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Berea Sound Archives Fellowship Topics

Katie Hoffman / Jonesborough, Tennessee / 2013-2014 / Topic: McLain Family Band

Katie HoffmanProject: Katie's research will be in support of a writing project that will document the history of the McLain Family Band and their influence on Appalachian and Bluegrass music, especially during the 1970s and 1980s. The band's founder, Raymond K. McLain was the first Berea faculty to have a formal academic background in Appalachian music. The band's extensive touring in the United States and dozens of other countries took Bluegrass and Appalachian music to audiences who might otherwise not have encountered it. Band members have followed in their father's footsteps teaching college level traditional music.

Coinciding with the bands' 50th anniversary, Katie's research in Berea's McLain Family collection will result in a series of articles and eventually a full-length book.

Katie is a musician, songwriter, and singer and taught classes in research writing and Southern literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served as traditional music advisor for public programing venues, documentaries, and public school music heritage programs. As an oral historian she has done field work and research in such Appalachian Studies areas as mountain settlement schools, traditional music, and traditional food-ways. In 2012 Katie founded Appalworks, a consulting business based in East Tennessee, promoting cultural heritage as a tool for both place-based, sustainable economic development and education.