"The Thomas Maupin-Daniel Rothwell group totally tore it up at the 2011
Berkeley Old Time Convention. Thomas Maupin is the Mikhail Baryshnikov of
Appalachian dance; he has the 'something extra' found in all truly great
dancers, where even small movements are invested with a deeper meaning. Daniel
Rothwell brought 'real deal' old-fashioned country entertainment to our stage with
his cornball jokes (which the audience totally loved), his hollering
renditions of old-time favorites like 'Mountain Dew' and 'Columbus Stockade'
and his lively banjo playing. The interplay between grandfather and grandson was
so strong and tender, adding a certain depth to their performances that could
only come from a strong family connection. We loved the way they shared that
Suzy Thompson, Director, Berkeley Old Time Music Convention
"Daniel Rothwell and his grandfather Thomas Maupin celebrate a remarkable musical
partnership every time they get out the banjo and possum board.
For decades, Thomas has been the most noted Tennessee buckdancer of his
generation, a star performer and competitor at every traditional music event on
this side of the big mountains, with more contest trophies than you can count
and a 2011 Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award. His career really didn’t need reviving,
but that’s sure happened since Daniel emerged as a performer in his own
right. Not destined to be a dancer, young Daniel seized on old-time banjo with a vengeance,
practiced hard, and perfected its complex fingerings and rhythms.
He’s living proof of Uncle Dave Macon’s dictum that it’s “what you can put out” that counts.
Daniel started by putting out a trip-hammer soundtrack for his grandpa’s fantastic dancing, and he’s added to that a good helping of raucous humor and novelty numbers in the tradition of Macon and other banjo songsters.
Daniel and Thomas carry on a tradition of entertainment straight out of Tennessee barndances and medicine shows of earlier days.
That’s out of the ordinary in itself. But their generational bond, complementary talents, and obvious love of performing together also lend their shows extraordinary personality and appeal for audiences of all walks and ages."
Robert Cogswell Folklife Program Director Tennessee Arts Commission
Daniel Rothwell came into my life several years ago when his Grandfather, Thomas
Maupin, asked me at Uncle Dave Macon Days if I could get the young banjo picker
into a tribute to the early Grand Ole Opry. This was something we did for a
number of years at the annual Fan Fest of the International Bluegrass Music
Association. The fast-paced oldtime country variety show, which we called ‘The Oldtime Opry Barn Dance
Jamboree', featured costumed musicians and pickers, and takeoffs on the colorful
commercials the Grand Ole Opry always featured in its glory days.
I was honored to be the emcee; the ‘Solemn Ole Colonel’ based on the
Opry's founder George D. Hay, the ‘Solemn Old Judge’.
Fortunately the producers of the "Oldtime Opry" immediately took Daniel
into the show and he brought the house down with his singing, banjo picking and
a complete mastering of the wonderful showmanship the early Opry performers
had. Daniel has been a longtime
favorite of performers and audiences alike at Murfreesboro TN's venerable Uncle
Dave Macon Days. He joins his
Grandfather, Thomas Maupin, as one of the valuable and cherished participants
there, and I look forward every year to seeing both of them as I emcee the
Saturday night competition finals.
Just as important, young Daniel is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it
comes to the history of the pioneers of oldtime music; in particular Uncle Dave
Macon. With that in mind, I know that the preservation and propagation of oldtime American country music will
continue through this 21st Century. Daniel will make sure of that."
BILL KNOWLTON, "BLUEGRASS RAMBLE." WCNY-FM SYRACUSE NY (Since 1973)
"In hungry pursuit of elusive, Old Time Appalachian Mountain Music, we found young
Daniel Rothwell and his Grandaddy, Thomas Maupin pickin’ and kickin’ honest flavors at
Merlefest and followed them to the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville,
North Carolina. Their musical charm is only enhanced by their approachable
mountain humility. The God within them is demonstrated through the relaxed
virtuosity of an authentic musical style steeped in centuries of hardscrabble
Appalachian living. Their performance embraces, and builds on all that, making
something greater than the sum of its parts. Love these guys and look forward
to trekking to Central Tennessee to see more."
"Having met Daniel and his family one Saturday night about four years ago at the Midnight Jamboree
(I was playing fiddle with Jesse McReynolds and Daniel was a guest on the program.)
I immediately realized that here was a talented young man with his head and, more importantly, his heart, in
the right direction to carry on the old-time music tradition the right way.
As a member of the music committee of the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville,WV,
I made it a point to invite Daniel and his entire family to join us at the following year’s festivities.
They did so and in so doing, captured the hearts of all in attendance that year.
I am glad I met young Daniel and I’m equally as glad that his family saw fit to come all the way to West Virginia to accept my invitation.
In our fine arts hallway at Glenville State College, we have a great picture of Daniel and his father from that first festival performance.
I sincerely hope it won’t be his last."
"Tennessean Thomas Maupin is one of a rare group of great traditional buckdancers.
To watch him dance, feet close to the floor, tapping out the rhythms of the music, is a joy.
Together with his grandson 18-year-old Daniel Rothwell, a champion banjo player and fine entertainer,
they create a musical blend and emotional bond that rivals some of the best duets in traditional musical
Daniel Rothwell and his grandfather put the "Root" in the Muddy Roots Festival this year in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Among a lineup of tattooed performers who heard the Rolling Stones before Bill Monroe,
Daniel and Thomas demonstrated the traditional style of bluegrass that anchors and inspires musicians
who look to elaborate with their own modern alternative roots style.
Daniel and Thomas brought charm and authenticity to a new, emerging festival full of misfits who spent the rest of the day stomping in the mud.
Seeing the young Daniel and his elder Mr. Maupin perform together represented what Muddy Roots is all about--
preserving tradition through the younger generation while evolving.
They were a vital addition to the festival and I hope they come back next year!