Me & Martha

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Bio

Me & Martha
a.k.a Don DePoy & Martha Hills
Martha and Don are married to each other and live locally in McGaheysville, Virginia on Massanutten Mountain. You’ll be quick to notice they embrace life and love to make music. If you have high-level musical entertainment at your facility, please consider Me & Martha. We play American Rural Roots Music, which includes American... more

Me & Martha
a.k.a Don DePoy & Martha Hills
Martha and Don are married to each other and live locally in McGaheysville, Virginia on Massanutten Mountain. You’ll be quick to notice they embrace life and love to make music. If you have high-level musical entertainment at your facility, please consider Me & Martha. We play American Rural Roots Music, which includes American fiddle/banjo traditions, blues, old-time string band, sea shanties and work songs, old-time country, bluegrass and contemporary folk ballads. Working in the traditional rural format, the duo draws on material from folk, hillbilly, bluegrass traditional country and mountain music with a fusion of whatever musical genres seem to fit effectively. Many of Me & Martha's signature songs explore the universal themes of everyday life.
~ For 2013, Me & Martha have performed 264 concerts and workshops,
~ Members of America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame,
~ Members of the Artist Roster of Virginia Commission for the Arts,
~ Members of the Artist Roster of Young Audiences of Virginia,
~ Created the Shenandoah Music Trail, a non-profit corporation preserving, promoting, and celebrating the Valley’s music to bring musicians and audiences together,
~ Don holds a Master’s degree in education and a PhD in American music,
~ Don is on faculty at Eastern Mennonite University teaching bluegrass,
~ Don has over 20 years teaching experience in post-secondary education,
~ Don’s family settled in the Shenandoah Valley in the 1730s,
~ Martha as an Early Childhood educator, specializing in infant to 10 years old,
~ Martha has 15 years teaching experience in public and private schools,
~ Martha is a certified MusikGarten teacher, and teaches children Ukulele,
~ Martha’s family arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 aboard the Mayflower,
~ Together Don and Martha promote the benefits of music across the life span,
~ They are recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Association for their contributions to promote bluegrass music.
Don is a 5th generation music maker from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley playing most mountain music instruments except the fiddle. His whole family plays music and his grandfather and great uncle were recorded in 1940 by folklorist and musicologist, Alan Lomax for the Archive of American Folk Songs at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Don started playing in his father’s band the Mountain Music Makers at the age of eight. At that time members of the band included Lew Dewitt of the “yet to be discovered” Statler Brothers. Over the years, Don has played with Steve “Dueling Banjos” Mandell, Elizabeth (Libby) Cotton, John Jackson, Herb Smoke, Madeline MacNeil, Ralph Lee Smith and countless others.
Don is a featured performer on eleven recordings and four anthologies of traditional American music, including 2013 CD Whispering Pines with Randy Edwards. In the 1970s and 80s, he won numerous contests and played countless festivals. Today he writes for numerous publications and continues the music making tradition performing around 250 musical performances a year with his wife Martha. They perform at libraries, public & private schools and colleges, senior living & nursing homes, house parties, festivals, and eateries up and down the east coast of the United States.
Martha, like Don, has a long family history of music makers and luthiers. Her Uncle Archie made over a hundred violins. Martha grew up one of ten children in a farming family in Belmont, Maine near the mid-coast town of Belfast. She is an early childhood educator who has taught music classes at Eastern Mennonite University and teaches parent/child, private and group lessons.
Me & Martha organized and hosted the 50th Anniversary festival of The World’s First Bluegrass Festival held in Luray, Virginia in 1961. The Mayor of Luray and Virginia’s Governor, Bob McDonnell and Senator Mark Warner all issued proclamations honoring Don and Martha’s contribution in preserving Virginia’s traditional music. They also prepared an exhibit of Shenandoah Valley Music at the Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia.
For more information:
web site: www.meandmartha.com or phone 540-209-3540 or email martha_hills@hotmail.com

What some folks are saying about us…

The Virginia Commission for the Arts Grant Review Committee
“Donald DePoy and Martha Hills (Me & Martha) are hardworking artists that have many good qualities and years of experience. This duo lives to play and they do play all over the place. Programs are cost effective and fill a niche with performances in schools, libraries, museums, house concerts, festivals and health and rehab programs. However, they specialize in reaching an under-served audience that is homebound. Me & Martha have excellent references and credentials and they deliver what they say they will. Performing in over 200 shows a year for the past four years, they serve an important role in providing programming and quality entertainment to their audiences.”

Steve Mandell (Dueling Banjos), Owings Mills, MD
“I first met Martha and Don as hosts at a Shenandoah Valley bluegrass jam and was immediately impressed by their musicianship and singing. However, what really impressed me was their presence. They instantly just make everyone feel at ease and welcome. Don’s thumb-picking style guitar playing is one of the best I have ever heard. He can pick complicated lead as well as keep the driving rhythm necessary in traditional Appalachian string-band music. Don is a master bluegrass banjoist. Following the unique style of the Shenandoah Valley, Don’s plays the distinct melody line in and around the right-hand roll patterns. Then the tune soars off to see how many variations can be made before coming back around ending with the melody.
Martha’s infectious smile can brighten the darkest corners. She fronts the Me & Martha Show and her on-stage banter with Don entertains and delights audiences of every age. Through each song, Martha’s bass playing compliments their musical journey and provides a solid beat for instrumental excursions. Her strong lead and coupled with her tight harmony vocals makes Me & Martha a top notch touring duo. Me & Martha is family entertainment at its best.”
Ralph Lee Smith, Author and Music Historian, Reston, VA
“Don DePoy and Martha Hills are national treasures of America’s Mountain Music. They bring to their audiences their own unique blend of an immense repertoire of old songs and tunes, exciting performance skills, and a near-magical ability to combine education and fun.”
Eddie & Martha Adcock, Nashville, TN
“We believe that Donald DePoy and Martha Hills are keepers of the flame of ‘real’ music. Whatever they do, they do with their whole hearts! We, with unreserved enthusiasm, support their music endeavors”.
Al Hawks, Bluegrass and Country Music Pioneer, Portland, ME
“Don & Martha give a genuine and authentic rendition of Southern mountain music. You can see why they are in great demand for live performances everywhere. The love and respect for the music they present at shows is obvious in their performances. Educational, yes... but entertaining, definitely! They are a must act to see.”

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