Return to Mountain Home Music

Article Published: May. 12, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 19, 2011
Return to Mountain Home Music

April Verch is a dynamic Canadian fiddler, singer and step-dancer. She tours tirelessly across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, and will appear at Mountain Home Music June 18.

Photo submitted

Appalachian Music reaches back to the Celtic lands of Europe and to homelands of African slaves.
It reaches back to different cultures, races, religions, and different levels of opportunity.

Individually and collectively, it reaches back to people longing for self-expression.

It reaches back to bagpipes and harps, banjos and fiddles, to jigs and reels, instrumentals and ballads, spirituals and hymns.

Appalachian music defies a simple characterization; rather, it is rich in its diversity and rich in its expression. Through the Mountain Home Music concert series, this diversity and expression comes to life in the High Country, as it has done for 18 years.

This year's season opens on Saturday, May 21, and ends on Saturday, Dec. 3. In between, locals and visitors will be treated to a full banquet of Appalachian music and dance.

From Asheville to Boone: Red June
8 p.m., Saturday, May 21, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
The opening concert of the 2011 season will feature Red June, an Americana group from Asheville. Red June includes Will Straughan (dobro), John Cloyd Miller (guitar) and Natalya Weinstein (fiddle).

In 2011, their release, "Remember Me Well," was voted No. 1 in WNCW's Regional Top 20 Contest. About Red June, David Belknap from the Peterborough Folk Music Society said, "...the best new music I've heard in many a moon."

Also featured will be MHM favorites Scott and Dori Freeman, a father-daughter duo from Woodlawn, Va.

Masters of Mountain Music: The Studio Band
8 p.m., Sunday, May 29, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
The Studio Band, a group of full-time recording studio musicians, will present "Masters of Mountain Music" on the Sunday that precedes Memorial Day. Clients of the Studio Band include Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Tony Rice and innumerable gospel and bluegrass groups.

Individually and collectively, their recording sessions span country, gospel, bluegrass, Celtic and classical music.

The Studio Band's leader, David Johnson, along with Doc Watson and the Original Carter Family, is a member of the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame. In recognition of Memorial Day, a segment of this concert will be dedicated to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.

The Future is Bright: The Snyder Family
8 p.m., Saturday, June 4, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
The Snyder Family features two "youngsters" with world-class talent. At the age of 9, Samantha Snyder won the prestigious Fiddler of the Festival Award at the Union Grove Fiddler's Festival, and brother Zeb, in his early teens, has already won guitar championships in Virginia and South Carolina. Bud Snyder, Samantha and Zeb's father, provides accompaniment with his bass fiddle. About the Snyder Family, musician David Holt said, "The future of traditional music looks bright to me."

Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Dale Jett and Family
Saturday, June 11, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken" was a signature song for the famous Carter Family. This family - A.P, Sara, and Mother Maybelle - is often referred to as the First Family of Country Music. In addition to "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," songs like "The Wildwood Flower" and "Keep on the Sunny Side," have become American classics. Dale Jett, the grandson of A.P and Sara Carter, continues the Carter Family tradition of writing, collecting and performing of music of southwest Virginia. Recent performances by Dale Jett and family include NPR's "Mountain Stage," as well as The Grand Ole Opry. MHM mainstays Scott & Dori Freeman will join this musical celebration.

Canada's Celtic Connection: The April Verch Band
8 p.m., Saturday, June 18, Blowing School Auditorium
When English, Irish, and Scottish settlers came to North America, they came with their music. Across continents, time and cultures, this music flourished, particularly in Appalachian region of the United Stages and also in Canada's eastern provinces. A musical bridge between Canada and the United States is April Verch, a dynamic Canadian fiddler, singer and step-dancer. With her band, Cody Walters and Clay Ross, April Verch tours tirelessly across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe and Australia.

Songs from the Civil War: Strictly Clean & Decent, Little Windows, Marion Edwards
8 p.m., Saturday, June 25, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
In 1998, Mountain Home Music founder and host Joe Shannon wrote a play about the Civil War in western North Carolina. The play, "Blue Ridge Blue & Gray," includes many of the songs that were popular during the war. Songs like "Lorena," "The Battle Cry of Freedom," "Angel Band" and "Jacob's Ladder" will be featured on this special musical edition of "Blue Ridge Blue & Gray."

Strictly Clean & Decent and Little Windows will provide the voices. Strictly Clean & Decent have been MHM favorites for 18 years. Little Windows, also MHM favorites, have often featured on Fiona Ritchie's NPR broadcast, "The Thistle and Shamrock." Gospel singer Marion Edwards holds the distinction of having been in every production of "Blue Ridge Blue & Gray" since it was first performed in 1998.

