The Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, was presented to singer, songwriter and performer Roger Bryant last week at the 38th Annual Vandalia Gathering.
A native of Logan, Bryant is a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson and spent several years traveling with her, and accompanying her on his guitar.
By the early 1970s, Bryant began writing songs and performing on his own, achieving national attention in the late 1970s with his song “Stop the Flow of Coal.” He’s recorded four albums, the most recent of which is “On the Banks of the Old Guyan.”
According to a news release from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Bryant serves as executive director of the Logan Emergency Ambulance Service Authority and is the director of the Logan County Office of Emergency Management.
Bryant plays music when he can and is a yearly performer at the state Division of Culture and History’s Vandalia Gathering. The individuals who receive the Vandalia Award embody the spirit of the state’s folk heritage and are recognized for their lifetime contributions to West Virginia and its traditional culture.