and lots of singing!

2017 PicknBow camp will be August 24, 25, and 26, 2018
held at the

Shared Visions Retreat Center (air-conditioned!)
The Murphey School
3717 Murphy School Road Durham, NC 27705
(Murphey School website: Sharedvisions.org)

Information below is still from 2017. Updated information to come, stay tuned!

Most of the campers and all the teachers at the PickNBow music retreat 2014

Another camp, another year. Let's start with the instructors, shall we? We had eight great teachers last year. This year, we go to nine. We have assembled an A-list of great musicians to lead the workshops: Picknbow veterans Danny Gotham, Jane Peppler, Jon Shain, Julie Elkins, Joe Newberry, Jim Watson, Kenny Jackson and Bobb Head.....and (drum roll, please...) we are particularly honored to welcome Mister Peter Ostroushko this year as well.

The cost will be bumped up a bit, to $250. For that extra cost, are getting an amazing teacher lineup, and the use of the two big rooms across the hall (where the Yoga and Fabric studios are). The additional rooms will give us badly needed space for the workshops.

2017 Pick-N-Bow schedule

The weekend will actually kick off (for those so inclined) on Thursday night, August 24th. Peter Ostroushko (accompanied by Danny Gotham and Robbie Link) will perform in concert at the Community Church in Chapel Hill. Admission will be $20, and the Bennys (Rebecca Newton, Wes Collins, Barry Gray, Mike Babyak and F.J. Ventre) will provide an opening set.

We are also pondering something (workshops and/or informal jams) on Friday afternoon. That is TBD, and as we get feedback from campers, we'll keep you posted. Otherwise, the camp will officially begin with the Friday evening "meet and greet".

Once again, we will have a Picknbow songbook as this year's official "swag". Picknbow coffee cups and t-shirts will be optional, and we will have more information about both soon.

We anticipate a particularly strong interest in this year's camp, so early sign up and payment is highly recommended. Contact Danny at steelstringer@gmail.com to make reservations or if you have any additional questions.

Last year Kenny Jackson and Bobb Head led a mini-old time music camp on Friday afternoon. It was very popular, (but it was over too soon!) so we are simply making that part of the regular weekend workshops this year. They might bring in other instructors to join them, and it will be for players AND singers! If you are interested and want more information, contact Kenny at kejack@gmail.com or Bobb at bhead@pobox.com To learn more about Bobb and Kenny read the Pinecone bio of the Big Medicine string band.

Friday, August 25

Possible afternoon activity; TBD! (We will be gathering suggestions, so stay tuned....)

6 pm to 7 pm: Arrival for the Meet and Greet.
7 pm to 9:30 pm (approx.): Meet and Greet, introductions, instructors will talk briefly about the workshops, we'll put up the schedule. Then — lots of informal music making for all of us!

Saturday, August 26
9:00 to 10:00 am: Arrival, coffee, etc.
10:00 to 1:00: Workshops
1:00 to 2:30: Lunch, jamming/practice time, naps, one-on-one sessions
2:30 to 5:00: Afternoon workshops
5:00 to 5:30: Group photo, prep for group meal
5:30 to 6:30: Pot luck meal
6:30 to 7:00: Clean up and prep for performance
7:00 to 9:00 (approximately) Instructors performance

Sunday, August 27
9:00 to 11:00: Gospel Sing Circle or any other small jam sessions (optional)
11:30 to 2:00: workshops
2:00 to 4:00: Lunch; prep for campers' performances
4:00 to 6:00(?) campers' performances
closing words, closing songs, and clean up to follow.

PicknBow fee is $250, which includes approximately eight hours of workshops. Enrollment is limited.

For further info and enrollment, contact Danny Gotham at 919.967.4934 or steelstringer@gmail.com


DANNY GOTHAM (guitar, mandolin, ukulele) grew up in Upstate NY in the 1960s and got the bug to play guitar when the Beatles were televised into his family's living room. Since that time, he has developed into a master flatpicking and fingerpicking instrumentalist, cutting his musical teeth playing in various rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass and country bands.

He was a member of the Racquette River Rounders—an eclectic trio that garnered a loyal fan base in the Northeastern US. His next group was Summit, a bluegrass band in which he played mandolin, featured the 1984 National Bluegrass banjo champion, Chris Leske. Summit performed as a featured act as well as backing up bluegrass legends Bill Keith and Frank Wakefield. In 1980, Gotham took Second Place in the prestigious National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS. His most recent musical collaborations have been as accompanist to the great folksinger Tom Paxton and original "Prairie Home Companion" music director, Peter Ostroushko. As a teacher, he has maintained an extensive private student roster, and conducted numerous workshops, since 1974. He instructed at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 2008 at the Summer Acoustic Music Week camp in 2010, and Millwood Guitar camp in 2011. His incredibly wide range of musical experiences has given him the ability to teach almost any student, regardless of style, instrument or level of expertise. Gotham has performed on the nationally syndicated radio broadcast Michael Feldman's "Whad'ya Know?" He appeared on the soundtrack of the PBS film "Hungers of the Soul". And in one of his more unusual gigs, he was the ukulele tutor for Tom Selleck as the actor prepared for the Broadway production of "A Thousand Clowns".

