By Bailey Faulkner
Legends of the High Country’s old-time string band scene The Corklickers will take the stage at the Jones House in Boone on Saturday, March 11. The band’s performance will be the next installment of the Jones House’s winter indoor concerts series.
The Corklickers are filled out by:
Gil Adams fiddle
Mark Adams banjo, vocals
Rick Palmer fiddle
David Burns fiddle
Rick Moore upright bass
Ron Rasnick guitar
Formed in the mountains of North Carolina in 1976, The Corklickers are one of the most experienced and well-known old-time bands in the area. The band got its start after the founding members became acquainted with each other at various music venues in Blowing Rock during the ’70s.
After a short time of playing with each other and passing around a hat for tips in the small town, the Corklickers formed and began performing at regional fiddler’s conventions. The fiddler’s conventions helped introduce the band to some of the area’s biggest names in old-time string music, including Watauga County natives Ray and Stanley Hicks, Willard Watson and Robert Dotson.
In addition to attending conventions, the members learned much of the music they now play by listening to recordings from the ’20s, much of which predates the bluegrass genre.
Since its beginnings in the mountains of western North Carolina, the band has played with countless figures in the old-time scene and performed at many instantly-recognizable venues from around the country, including the Carter Family Fold, Chicago Folk Festival, Kent State and Brandywine Music Festival, among many others.
In that time, the band has performed alongside the Hotmud Family, Red Clay Ramblers, Whitetop Mountain Band, Fat Meat Boys and many other staples of the old-time genre. The band’s experience will certainly show at its Jones House concert.
“We used to go around and find the old timers and visit with them and learn to play with them,” Gil Adams said. “Back then, we were looking for old timers, and now we’re the old timers.”
Although the band has seen many members come and go over the years, the band has maintained a core lineup that wishes to continue performing the music they love.
“We just enjoy the music so much that we keep playing it,” Gil said.
The March 11 show at the Jones House will be one of the band’s first performances of the year. The Corklickers often focus on the warmer months for the majority of their shows due to the Adams brothers’ busy schedule at Beech Mountain Resort during ski season. Gil works as Beech Mountain Resort’s Director of Ski Patrol and has been on the slopes since Beech opened when he was a teen. He joined the ski patrol in 1970.
The Jones House
The Jones House winter indoor concert series will give The Corklickers the perfect forum to show off the old-time sound that they have honed over the decades. Having never performed at the venue with The Corklickers lineup, the band is especially excited about the music-loving crowds always present at the Jones House and in downtown Boone.
“I’ve played in jam sessions at the Jones House, and I think David has too,” Gil said. “The crowd there goes out because they really enjoy the music. I think that’s what makes it fun.”
With the Jones House located in the heart of downtown Boone, The Corklickers will surely recall performances from earlier decades when taking the stage on Saturday.
“We used to play on the street corner by Hunt’s department store for free jeans,” Gil said.
The show will have a 40-seat limit and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the show, and tickets will cost $20 per person.
If you have any questions or want to inquire about reservations, contact Mark Freed at [email protected] or call 828-268-6280.
If you’ve never seen The Corklickers before, this is a perfect chance to see some local masters of old time at a cozy and intimate venue in downtown Boone. Mark your calendars now!