Carol Elizabeth Jones and James Leva are a husband-and-wife folk duo from Virginia who specialize in Appalachian mountain music. Not only do they resurrect tradition, they also write originals that capture the spirit of old-time music. Leva started playing the guitar when he was 11, moving on to conquer the banjo and fiddle as well. He toured with a trio while living in France for four years, and played with the Hellbenders and Freewill Savages as he worked on a PhD in French at the University of Virginia. Jones decided to learn the guitar after being inspired by the Coon Creek Girls. She played with Suzanne Edmondson as the Kentucky Warblers and with the Wildcats and the Wandering Ramblers.
The pair formed the Renegades in 1992 and recorded their first album together in 1997 for Rounder. In 1998, they released Journey Home (also on Rounder Records). Their first Copper Creek release followed in 2000. Leva has also released a solo album, Memory Theatre, on which he plays fiddle, guitar, and banjo. He collaborated with guitarist John Doyle on the effort, drawing on originals and material that he'd learned from such legendary, old-time mentors as Tommy Jarrell, Edden Hammons, and Roscoe Holcomb. Jones has released solo efforts as well, and appeared on the 2001 compilation O Sister! The Women's Bluegrass Collection. ~ Erik Hage, Rovi