“Shakespeare and Old-Time (music) work shockingly well together,” says Mark Dillon of The Zinc Kings. In 2013, The Zinc Kings collaborated with Raleigh Little Theatre, Bare Theatre, and PineCone to create old time and bluegrass inspired music as part of a prodcution of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, for which they picked up a nomination for “Best Original Music” from the Indy Week. For this special Music of the Carolinas concert, they will share some of that music in connection with the Museum’s exhibit First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Considered one of the most influential books in the world, the First Folio includes 36 of Shakespeare’s plays, 18 of which had never been printed before. Without the First Folio, all of those plays — including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and As You Like It — might have been lost forever.
The Zinc Kings began in the fall of 2010 with Christen Blanton Mack (mandolin, fiddle), Dan Clouse (banjo, guitar, washboard), and Mark Dillon (banjo, guitar) playing in the University of North Carolina Greensboro Old Time ensemble; their current lineup also features Ryan Mack (bass). Each of the three founding members have long backgrounds in music. In the spring of 2011 The Zinc Kings released their self-titled debut album. Their second album, As You Like It (2013), features original music from the Raleigh Little Theater & Bare Theater production in addition to traditional tunes. The Zinc Kings have recently completed recording their third album, which they are working on releasing while also working on their respective PhDs!
The First Folio exhibit is a national travelling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, to commemorate the 400th anniversary in 2016 of Shakespeare’s death. It is produced in association with the American Library Association and Cincinnati Museum Center, and it has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of Google.org and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf.