The Summer Concert Series at the Jones House is kicking into high gear this Friday, July 26, at 5 p.m. with another exciting lineup of performances. On the slate for this week are a set of returning Jones House veterans, including Earleine, Shay Martin Lovette and Aaron Burdett & the Fly Rights.
“It’s an honor to have these award-winning artists perform at the Jones House,” says Town of Boone Cultural Resources Director, Mark Freed. To say it is an honor is no overstatement; each of these local artists has made a name for themselves, and all have placed among the best in MerleFest’s annual songwriting contest. “I’m glad they continue to make time for hometown concerts.”
The concert kicks off with the velvety-soft music of Earleine. Growing up outside of Nashville, Earleine was entrenched in musical culture from a young age. After picking up the guitar at the age of 18, she began writing her own songs, characterized by a beautiful and sincere poetic lyricism. Earleine aptly describes her style as “Americana music with a swirl of folk, rock and roots under a blanket of soul.”
In her single “Mountain Sound,” Earleine profoundly declares, “These hills are filled with history.” It’s this rich sense of history and culture that ultimately drew Earleine to the Blue Ridge Mountains to broaden her musical horizons and to develop her signature sound. With a mesmerizing voice and dreamy melodies, one can’t help but draw comparisons to classic bluegrass country sirens like Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss. Earleine effortlessly transports her listeners back to a simpler, more tranquil time.
Shay Martin Lovette, another singer-songwriter and folk rocker, is next up in this week’s concert. Originally from the Appalachian foothills in North Carolina, Martin now calls Boone home. Since the release of his latest album, “Swift Drifter,” last summer, Martin’s career has taken off. No longer an undiscovered jewel, Martin has placed nationally in a number of musical competitions, which includes being the winner of the 2019 MerleFest Band Competition.
With a voice as smooth as James Taylor’s and a homespun charm to match, Lovette’s songs draw upon his personal experiences — a powerful combination of adventurous exploration, devastating loss and restorative beauty — from which any listener can draw meaning and find common ground. Lovette has proven himself to be one of the greatest storytellers in the industry and continues to have a busy touring schedule across North Carolina and the South.
Wrapping things up Friday evening will be Asheville-area band Aaron Burdett & the Fly Rights. The group’s front man, Aaron Burdett, has enjoyed a prolific career, performing in the Boone area since the 1990s and releasing seven albums. After traveling across the country, starting a construction business, building a home and raising a family, Burdett decided to fulfill his dream of pursuing music full time in 2013 and has subsequently received critical acclaim, including recognition by WNC Magazine as one of the top ten most important musicians in western North Carolina — with the likes of Doc Watson and the Avett Brothers.
Citing his musical influence as Cat Stevens, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and fittingly, Doc Watson, among others, Burdett provides a glimpse into the inspiration for his blend of country, folk-rock, blues and bluegrass styles. Gritting vocals interwoven with a passionate delivery give Burdett’s songs a feeling of authenticity and poignancy. Burdett is vulnerable in his lyrical narratives and cuts to the core of human nature, touching upon blue collar struggles with life and love.
The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free and open to the public. Concerts are held every Friday in June, July and August, starting at 5 p.m., and they are held rain or shine. Patrons are encourages to bring their own chairs or blankets to enjoy the music from the Jones House lawn. Alcoholic beverages are permitted on the Jones House property if patrons re of legal age and bring their own beverages. No open containers are allowed beyond the Jones House property. Friendly pets are permitted on leash. The 2019 Summer Concerts at the Jones House sponsors include the Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store, Burton Moomaw Acupuncture, MPrints, Melanie’s, Stick Boy Bread Co. and Rosemary Horowitz/Jerry Hyman. For more information about the series, including a complete schedule, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828-268-6280.