band, Uncle Henry’s Favorites (as a sub), Troublesome Creek, the Albemarle Ramblers, and Alex Caton. Besides playing and singing at many Virginia venues, I’ve performed in at least twelve other states and two Canadian provinces and have also enjoyed musical tours in France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, England, and Scotland.
Jim Plitt has been playing traditional music for 20 years mostly with the hammered dulcimer and banjo. He has attended many music camps and festivals over the years and has performed solo as well as with numerous groups. He has been playing for about 12 years and is particularly fond of WV banjo styles of playing. This will be Jim’s first camp as an instructor and has attended mountain road music camp for 6 years.