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Mountain Home Music presents DaShawn Hickman with the Junaluska Gospel Choir

BOONE — Boonerang Music & Arts Festival alum, and 2023 Pedal Steel Hall of Fame Inductee DaShawn Hickman presents “Sacred Steel” with Boone’s own Junaluska Gospel Choir, Thursday, September 28, at Appalachian Theatre of the High Country in Boone, NC. 

Presented by Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m., with the Theatre doors opening at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 for Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music members (support the organization & save!),  $22.50 for the public, and $10.50 for children 12 and younger and students. Tickets are available at apptheatre.org, the theatre box office, open from Tuesday – Friday, 11am- 3pm, and at the door. 

One of the foremost contemporary practitioners of Sacred Steel, a blues-gospel tradition dating back to the Pentecostal-Holiness churches of the 1930s, DaShawn Hickman grew up hearing the pedal steel in the tiny House of God church his family attended in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and listening to his mother play lap steel in their home. Hickman picked up the instrument at the age of 5. In his teens, he formed a group with three of his cousins that found fame as The Allen Boys, North Carolina’s only touring Sacred Steel band. Now, Hickman puts his own spin on the Sacred Steel tradition with Drums, Roots & Steel, his debut album on Little Village, produced by Charlie Hunter (who also plays bass on the recordings), and featuring the soulful vocals of Hickman’s wife Wendy on several tracks. “We just want to spread love and joy to people,” says Hickman. “That’s our mission, me and my wife both. We love what we do, and we just want to take it out and let other people experience it, and be heard in the right manner.”

Hickman channels the blues-gospel traditions of the Pentecostal-Holiness churches of the 1930s on his debut album, Drums, Roots & Steel, produced by guitar-phenom Charlie Hunter, Hickman draws a through-line to Southern black church music dating back to nearly a century before he put his own sound down in the studio with Drums, Roots & Steel. Hickman shines bright on Sacred Steel with Hunter on bass, as well as two West African percussionists, Atiba Rorie and Brevan Hampden, and singer Wendy Hickman.

Boone’s Junluksa Gospel Choir opens the show! Famous throughout the NC High Country for their passionate and uplifting performances in the Black and Old-time gospel traditions, the Junaluska Gospel Choir is based in the historic Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. The choir features singers who come from multiple generations of gospel singing tradition. 

Since 1994, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music has proudly celebrated Appalachian music, singing, storytelling, and dance, supporting working artists and providing accessible cross-generational arts experiences for High Country audiences. 

More than 30 concerts, dances and other events are on the JSMHM schedule for 2023. To learn more and for updates about upcoming events, visit mountainhomemusic.org and follow the organization on Facebook and Instagram.