Interview with Doris “Lady D” Fields, Beckley, West Virginia

Doris Fields, aka “Lady D,” is a singer, bandleader, actress and visual artist based in Beckley, West Virginia. Known as West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul, Lady D has opened for the O’Jays at Charleston’s FestivALL (2007), as well as performed for The HistoryMakers: An Evening With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in Charleston (2010). Along with her band MI$$ION, she performed her original song “Go Higher,” chosen as the best Obama Inaugural Song, at the Obama for Change Inaugural Ball in 2009. Lady D received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the All Black Schools Sports & Academic Hall of Fame (2014) and has won the DC Blues Society Blues Challenge (2017). As an actress, Lady D has toured with her one-woman show The Lady and the Empress, a musical stage play based on the life and music of Bessie Smith. She has also acted with West Virginia productions of Honey in the Rock, Hatfields, McCoys and various other shows.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/22/2020.

Interview with Dakota Karper, Capon Bridge, West Virginia

Dakota Karper is an Appalachian fiddler, vocalist and storyteller based in Capon Bridge, West Virginia. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Dakota grew up surrounded by old-time Appalachian string band music and began studying the music at a young age. Absorbing as much as possible, she apprenticed under fiddler Joe Herrmann, spent weeks at Augusta Heritage Center, played various music festivals in and around West Virginia, and studied classical violin at the Shenandoah Arts Academy in Winchester, Virginia. After living in Baltimore, Maryland, for seven years, Dakota moved back to her roots in Capon Bridge, West Virginia, where she teaches Appalachian fiddle, as well as performs in the surrounding areas. Dakota was a founding member of the Short Mountain String Band and Hay Fever. In 2019 Dakota opened her own traditional roots music school called The Cat and The Fiddle.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/29/2020.

Interview with Morgan Morrison, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Morgan Morrison is a musician based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Morgan comes from a family of professional musicians across diverse genres. She began studying the music of Virginia in her teens in various music festivals across the state, but her musical interests span many genres across the world. She plays guitar, bouzouki, and sings. Morgan is a band member and principal manager of the band Furnace Mountain, and performs extensively in the United States and internationally. She teaches mandolin and guitar to local students. Morgan also coordinates more than 200 volunteers for the annual River & Roots Festival and Watermelon Park Festival in Clarke County, and is the Program Director of Barns of Rose Hill, a nonprofit performing arts venue and community center located in historic downtown Berryville, Virginia.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 11/02/2020.