Virginia Folklife Stage and Area to feature “Hot Rods and Hot Licks”

There’s something new this year at the Richmond Folk Fest’s Virginia Folklife Stage and Area that fans of folk music and Nascar can love.

From a press release this morning:

The Virginia Folklife Program’s 2019 presentation of Hot Rods and Hot Licks will celebrate and showcase some of the Commonwealth’s most skilled and innovative automotive magicians today.

Audiences will witness the intricate art of pinstriping, custom form sculpting, bead rolling and stretching, and much more, while getting up close and personal with the prized rolling wonders of local hot rodders and collectors. And while we won’t be racing these beauties on the street, speed will definitely be on display, as audiences will be able to witness the complete disassembly and reassembly of a small block Chevy engine in world record time by our own Hot Rodders of Tomorrow national youth champions from Roanoke County Schools.

While Team Vibrant Performance breaks down engines in record times, young contestants will dazzle the judges with their own lightening quick banjo breakdowns in the 5th Annual Scott Street Five String Finals. As master custom car designer Marty Martino demonstrates the sculpting of whimsical curves on a hot rod’s fins, master Mongolian contortionist Mandkhai Erdembat will bend her own body into equally elegant yet seemingly impossible forms.

Much in the way that Virginians turn local lots into cruise ins and drag strips, audiences will marvel at the remarkable artistic expressions and aesthetic cultures that arose from the urban parking lots of Hampton Roads with the dazzling hip hop dance moves of Washington, D.C.-area arts collective Urban Artistry.

Here is a list of performers and material culture demonstrators:


Bryan Bowers Band (autoharp virtuoso/folk)

Danny Knicely (multi-instrumentalist and dancer)

Deborah Pratt and Clementine Macon Boyd (oyster shucking champions)

Dr. Levine and the Dreaded BluesLady with Andrew Alli (blues)

Frank Newsome (Old Regular Baptist hymns)

J Pope (vocalist and lyricist)

Legendary Ingramettes (gospel)

Linda Lay and Springfield Exit (bluegrass)

Mandkhai Erdembat (Mongolian contortion)

Urban Artistry (house dance and hip hop)

Whitetop Mountain Band (old time)

Wild Ponies (Americana)

Willard Gayheart featuring Dori Freeman (Appalachian singer/songwriter)

Material Culture Demonstrators

Jack Harris – Custom Metal Work

Kent Writtenberry – Autobody Metal Work and Custom Restoration

Tom Van Nortwick – Automobile Pinstriping

Marty Martino – Custom Auto Design and Shaping

Roddy Moore – Curator of Virginia Folklife Area

Team Vibrant Performance: Burton Center for Arts and Technology Motor Sports Team, Chris Overfelt, Coach – Engine Assembly and Disassembly


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