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About

John Harrod has documented, recorded, and performed traditional music for more than 45 years. Born and raised in Shelby County, Kentucky, he has a B.A. from Centre College (1967) and an M.A. from Oxford University (1969) which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Recently retired, he taught history and English at Owen County High School and Frankfort High School. In the 1970s and ’80s, he played with a number of bands including the Progress Red Hot String Band, the Bill Livers String Ensemble, and the Gray Eagle Band that re-introduced traditional musicians such as Bill Livers and Lily May Ledford to Kentucky audiences. During this time he also worked for three years as a Kentucky Arts Council folk artist-in-residence in Wolfe, Estill, and Trimble Counties. Along with Mark Wilson and Guthrie Meade, he produced a series of field recordings of Kentucky fiddle and banjo players that is still available on Rounder Records. In 2015 the Field Recorders Collective issued his recordings of Carlton Rawlings and Darley Fulks, two exceptional and heretofore unknown fiddlers who have had a great impact on his life. John's field recordings are housed at both Berea College and the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead. He has taught fiddle and conducted workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center, the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington, the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, and the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. He continues to perform with Kentucky Wild Horse, a band that draws on a wide variety of Kentucky music past and present. In 2004 John received the Folk Heritage Award of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts for his work in traditional music.