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‘Piano Man of the Blue Ridge’ at MHM



Article Published: Jun. 26 | Modified: Jun. 29
‘Piano Man of the Blue Ridge’ at MHM

Pianist Jeff Little will perform Saturday at Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero



Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music welcomes back Boone native Jeff Little on Saturday, June 28, for a concert at the Harvest House.

Little is a bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, jazz, rock ’n’ roll piano player, known as “The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge.” His distinctive two-handed style, influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, has been described as “breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity.”

With his rack-mounted harmonica and vocals, Little can be a one-man show. However, the JSMHM audience will also be treated to hearing former National Banjo Champion Steve Lewis and bassist Josh Scott, both of whom will join Little on stage. This configuration, known as The Jeff Little Trio, has played on Mountain Home Music for a number of years. According to series director Rodney Sutton, “Word has gotten around, and this much anticipated concert is typically a sell-out.”

As a youngster, Little hung out his parents’ music shop in downtown Boone. Musicians, including Doc Watson, would gather there regularly to pick a few tunes. Beginning around the age of 6, Little would be invited to sit in. These personal and musical influences helped shape his approach to the piano, which he said is based on deep mountain tradition. By 14, he was in demand as a professional musician.

Little settled in Nashville, Tenn., for a while, but a few years ago moved back to the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has taken his music around the world on U.S. government goodwill tours to Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, France and Tanzania.

Of his performing, National Public Radio said, “Jeff Little is a remarkable musician, steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet he is a virtuosic and eclectic innovator.”

On June 14, he was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame.

Private sponsorship for this week’s concert is provided by Frank and Tara Hancock. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is also proud to be included in the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BlueRidgeMusicNC.com).

The concert will take place at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue, located at 247 Boone Heights Drive, in Boone, starting at 7:30 p.m.

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, http://www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s 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.

For more information, visit http://www.mountainhomemusic.com, or call (828) 964-3392.

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