Catawba County Employee Spotlight

Donna Fox

Donna Fox

Department: Social Services
Old Time Traditional Music Performer and Story Teller

Tell us about performing Old Time Traditional Music and Story Telling.  
I am an Old Time Traditional Music performer and story teller, along with my husband, Michael Fox.  The name of our band is Possum Hollar Old Time String Band.  The type of music we play would have been played around the 1800’s to 1930’s before amplification and is the fore runner to what is now considered bluegrass music.  It would have been played at corn shuckings, square dances, fiddlers' conventions, etc… and is acoustic.  I play guitar, wash tub bass, scrub board, spoons, Bodrhan (Irish drum), limber jack doll and sing mountain ballads.  Mike plays anything with strings but mostly a banjo-like instrument he invented called a dulcijo.  You can Google him (Michael Fox dulcijo) and find all kinds of You Tube videos of him.  David Holt is probably the most visible performer who features this style of music and is featured on PBS; he is also a good friend of ours. 

When did you get started?  What inspired you to start?    
We have been playing music for over 40 years.  We feel that it is important to share the “roots” music that we love and is such a part of the American culture.  Most of this music came with the Scotch Irish people who settled in our mountains.  

Where all do you play?  
We play at Hart Square, WPAQ-Mt. Airy’s radio station, schools, libraries, at the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mt. Airy on the streets for 3 days.  We have played on the streets of Asheville, Hickory, Washington NC, and too many places to mention. 

What is one of your favorite places that you perform?    
We have met all kinds of people with the music, but my favorite performances are the ones we do with children at schools.  We usually have the children come up after the performance and have them play various instruments we bring.