St. Patrick’s Day concert at BRAHM

Article Published: Mar. 6 | Modified: Mar. 17
St. Patrick’s Day concert at BRAHM

Joe Shannon, founder of Mountain Home Music, is the beneficiary of a St. Patrick’s Day benefit concert at BRAHM. Proceeds from the concert will go toward offsetting Shannon’s medical expenses.

Photo by Lonnie Webster

Come and enjoy an all-Celtic St. Patrick’s Day Benefit Concert, courtesy of Mountain Home Music.
The concert will take place Sunday, March 16, at 4 p.m. at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum in downtown Blowing Rock.

The concert, which serves as a fundraiser for MHM founder Joe Shannon, will feature Strictly Clean and Decent, The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys (in all Irish-mode) and members of The Forget-Me-Nots — all perennial MHM performers.

Shannon has been the founder and guiding light of Mountain Home Music for 20 years. He conceived the MHM concert series in order to honor the music and musicians of the Appalachian region. In late 2012, Shannon was diagnosed with cancer and only recently stepped down from his position as executive director of MHM. A $20 donation per person is suggested, and all proceeds will go to Shannon to help with medical expenses.

This week, Shannon was recognized by N.C. Gov Pat McCrory, who named him a recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the state.

According to the order’s official description, “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award.”

This honor will be presented to Shannon during the St. Patrick’s concert.

“We hope you can be there to help us honor Joe for all the years of service to our community,” concert organizer David Finck said.

The Music

Strictly Clean and Decent features Kay and Patrick Crouch of Caldwell County and Ron Shuffler of Burke County.

The trio has been performing together for more than 15 years, blending a wide variety of acoustic and roots influences with tight vocal harmonies and solid instrumental accompaniment. The group’s style varies from instrumental breakdowns, songs from traditional folk and bluegrass repertoires, jazz standards, Western swing, country and plenty of Celtic and Irish influence.

After traveling multiple times to Ireland, the band has amassed a diverse array of Celtic tunes and songs from Irish songwriters, which will be featured at the St. Patrick’s Day Benefit Concert.

The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys features some of the region’s most celebrated bluegrass musicians, including David Johnson, Steve Lewis and Scott Freeman — all three multi-instrumentalists and masters of acoustic styles.

Lewis is a national banjo champion and frequent winner of regional competitions for guitar and banjo, instruments he teaches full time in Ashe County Schools.

Johnson hails from Wilkes County, where he works as a studio session musician, a role that has led to collaborations with Ralph Stanley, Tony Rice and Arthur Smith, to name but a few. Freeman is most well-known for his prowess on the mandolin and fiddle, and he makes his living performing, recording, writing, arranging and teaching music from his home in Woodlawn, Va.

Together, Lewis, Johnson and Freeman, along with Josh Scott on double bass, have formed the core of the house band for Mountain Home Music.

The Forget-Me-Nots lineup normally features three young fiddlers in Willa Finck, Maura Shawn Scanlin and Ledah Finck, who have literally grown up in front of High Country audiences.

Their band formed 11 years ago when they were 6, 7 and 8-years old. Their music features a blend of high-energy Celtic jigs and reels, laced with airs and waltzes. Two years ago, they introduced their second CD title, “blooming,” featuring all original Celtic-flavored tunes composed and arranged by the girls, with arranging assistance on a couple of tunes by Scottish fiddle champ Jamie Laval.

Scanlin is the current reigning U.S. Open National Scottish Fiddle champ and also won the prestigious Glenfiddich Fiddling Competition at Blair Castle, Perthshire, Scotland, this past fall.

All three girls are also accomplished classical violinists who have won or placed in classical violin competitions throughout the region. The band is backed on guitar by David Finck, who built Ledah and Willa’s violins and his own guitar. Ledah is unable to join the band for this concert.

BRAHM is located at 159 Chestnut St. at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets in Blowing Rock. There is ample parking adjacent to the building and at the nearby parking deck

For more information on Mountain Home Music, visit

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