Artists Like You strives to preserve N.C. folk music
Clint Bowman saw a void in North Carolina’s folk music genre and decided to fill it.
The 20-year-old High Pointer, who graduated from Ledford High School in 2012 and is now a rising junior at N.C. State University, is the founder of Artists Like You, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the state’s indigenous folk music scene. The organization arranged for three folk acts to perform at this weekend’s Village Fair at Mendenhall Plantation in Jamestown.
“I created (Artists Like You) because I noticed how folk musicians and folk music in North Carolina were not thriving like other genres,” Bowman explained. “I figured it would be a great way to connect local artists with local communities and give them a better following, and maybe they could be successful enough that they could make folk music their profession and not have to do it as a side thing.”
This summer, Artists Like You is sponsoring a mini concert series called Folk Friday, which features North Carolina folk musicians. The first concert, held last month in Jamestown, drew approximately 50 people. The Village Fair performances will be the second installment of the series, and a third concert will be held next month in Saxapahaw.
For Saturday’s Village Fair, the performers will include Col. Andy Hunt, a banjo player from Archdale, who will be joined by guitarist Jack Humble (10-10:45 a.m. and 12-12:45 p.m.); Brandon Thomas, a singer/songwriter from Kannapolis (11-11:45 a.m.); and Matt Phillips, a singer/songwriter from Chapel Hill (1-2 p.m.).
The idea, Bowman said, is to give folk music a bigger platform that will benefit individual artists and, in the long run, the genre itself.
“Sometimes I’ll be talking about a folk artist I’ve seen, and people have no clue who I’m talking about, even though these artists live right in their backyard,” he said. “I feel like if more people could listen to them, they’re more likely to have that support system they need and have successful careers, which would help keep folk music alive.”
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