“We are excited to continue this series of acoustic house-concert style performances in the Mazie Jones Gallery of the Jones House,” says series organizer, Mark Freed. “The concerts are almost exclusively unamplified, so audience members have a chance to hear the artists directly and close.”
The Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources will present another series of indoor house concerts, workshops, and master classes, starting in February at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone.
The 2017 Winter/Spring Indoor Concerts at the Jones House series will begin on February 18 with the Piney Woods Boys from Raleigh-Durham, and the rest of the line-up will include Zoe & Cloyd, The Corklickers, Joel Savoy & Kelli Jones-Savoy, The Freighthoppers, Scott Freeman & Willard Gayheart, and John McCutcheon.
The Piney Woods Boys on February 18 will feature a trio of old-time string band multi-instrumentalists with Wayne Martin, Jim Collier, and Matt Haney. Collier played in a band with Doc Watson’s cousin and father-in-law, Arnold Watson and Gaither Carlton, in the 1970s.
“Much of our repertory is inspired by the Watson family, Clarence Ashley, Fred Price, and Clint Howard,” says Martin, who is also the Directory of the North Carolina Arts Council and a long-time promoter and producer of traditional country, blues, and folk music from North Carolina.
On February 26, Zoe & Cloyd features the husband-and-wife-duet of John Cloyd Miller and Natalya Weinstein. Miller is a 12th generation North Carolinian, grandson of bluegrass fiddling pioneer Jim Shumate, and past winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest. Weinstein is a classically-trained-turned-
fiddler adept at bluegrass, old-time, and tunes of her own composing that blend an array of Americana influences.
The Corklickers are one of the longest running old-time string bands of the High Country, forming in the area in the 1970s, and they will be at the Jones House on March 11. The band has played festivals and stages all over the region and country from the Carter Family Fold to the Chicago Folk Festival to the Bristol Rhythm & Roots. The band features rowdy fiddle-led tunes and songs reminiscent of the Skillet Lickers, the Hill Billies, and other early country bands from the southern mountains.
Joel Savoy and Kelli Jones-Savoy, of southern Louisiana, will bring a bit of Cajun country to the Jones House with their duet performance on Sunday, March 26. Savoy grew up in one of the premier families of traditional Cajun music, playing at home and on stages since a young boy. In addition to playing with his family’s band, Savoy produces lots of music from the region on his Grammy Award-winning label, Valcour Records. Jones-Savoy grew up in North Carolina playing old-time and bluegrass music with her talented father, Carl Jones, known for his fine song writing and mandolin playing. The duo will bring their Cajun and Blue Ridge roots, along with a strong passion for the songs of the “Classic Country” era.
On April 8, The Freighthoppers of Bryson City, North Carolina, bring their high energy old-time string band to the Jones House. The band started in the early 1990s, playing seven days a week at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. After years of touring, founding member and banjo player, Frank Lee, continues to lead the group, along with veteran old-time stalwart fiddler Merritt Smith, bass player Andy Smith, and guitar player Allie Burbrink.
May 7 will feature a performance with master mandolin player and fiddler Scott Freeman and the visiting featured artist for the month, Willard Gayheart. Freeman and Gayheart are fixtures in the southwest Virginia music and arts scene, and the Mazie Jones Gallery will have an exhibit of Gayhearts pencil drawings on display during the month of May. Freeman is no stranger to High Country music-goers, as he is a longtime member of the Mountain Home Music house band.
The series concludes on May 20 with two performances by folk music veteran and song writer John McCutcheon. Known for his guitar and dulcimer playing, McCutcheon has worked with some of the best folk songwriters, including Tom Paxton, Si Kahn, and Tom Chapin, as well as a project collaborating with authors like Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry, and Lee Smith. The late Pete Seeger called McCutcheon, “One of our country’s best songwriters.”
In addition to the performances, several of the visiting artists will be offering afternoon workshops. Members of the Piney Woods Boys will feature a fiddle workshop based on the style of Doc Watson’s father-in-law, Gaither Carlton. Natalya Weinstein of Zoe & Cloyd will offer a fiddle workshop in the style of bluegrass pioneer Jim Shumate. Joel Savoy will offer a master class in Cajun fiddling, while Kelli Jones-Savoy teaches a beginning Cajun fiddling class. Frank Lee of the Freighthoppers will teach a clawhammer banjo workshop, while bass player Andy Smith leads a flatfoot dance session. And, Scott Freeman will teach an intermediate mandolin workshop. All workshops are on the afternoons prior to the concerts, beginning at 4:00 p.m. For more information, including reservations, please contact Mark Freed at [email protected]
All of the concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. John McCutcheon will also be giving an afternoon performance, starting at 4:00 p.m., in addition to a 7:30 p.m. performance. Seating is limited to the first 40 people, so advanced reservations are recommended. Tickets for the concerts are $20, payable in cash or check at the Jones House. All open seats will be made available at the door, which opens 30 minutes prior to the start of the concert.