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Labor Day with MHM

Article Published: Sep. 1, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 19, 2011
Labor Day with MHM

It's time for Mountain Home Music's annual Labor Day Celebration.

The celebration features songs about work: coal mining, factory work, truck driving, farming, homemaking, working for the railroad and many other types of work.

"We've had our annual Labor Day celebration each year for the past 16 years," said Joe Shannon, founder and host of Mountain Home Music. "It's usually our largest concert of the year. I think folks like to be acknowledged for the work they do."

This year's Labor Day Celebration will be at the First Baptist Church in downtown Boone on Sunday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m.

Performing will be the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys: David Johnson, Steve Lewis, Scott Freeman and Josh Scott. Dori Freeman will be the special guest.

Johnson is a full-time studio musician and he has twice been named National Studio Musician of the Year in gospel music. In addition to gospel music, he plays country, bluegrass, blues, jazz and Celtic music. He also plays many different instruments: guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro, steel guitar, bass, fiddle, viola, cello and piano. Because of his musical skills and nationwide acclaim as a studio musician, in 2008 Johnson was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.

Lewis grew up playing bluegrass music. While in middle school, he played banjo and toured with the Green Grass Cloggers. In high school, he was a member of Tommy Faile's ("Brown Mountain Lights") band, and as a young man he played guitar and banjo with a variety of bluegrass bands. He continues to play with a variety of bands, he teaches private lessons and he teaches traditional music at Ashe County High School. Lewis is a former MerleFest guitar champion and a two-time National Banjo Champion.

Freeman, too, is a full-time musician. He plays fiddle and mandolin in the old-time band, Skeeter and the Skidmarks, he is a Mountain Home Music regular and he gives private lessons on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and bass. Freeman and his father-in-law, the Appalachian pencil artist, Willard Gayheart, operate their own traditional music concert series called the Fiddle and the Plow, which is a part of Virginia's Heritage Trail, The Crooked Road.

Scott is a bluegrass bass player. He grew up in the Fleetwood community of Ashe County. In elementary school, he played the mountain dulcimer; in high school, and thereafter, his music style was influenced by his father, Steve Lewis.

Freeman has been attending Mountain Home Music concerts for most of her life. She's Scott Freeman's daughter. But only recently has she taken the stage to sing her own songs in her own way. Last year, she completed her first CD, "Porchlight."

The release of this CD brought her an invitation to perform at the Blue Ridge Music Center, along with Doc Watson and Wayne Henderson.

Tickets for Mountain Home Music's presentation of "A Labor Day Celebration" are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for adults. Student tickets are $10 and a child's ticket is $5.

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 in downtown Blowing Rock.

Tickets may also be purchased online at For more information, visit or call (828) 964-3392.

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