Gather round High Country folks and get ready for a “Calico Uprising”! Featuring flying fiddle bows and swirling, twirling costumes, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music welcomes back the two-time World Champion Green Grass Cloggers of Asheville, NC and the Little Stony Nighthawks from Boone, to present an exciting and lively concert! The show will be staged at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium this Saturday night, August 17th as a part of the JSMHM 2019 Indoor Concert Series. The show begins at 7:30pm, with the doors opening at 7:00pm.
The Green Grass Cloggers are celebrating their 48th year of bringing high-energy traditional mountain dance inspired clogging to audiences world-wide. Now, while making a trip from Asheville to Blowing Rock might not seem like world-wide traveling, back in the 1970’s and 80’s, this professional dance troupe performed all across North America and Canada, plus making appearance in Central America, China, Scandinavia and Europe.
The GGC won the title of World Champions in 1972 and 1974 at the Autumn Square-up at Fiddlers Grove, NC. In 1975 the team stopped competing and decided to take their innovative hybrid style of clogging on the road. Their chorography, based on square dance figures and precision steps featuring high kicks and intricate percussive rhythms, set them apart from most “traditional” clogging teams from the Appalachian Mountains. The touring team was composed of 4 couples that allowed them to fit on small stages and for around 15 years they were featured at most of the large folk and bluegrass festivals around the country, including the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Lake Eden Arts Festival, the Appalachian String-band Festival, and MerleFest.
Today, the Green Grass Cloggers are back dancing just for the fun of it and they are still performing at local events and festivals all over the country. They have continued to add new younger dancers over the years and since 1971, there have been over 200 dancers to don the calico costumes of the GGC. Current and former members get together once a year for a reunion at the Hoppin’ John Fiddlers Convention near Pittsboro, NC. This event is where various members of LSN first started playing for the GGC. The group continues to be invited to the largest folk and bluegrass festivals in the country, having appeared at the 35th Annual MerleFest and they will be making their first appearance yet at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival this fall on September 20th. Recent recognitions include Western Carolina University’s 2008 Mountain Heritage Award, the Charlotte Folk Society’s 2011 Folk Heritage Award, a 2012 Community Traditions Award from the NC Folklore Society, and 2014 induction into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame and America’s Clogging Hall of Fame. The venue at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium affords an elevated stage where one can view up close the intricate footwork and choreography that has set this dance team apart from all the others for nearly five decades.
The Little Stony Nighthawks(LSN) are a dance party string band well-versed in the repertoires of Old Time, Country, and First-Wave Bluegrass. Named for Little Stony Creek, the roaring stream that feeds the Cascades Falls of Giles County, Virginia, the group interprets songs and fiddle tunes from all along the Appalachian watersheds with a dance beat rooted in the traditions of southwest Virginia and western North Carolina. The combination of square dance and flatfoot-friendly tunes with two-step and waltz numbers—featuring close-knit two, three, and four-part harmony singing—make this band equally at home in dance halls or onstage at festivals. The Nighthawks are: Steve Kruger (fiddle), Brandon Holder (bass), Trevor McKenzie (guitar), and Aaron Ratcliffe (banjo/dance calls).
JSMHM director, Rodney Sutton – who himself has been a member of the GGC for 47 years – stated, “The GGC teamed up with the Little Stony Nighthawks last summer at the International Bluegrass Musicians Association’s dance stage in Raleigh and golly-gee did we ever put on a heck of an exciting show to an enthusiastic audience. Aaron Ratcliff is a great flatfoot dancer himself and when these guys crank up a fiddle tune you can be assured that the GGS’s kicks will be a little higher and the women’s skirts will be lifted in an elevated swirl of calico!“ Sutton added, “This concert at BRSA really does give our audience a chance to be up close and personal to the music and dance. We look forward to fans of LSN and GGC showing up for this evening of fun – the audience even gets into the act as I lead in them in the world famous ‘sit-down square dance’!
The Blowing Rock School Auditorium is located at 130 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock.
This concert is supported by the following private sponsors; Dr. E. Frank Hancock DDS and Rodney Sutton in memory of Robert Dotson – NC Heritage Award Recipient for flatfoot dancing. Business sponsors include; Mast General Store, Mountain Time Publishing, and the High Country Press. Additional support is provided by The Watauga County Arts Council and Grassroots Funds from the NC Arts Council. JSMHM 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 in limited numbers Stick Boy Bread Company(345 Hardin St, Boone), and at Footsloggers on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.
Tickets, directions and more info can be found at the JSMHM website – www.mountainhomemusic.org/