Oct. 6, 2014. On Saturday, Oct. 11, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music will honor the legacy of its founder with “A Tribute to Joe Shannon.” This performance, presented at the First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock, features the Mountain Home Music Bluegrass Boys and begins at 7:30 p.m.
The MHM Bluegrass Boys include David Johnson, Steve Lewis, Scott Freeman and Josh Scott, some of the finest and most highly-regarded pickers and singers found anywhere.
Joe Shannon passed away from cancer on May 13. For 20 years, he served as the director of Mountain Home Music and while doing so, Joe built a loyal following of fans of traditional Appalachian music here in the High Country who will continue to support his beloved concert series.
“A Tribute to Joe Shannon” will honor the legacy of Joe’s vision: “to present the music and outstanding musicians, singers and dancers of the Appalachian region to an appreciative audience.”
Joe’s death has left an empty spot in the hearts and lives of his countless friends, neighbors and colleagues – especially those who shared his appreciation of the Appalachian culture of his adopted home here in the mountains of North Carolina.
This special tribute concert offers a chance for some closure in dealing with Joe’s passing for his friends and supporters who have not yet made their way back here to the High Country for the summer and fall when his memorial service was held in Boone June 8.
Rodney Sutton, the new director of JSMHM is glad that this week’s show will be held in Blowing Rock.
“We at JSMHM were excited to see that the folks over in Blowing Rock had not forgotten us,” he said. “We had a great turnout for our ‘Remembering Earl and Doc’ concert this past Saturday night at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium. We moved this week’s tribute to Joe to the First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock to accommodate the expected large turnout. Joe would not have wanted this to be a solemn affair and it will not be. Even if you have never heard of Joe Shannon or Mountain Home Music, you are invited to an evening of uplifting music that will celebrate Joe’s life. just by the fact that the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys are headlining the show guarantees everyone a night of top-notch entertainment.”
Though the MHM Bluegrass Boys have been the go-to house band for JSMHM concerts for years, a little introduction is in order for those who are not familiar with this dynamic group of pickers. Fronted by two-time national studio musician of the year David Johnson (who plays anything with strings), the band also includes two-time national banjo champion and MerleFest and HendersonFest Guitar CHampion Steve Lewis; plus master musicians Scott Freeman on mandolin and Josh Scott on bass. It should be noted that Lewis played with Joe Shannon at the very first Mountain Home Music concert back in 1994 at Our Daily Bread in downtown Boone. Now that is some career path!
Joining the MHM Bluegrass Boys will be one of Joe’s old friends and a regular on MHM’s early shows, Billy Ralph Winkler. Winkler was invited to lead one of the popular sing-a-longs at this week’s show.
“Joe and I once put together an a capella quartet for one of MHM’s shows,” Winkler said. “Joe named us the Blue Ridge Vocal Ensemble. We performed for him for several years and kept using that name even when we were singing for other functions.”
JSMHM is proud to include the Blue Ridge Music Ensemble along with Mary Greene to round out this week’s performance.
Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music would like to acknowledge the business sponsors for this week’s concert: The Mast General Store, The Dulcimer Shop, The Valle Crucis Conference Center, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, WETS-89.5 FM and the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. In addition, private sponsors include: Bob Goddard and Bonnie Guy, Merida H and John H Steele and Evelyn Suddreth.
The First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock is located at 350 Sunset Dr. in Blowing Rock. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Student tickets are $11. This is indeed a child-friendly concert, and children under 12 receive free admission. Prices include the new NC state tax.
Advance tickets may be purchased online though the Mountain Home Music website, www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, and at Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street, downtown Blowing Rock.