Click below to hear Danny Gotham and Peter Ostroushko perform "Benny's from Heaven"

PETER OSTROUSHKO is an Emmy Award winning composer and is regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music. He has toured all over North America and Europe, has played on over a thousand albums and has earned an international reputation as a versatile and dazzling musical master.

He's played country (with Jethro Burns, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins and Johnny Gimble); bluegrass (with Norman and Nancy Blake, Tim O'Brien and Hot Rize); folk (with Greg Brown, John Hartford, Robin & Linda Williams and Taj Mahal); jazz; and most recently, classical—performing with the Saint Paul Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra in Moscow.

Peter's most recent album is the record of his career--a 3-CD box set called The Mando Chronicles, featuring 22 guest musicians and over three hours of music. Click below to hear his performance of Heart of the Heartland.

JOE NEWBERRY is a Missouri native and North Carolina transplant who has played music most of his life. His powerful and innovative banjo playing, as well as his songwriting, guitar skills, fiddling, and singing has delighted audiences around the world.

Joe's songwriting is characterized by the same clean, elegant style as his banjo playing. Musicians in the folk and bluegrass world often record his songs. The Gibson Brothers' version of his song Singing As We Rise, featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA "Gospel Recorded Performance" award. In 2013, Joe shared co-writing honors with Eric Gibson for the IBMA Song of the Year, They Called It Music.

Joe was a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, and was recently featured on the Transatlantic Sessions tour in the United Kingdom with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas. In addition to performing solo, Joe plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, sits in the banjo chair with old-time music legends Mike Craver, Bill Hicks, and Jim Watson, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch.

A noted teacher of traditional music and song, Joe has taught at numerous camps and festivals, including Ashokan, Pinewoods Camp, Vocal Week and Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center, the Australia National Folk Festival, the Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week, and the Bluff Country Gathering. For the last six years he has served as coordinator of Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. He also teaches at weekend vocal workshops around the country with his singing partner Val Mindel.

Joe grew up in a family full of singers and dancers. He took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. He came to North Carolina as a young man and quickly became an anchor of the incredible music scene in the state. Still going strong more than 30 years later, he does solo and studio work, and plays and teaches at festivals and workshops in North America and abroad. Click below to hear Singing As We Rise and I Get My Whiskey from Rockingham.

JANE PEPPLER (vocals, violin, viola, English concertina) teaches and performs early and traditional music (including klezmer). She's given concert presentations on her Yiddish theater song research at the Library of Congress, the Yidishkurz in Warsaw Poland, "Trip to Yiddishland" and elsewhere. She is owner of the Skylark Productions record label, engineering and producing recordings for local acoustic ensembles. She taught fiddle and voice at Pinewoods Camp "Folk Week" and at the Village Harmony summer sessions; she directed the Triangle Jewish Chorale for fourteen years. She currently performs with the world music group Mappamundi.

As director of the Solstice Assembly, she was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition; she researched, arranged, and performed music of the British Isles and Colonial America for nine years, performing at the Smithsonian institution and receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and taught for more than two decades at the Duke University Short Course Program. She wrote for SingOut! magazine, wrote several songbooks, and has been published in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. At Yale University she studied medieval music with Alejandro Planchardt, fiddled with the Yale graduate symphony orchestra, and sang with the Yale Slavic Chorus. In Boston she managed the Locrian String Quartet and sang with Laduvane and co-founded the Festival of Light and Song. She has made more than two dozen recordings and has published two books of newly unearthed Yiddish theater songs of the Jazz Age (1920s-1930s) and three companion cds, as well as two cds of music from the Lower East Side around the turn of the 20th century (see YiddishEmporium.com.

Jane will be offering vocal coaching, making up harmonies, teaching songs, country song singalongs, home recording techniques, and conducting a klezmer music workshop if called for. Klezmer is rowdy, high energy Jewish instrumental music. Pretty much any instruments except bagpipes welcome. Contact Jane Peppler with questions. Click below to hear two songs she wrote: Ikh ken shoyn nit mithaltn (I Can't Keep Up), the song Jane wrote in Yiddish and performed at "Der Yidisher Idol" in Mexico City in 2015 (she in fact won the Grand Prize, which was a stale challah on a tray) and Ben Franklin's Aphorisms.

