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Helena Faust and Barnstorm


Fri 9 Aug 2013, 8:00pm

Where: Theosophical Society Hall, 304 Church St, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Members: $10.00
  • Non-members: $15.00
  • Kids: $0.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: puckenator

Helena Faust sings and plays traditional music from the Appalachian Mountains of America. She spent ten years in West Virginia soaking up the music and styles of the area. Helena performed at festivals and has led banjo and singing workshops at events from North Carolina to upstate New York, including the Augusta Heritage Center, Cliff top Appalachian Music Festival and the West Virginia State Folk Festival, both as a solo act and as a member of the award winning old-time string band 'The Raincrows'.

She was the lead singer of 'The Raging Acorns', whose final radio show performance was acclaimed by the producer as uniquely authentic old time music.

She originally went to America to meet her father Luke Faust, who was a folk musician of the 'Holy Modal Rounders,' and the 'Insect Trust' - a crazy old-time string band from the 1960s. Living in Hoboken, New Jersey, she began learning claw-hammer banjo and old-time singing from him and this quickly became an enduring obsession.

Helena was soon introduced to the lively traditional music festival scene and began listening to different styles from all over the country. At one of these festivals she met her husband to be, fiddler Jimmy Triplett and shortly thereafter they moved to the mountains of West Virginia. There they spent much of their time learning the music. They listened to field recordings and travelled to remote farms and cabins to visit some of the remaining older traditional musicians in the state.

Helena did an apprenticeship with banjo master Dwight Diller. She and Jimmy also spent many dusty hours digging into the Chappell recordings, part of the Regional and History Collection at West Virginia University and discovered many rare recordings of songs and tunes with styles from the 1800s. She developed what has been called 'an exceptionally pure traditional mountain style.'

Helena has been back in New Zealand for the past ten years where she completed a degree and now works in special education. "Music has had to take a back seat for a while but I don't ever want to let it get too rusty, I worked too hard to have this music and besides, the people who gave it to us expect us to carry it on."

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