Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is pleased to announce the return of Boone native, Jeff Little and his Trio on Saturday, July 22nd for a concert at the Harvest House at 7:30 p.m. Little is a bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, jazz, rock-in-roll piano player. He’s one of a kind – that’s why he’s called ‘The Piano Man of the Blue Ridge.’ His distinctive two-handed style, influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, has been described as breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity.
Rodney Sutton, director of JSMHM, points out – “The Jeff Little Trio performs often through-out the year in the High Country. What makes this concert stand our above all the others is that folks flock to the Harvest House to watch and hear Little ‘tickle the ivories’ on the venue’s baby grand piano. With his rack-mounted harmonica and vocals, Little can be a one-man show, but with two time National Banjo Champion and guitar phoneme, Steve Lewis adding his hot licks to the mix and bass player Josh Scott, holding down the bottom end and singing – well you are in for a musical treat! Word has gotten around, and this much anticipated concert is typically our largest crowd of the season”.
“When Little hits the stage at Mountain Home Music it is really a family affair. Not only does his family and neighbors turn out, he is often joined on stage for a song or two by his father, Jerrell. And recently Little’s has been bringing his 17-year old mandolin playing son, Luke on the stage for a few numbers.”
As a youngster Jeff hung out at the music shop in downtown Boone that was owned by his parents. Musicians, including Doc Watson, would gather there regularly to pick a few tunes. Beginning around the age of six, Little would be invited to sit in. These personal and musical influences helped shape his approach to playing the piano, which is based on adding more notes than even a fiddler can play on these lighting-fast traditional tunes.
By age 14 he was in demand as a professional musician. As a young man, Jeff settled in Nashville for a while, but a number of years ago he moved back to the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has taken his music around the world on U. S. government goodwill tours to Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, France and Tanzania. National Public Radio has said about him: “Jeff Little is a remarkable musician, steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet he is a virtuosic and eclectic innovator.” In 2014, Little was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in Wilkesboro.
In a recent interview for an article in a Concord paper, Little told the story of how Doc would show up and pick on Christmas Eve at his families music store while the locals
where out doing their last minute shopping. Doc’s presence worked better than any advertising. “One year we sold 21 guitars, said Little, I guess everyone thought they could take them home and pick like Doc”!
The Harvest House is located at 247 Boone Heights Drive in Boone.
This concert is supported by the following private sponsors: Lynn Hubbard; and The Estate of Joe Shannon. Business Sponsors include; Joy Whitlach – State Farm Insurance, Mountain Time Publishing, and the High Country Press. The United Way Sponsorship is Courtesy of Jack & Karen James. Additional support is provided by; The Watauga Arts Council, The NC Arts Council, and Boone TDA, and The Anne and Alex Bernhardt Foundation, a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is also proud to be included as a site on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BlueRidgeMusicNC.com).
Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $5. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online and at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Stick Boy Bread Company(345 Hardin St, Boone), plus Footsloggers and Pandora’s Mailbox on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.
Tickets, directions and more info can be found at the JSMHM website – www.mountainhomemusic.org/