Strictly Strings releases their debut recording at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center, Sunday, December 18, starting at 4:00 p.m.
Over the past several years, Cecil Gurganus’s advanced fiddle class at the Boone Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program turned into one of the hottest rising old-time string bands of the region. With a core group of four students, who all play multiple instruments, the band is rounded out with Caleb Coatney, Willow Dillon, and sisters Kathleen and Anissa Burnett.
“These kids were all working so hard at their music that we were having a hard time keeping up with them in the Boone JAM program,” says program coordinator, Mark Freed. “We had to create more advanced classes, and it would end up being this core group over and over, and they would end up playing well beyond the lessons at the Jones House.”
The Jones House old-time jam session follows the weekly lessons, and the Strictly Strings gang are known to practice for hours, tightening their sound and preparing for gigs.
“Not only do they work hard as a band, but as individuals they are all driven by music and have relentless practice routines,” Freed adds.
The band has been playing at local venues for the past few years, and they have been bringing home numerous ribbons, as a band and as individuals, from regional
fiddlers conventions. The band is often called upon to provide the music for the dance competitions at fiddlers conventions, another nod from their peers for their tight sound.
The band has been working equally hard at High On a Mountain, their debut CD, which they will release at the Jones House with a celebration on December 18. The recording was made at Ticknock Studio with engineer, Patrick Crouch, in Lenoir.
The release party is free and open to the public, and it will feature several performances by Strictly Strings, starting at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 p.m. Between the performances, the band will greet guests and sign CDs, which will be available for sale. Stick Boy Bread Company and Melanie’s Food Fantasy will provide refreshments. The event will include some free give-away prizes and other surprises.
Guests are welcome to drop in for any or all of the performances to help Strictly Strings celebrate their debut recording.
“Cecil and the kids have worked really hard on their first recording, and I know they are very excited to share it with the world,” Freed says. “We hope a lot of folks will make it out to help them release the CD, and those who can’t make it keep an eye out for it around town.”
For more information on the Strictly Strings CD Release Party or more information on the Boone JAMS program, please contact the Jones House at www.joneshouse.org or 828.268.6282.
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