kentucky fiddling

Stephen Landis (Fiddle Hermit) by Cameron DeWhitt

Welcome to Get Up in the Cool: Old Time Music with Cameron DeWhitt and Friends. How are you doing? It’s been a rough week. I know I’ve been feeling anxious, pent up. Some of you have been binge listening NPR and Facebooking yourselves to sleep; just leaning into to the discomfort. Others of you, like me, have been checking out. Deleting social media apps on your phone, engaging in lots of escapism; maybe overeating a bit. This week’s guest, Stephen Landis, is a close friend of mine, and I often look to him when I’m contemplating how to be; which is why I’m releasing his interview now, even though I only recorded it a week or so ago. Also, Stephen introduced me to Old Time, and I’m very grateful to him. Not just for teaching me my first tunes, but for sharing his reverence for the tradition. 

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Nikos Pappas (Kentucky Fiddling) by Cameron DeWhitt


This episode was recorded at the Appalachian String Band Festival in August 2016 and released on October 12, 2016. In July 2017 Pappas pled guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. In November 2017 he was sentenced to serve six years in federal prison.

The rest of the show notes are the complete original post from October 12, 2016. His album Lost in the Lowlands has been removed from June Appal Recordings; the link no longer works.

Welcome to Get Up in the Cool: Old Time Music with Cameron DeWhitt and Friends. This week’s friend was named Kentucky Master Fiddle Player by The National Endowment of the Arts, and I’m real proud to have him on the show. His name is Nikos Pappas, and he’s got trills for days. Also, he’s got his PhD in Musicology and Ethnomusicology, so by the end of this episode, you’ll know what a “negative tropism” is and how to use it in your day to day life. But, academic as he is, Nikos has a very earnest love for this music and its history; you can hear it in his playing and his stories. You’re really going to like this one.

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