Bluegrass and Brass

Article Published: Jul. 2 | Modified: Jul. 5
Bluegrass and Brass

The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys will team up with The King Street Brass for Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music’s annual ‘Bluegrass and Brass’ show.

Photo by Lonnie Webster

It was the Fourth of July some 15 years ago that Joe Shannon brought bluegrass and brass players together on the same stage “to see what would happen.”

What transpired that first year was a rollicking good time for both performers and the audience: inspiring patriotic music, hot bluegrass and requests for an encore — not just the next year, but for years to come.

In 2014, the tradition continues in honor of the late Shannon. The bluegrass is provided by his friends, the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys, including David Johnson, Steve Lewis, Scott Freeman and Josh Scott. The King Street Brass, composed of faculty members from Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music, will lend its robust sound with a patriotic flair to the mix.

The concert, hosted by Rodney Sutton, will take place on Friday, July 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Boone United Methodist Church. It will run straight through till 9 p.m. without an intermission to accommodate those who wish to make it to fireworks shows.

During the performance, each band will be featured and, at times, play together. As Shannon once commented, “When they team up, it’s magic, kind of like Dixieland, but it’s Bluegrass Dixieland with an Appalachian heart.”

“And, as the audience knows, it’s just plain fun,” Sutton said. “Nothing is more uplifting than hearing the brass and grass play the service anthems in their ‘Armed Forces Salute,’ as we honor those who have served or are serving our country.”

The brass band will feature Harold McKinney, trombone; Bill Jones, trumpet; Patrick Whitehead, trumpet; Chris Watson, tuba; and Justin Hensley, French horn. Brass band selections will include “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Bugle Call Rag,” “Georgia On My Mind” and “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”

The Mountain Home Music Boys will respond to the mood of the evening with their favorite old-time and bluegrass fiddle tunes and will be, as one would expect, able to play it by ear throughout the evening in grand style, as they add their unique sound to the patriotic mix of music.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Student tickets cost $11, and children 12 and younger are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online though the Mountain Home Music website, Tickets may also be purchased at Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s General Mercantile on Beech Mountain and at Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

This particular concert is sponsored by Wells Fargo. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is also a site on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (

For more information, visit, or call (828) 964-3392.

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