Old Keowee blog.
play Stenson's #2 during Southern Appalachian Day at Hagood Mill, Pickens, SC in May.
This past weekend we made it down to the Sautee Nacoochee Center in Georgia for their 35th anniversary celebration contra dance and jam. We were welcomed by the friendly folks running the center, made some new acquaintances and ran into some people we already knew! Some people came from Waynesville, NC (about 2 hours), Greer, SC (about 2 hours) and we drove about an hour and a half. Here in Oconee County, SC, the golden corner (or, as they used to call it, the dark corner, due to its moonshine production) is the upper left hand corner of the state which abuts Georgia and North Carolina. So even though it might seem like a big deal to "cross state lines," it's hard to live here and not be at most half an hour's drive to another state.
Our friends Becky and Steve Walker who will be helping us out on Friday (Becky will be calling the dance) were there dancing away to the sounds of the Blue Ridge Rounders, an upstate South Carolina band. We are grateful to live in the midst of so many traditional music and dance practitioners in this region and were inspired by the fantastic cultural center of Sautee Nacoochee!
Andy is on the board of the Oconee Heritage Center, as the marketing director. He also knows music and how to have fun: hence, the Old Keowee Contra Dance was born! He hopes that it's successful enough to become a regular event in our little corner of South Carolina, surrounded by lakes, mountains & forests. Andy comes from a long line of fiddle players and is a South Carolina Arts in Education Folk life/Traditional Arts approved artist. He is also the longest-serving instructor in the Oconee County Young Appalachian Musicians (YAMs) program and the 2016 South Carolina State Fiddle Champion.