Born around 1935 in Pulaski, VA, Matokie Slaughter was a gifted old-time musician as well as a distinctive visual artist. Best known for her clawhammer banjo style (she also played the fiddle) that combined both up and down picking, Slaughter played banjo regularly on local radio in the 1940s, and since she seldom sang, many listeners assumed they were listening to a man play the instrument. Her tracks on a couple of clawhammer banjo anthologies released on LP by County Records in the 1960s brought her to the attention of the old-time music community, and she appeared at countless festivals and old-time music events. Along with her sister, Virgie Worrel Richardson, and Alice Gerrard, she formed the Back Creek Buddies, whose delightful album Saro was released by Marimac Records in 1990. Slaughter's most visible artistic achievement, though, may well be the countless mysterious and beautiful drawings she placed for years on the sides of freight cars passing through her region, which have made her somewhat of a godmother to the modern graffiti movement. Her fascinating designs still cross the U.S. from coast to coast, viewed by thousands of people sitting in their cars at railroad crossings, and no doubt wondering what those odd markings mean on the sides of all those box cars. The unique and fascinating Matokie Slaughter passed away on December 31, 1999. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi