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Orpheus Supertones
Levine Museum of the New South
Charlotte, NC
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Orpheus Supertones
A Rare Charlotte Performance by the World Famous ORPHEUS SUPERTONES! Foot Stomping Music & A Contagious Good Time with Pete Peterson, Kellie Allen, Hiliary Dirlam, Clare Milliner and Walt Koken

Each member of the Orpheus Supertones is a Spectacular musician and a Loved tradition-bearer. Together, they are even greater than the parts: twin fiddles, banjo, guitar and bass plus great vocal harmonies to rock your world.

Six-time prize winners in the prestigious traditional string band competition at the Appalachian String Band Festival and prize winners galore at countless music contests. Individual members have won ribbons in fiddle, banjo, bass playing, and vocals. Both Walt and Pete are past recipients of the Grand Prize at the Charlie Poole Banjo Contest. Hilary is a founder, Clare and Walt are Contributing Editors, and Kellie and Pete write articles, CD and book reviews for the Old Time Herald.

PETE PETERSON is a legendary (and prize winning) three finger banjo player, guitarist and traditional singer. His extensive knowledge, skill and experience playing traditional old time music is unrivaled. He got his first guitar and banjo over fifty years ago and now plays one of Charlie Poole's banjos. Pete's signature and distinctive sound on the banjo echoes Charlie Poole, who played three-finger banjo, backup style. Pete also plays guitar with a thumb pick, following in the style of old-time guitarists such as Roy Harvey and Maybelle Carter. His banjo and guitar styles are mighty cool, uncommon and add to the distinctive sound of the Orpheus Supertones.

KELLIE ALLEN hails from Kansas, where she started playing old-time tunes with her brother, fiddler and banjo player Greg Allen.  She served a stint in Pay Attention, a 1980s indie rock band, and later toured Europe playing old time music with the Delaware River Band. Known for her Riley Puckett-esque backup style, she sings old-time and early country duets with her partner Pete Peterson.

HILARY DIRLAM has enjoyed a long career in music. She studied guitar with Stefan Grossman in New York in the 1960's, then played bass, piano, and guitar in the Arm and Hammer old time string band in Vermont in the 1970's. During the 80's and 90's she played bass with North Carolina Heritage Award winners Caroll Best and Luke and Harold Smathers, and recorded two albums with noted fiddler and collector Bruce Greene. She has managed two U. S. tours for a Nepali band, and she recorded and produced seven albums at a Tibetan Monastery. She is one of the founders of the Old Time Herald magazine, has written several books of banjo tablature, and has been director of the Mars Hill Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week for the past twenty years.

CLARE MILLINER's mom made sure of her kids played an instrument. Clare started playing piano at age four and violin at age eight. She started giving piano and violin lessons at age sixteen and went on to major in music in college. Despite all the musical training, she was able to learn how to play the fiddle sometime in the early '80s and has been doing so happily ever since. With Walt she transcribed 1404 fiddle tunes from the original sources and compiled them in a ground-breaking (and back-breaking) book, The Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes.

WALT KOKEN started playing banjo in 1959. He joined the Busted Toe Mudthumpers in the late 1960's. In 1969, after losing his friend, fiddler, and band-mate in a car accident, he took up the fiddle in earnest, and as a fiddler in 1972 he formed the widely acclaimed Highwoods Stringband. They toured the U.S. as well as Latin America and Europe, and recorded three LP's on Rounder Records. In the 1990's he began producing CD's of his own banjo playing, both traditional and original tunes and songs, two on Rounder and one on his own Mudthumper label.

Learn More About the Orpheus Supertones at


Levine Museum of the New South (View)
200 E 7th St
Charlotte, NC 282702
United States

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Music > All Ages
Music > Americana
Music > Bluegrass
Music > Folk

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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