Bluegrass & Brass, Bagpipes & Burgers
The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys & The Mountain Home Brass Ensemble
6:30 p.m., Sunday, July 3, Outdoor Concert, Chetola Resort
Mountain Home Music and Chetola Resort are teaming up to present a special outdoor concert on Sunday, July 3. The concert, "Bluegrass & Brass, Bagpipes & Burgers," will feature the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys and the Mountain Home Brass Ensemble. The sound is akin to Dixieland, but with a Blue Ridge Mountain flavor. It's a five-piece brass band and three-piece bluegrass band. This annual concert, always unique and exciting, includes a special salute to veterans.

Fiddling & Dancing: The White Top Mountain Band
8 p.m., Saturday, July 23, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
The White Top Mountain Band astounded the MHM audience last year with its simultaneous fiddling and dancing. So, for this year's concert, expect more of the same. The White Top Mountain Band is as mountain as mountain music gets. It's sad and joyful, plaintive and powerful, and always authentic. Whether the WTMB is in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, at the White Top Fire Department or on the MHM stage, what you see is what you get, and what you get is the heart of Appalachian music.

Tribute to Hank Williams & Lefty Frizzell: The Dixie Dawn Band
8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
For 16 years the Dixie Dawn Band has put together a special concert for MHM. For this year's concert, they have chosen to honor the music of Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. Expect to hear "Hank" songs like "Hey Good Looking," "Your Cheatin' Heart," and "Jambalaya," and Lefty songs like "Saginaw, Michigan," and "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time." For many years the Dixie Dawn Band was the opening band at MerleFest, and they have opened for national acts, such as Alabama and the late Johnny Cash. David Johnson, the leader of Dixie Dawn, is a member of the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.

The Mountain Dulcimer: Bob & Melody Thomason and Jim Miller
8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13, Blowing Rock School Auditorium
This concert will feature the gentle sounds of the mountain dulcimer. This small, hourglass shaped instrument was brought into the Blue Ridge Mountains before the American Revolution. Playing the dulcimer will be Bob and Melody Thomason and Jim Miller. Bob Thomason is a winner of the Southern Regional Dulcimer Competition, and he is cofounder of the N. Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association. Jim Miller has recorded eight CDs for the June Appal and Maple Records, and he teaches dulcimer and Autoharp at East Tennessee State University.

A Quilter's Show-A Quilter's Song
5 p.m., Quilt Show & Dinner at the Meadowbrook Inn, Saturday, Aug. 20
8 p.m., Concert at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium, Saturday, Aug. 20
Quilt Show: Quilters Reva Roark Steward and Noelle Rosenfeld are quilting masters. Prior to the 8 p.m. concert, they will display some of their quilts at the Meadowbrook Inn. Arrive early (around 5 p.m.) to browse and for a preconcert dinner prepared by the Meadowbrook Inn. Mountain Home Music will provide background music.

One of Reva Roark Steward's quilts will be raffled off, and proceeds will be donated to MHM.

"To see their quilts," said Joe Shannon, "is like listening to Doc Watson play the guitar and David Johnson playing the fiddle. You know you're in the presence of something special."
Concert: The Sheets Family, from the Sugar Grove community in Watauga County, plays old-time mountain music, which is fiddle and banjo, ballads and hymns, dancing and yodeling.

Performances include the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Folklife Festival and the Library of Congress.

A Bluegrass Musical Review: Dave Haney and Company
8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27, Location TBA
Each year, Dave Haney teaches a course about the history of Bluegrass Music. He is also a veteran bluegrass performer. For this concert, Haney and Company will bring to life the early years of bluegrass music. This will include the music of the Monroe Brothers, Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys, Carter & Ralph Stanley, and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. In addition to Haney, "the Company" is Lisa Baldwin, David Johnson and Eric Ellis.

A Labor Day Celebration: The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys
8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4, Location TBA
Mountain Home Music ends its summer season with a tribute, through story and song, to those who labor, such as construction workers, clerks, waitresses, truck drivers, railroad men, miners, factory workers and farmers. This annual concert is a blend of country songs, folksongs and old-hymns. The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys - David Johnson, Steve Lewis, Josh Scott and Scott Freeman - will lead the celebration. MHM founder and host Joe Shannon will provide narration.

Unless otherwise noted, concerts will be at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium on Sunset Drive in downtown Blowing Rock. Starting time is 8 p.m. The concert on July 3, "Bluegrass & Brass, Bagpipes and Burgers," will be a Chetola Resort, also in Blowing Rock, and the starting time is 6:30 p.m. The concerts on Aug. 27 and Sept. 4 will be in Boone; the location will be announced on the Mountain Home Music website.

Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the Mast Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred's Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Rydell Music Center in Boone, and at Pandora's Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street, downtown Blowing Rock.

A preconcert meal will be available for the July 3 and Aug. 20 concerts. For more information about all concerts and meal packages, visit or call (828) 964-3392.

Mountain Home Music is affiliated with the Blue Ridge Music Trails, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council.

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