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‘Rough Side of the Mountain’

Article Published: Feb. 27 | Modified: Mar. 3
‘Rough Side of the Mountain’

On Sunday, March 2, Boone Mennonite Brethren Church will host a CD release party for “Rough Side of the Mountain,” the latest recording by the church’s own Junaluska Gospel Choir.

The concert, with refreshments to follow, will take place at 3 p.m. Admission is free, and all are welcome.

Since 1917, gospel music has been constant source of spiritual inspiration for the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. Nestled within the Junaluska neighborhood, one of the oldest predominately African-American communities in Western North Carolina, the little white church on the hill has long been home to some of the region’s most talent-rich ensembles.

Throughout the years, the Junaluska Gospel Choir’s unique and eclectic sound has evolved into a passionate blend of gospel styles, combining classic black gospel with elements of funk, R&B, country and soul.

Produced by choir guitarist and longtime ASU classical guitar professor Doug James, with help from engineer and renowned local musician Andy Owens, “Rough Side of the Mountain” was recorded at Boone Mennonite Brethren Church and Owens’ Lonesome Pine Studios.

The 15 tracks feature an array of the choir’s soloists tackling a rousing mixture of classic gospel gems, as well as modern R&B-infused workouts and an original composition by choir director Danny Whittington.

Copies of “Rough Side of the Mountain” will be for sale at the March 2 event for $15 apiece. Discs can also be purchased online by visiting

The Junaluska Gospel Choir sings every Sunday morning at Boone Mennonite Brethren Church at 11 a.m. The group can also be seen performing regularly at churches throughout the High Country, as well as at MerleFest and other gatherings.

Boone Mennonite Brethren Church is located at 161 Church St. in Boone (behind the Watauga County Public Library). For more information, visit, or call (828) 263-0502.

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