A Silver Spring musician is one of the 2012 National Heritage Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts announced Tuesday.
Mike Auldridge earned the recognition for his style on the drobo, an acoustic slide guitar.
The fellowship is the nation's highest honor in traditional and folk arts. Eight others won for their efforts to conserve American culture.
”It's been like all my Christmases rolled up into one,” he said.
Mr. Auldridge started playing the drobo at age 17. Now 73, he has recorded eight solo albums, co-founded the band Seldom Scene and won the International Bluegrass Music Association's 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award.
The fellowship comes with a $25,000 award, which Mr. Auldridge said he will use to build a new garage.
An awards ceremony and banquet will be held this fall at the Library of Congress, and on Oct. 4 the fellows will perform at a free concert at George Washington University.
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