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MHM Presents Trevor McKenzie and Friends at Harvest House on Oct. 14

Fall is in full swing here in the High Country, the perfect time for heading over to the Harvest House in Boone on Saturday night, Oct. 14, where Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music will present in concert, Trevor McKenzie and Friends.

The show titled, “Specially Crafted Songs and Tunes”, features original material and showcases McKenzie’s wonderful talent at both composing tunes and storytelling through his detailed crafted songs. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

McKenzie is a multi-instrumentalist – playing fiddle, guitar and banjo – and singer who is originally from southwest Virginia. The progeny of cattle farmers, he first gravitated to old-time music through an early interest in regional history and a keen desire to avoid doing manual labor. Though only mildly successful in the latter ambition, he gathered a respect for the communities, historical events, and stories which continue to build the canon of traditional music. Encouraged initially by family and church music, his formal musical training began at Jim Lloyd’s Barbershop in Rural Retreat, Virginia. In recent years he has continued to learn from and be humbled by skilled musicians from along the Appalachians and around the world. McKenzie currently lives in Deep Gap, where he performs as a sideman with several regional acts including the Elkville String Band and the Laurel Creek String Band. On weekdays, he puts his historical knowledge and dusting skills to work in the archives of the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University.

This concert spotlights McKenzie’s original songs from his album, “Generational Things,” which looks at life in the Appalachians Mountains and foothills past and present. Regional favorites and traditional tunes will also be performed as part of the program including arrangements of songs from such local legends as Lee Monroe Presnell and Frank Proffitt. The evening will be a blend of old and new, with original songs blending with older tunes that give a nod to other regional musicians past and present.

Joining McKenzie for the concert will be folklorist and musician Steve Kruger, a former Watauga and Ashe County resident with a wide repertoire of fiddle tunes and ballads from northwestern North Carolina. Kruger is regionally known as an award winning fiddler, singer, and banjo player and was co-author of the 2013 book Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. In addition to his musical skills, Kruger is also a scholar of Appalachian native plants and is currently completing a Doctorate in Forestry at Virginia Tech studying the use and sale of medicinal herbs within the region.

The group will also feature multi-instrumentalist and singer Brandon Holder, a local favorite known for his work in more than a few genres of music with bands such as Spoon Bread, the Foscoe Four, and Mission Trio. Holder currently teaches classes in traditional music through the Junior Appalachian Musicians program at the Jones House and works for the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority.     

JSMHM director, Rodney Sutton, remembers – “I first became aware of the talent Trevor has as a song writer when I heard him sing a song about the civil war battle of Antietam. The title of the song is ‘The Last Dance on the Hagerstown Pike’, about a charge that the Third Arkansas Regiment made in the early afternoon on what still is the bloodiest day in any war in American history. The song tells the story of how a soldier asked his captain that since they did not have a bugler, could he play his fiddle as they marched straight into the enemies’ line. The captain’s reply was yes, but only if the soldier played the tune ‘Granny will Your Dog Bite’! Sutton continues, “My Great granddaddy, Henry Sutton, was a member of the North Carolina 27th Regiment, and I knew that they had been ordered into the same charge standing shoulder to shoulder with the Third Arkansas. Henry Sutton was killed during that charge and Trevor’s song set me to wondering if the last music he heard was this same fiddle tune.” This song also portrays how the movement of the two armies moving forward and back, as one advances and then retreats, reminded Trevor of the dance call ‘Lines go forward and back’. Being a dance caller, this also made this song ring so true for me personally”, Sutton said. “There will be many more wonderful original songs by Trevor in this show, and with Steve and Brandon joining in, there will be a big dose of some great old-time fiddle and banjo music. This is the last concert in our JSMHM fall season. Our next show will not be until our Celtic Christmas show, on Thanksgiving weekend, so come on out and join us Saturday night”, added Sutton.

This concert is supported by the following private sponsors: Lynn Hubbard; Mike and Melanie McKee, and Dr. E. Frank and Tara Hancock. Business Sponsors include; Stick Boy Bread Company, Mast General Store, Mountain Times Publishing, and the High Country Press. 
Additional support is provided by; The Watauga Arts Council, The NC Arts Council, and Boone TDA. 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/