Concert on the Lawn season wraps up with Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney, Matt Kinman
Resounding out over Appalachia, the songs of the mountains
reach people across the world.
Following the call, several of those people travel to Watauga County put down new roots and become part of the song.
The final Concert on the Lawn of the 2011 season features some of the artists who have been embraced by the local arts community, despite not being natives to the area.
Old-time artist Matt Kinman and the acoustic husband-and-wife duo Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney will perform Friday at the Jones House. The outdoor concert event is presented by the Watauga Arts Council.
Dave Haney and Lisa Baldwin immediately felt at home when they arrived in the High Country in 2001. Haney, who is from Minnesota, had played bluegrass professionally since the 1980s, and Lisa, from Alabama, spent her life immersed in country music.
Haney and Baldwin had their first connection with the traditional music of Watauga County during their youth when they attended Doc Watson concerts in their respective states. Seeing Watson led to a lifelong interest in bluegrass and folk music, so when the opportunity arose to make a move to the guitarist’s home county, Baldwin and Haney were elated.
“This place has been a mecca for music for me,” Haney said. “One of the huge attractions was the music of the area.”
The couple quickly networked and became involved with the arts community, leading to a years-long relationship with the Watauga Arts Council that remains firm today. Haney and Baldwin said the council and other arts entities welcomed them with open arms, a generous act of hospitality they attribute to the culture of the area.
“They’re just people who have accepted us as outsiders because we had the connection to the music, and we love this area,” Baldwin said. “There’s so much support for the arts, the music of the mountains, the storytelling, the culture. We feel privileged to be in that circle.”
Haney and Baldwin are favorites of the Concert on the Lawn series, appearing nearly every year since becoming Watauga residents. Friday’s performance will feature a mix of originals and covers that run the gamut of bluegrass, country, traditional and singer-songwriter material.
Haney and Baldwin will share singing and guitar duties, with Haney also providing mandolin and harmonica.
Before Baldwin and Haney’s performance, Matt Kinman will make his first appearance at the Concert on the Lawn series. Although he’s originally from Arizona and spends most of his time on the road, Kinman considers himself a man of the mountains.
“I’ve been running around this area since I was about 15 years old,” he said. “I run around all over the country, but to me this is home. It’s where I’ve been since I’ve left home.”
Kinman busked on the streets of Boone with Old Crow Medicine Show in the late 1990s and left for Nashville with the group in 2000. He has since returned to live in the Bethel community, but continues to tour with various groups, including the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, and often does session work.
A multi-instrumentalist, Kinman plays guitar, banjo and bones, among other instruments. On Friday, he will be accompanied by Josh Hayes, who plays guitar and banjo.
Kinman and Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney wrap up what Jones House folklorist Mark Freed said has been a great year for the Concert on the Lawn music series.
“I extend a big thanks to all of the musicians, the audience members and our sponsors,” he said. “We couldn’t make this series happen without the wonderful and willing talent and community participation.”
A compilation album highlighting some of 2011’s performances at the Jones House will be released by the Watauga Arts Council later in the year.
Starting at 5 p.m., the Concert on the Lawn is a free event. It takes place at the Jones House Community Center, located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the lawn.
The 2011 Concerts on the Lawn series is sponsored by MPrints, Footsloggers, Stick Boy Bread Company, Melanie’s Food Fantasy, Mast General Store and the Downtown Boone Development Association.
For more information, visit http://www.watauga-arts.org.