Plus New Single from Dom Flemons & Ben Arthur To Be Released This Week
The American Songster Dom Flemons and songwriter Ben Arthur are twice nominated for a Mid-America EMMY Award for their episode of SongCraft Presents (PBS). The duo traveled to Macon, GA where Flemons shone a light on the lost history of Emmett Miller, writing a new song about Emmett called “Good Old Days,” out this Friday.
Flemons and Arthur (host of the show) wrote their song at Macon’s Grand Opera House, where Miller performed several times and premiered the song in a live performance at Capricorn Studios. “Good Old Days” evokes Miller’s song “Lovesick Blues,” which would later be made famous by country music pioneer, Hank Williams. Flemons and Arthur explore the controversial history of Emmett Miller, a blackface, minstrel and his influence on the roots of popular music. The episode aired on PBS in January.
Flemons says, “It is not an easy task to address Emmett Miller’s musical legacy and influence on popular music. Co-writing “Good Old Days” with Ben Arthur made for a shocking yet informative exploration into the history of race and entertainment in America.”
Flemons is a founding member of the GRAMMY AWARD WINNING Carolina Chocolate Drops, the first all-black string band to perform at the Opry ten years ago. This time he was the only solo performer on a night that celebrated Carrie Underwood as a 10-year Opry member and also showcased Old Crow Medicine Show, Riders in the Sky and others.
His latest album ‘Black Cowboys’ has spent 33 consecutive weeks on Billboard Bluegrass, charted up to #2 on the Folk radio chart, and has garnered other spotlights in NPR, Wide Open Country, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Washington City Paper, American Blues Scene, and American Songwriter.
Dom Flemons On Tour:
11/19 – Tampa, FL – Straz Center for the Performing Arts
11/23 – New York, NY – City Winery The Loft
11/24 – New Haven, CT – East Rock Concert Series at mActivity
11/25 – Cambridge, MA – Club Passim
11/26 – Providence, RI – Askew
11/30 – Nashville, TN – The Opry
12/4 – Beverly, MA – The Cabot Theater
12/8 – Fair Lawn, NJ – Hurdy Gurdy Folk
12/16 – Nashville, TN – Country Music Hall of Fame – Artist Spotlight
12/27 – Phoenix, AZ – MIM
Click here for more tour dates into 2019.
Known as “The American Songster,” his thirteen-year career, ten studio albums and repertoire cover nearly 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. Flemons is a music scholar, historian, record collector and a multi-instrumentalist. He is considered an expert player on the Banjo, Fife, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Quills, and Rhythm Bones. He’s performed with leading musicians including Mike Seeger, Joe Thompson, Martin Simpson, Boo Hanks, Taj Mahal, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Guy Davis. Flemons has performed as a soloist at prestigious venues and festivals like Carnegie Hall, Cecil Sharp House, the Grand Ole Opry, the Opening Ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Newport Folk Festival, Ryman Auditorium, and represented the United States at the 2017 Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Malaysia.
In 2017, he was featured on David Holt’s State of Music on PBS and performed as bluesman Joe Hill Louis on CMT’s original hit television show Sun Records. In 2016, a duo album was released with British musician Martin Simpson titled Ever Popular Favourites on Fledg’ling Records. He launched the podcast, American Songster Radio, on WUNC Public Radio which featured esteemed guests such as Taj Mahal and Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. In 2014, Flemons released a critically acclaimed solo album Prospect Hill through Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Flemons has appeared in multiple films and TV programs as a music historian including the Carolina Chocolate Drops Documentary “Don’t Get Trouble In Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story”, Old Time Conversations Volume 7, Sami Yaffa’s SoundTracker, banjo documentary ‘Give Me the Banjo’ also starring Bela Fleck, ‘The Marty Stuart Show’, ‘We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash’ also featuring Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, and Brandi Carlile, the documentary on the Carter’s and Cash’s ‘The Winding Stream’ also featuring George Jones, John Prine, and Roseanne Cash, ‘Jug Band Hokum’, PBS’s ‘David Holt’s State of Music’, UK’s docu-series ‘Arena’ in the ‘American Epic – Part 4: The Sessions’ along with Jack White, Elton John, and Alabama Shakes, and ‘A Great American Tapestry: The Many Strands of Mountain Music.’
Ben Arthur has written songs with John Wesley Harding and Lera Lynn and has shared the stage with the likes of Dave Matthews, Tori Amos, Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colvin, and Toots and the Maytals.