Mountain Home Music to Host Appalachian Christmas Concert on Saturday in Boone

Published Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Presenting “An Appalachian Christmas” for its final concert of the season has become a holiday tradition for Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music. This marks the 19th year that this free concert offers the opportunity for local musicians to give back to the High Country community – celebrating the real “reason for the season.”

JSMHM Appalachian Christmas Concert 2013

Come share in the giving spirit of the holidays as once again all money collected at this benefit show will go to two local charities known for helping those less fortunate – The Hospitality House and Santa’s Toy box. The concert takes place on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone at 7:30 p.m.

Featured performers for this year’s edition of “An Appalachian Christmas” will be folks who appeared during the JSMHM 2015 concert season; The Silver String Dulcimer Band, The Sheets Family, The Mountain Laurels, Trevor McKenzie, and Strictly Strings. Mountain Home Music favorite, David Johnson, will serve as co-host and will play with members of Dixie Dawn.

“While a couple of Christmas standards will be included and there will be a chance for the audience to sing along on Silent Night, I have asked each group to perform some of the songs and tunes that are more rare – ones that you don’t usually hear on the radio and TV each year”, stated JSMHM director – Rodney Sutton. “We want this years concert to stand out for both its variety of styles; Celtic, old-time, blue grass and country, and also its inclusion of those hidden gems – the songs and tunes that just don’t get covered as much as they should.”

“Our local musicians are always eager to offer up their talents when it comes to performing for benefits. This year we have more groups participating than usual – a testament to their giving spirit”, remarked Sutton.

The Silver String Dulcimer Band offers up the sweet and gentle sounds of the mountain dulcimer and features Jewel and Bill Mcgee, Sarah Borders and Tom Pace. All four members of the band serve on the board of JSMHM and they have played at weddings, concerts and benefits in the High Country for many years.

The Sheets Family Band is an old time string band from western North Carolina. Celebrated for their harmony singing and energetic instrumentals, they embody the values of homemade and homegrown music and lifestyle. Their old time mountain style takes inspiration from the music of the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. Mother and daughter, Deborah Jean Sheets on guitar and Kelly Sheets Snider on fiddle, have selected three special Christmas themed traditional songs for this concert.

The Mountain Laurels are a Celti-lachian band from the High Country of North Carolina. They perform a blend of Americana, Celtic and folk music typical to the roots culture of Western North Carolina. Three of their members will be on hand;

Connie Woolard playing hammered dulcimer and percussion, Suzi Mills on bass and accordion and Elaine Gray on guitar.

Trevor McKenzie plays fiddle, banjo and guitar in a number of groups locally and appeared with the Elkville String Band at JSMHM this summer. Trevor is a collector of rare old-time songs and tunes and is a wonderful composer of original songs.

Strictly Strings play old-time mountain music and is composed of five multi-instrumentalist; sisters, Anissa and Kathleen Burnett, Caleb Coatney, Willow Dillon and their mentor, Cecil Gurganus. Folks in the traditional music community here in the High Country have witnessed these teenagers grow musically and professionally over the past few years. With the steady guidance of Cecil, along with the exuberance of youth, Strictly Strings has matured into a top-notch performance group.

David Johnson has been a mainstay at Mountain Home Music concerts for years. He is a two-time Studio Musician of the Year Award recipient. David was in the first class of musicians, along with Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, David Holt and the Carter Family, to be inducted into the prestigious Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame. Blue grass banjo wiz, Eric Ellis, along with father and son members of Dixie Dawn, Darrell and Sloan Bryant, will join David to offer some early country Christmas classics.

Sutton added, “We hope you will join us as once again we pay tribute to the giving spirit of Joe Shannon by shinning a light on one of his favorite concerts. JSMHM gets to give back to the community with a free show and in turn we offer the opportunity for those who attend to give to these two deserving non-profit charities. The Hospitality House has been offering a hand-up to the homeless for 34 years. Santa’s Toy Box, founded in 1985, made sure last year that over 900 families would have a toy under the tree on Christmas morning.”

No tickets are needed in advance for this free concert.

Grace Lutheran Church is located at 115 E King St, Boone at the intersection of U.S. highways 321 and 421.

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