This article is a contribution from Cindy Faulkner, a writer and bluegrass fan living near Raleigh, NC. Her more detailed conversation with Marc Pruett will run later this week.
The NC Heritage Awards were given to eight recipients on May 25th, by the North Carolina Arts Council. The award honors traditional artists from North Carolina, who have excelled in their craft and who are known for the contributions they have made to their artform. The evening’s celebration, sponsored by Pinecone, took place in Fletcher Theater/Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, in downtown Raleigh.
Recipient Maceo Parker, is a saxophone player from Kinston, NC. Maceo, a master of funk and R&B, recorded and played with James Brown for years, and also with other greats such as George Clinton, Prince, Ray Charles, James Taylor, Dave Matthews and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Now in his ’70s, Maceo tours all over the world but says it all started in Eastern North Carolina, where he and his brothers were surrounded by music “all the time,” especially at church. He knew at a young age he had to be a musician, and he is that! Everyone was on their feet Wednesday night when Maceo performed for the audience. You can read more about his career at maceoparker.com
Sheila Kay Adams, from Sodom Laurel, is an author, ballad singer, storyteller and clawhammerstyle banjo player.
Sheila charms her audiences with folklore and humor in the songs she sings and stories she tells. She also performs as part of the Appalachian/Americana trio, The Scofflaws. Check out Sheila’s schedule and more at sheilakayadams.com
Marc Pruett is one very talented banjo player from Canton. Marc plays with Balsam Range, IBMA’s 2014 Entertainer of the Year. Marc began playing the banjo when he was a young boy, after hearing Earl Scruggs play and being strongly influenced by the sound of Earl’s banjo style.
Marc performed with Balsam Range at the Heritage Awards Wednesday night, a huge treat for everyone in attendance. Marc and his wife, Anita, also performed an acoustic duo, with Marc on the dobro, and they hope to do more projects together in the near future. For more information on Marc, go to balsamrange.com, and stay tuned for a more indepth article on this North Carolina artist!
Other 2016 recipients are:
- H Ju Nie and H Noach Rahlan, ethnic weavers of the Vietnamese Central Highlands craft, from Greensboro
- James Hoyson and Jamie Lewis, traditional boat builders, from Harkers Island