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Silver Spring musician wins U.S. fellowship honoring folk arts (VIDEO)

Tuesday - 6/19/2012, 10:57am  ET

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - A Silver Spring bluegrass and country musician has been named one of nine National Heritage Fellows for preserving the nation's cultural heritage.

On Tuesday, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that guitar player Mike Auldridge was among those winning the fellowship. The awards are the nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The fellowship comes with a $25,000 prize.

Auldridge's steel-bodied acoustic slide guitar was custom built by Beard Guitars of Hagerstown, Md. The company sells six- and eight-string versions of Auldridge's signature instrument.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says Auldridge has woven threads of the state's heritage into the national culture. O'Malley says Auldridge's music represents the best of Maryland.

In the 1970s, Auldridge helped found the group the Seldom Scene in Bethesda.

If you are in a bluegrass mood, WTOP has rounded up a couple of YouTube videos of Mike Auldridge performing:

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)