Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Local filmmaker back from D.C.

EvansandPruettCatchingUpinLetItBeBoutique,OccoquanVA ec

EVANS AND PRUET chat in Evans' Virginia boutique. Courtesy photo

By Stanley Okumura

Last week, local musician, artist, and filmmaker Brianna Pruett followed a documentary lead fostered over the last two years and interviewed the singer of famed folk song “Shake Sugaree,” Brenda Evans.

The granddaughter of Elizabeth Cotten – an African-American folk singer popularized by Mike Seeger  (brother of Pete Seeger) in the mid-’60 folk revival – Evans runs a small boutique in Occoquan, Va., a suburb just outside of Washington, D.C. Cotton played guitar left-handed.

Evans reminisced about performing with her grandmother at such events as the Newport Folk Festival in front of thousands of fans at just 13 years old.

Evans was raised by her grandmother and aunt in Chapel Hill, N.C., with seven other cousins and siblings. Adoringly, Evans recalled her grandmother asking the children, “Come up with some words for this song,” about “Shake Sugaree,” which would become the title track the album. Cotten picked the guitar and her grandchildren chimed in verses such as, “Pawn my farm, pawn my plough, pawned everything, even pawned my old cow.” Cotten regularly included her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in her music and performances.

“I am inspired by the relationship between Elizabeth and her children and grandchildren,” Pruett said, “because I meet so many people who feel that you cannot continue being artists once they have the responsibility of children.”

Evans relayed that if “grannie” had nobody to watch the young children, then she would just take them along, and often even ask them to perform with her.

Evans initially contacted Pruett after seeing a resource Website the Placerville artist made to honor an inspiration of hers, Elizabeth Cotten. Evans remembered being touched by the content of the Website commemorating her grandmother. Pruett celebrates the Internet as a resource for local artists to make global connections.

Elizabeth Cotten received a Grammy at the age of 89 for album “Elizabeth Cotten Live.” Cotten, known for “Cotten style” guitar picking, was respected not only for her music, but also her extremely philanthropic nature. Evans noted her grandmother inviting homeless off the street to eat with the family, even through her own poverty.

Pruett brought a camera assistant who recorded several hours of digital video and audio recordings. She has begun the editing process with no explicit goal in mind except to “see how it takes shape.” Pruett’s short film, “Our Love and Voices” was recently screened at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

Special to the Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • billzzNovember 21, 2012 - 9:47 pm

    You can watch and see Elizabeth Cotten here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm5-WdB_aVE I sang this with a quartet, but the most heard version is by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Note she plays both the melody and the harmony, as though there were two people playing guitar.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 102 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

 
.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 73 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 53 Comments

 
Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 11 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
.

Sports

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8