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Whitetop Mountain Band at MHM

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Article Published: May. 29, 2013 | Modified: Jun. 2, 2013
Whitetop Mountain Band at MHM

The Whitetop Mountain Band will perform June 1 for Mountain Home Music.

Photo by Lonnie Webster

Do you want to hear some good old mountain music, the kind that reaches back to the 1940s, the 1920s, the late 1800s, back to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

It will be featured this Saturday night for Mountain Home Music, a concert series dedicated to honoring the music and musicians of the Appalachian region.

The Whitetop Mountain Band, from Whitetop, Va., will conduct the musical journey.

“In the world of Appalachian music there is great variety — ballads, blues, bagpipes, bluegrass, fiddle tunes, dance tunes and hymns,” said Joe Shannon, Mountain Home Music host, “but there are also some fairly clear distinctions. One prominent distinction is between old-time music and bluegrass. The Whitetop Mountain Band is definitely an old-time band.”

What’s the difference? An Appalachian old-time band includes a lot of Scots-Irish fiddle tunes, played most often for dancing. There is also a significant African influence, particularly as represented by the banjo, which is played with a fingernail rather than with picks.

Compared to old-time music, bluegrass is much more contemporary. Bluegrass got started in the 1940s and is much more speedy and polished than old-time.

“The Whitetop Mountain Band keeps the mountain traditions alive,” Shannon said. “They sing the old songs, they sometimes dance while they perform, and there’s always lots of fun and good humor when they play.”

This will be the Whitetop Mountain Band’s third appearance at Mountain Home Music.

The band— Thornton, Emily and Martha Spencer, plus Debbie Bramer — performs locally, nationally and around the world. Performance venues have included Virginia’s Whitetop Fire Department and the Floyd Country Store; festivals in Blacksburg, Va., and San Diego, Calif., as well as concerts in Australia, England, Scotland and Wales.

About the Whitetop Mountain Band, Jerome Clark from Bluegrass Rambles said, “The Whitetop Mountain Band … makes my heart glad.”

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium in downtown Blowing Rock. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Student tickets are $10, and children’s tickets cost $5.

Tickets may be purchased at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s General Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Kudzu Music in Boone and at Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

Tickets may also be purchased online though the Mountain Home Music website, For more information, visit the website or call (828) 964-3392.

The purpose of Mountain Home Music is to honor the music and the musicians of the Appalachian region. Mountain Home Music is affiliated with the Blue Ridge Music Trails, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council.


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