Sandy & Elizabeth

Elizabeth and Sandy singing, photo by Michael Melnyk

Sandy LaPrelle is Elizabeth’s mom! They love to sing together: Read More


IMG_0755 (LaPrelles, Heather and Lacey Coffey), 235x249px

Here are some projects that I have played a small role in, whether in the form of contributed tracks, backing vocals, or “cultural expertise”.  Some of these are works in progress–or my contribution hasn’t happened yet.  Please explore!

The Fruit Dodgers

Elizabeth’s performances with her old-time band, The Fruit Dodgers, feature a good dose of ballads, songs, and traditional southern harmonies, with the addition of old-time tunes accompanied by banjo, guitar, and fiddle.

The fruit dodgers play mountain old-time music, which includes about everything that can be done with a fiddle and banjo: dance tunes, gospel songs, folk songs, ballads, yesterday’s popular and country hits.

The Fruit Dodgers are highly accomplished, well-known old-time musicians in their own right:

Amy Davis (banjo, guitar, vocals)
Sandy LaPrelle (vocals)
Jim Lloyd (guitar, banjo)
Jon Newlin (fiddle, guitar, vocals)

Bios for individual members:

Amy Davis grew up in Millerton, New York. She spent considerable time in the Northeast playing and recording with the Little City String Band and it’s Cajun incarnation the Swampcats and also the Cajun band Dirty Rice. In 1992 she moved to North Carolina to study Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a Folklorist, Amy has done fieldwork in both western & eastern Kentucky, Harkers Island, in North Carolina, and worked on the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative for the North Carolina Arts Council. While in Kentucky she recorded a cassette with Kentucky old time fiddler Herstel Flynn. Amy worked for several years at the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill before receiving her teachers certificate and presently teaches music in Durham, NC. [link to The Hushpuppies website here:]

Sandy LaPrelle grew up singing the traditional songs her mother and father sang to her at home. Her formal music training included 2 years of piano in elementary school and 6 years of viola during junior and senior high school, as well as high school chorus. As a counselor at summer camp she sang and taught others to sing folk songs around the campfire, and of course sang to her own kids at home. In the late 1980’s Sandy performed early music with the Solstice Assembly out of Chapel Hill, NC. Now that her daughter Elizabeth is performing regularly, Sandy provides harmony vocals for the family duets.

Jim Lloyd’s musical roots extend back to at least four generations of fiddlers, guitar players, dancers, and singers from the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. Jim is an excellent instrumentalist whose work has been documented by the Smithsonian Institute as representative of Southwest Virginia mountain music and story-telling. While accomplished on many instruments, he is known especially for his skills on guitar (finger picking style) and banjo (clawhammer and two-finger), having won prizes in both at notable fiddler’s conventions such as Galax and Union Grove for many years. Jim shares his heritage not only by performing, but as a teacher to many local students ranging from ages 6 to 70 on basically anything with strings, particularly guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. He has taken his knowledge and talents to music camps, such as Augusta Heritage Center, Swannanoa Old-Time Music Camp, and Camp Holiday Lake, as well as holding workshops throughout Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Minnesota, and yes, England. Jim has performed at many regional shows as well as West Virginia’s Mountain Stage, Seedtime on the Cumberland (Appalshop), Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, Minnesota Old-Time and Bluegrass Festival, just to name a few. Jim has two solo recording projects but can be found on numerous recordings by other fellow musicians. Jim currently is a member of the string band, The Skyliners but also plays regularly with Mountain Fling, which plays parlor music often associated with the Carter Family and other early mid-20th century artits.  [link to Jim’s website here:]

Jon Newlin was also influenced by the traditional music he heard in his parent’s home. His formal musical training included two years piano in elementary school, two years bagpipes in junior high, three years trumpet, and six years French horn in high school.  Informal musical training included: guitar since age twelve in acoustic finger-style folk, folk-rock, blues, and American and British Isles folk dance tunes; Mandolin and Irish tin whistle since the mid ‘70’s; Old Time fiddle since the mid ‘80s.  Other musical abilities are melody and harmony singing, double note whistling, and overtone singing.  Since 1986 his main focus has been American Old Time fiddle tunes and songs from the early 20th and late 19th centuries.  Current CDs include two with The Hushpuppies and three with Elizabeth LaPrelle, all recorded on the Old 97 Wrecords label. [link to Hushpuppies website here:

The Fruit Dodgers are featured on all three of Elizabeth’s CD’s [link to CD page here]


Sometimes Elizabeth will teach at music camps or at your college or school!
She teaches Appalachian unaccompanied singing style, and ballads with words.
Quotes about how great she is at teaching
Cool places she taught
Description of things to teach..
Sometimes Elizabeth and Anna will teach — ”Anna & Elizabeth” & Crankies

Anna & Elizabeth / Crankies

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle met in 2010 and soon began planning adventures together.

