Michael & Carrie Kline
A musical duo, performing tight, high mountain harmonies of traditional Appalachian and contemporary songs on guitar and voice, Micheal and Carrie have released a recording of their own music, Eyes of a Painter, with gifted friends lending performances on voice, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and bass. The Klines are preoccupied with West Virginia songs, from the ancient ballads of the Hammons Family in the central highlands, to mining laments and songs of resistance in the coal fields.
The Klines present music both as entertainment and social history, with engaging ease and hard-hitting passion. Absorbed in the study of oral tradition, they spend much time with old-time singers and tellers living in the Appalachian region. Their style is an amalgamation of musical and oral sources representative of places like Cherokee, North Carolina, the Appalachian coal fields, and industrial cities of New England.
Michael and Carrie Kline have been studying and chronicling the history and culture of Appalachia for thirty years. Michael, with a Ph.D. in Public Folklore from Boston University, and Carrie, with a Master’s Degree in American Studies from SUNY/Buffalo, have cumulatively written twenty articles for Goldenseal Magazine since 1978, when Michael served on Goldenseal’s editorial staff at the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. Michael’s efforts to document 20th Century West Virginia life were supported in the early 1970s with receipt of a Ford Fellowship Award, and with a grant from the West Virginia Humanities in 1980. He has served on the Citizen’s Advisory Board of the West Virginia Humanities Council and has far ranging contacts throughout the State with historians, Appalachian Studies scholars, artists and musicians. He has conducted extensive oral interviews with farmers, home makers and workers in most of the State’s industries and communities.
Michael was employed during most of the 1980s as Folklife Specialist for the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins. While there he researched, wrote and narrated a documentary film on West Virginia traditional music called “Play It For the Trees” for BBC-TV in Cardiff, Wales. His experience in creating public programs extends to Cullowhee, North Carolina, where he was employed by the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. Later with the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society he documented New American cultures of Western Massachusetts.
Carrie joined the research shortly before the duo contracted to complete an ethnographic survey of the City of Wheeling for the National Parks Service. During the course of their two years of research in that city, they produced an array of audio tapes designed to complement museum exhibits. They have completed an audio documentary of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio River Valley and a 90 minute audio history of navigation on the Ohio River called “Working a Square Watch” for the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their radio programs have aired on West Virginia Public Radio and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” as well as WWVA-AM in Wheeling. Now available is the Klines’ 4-part audio history series on life along the historic Staunton to Parkersburg Turnpike under contract with the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation.
They are 1999 winners of the Media Arts Fellowship Award from the West Virginia Division of Culture & History, Charleston, West Virginia. Carrie received the Spring, 2001 Rockefeller Fellowship through Marshall University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Huntington, West Virginia.
(description on wegoplaces.com)