No Place Like Home

Article Published: May. 24, 2012 | Modified: Jun. 3, 2012
No Place Like Home

Blue Country and High Country Cloggers (previously the Shadrack Shufflers) will reunion for their end of year show on Saturday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. at ASU’s Farthing Auditorium.
Photo Courtesy of Elias Photography

From 1987 to 1996, Shadrack’s Barbeque was the beat of Boone entertainment.

The renovated roller rink’s gnarled front rumbled from Blue Country boot-stomping and Shadrack Shufflers clogging for the tempo of an audience of 1,000 people indulging in life.

Sixteen years after Shadrack’s was bought out from its planting on Watauga Village Drive, Blue Country and High Country Cloggers (previously the Shadrack Shufflers) will reunion for their end of year show on Saturday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. at ASU’s Farthing Auditorium.

A pre-show will begin at 6 p.m.

Tickets to the show, titled “No Place Like Home,” are $12 and available at the Farthing box office or online at
The Come Back Shack will cater the event.

Blue Country is a compilation begun in 1989 of Top 40, classical, blues, bluegrass, beach, country and shag.

“I’ve played music all my life and grew up with the band members,” Keith Shew, founder of Blue Country, said. “There was a lull out of high school, so we got together on a whim to play music one night and yeah, it sounded great.”

Along with Shew, who calls himself the “Maintenance Man” because he fills in with keyboard or any lacking instrument, is Lee Hodges as lead vocalist and bassist; Randy Combs on lead guitar; Greg Resse on lead and rhythm guitar; Greg Russel on drums, Elisha Lenard as vocalist; and Kelly Wiley as vocalist and rhythm guitarist.

“We played our first gig for the Watauga Special Olympics at Shadrack’s,” Shew said. “Because we started there, we had to learn how to play everything.”

Blue Country’s shows were usually split into half bluegrass and half country, hence the name that they’ve bannered while traveling the South.

“We do a lot of interaction,” Shew said. “Line dances, cake walk, tributes, you name it.”

“They’ll be doing a Reba Mcentire tribute,” said Amber Hendley, one of the directors of High Country Cloggers. “Kelly Wiley nails her, too!”

The High Country Cloggers is headed by Hendley; her mother, Vanessa Minton; Tess Godwin, the founder of Dancer’s Corner and 1970s Dallas Cowgirl; and her daughters, Gabby and Shawna.

“I had no choice but to be brought up clogging,” Hendley said. “And sure enough, I fell in love with it.”

Hendley made the Bailey Mountain Cloggers team after high school and won a scholarship to Mars Hill University. She then began teaching at High Country Cloggers.

The studio is strengthened by the historical dance of folky hoe-down and variations of basic shuffle-step and mirrors modern four- to eight-person hip-hop dances.

They branch out as the Mini Mountaineers dance team, which performs at Appalachian State University sporting events, Creative Movements 3 to 5-year-olds, tumbling, ballroom dancing and a special needs team, all 125 students of which will be at the No Place Like Home Show.

A succinct drama of the life stages of a young girl played by Gabby Godwin prompts varying music and dance through the show.

“It would be impossible to recreate Shadrack’s,” Shew said, referring to its complementing energy and warmth like a verdant old barn.

But the No Place Like Home show hopes to refresh with the same breeze of amiability and community felt every weekend at Shadrack’s.

“We want the community to see familiar faces and talk about this for the next 10 years,” he said. “We want them to be hard-pressed to stay in their seats.”

With special guest Doc Hendley from Wine to Water joining in a couple’s dance and a swaying gospel number to close, both Shew and Hendley think this will be inevitable.

For more information, visit the High Country Dance Studio’s Facebook page.

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