About Mac & Jenny Traynham
Mac and Jenny Traynham are a husband and wife duo who specialize in the early country duet style of singing and playing old-time country and mountain music. They draw their repetoire from a wide variety of sources from the Appalachian mountains of Virginia and beyond. Citing as their influences are well-known names from the genre such as the Original Carter Family, the Delmore Brothers and The Blue Sky Boys. On the other hand, they are at home with the old-time fiddle and banjo styles of their home area, Floyd County, in the southern Blue Ridge area of Virginia. Their main music style is a throwback to the Golden Era of American Country music when music from the tradition of the rural home atmosphere was discovered and put forth 'live' on radio programs daily across the entire country. The sound and songs of that time were preserved on 78 RPM recordings which have been collected and re-released to be enjoyed and become sources for inspiration to a new generation like the Traynhams.
Both Mac and Jenny are native to Virginia and have lived in the Southwest portion since the mid 70's. With strong backgrounds in religious and old-time music, they began singing together in 1979 sharing an interest in learning selected songs primarily from the recordings of the early pioneers of country music. Over the years their repetoire has grown to include ballads, sweetheart songs, western, and gospel numbers. Banjo and fiddle tunes from the region are included as well.
Beginning in 1981, they first publically performed several songs on a live radio program at WBOB Galax Va hosted by well-known radio host and fiddler's convention MC, Harold Mitchell . During the next few years they occasionally performed on the air at the famous WPAQ "Merry-Go-Round" program in Mt Airy, NC calling themselves 'The Southern Mountain Melody Makers'. In 1986 they released an LP of old-time and gospel duets with guitars entitled the Roses Bloom in Dixieland" on the Heritage label of Galax Va. Mac's old-time harmonica style learned from his father was featured on a couple of the numbers. As part-time musicians, they performed at a number of venues during the 1980's including the Brandywine mountain music convention, Carter Fold, and the National Folk Festival.
In the 1992, they released a cassette entitled 'The Sweetest Way Home". This recording again featured all duets, both secular and gospel backed with archtop and flattop guitars as well as mandolin on a few numbers. Liner notes were written by noted bluegrass DJ , Bill Vernon.
In the 90's Mac and Jenny were instructors in duet and harmony singing at a number of summer music camps such as the Augusta Heritage Workshops in West Virginia, Pinewoods Folk Music Week in Massachusetts, and the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina. Mac himself is a well known instrumentalist and has taught numerous workshops at music camps on old-time banjo and old-time fiddle playing. He has won various contest in the region including first place three times for his banjo playing at the prestigious Appalachian Stringband Festival held each August near Clifftop,West Virginia. In 2005 he released a critically aclaimed CD of tracks featuring his playing and singing of mountain music. These were learned from various sources including from visits with the old-timers as well as from old commercial and field recordings. The collection is entitled 'I'm Going That Way' . Although mostly solo performances, Jenny provides solid back-up guitar and vocals on a few of the numbers. Visit macandjenny.blogspot.com for more info.