Banjo picker Wayne Erbsen, on a North Carolina Arts Council visiting artist residency in Charlotte, NC, must have wondered whether he was barking up the wrong tree, playing old-time stringband music amid the skyscrapers and suburban sprawl of the biggest city in the Carolinas. But it wasn’t long before he met up with homegrown guitarist/square dancer Marilyn Meacham Price, who loved the music as much as he did. With Wayne’s encouragement, Marilyn started presenting traditional music events, and in 1982 she sent out a call to those who shared her love of traditional music. This was the birth of the Charlotte Folk Society.
Today CFS celebrates its almost 30 years of music, looking back on more than a quarter century of promoting the enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts, and lore in the Piedmont Carolinas. It turns out that even big city residents, native Southerners and newcomers alike, are hungry for connections to their traditions.