JULIE ELKINS (banjo,guitar), originally from Bozeman, Montana, now makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she teaches banjo, guitar and vocal lessons.

With family roots in East Kentucky, Elkins comes from a long line of bluegrass musicians and singers. By age 12, she was the threetime winner of the Classic West Open Banjo Competition and was invited to join her first band before she was old enough to drive. She's been a professional musician ever since. Elkins received her bluegrass education while performing a long stint with North Carolina's renowned bluegrass band, New Vintage. In 1999, she joined the trailblazing bluegrass/Americana band, Kane's River.

Elkins was awarded an IBMA award for "Recorded Project of the Year" for her contribution to "Back To The Well," with the Daughters of Bluegrass. In 2005, she released "My Feet Won't Miss This Ground," with friend and long-time musical collaborator, David Thompson. The duo has begun work on a follow-up recording. Click below to hear "All I Ever Loved Was You."

JON SHAIN is a veteran singer-songwriter; his newest disc, a duet album with Joe Newberry, Crow the Dawn, was just released in January, 2016.

He studied with Duke jazz professor Paul Jeffrey and learned the piedmont blues tradition firsthand by playing in Big Boy Henry’s backing band. It was at this time that Shain also got to meet and play with John Dee Holeman and a number of the great older NC blues players.

Shain cut his touring teeth from 1989-1998 founding the Chapel Hill, NC folk-rock group, Flyin' Mice and their spin-off group, WAKE. The band performed with acts such as David Grisman, Tony Rice Unit, Hot Tuna, and the Dixie Dregs, released four CDs, and played clubs, schools, and festivals up and down the East Coast, building a legion of fans.

In addition to the new album with Joe Newberry, and a live album with Jon Shain Trio, Jon has released eight studio albums. He teaches Piedmont blues fingerstyle guitar and gives workshops in songwriting and blues guitar. Click below to hear "Ordinary Cats" and "Level It Out."

KENNY JACKSON established his reputation as a gifted guitarist during his tenure with Leftwich, Higginbotham, and Jackson in the mid-1980s, co-founding the acclaimed old-time group the Rhythm Rats shortly thereafter. Jackson is a compelling singer, guitarist, and banjo player as well, distinctive in his interpretation of traditional music while being deeply rooted in old-time sources from the southern mountain region. Besides playing with Big Medicine, he is also a sought-after fiddle teacher, working with individual students in person and online, and at traditional music camps across the country. Click below to hear Kenny play Cousin Sally Brown.

BOBB HEAD Bobb Head is a Texan transplanted to North Carolina, contributing top-notch guitar, banjo picking, and harmony vocals - and he is a bass player whom any string band would covet as a member. When he's not playing with Big Medicine, you can see him with the Stillhouse Bottom Band; with Dueling Shoes, a percussive dance ensemble; and the Deep Phat Friars, an irreverent southern-fried contra band. He has also performed with a number of pickup bands. Before moving to North Carolina, he played with the Privy Tippers in Tucson and, before that, with the Self-Righteous Brothers in Houston. Click below to hear Bobb Head and Kenny Jackson performing Dunbar in Ulster, Ireland.

Auditorium at Murphey School PickNBow summer folkmusic weekend

Danny Gotham teaches guitar, ukelele, and mandolin at PickNBow summer folk music retreat weekend in Durham NC

Joe Newberry teaches banjo, guitar and vocals at the Pick and Bow summer folk music weekend

Jane Peppler teaches fiddle and voice at the PickNBow folk music retreat in Durham, North Carolina

Jon Shain teaches songwriting and guitar at PickNBow summer folk music retreat weekend in Durham NC

Peter Ostroushko teaches mandolin at PickNBow summer folk music retreat weekend in Durham NC

Kenny Jackson teaches fiddle, banjo, guitar at PickNBow summer folk music retreat weekend in Durham NC

Bobb Head teaches bass at PickNBow acoustic folk music camp in the Piedmont of NC

Julie Elkins teaches bluegrass banjo and guitar at PickNBow summer folk music retreat weekend in Durham NC

Shared Visions Murphey School folk music weekend June Durham NC

Here are some pictures from the 2014 Pick'N'Bow camp, all taken by Kevin Keister, one of the campers:

This last one was taken by Stan Lewis:

PicknBow fee is $250, which includes approximately eight hours of workshops and the PicknBow songbook. Enrollment is limited.

For further info and enrollment, contact Danny Gotham at 919.967.4934 or steelstringer@gmail.com