Immerse yourself in the roots of the Piedmont Blues. Weaving stories and songs that celebrate the best of American wit and humor, this performance will enchant you with the history of the piedmont and the rich culture from which it sprang. Fingerpicking wizard David Berchtold will join tale spinning shaman Brian "Fox" Ellis in this hilarious tour of Piedmont blues and gospel, Appalachian humor and history. The two of them will tag team true stories and red hot blues, tall tales and the most uplifting gospel songs. You will dance your way home humming and grinning as you retell your friends the story of this unforgettable program.
David Berchtold has been playing the guitar for more than 40 years. He plays a wide range of folk, rock and blues, but Piedmont style fingerpicking is his specialty. Though he makes it look as smooth as spreading warm butter on cinnamon toast, his ten fingers are flying in several directions simultaneously, picking out the rhythm, bass lines, and melody all at the same time. It is magic to behold. A native of Illinois, Berchtold has studied with Jorma Kaukonen at the infamous Fur Peace Ranch and he teaches Piedmont Fingerpicking at festivals and colleges. With a rich repertoire from the greatest fingerpickers, including Rev. Gary Davis, Doc Watson, Leo Kottke, and Chet Atkins, David also has a solid hour of innovative original tunes, rooted in tradition but proving that this style of playing is very much alive.
Brian “Fox” Ellis has been touring the world as a full time storyteller since 1980. He is the author of 16 books, more than 20 theater productions, a dozen CDs and more than 100 magazine articles. He lived in the piedmont and mountainous regions of North Carolina for ten years before moving to Illinois. It was while living in the South that he refined his talents, telling tales around the campfire, hunting with his uncles, while listening to the sound of baying hounds and spinning yarns. Fox is also a well regarded historian who has lectured at college convocations, teacher training conferences, libraries and schools in 49 states and 14 countries.