Blue Eyed Girl
Pearl Shirley grew up in Black Mountain, NC, soaking up traditional Appalachian music and dance almost without noticing. She picked up a tiny violin at age 5, and since then has fiddled her way through hundreds of foot-stomping contra dances and folk concerts. Pearl is a percussive step dancer and tours the U.S. and beyond with contra dance band Mock Turtle Soup. When she is not on the road, Pearl works as a first grade teacher.
Ellie Grace was strapping on her first tiny clogging shoes around the same time Pearl picked up that little fiddle. From her early start in percussive dance, Ellie went on to spend her childhood performing professionally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer with her family band. She now carries on her family’s musical tradition, touring and teaching nationally and internationally (often as a duo with her sister, Leela Grace). The last several years have witnessed many exciting music and dance accomplishments including releasing a groundbreaking new CD with Leela, performing as a member of The Dirk Powell Band, being on faculty as a percussive dance instructor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and joining the dynamic trio known as Blue Eyed Girl. www.elliegracearts.com or www.leelaandelliegrace.com
Annie Fain Liden was reared in Cherokee County, NC, within walking distance of the John C. Campbell Folk School, a world-renowned center for traditional Appalachian music, dance, crafts, and trades. She was that curly-headed toddler skipping around the dance hall as her parents played for folk dances and taught handcraft workshops. A banjo somehow must have slipped into her hands one day and some little dance shoes jumped on her feet. Now Annie Fain teaches banjo and book arts workshops from her studio in Asheville and is a pillar of Asheville’s thriving arts and dance community. www.afainbooks.com