Bluegrass lovers, along with any fans of good music, are in for a treat this Friday, August 23, as the Summer Concert Series at the Jones House continues with another free concert at 5:00pm. The Town of Boone is delighted to have Cane Mill Road and Hank, Pattie, & the Current take the Jones House stage. This week’s performers stay true to their bluegrass roots, but both acts add a little bit of modern spice – and whole lot of energy – to this traditional genre.
First up on the stage will be local favorites Cane Mill Road, whose members are natives of the Blue Ridge. Having grown up in the shadow of legendary great Doc Watson, all have deep roots in the bluegrass tradition. Cane Mill Road brings a fresh youthful vibrance and progressivism to the bluegrass genre, but also pays deep homage to preserving its traditional sound. After the success of their sophomore album, Gap to Gap, in 2018, the foursome became the youngest band to earn a nomination for the IBMA Momentum Band-of-the-Year Award. Since then, they have performed at some of the largest and most prestigious musical festivals in the country, as well as a 9-day tour of Argentina representing the US in a United Nations world musical festival. It is no wonder critics hail Cane Mill Road as the future of bluegrass music.
This four-man band includes Liam Purcell on mandolin and fiddle, Tray Wellington on banjo, Casey Lewis on guitar and lead vocals, and Hudson Bosworth on bass and harmony – and each member’s individual accolades are no less impressive than the group’s collective achievements. Cane Mill Road is set to release their highly-anticipated third album at the end of August, which is a live recording of a sold-out show at Saloon Studios. “If the sneak peak of videos released from this concert are an indication of what is to come in the album,” claims Brad Farthing of the Jones House, “then listeners are without a doubt going to be thrilled.” With a perfect balance of original pieces, bluegrass standards, and dressed-up covers, this album promises to have something for everyone.
Closing the concert on Friday will be Hank, Pattie & the Current, bringing their signature soulgrass sound to the stage. Having recently released their fourth album, Rise Above, Hank, Pattie & the Current have had a full slate of concerts across North Carolina and Virginia, and stop by Boone as a part of their summer tour. Bluegrass juggernauts Hank Smith and Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw put their own unique spin on old school bluegrass by infusing elements of Latin and Jazz music. With innovative arrangements, pitch-perfect harmonies, and stunning artistry, this band knows how to deliver a captivating performance.
Their song “County Line” exemplifies the kind of energy and showmanship that is the hallmark of this band. Pattie chops away at the fiddle creating a percussive urgency to the song, while also providing lead vocals with a beautifully rich tone and just the right amount of pleading twang. Meanwhile, Hank picks away at the banjo with masterful precision, accentuating just the right notes to create a magnificent melodic style. Their all-star band, the Currents, comprised of Jonah Freedman on bass, Billie Feather on guitar, and Robert Thornhill on mandolin, completes this five-piece band, and join in creating a unique composition with layered instrumental and vocal melodies. At the end of “County Line” Pattie insightfully declares, “You couldn’t draw a line around me.” The truth hits home for listeners who would have trouble putting this band into the box of any one specific musical genre, but can simply appreciate the raw beauty in each performance.
Perhaps the greatest compliment that can be given to both of these groups is their passion for sharing their love for traditional bluegrass music with future generations. Hank and Pattie are both dedicated music educators who are enthusiastic about teaching their students the mechanics of bluegrass, but also the feeling and emotion that must go into it as well. Likewise, members of Cane Mill Road, though still young, are active in preserving the rich history of bluegrass music. Purcell and Lewis are active in the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program, and Wellington and Bosworth also participate as mentors in various music programs, camps, and workshops.
The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free and open to the public. Concerts are held every Friday in June, July, and August, starting at 5:00 p.m., and they are held rain or shine. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets to enjoy the music from the Jones House lawn. Alcoholic beverages are permitted on the Jones House property, if patrons are of legal age and bring their own beverages. No open containers are allowed beyond the Jones House property. Friendly pets are permitted on leash.
The 2019 Summer Concerts at the Jones House sponsors include the Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store, Burton Moomaw Acupuncture, MPrints, Melanie’s, Stick Boy Bread Co, and Rosemary Horowitz/Jerry Hyman.
For more information about the series, including a complete schedule, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828.268.6280.