Red June in May
Mountain Home Music opens its 19th season this Saturday night, May 21, in Blowing Rock.
The concert, "From Asheville to Boone," will feature Red June, an Americana group from Asheville, and Scott and Dori Freeman, from Woodlawn, Virginia.
And as he has done since 1994, Joe Shannon, Mountain Home Music's founder and host, will play a few tunes and share a few stories.
"Mountain Home Music was started to honor the music and the musicians of the Appalachian region," said Joe Shannon, "and this tradition continues."
Since it started, Mountain Home Music has hosted more than 800 local and regional musicians, including seven North Carolina Folk Heritage Award winners and three winners of the National Folk Heritage Award; it has aired on local and public radio, and also on regional television.
"Most importantly," Shannon said, "Mountain Home Music has become a community. Friendships have formed between weekly, seasonal and yearly audience members and also between the audience and the musicians. The beginning of each season feels as much like a family reunion as it does a concert."
Red June will be making their first appearance on Mountain Home Music. The group features Will Straughan, (Dobro) John Cloyd Miller (guitar) and Natalya Weinstein (fiddle). Their music combines folk, bluegrass and traditional country, as well as original compositions.
Each group member is a performance veteran. Straghan has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe with several different groups, including Emma Gibbs.
Miller is the grandson of pioneering bluegrass fiddler Jim Shumate, who was reportedly the first fiddler in the first bluegrass band. Miller's music, however, finds expression through the guitar and through the written word. His original songs are a part of Red June's wide repertoire.
Weinstein, a classically trained violinist, from Massachusetts, left the word of classical music in 2004 and moved to Asheville to immerse herself in the rich traditions of bluegrass and traditional music. Her father was a master jazz pianist, and her grandfather was a professional klezmer musician.
Scott Freeman is a Mountain Home Music mainstay. His first appearance was 17 years ago as the fiddler and mandolin player for Skeeter and the Skidmarks. In addition to frequent appearances with the Skidmarks, Freeman is also a member of the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys, the anchor band of Mountain Home Music.
Until recently, Dori Freeman sang harmony for her father; now, he's singing harmony for her on her first CD, "Porch Light."
"From Asheville to Boone" will be at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium on Sunset Drive in downtown Blowing Rock. Starting time is 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the Mast Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred's Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Rydell Music Center in Boone and Pandora's Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, and online at http://www.mountainhomemusic.com.
Mountain Home Music is affiliated with the Blue Ridge Music Trails, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council. For more information, visit http://www.mountainhomemusic.com.