Keeping Shenandoah Valley Mountain Music Making Alive...

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Summer 2024 - County Girl's Blue Moon
Music is in the air!  Me & Martha has a new Studio Album Country Girl's Blue Moon available for Download or CD. The song choice reflects the blending of New England folk tunes, sea shanties, and other regional songs with Don's Shenandoah Valley Appalachian influences. This album creates a unique fusion honoring America's diverse rural roots traditions.  Moreover the album celebrates Martha and her musical journey, roots and heritage.  

Liner notes from County Girl's Blue Moon
      Martha Hills is originally from a farming community along the coast of Maine just outside of Belfast. One of ten children, her roots trace back to the first English settlers in the coastal regions of what is now Maine. She has deep roots in New England's musical legacy.  Her great uncle Archie Gordon from Friendship was a renowned Maine fiddler who handcrafted over a hundred violins and was immersed in the New England fiddle community.  Martha has numerous relatives who delighted everyone with their guitars and Grange piano music for generations. At an early age church singing and 4-H solidified Martha’s reverence for the region’s musical heritages. Her family’s music tastes varied from Big Band to Country/Western. She remembers fondly Saturday nights were special. Along with her mom, dad, brothers, and sister she would watch Dick Stacey’s Jamboree and during the week at 8am the Curly O'Brien show. Both were locally produced amateur country music shows featuring local talent broadcasted from Bangor, Maine. In the 1990s, Martha heard for the first-time live bluegrass music and immediately felt a pull to the music. It was no coincidence.  Her musical journey continued and eventually brought her together in 2000 with her soon to be husband Don DePoy, a 5th generation Appalachian music maker.   
     Martha and Don shared a passion for music and their complementary skills made them a perfect match. With a little coaxing from Euva, Don’s mom, Martha started playing bass fiddle. By 2003, they had officially formed the music duo Me & Martha. By blending New England folk tunes, sea shanties, and other regional songs with Don's Shenandoah Valley Appalachian roots, they created a unique fusion that honors America's diverse rural traditions.
      Moving to Virginia in 2008, Martha and Don have been touring for fifteen years with over 3600 concerts and workshops. They are members of America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame and are on the traditional artist rosters of Young Audiences of Virginia and Virginia Commission for the Arts.
     In 2020, to promote local musicians, the Virginia non-profit, Shenandoah Music Trail collaborated with Martha and Don to produce and cohost the weekly television series Mountain Music The on-location, remote productions showcased the region’s attractions and musicians. The Shows airing over broadcast television reached over 3.3 million people every week for 81-weeks in VA, NC, PA, OH, WV, MD, KY, IA, IN, IL and of course Maine. The 64 shows recorded 162 musicians and 633 songs and are part of the Folk Archive Collection at The Library of Congress and Virginia Folk Life Archives. The Curator of the Folk Archives Collection reported that these recordings are “significant and the largest of its kind since the Lomax collection in the 1940s.”  The Shows were funded by local sponsors and grants from Virginia Tourism, Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginia Humanities.  Mountain Music is currently in re-runs around the World over cable, social and digital media.
     Martha and Don co-curated two Mountain Music exhibits for two Virginia heritage museums. In 2024 for the fourth year in a row, Virginia Living Magazine awarded Me & Martha “Top Wedding Band”. Me & Martha showcased at the 2023 IBMA World of Bluegrass and Don co-hosted the bluegrass banjo workshop.
     Don holds a PhD focused American Music and has made substantial contributions to preserve Appalachian music.  He is on faculty in the Music Department at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he teaches all bluegrass instruments except fiddle.     
    Martha and Don live in Don’s family home place in the historic village of West View, overlooking the Allegheny Mountains.

