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High Time for Old-time

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Article Published: Aug. 2, 2012 | Modified: Aug. 4, 2012
High Time for Old-time

The Sheets Family Band will perform at the Jones House Friday, following the First Friday reception.
Photos submitted

The 2012 Concerts at the Jones House series continues Friday, Aug. 3, featuring old-time mountain music from Steve Kruger and Doug Sharkey, The Crooked Road Ramblers and The Sheets Family.

Multi-instrumentalists Steve Kruger and Doug Sharkey will start the concert at 5 p.m. Kruger and Sharkey both attended Appalachian State University and were regular participants in the local and regional old-time music scene.

Kruger is an award-winning folksong singer and fiddler, and Sharkey is a veteran Junior Appalachian Musicians instructor from both Watauga and Buncombe counties. The two will play fiddle, guitar and banjo, presenting traditional tunes and songs from the southern mountains.

“Steve is one of my favorite fiddlers,” concert organizer Mark Freed said. “He really puts his soul into his playing and singing.”

The Crooked Road Ramblers are a driving old-time string band, featuring master fiddler Kilby Spencer. Another multi-instrumentalist, Spencer grew up in the Whitetop area of Virginia, surrounded by traditional musicians, including both his parents and sister.

Spencer is one of the most knowledgeable players and music collectors of traditional old-time fiddlers, and he leads the band with his driving fiddle playing, Freed said.

The band is rounded out by powerhouse guitarist John Perry, singer and bassist Karen Carr, rhythm guitarist Donald Hill and banjo player Trevor McKenzie.

“The Crooked Road Ramblers are one of the premier regional old-time string bands,” Freed said. “These guys will make you want to get out of your seat and dance.”

Keeping with the old-time string band traditions, The Sheets Family will finish the evening, with a set starting at 7:30 p.m., after a First Friday exhibit reception in the Jones House at 6:30 p.m.

The Sheets Family band members are veterans of the former Watauga Arts Council Concerts on the Lawn and bring a two-generation family band, excelling in tight harmony singing and a repertoire of early country music and original songs.

Audience members can expect to hear songs of the Carter Family and Blue Sky Boys, performed with old-time fiddle, banjo and guitar accompaniment with Randy, Deborah Jean and Kelly Sheets.

“The tight harmony singing of mother-daughter and husband-wife duets will send chills up your spine,” Freed said. “The Sheets Family knows traditional country and old-time music, and they play it right.”

Concerts at the Jones House take place in downtown Boone at 604 W. King St. every Friday from June through September. The free concert starts at 5 p.m., and patrons are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit on the lawn.

The 2012 concert series is sponsored by MPrints, Stick Boy Bread/Melanie’s, Footsloggers, Mast General Store and the Downtown Boone Development Association. For a complete schedule, visit or call (828) 262-4576.

Additional Images

The Sheets Family Band will perform at the Jones House Friday, following the First Friday reception.
Photos submitted

The Crooked Road Ramblers will take the Jones House porch for Friday’s concert.

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