The Krüger Brothers headline the 23rd annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, a family-friendly event set for Saturday, June 17, at Grayson Highlands State Park near Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.
Also performing will be Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, the Looping Brothers, Betty and the Bullet, Strictly Strings, and Wayne Henderson and Friends, and there will be a guest appearance by songwriter Hugh Moffatt. Twenty contestants will play to have the chance to win a handmade Henderson guitar, and scholarships will be presented to young musicians studying Appalachian music and the groups that support them. The festival will present $38,000 this year, and has presented more than $198,500 in scholarships since 1995.
The outdoor festival features an impressive variety of acoustic music. The Krüger Brothers, from Wilkesboro, NC, make their long-awaited return to the festival. Award-winning Dobro player Rob Ickes, longtime member of Blue Highway, teams with Trey Hensley, who has a rich baritone voice. The Looping Brothers, from Germany, perform in the old brother duet style. Betty and the Bullet, from Delaware, formed in Galax years ago and play a mix of swing, pop, standards and originals. Strictly Strings of Boone, NC, are talented young players led by mentor Cecil Gurganus. Wayne Henderson, of Rubgy, Virginia, is well-known for his guitars crafted for Doc Watson, Eric Clapton and other musicians, a unique picking style and his love of sharing the music. Performances run from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bring a chair or blanket and a chair (though no high-back chairs allowed). Meals, ice cream and a variety of concessions will be available, and picnic lunches are welcome. A children’s area will feature free events including lariat artist Doug Smith and his rope tricks, along with crafts and games. Admission is $20, and children 12 and younger get in free. A portion of proceeds will benefit scholarships for young musicians. A state park parking fee will be charged. The festival is open, rain or shine. Full details at www.waynehenderson.org.