musical lives, remembered in story & sound

A history

in her first heaven features the work of historically important women who practiced traditional music.

A journey

The writing and music of Anna Roberts-Gevalt and her friends.

Anna & Elizabeth

A space for info, videos, sound and schedule of Anna & Elizabeth, a unique, traditional duo.


This website is primarily to tell the stories of six inspiring women I learned about, the spring of 2009, a project called "In her First Heaven-- stories of Kentucky women banjo and fiddle players."  This project was made possible by a special fellowship from Berea College and its archives.

I am hard at work at many projects, but musically much of my focus is with Anna & Elizabeth, a duo, and we weave traditional Appalachian music with storytelling, original artwork, shadow puppetry & scrolling illustrations called CRANKIES.

Lost Gander Crankie!

A video of one of the crankies that Elizabeth LaPrelle and I made.

An old banjo tune, the Lost Gander, inspired visions of birds flying, leaves falling and snowflakes in the sky. This is what we came up with! I'm hoping to make a more high-quality video of it at some point, but for now, this will do. A video our friend Toby Garlitz made at a house concert in Monroe County, West Virginia.

interactive theater & performance

march 30, 2011

i am very much interested in the concept of interactive performance. engaging the audience, sometimes in a very direct way, letting them be PART of the event, not simply a passive spectator.

don't get me wrong, i have had moments, inspired, simply sitting in my chair, music or words washing over me. those are the exceptional concerts, the most thought provoking of plays. i grew up playing classical music. passive listening is expected. or the version of active, engaged listening while sitting silent and still.

day 2. you don't tell me that you love me anymore

this, from a cd i got my mom for christmas.

the incomparable singing of ginny hawker, such an inspiring woman and musician. when she sings, in front of us all, it is her whole heart and down to the tips of her hands, clenched in pain or spread in glory depending on the story of the song, that sings.

this one, an ola belle reed song, from her cd "letters to my father." lots of good ones, so many.  this, you don't tell me that you love me anymore. not something i may be able to understand right now. it is a song of married life, of the woman as she stops being young and the security of her love's eyes has gone somewhere else:

songs to learn.


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so, the year draws to a close, and i am determined to be inspired.

tonight's song, little maggie. i was picking my banjo, two finger style, and it sort of came out.

so, a listen to a great version, here's frank proffit, with his guitar. a man from laurel bloomery, says wikipedia. i remember tim eriksen talking a bit about him, and being inspired by him, but i admit i've never really sat down to listen to him. now, though, i will. (i think this project will prove a great reason to explore some musicians, the long list of them, that i've been too overwhelmed to start.)

his lyrics: