Carol Rifkin

Carol Rifkin’s soaring voice shines.
MerleFest 2012

MerleFest 2012

An award winning vocalist (2x  2nd place Mt. Airy, 1st  Dublin Pulaski, 2x First place NC Mountain State Fair, more), musician, recording artist & veteran of many bands (Blue Ridge Serenaders, Horseshoe Hotshots, Wild Goose Chasers, Carolina Old Timers, Bailey Mountain Ramblers, Paul's Creek, a trio with John Fowler, Jeanette Queen, appeared with Sheila Kay Adams, performed on TV, radio, recordings, at festivals, in the 1985 British TV special “Down Home, Appalachia to Nashville” (link shows Carol with Tommy Jarrell),  the movie "Songcatcher",  2005 documentary "Rank Strangers",  "Why Old Time," taught guitar and dance at prestigious music camps and much more.  Carol danced with Doc Watson and David Holt at regional events  like MerleFest and Mountain Song & regularly plays concerts & festivals. Along time member of the early professional Green Grass Clogger road team, Carol appeared with them in several Emmy Award Winning network productions & toured internationally.  A co- founder of the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), she served as Assistant Director for 10 years. A journalist who writes about music for the Asheville Citizen Times, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, SingOut & more (over 1,000 stories published), she co-host’s WNCW’s (88.7 FM)  “This Old Porch” Sunday's 3-6 p.m.  -An accomplished songwriter, Carol's original songs are on two Paul's Creek CDs and "Old and New from the Mountains" ( 1995 David Holt, Rich Hartness...). -Carol recorded with award winning songwriter and musician Dick Tarrier on "Songs for Older Kids," plays guitar and sings on fiddler Roger Howell's "Hills and Heroes" CD and appears with him on the "75th Anniversary of the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival" CD.  Besides singing, playing, dancing and writing, -Carol MCs events like Asheville's annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival (the nation's oldest ) hosts the dance and traditional stage at MerleFest, narrated a documentary short from Western Carolina University (created by Ross Dillen) about the traditional music history of the region, studies weekly under master fiddler Arvil Freeman and is immersed in mountain culture in almost every way.
carol web dancing with tommy jarrell on set of down home fall 1984

With Tommy Jarrell, Paul Brown, Aly Bain and more on the set of "Down Home Appalachia to Nashville" 1984

-The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area  features a cut from Paul's Creek  "Friends"  in a documentary on regional traditions, seen daily by visitors to the BRNHA center on the Parkway.  October's WNC Woman Magazine profiles the women at WNCW Radio 88.7 fm -On August 31 Carol Rifkin joined Shiela Kay Adams (2013 NEA National Heritage Fellow) & Jeanette Queen (Queen Family) onstage at the Smokey Mountain Folk Festival. -On September 27, 2013 Carol attended the NEA awards in Washington DC in support of long time friend Sheila Kay Adams and was graciously invited to appear in the show- singing with the award winning David Ivey & the Alabama Sacred Harp Singers and dancing in the finale with Irish dancer Kevin Doyle (after Sheila who did a bang up job!) -On August 1, 2013 Carol received the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award onstage at the 86th Mountain Dance & Folk Festival for “Significant Contribution to the Art of Appalachian Culture.” - the July 2013 issue of WNC Woman Magazine included Carol in “One Dozen WNC Women You Should Know in Music & Dance.” -On August 1 Carol Rifkin appeared with the Folk Heritage Dance Team, created by Bruce & Carol Peterson & Asheville’s Folk Heritage Committee to preserve the format of the original square dance teams as they appeared in the early part of the 20th Century. Available for concerts with legendary fiddler Arvil Freeman and/or the Paul's Creek Band and their state of the art sound system or the trio of Carol Rifkin, Jeanette Queen and John Fowler. Focused on singing and harmonies with string band instrumentation, they  provide for everything from a cozy evening to a large concert of old timey, vintage bluegrass, early country and original songs OR educational programs, down home big circle square dances and clogging. Contact Carol: Carol Rifkin

(Carol appeared on the cover of  North Carolina's Bold Life Magazine  in August of 2007,  the wonderful  cover art above was created by James Pitilli, see more of his work at