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Native Sons come home

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jul. 3, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 6, 2013
Native Sons come home

Native Sons, featuring of Jack Lawrence on bass, Jim Higgins on lead guitar, Barney Hodgson on guitar, Gary Waters on piano and vocals and Larry Richardson on drums, will perform Friday on the Jones House porch.

Photo submitted

After a more than 30-year hiatus, Boone’s Native Sons are returning to the stage this week for the first time since 1978 to prove they still “got it.”

With much of the original lineup intact, the band looks to play some rock ’n’ roll favorites with doses of adult contemporary at the Jones House in downtown Boone Friday. The group will follow opening act Soul Benefactor, which plays at 5 p.m.

Native Sons guitarist Barney Hodgson said the band is the creation of the merger of “The Transistor Tangerine” and “The Deacons” during the 1960s.

The band originally played under the name, “Evolution,” and played mostly small gigs in the beginning, Hodgson said.

By the time some of the group’s members were enrolled at Appalachian State University, the band had begun touring across the Southeast and bringing its early aggressive sound of The Doors covers to college campuses.

After early success, the band learned how time has a way of slipping through one’s fingers, and its members began to go their separate ways. The band’s drummer was drafted, they graduated college and then started families of their own, Hodgson said.

Since the reformation, the group has lightened up a little bit, playing mostly covers from The Eagles, Maroon 5, Eric Clapton, Eli Young Band and some softer songs by Aerosmith.

“We play light rock from the ’60s and ’70s and some country rock,” Hodgson said. “We’ve also progressed into a new sound. We used to do some heavier stuff by The Doors, but I don’t think we could do that music as well, now.”

Despite the overdue reunion, Hodgson said the band’s early energy and chemistry is still there.
“We sound good for a bunch of old guys,” Hodgson joked. “We practice a lot, more than when we were young. We sound just as good — if not better — now.”

While the group is back, Hodgson said fans shouldn’t expect any heavy touring beyond this side of North Carolina.

“We would like to play some high school reunions, weddings and dances,” Hodgson said. “We probably won’t play in night clubs, nor do we want to. We would like the opportunity to just be heard. We hope people enjoy what they hear, and, hopefully, people will hear us and want our services. There are a lot of people out there who remember when we played back then.”

Native Sons consists of Jack Lawrence on bass, Jim Higgins on lead guitar, Hodgson, Gary Waters on piano and vocals and Larry Richardson on drums.

Soul Benefactor starts the evening at 5 p.m., bringing its danceable and sing-able repertoire of songs from “the deep grooves of classic recordings from the 1960s and ’70s,” according to the band’s website.

The group plays songs from Motown greats like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Al Green; classic rockers from The Allman Brothers, Derek and the Dominoes and The Rolling Stones, according to a news release.

The Concerts at the Jones House are produced by the town of Boone and sponsored by the Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store, Footsloggers, MPrints, Stick Boy Bread Co., Melanie’s and Farmer’s Rentals. The free concerts take place every Friday, starting at 5 p.m., rain or shine. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

The Jones House Cultural and Community Center is located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone.
For more information, including a performance schedule, visit

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