Anna and Elizabeth use all the creative tools they can think of: storytelling, research, fiddle, banjo, guitar, ballads, puppets, poetry, and moving scrolls called “crankies”.

They are trying to engage themselves and their audience with traditional art in all the forms it can take—from canning to woodcuts, quilting to singing, to better express the rich stories this region has to share.

Lella Todd Crankie:

Lost Gander Crankie:

Lord Bateman Crankie:

The visual aspect of their performances somewhat limits the size of venue they can use; intimacy is a plus for this act!

Anna and Elizabeth have created two “crankie shows”, received with great enthusiasm from Seattle to Baltimore to Lexington, Kentucky:

Snow is on the Ground (January 2010/ February 2011)
“Snow Is On The Ground” is a new kind of traditional music performance. It weaves traditional ballads and songs, fiddle & banjo tunes with storytelling and with handcrafted images & pieces of theater— marionettes, shadow-puppets, woodcuts, collage, and sewn scrolls called “crankies.”
The performance centers on the theme of winter in Appalachia—stories of the cold weather today & in times gone by, and those songs, stories and good cheer that help us survive the chill.”
(add photo of tissue-paper orange cabin, IMG_1576)

(link to PDF “Snow on the Ground”
article by Gabe Popkin)

Music Around the Home (November 2011-January 2012)
“Anna and Elizabeth draw each song, tune, story, and poem from one of three women: Addie Graham, a Kentucky singer of ballads, blues, and hymns; Texas Gladden of Virginia, singer of old “love songs”; and Lella Todd, fiddler from Clay City, Kentucky.  They bring new life to the resonant music of artists who made music primarily off-stage, in their homes, for their families and communities.”
(add photo of girl walking in red trees, P1000554)

Upcoming tour of the Northeast, April 2011 with Katherine Fahey ( of Baltimore, MD– stay tuned!

Anna and Elizabeth’s facebook page:

Anna Roberts-Gevalt’s website:

Anna and Elizabeth’s Elementary School info sheet

Quotes about Anna and Elizabeth and the crankies:
“That looks…uh…interesting” -Security Guard at the Smithsonian Museum
“In all my eighty-four years, I’ve never seen such talent!” -resident at Warm Hearth retirement home
“Anna and Elizabeth are blazing a trail of exciting, community-building Folk Music. They’ve found a way to make these songs come to life for young folks, old folks, and medium folks. I doubt there’s a more creative, vibrant, passionate duo sharing their joy with the world right now.”
Caleb Stine, Baltimore Songwriter & Actor

Link & contact, cross-link to Floyd Radio Show

Floyd Radio Show

Live at the Floyd Country Store, the first Saturday of the month, 7 PM.
Upcoming shows: March 3, April 7, May 5.  No shows June-August.

Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt co-host and write for the Floyd Radio Show, Views from Buffalo Mountain.  Taking its cues from variety entertainment of days gone by (and a certain NPR inspiration), the Floyd Radio Show mixes rapid-fire comedic advertisements, melodramatic skits, and pieces of Floyd history with the world-class music that lies thick on the ground in Southwest Virginia.

Listen online at
Elizabeth hosts with Anna-Roberts-Gevalt


Elizabeth LaPrelle is exceptional in her devotion to and mastery of the ancient and deep-art of Appalachian unaccompanied singing. She keeps the old mountain ballads and songs with a sense of conviction, honor, honesty and emotional force that evokes the great Appalachian ballad singers of generations past.  Elizabeth’s voice, stark and unaccompanied, can lift and carry the listener away to another time.

Elizabeth has sung for audiences across the country, and has taught Appalachian ballads and unaccompanied singing at music camps and workshops.  She has sought out information about songs and singers past, and enjoys passing it on to students of any age.

Quotes about Elizabeth’s Singing:

“Anyone can learn the old ballads. There are numerous collections in libraries and books that are available on-line. But, Elizabeth is interested in the feel, the sound, the ornamentation of these songs. She is, in my opinion, one of maybe a handful of young singers able to capture the rhythm, the intensity, the breaks and sighs, that make this style of singing authentic. The only problem I have while listening to Elizabeth is that I’m always listening through tears. She reminds me so much of my older relatives – the same profound feeling for the ballad, yet with such a clear voice.” -Sheila Kay Adams, seventh-generation

“Elizabeth attends to these time-honored ballads with a level of comfort and conviction rarely found these days, let alone by someone of such a young age. There is a real kind of chilling effect of her singing…Elizabeth…is more than simply an ‘interpreter’ of this genre. One gets the feeling…that she is accessing those aspects of these songs that transcend place and historical time, and speak directly to the heart.” -John Lohman, Virginia State Folklorist

Past Performances & Teaching:
Crooked Road Tour 2007 & 2010
Augusta Heritage Center Vocal Week 2009 & 2011
Ballad Summit with Colleen Cleveland, part of the Mid-Atlantic Folk-Arts Outreach Project
and many more…