Me & Martha is Virginia Living's Top Wedding Band for 2024! 
Our 4th Year in a row…

2023 Banjo Set - Family & Friends Bluegrass Festival… 
Link Here
2023 History of American Popular Music Williamsburg Library… 
Link Here
2022 Mountain Music Show #52 - It's a Lazy Day … 
Link Here
2022 Mountain Music Show #55 - I'm Satisfied with You & Blue Moon… 
Link Here

Mountain Music Television Series 
Through the Shenandoah Music Trail, a 501(C)(3) non-profit the series was produced and hosted by Don and Martha.  Every week the on-location remote productions showcased new songs from Me & Martha and their guests. The Shows air over broadcast, cable, social media and DVD.  Our Mountain Music television series reached over 3.3 million people every week (81-weeks) for 115,039,845 Total Households. The shows aired all over Virginia and in NC, PA, OH, WV, MD, KY, IA, IN, IL and of course Maine. We recorded 64 TV shows, collecting 162 musicians and 633 songs for the Folk archive collection at The Library of Congress and Virginia Folk Life Archives. Our collection is reported by Library to be significant and the first of its kind since the Lomax collection in the 1940s.  We were awarded grants from Virginia Tourism, Virginia Commission for the Arts and Virginia Humanities.  The shows are currently in re-runs around the World.   Links to all 64-Shows - Call Martha 540-209-3540

Me & Martha at the 2023 IBMA World of Bluegrass
We played on the Bronze Wound Showcase and Don co-hosted the Bluegrass Banjo Workshop and we now have updated business cards…

 

Friday, May 5, 2023 - 3:30-4:30pm 
History of Shenandoah Valley Roots Music (adult)
Churchville Branch Augusta County Library - 3714 Churchville Ave. Churchville, VA
     An afternoon of music featuring the musical instruments and songs associated with the Shenandoah Valley's rich musical legacy from the early settlers to today!  Showcasing the Mt. Dulcimer, Autoharp, 5-string Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Mandolin, Fiddle and Bass Fiddle.  Songs will include bluegrass standards, folk, rural swing, and classic country. 
     Library 540-245-5287
     Me & Martha 540-209-3540

NICE REVIEW of what we do…
Every time Don and Martha come to play at Churchville Library the crowd gets bigger...and bigger. We have to use all of our chairs and entire program space to accommodate the crowd! The last program Don and Martha put on was our "Bluegrass Zoo" program; intended for children to have access to bluegrass music and instruments. This was an astounding success. Eleven children had their minds opened to the power of music. It was heartwarming to watch some of my smallest regular patrons become entranced by the music, the moving strings, the rhythm and the sounds. Reviews from the children after the program included that it was "awesome" "it was cool" and when asked if they would want to come again all responded with a resounding "yes!".  Martha and Don make sure that they are accessible to our rural communities, bringing otherwise unavailable resources to our community. Don and Martha are inspiring future generations of musicians and bluegrass aficionados. 
Thanks again and as always for your contributions to Churchville and the community!
Hannah Lickey, MLIS 
Churchville Branch Manager and Children's Librarian

Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 5:30-6:30pm 
Bluegrass & Mt. Music Instrument Zoo (children)
Churchville Branch Augusta County Library - 3714 Churchville Ave. Churchville, VA
Summer Fun.  All ages welcome!  The Musical Instrument Petting Zoo offers budding musicians (the young and young at heart) a chance to be introduced to new and familiar bluegrass instruments.  The program begins with some songs and a presentation by Donald DePoy and Martha Hills, professional musicians performing as Me & Martha. Not only a master musician, Don holds a Ph.D. specializing in American Music and teaches bluegrass instruments at Eastern Mennonite University.  After their 30-minute program, they will offer guidance as you try your hand at joining in the fun of making your own music with some rhythm instruments.  
     Library 540-245-5287
     Me & Martha 540-209-3540

Me & Martha is Virginia Living's Top Wedding Band for 2024! Our 4th Year in a row…

We got the exciting news and we were awarded Top Wedding Live Band for 2024 - 
That's 4 years in a row.  Checkout our FaceBook page for more information: 
www.facebook.com/meandmarthamusicduoorband