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Strictly Strings to Join Grammy-Winning Duo Fink and Marxer at Harvest House on Saturday

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer will grace the stage of Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music on Saturday, June 27 at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone. Fink and Marxer will be joined by the up-and-coming dynamic old-time band Strictly Strings for a 7:30 p.m. show.

Described by Billboard Magazine as, “as close to flawless folk-bluegrass as it gets,” Fink and Marxer are talented singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, educators and record producers. The two-time Grammy Award-winning duo are a formidable powerhouse of sound, with a repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk, old-time, country and swing music. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the acoustic & electric guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, cello banjo, ukulele, percussion and many other instruments. They are ready to engage and entertain audiences of all ages, with a broad following in family music and in American Roots styles. Top it off with a witty stage presence and warm audience rapport and you’ve got a well-loved music duo.

“JSMHM is excited to welcome Cathy and Marcy to the High Country as new residents of Lansing. They fell in love with the mountains after spending time in the area while helping to produce the Olla Bell Reed there its early years,” said MHM Director Rodney Sutton. “They ended up purchasing land nearby and building a house there last year. Cathy and Marcy’s musical talents are just getting known here in the High Country, but they have had a huge reputation as top-notch entertainers in the folk festival scene for over 30 years.”

Fink and Marxer earned two Grammy Awards, in 2004 and 2005 for “cELLAbration: a Tribute to Ella Jenkins” and for “ Bon Appétit!”. In 2003, they were Grammy nominated for their CD, “Postcards” in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. They received another Grammy nomination in that category for “Banjo Talkin’”. They produced and performed on Tom Paxton’s Grammy-nominated “Live in the UK” CD and tour.

“Cathy and Marcy are at home in a dozen musical styles,” Paxton said. “They swing you, jazz you and old-timey you ’till you just give up and bliss out.”

In 2006 the C. F. Martin Company honored Fink and Marxer’s musical achievements by creating a signature guitar for each of them, the M3H Cathy Fink Custom Signature Edition and the MC3H Marcy Marxer Custom Signature Edition. National sales of the guitar have been impressive. In 2008, the Gold Tone Banjo Company released the Marcy Marxer model cello banjo, modeled after Marcy’s remarkable Gibson 1918 cello banjo. And in 2011 the Kala Ukulele Company debuted the Marcy Marxer model tenor Ukulele.

“How many duo’s do you know who have had musical instruments named for them?” Sutton said. “Well how about Marcy – she may hold the record with three.”

Their recorded catalogue of CD’s, DVD’s and instructional materials includes an astounding 65 titles. Recognized as top-notch songwriters, they were 2006 Grand Prize Winners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for the song, “Scat Like That”. In 2009 they were finalists in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Contest for the song, “Jubilation” on their “Banjo To Beatbox” CD.

What do Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Riders in the Sky, Si Kahn, Brave Combo, Mariachi Los Camperos, Mike Seeger, Patsy Montana, Pete Kennedy and Ysaye Barnwell all have in common? They have all worked with Fink and Marxer in the studio. Their skills have led to producing over 60 recordings by and with other artists, and to projects with National Geographic, AT&T, McGraw-Hill School Publishing, Handwriting Without Tears and numerous corporate clients who appreciate roots music values.

Fink and Marxer have performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals, appeared on the “Weekend Today Show”, “CBS Early Show”, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”. In their 25+ years performing together, the Washington Area Music Association has recognized Fink and Marcer with over 50 WAMMY Awards for folk, bluegrass and children’s music.

Strictly Strings jpeg
Strictly Strings

They have toured worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York and everywhere in between.  Recent shows include the Old Songs Festival (NY), The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (OH), Levitt Pavilion Steel Stacks (PA), and Summerfolk (Ontario, Canada).  American Voices Abroad chose Fink and Marxer with fiddler Barbara Lamb to perform in China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in 2013 for the U.S. Department of State.

Adding to the musical treat of this concert will be return appearance of Strictly Strings. This talented assembly of teen-agers have been turning heads for the past few years, not just in the High Country, but down off the mountain as they continue to gain recognition by winning and placing in the band and individual instrument competitions at fiddlers conventions in the region.

The band is composed of five multi-instrumentalist:, Anissa Burnett, Kathleen Burnett, Caleb Coatney, Willow Dillon, Liam Purcell. The band includes their mentor, Cecil Gurganus, who has taught each of them over the years as a part of the Junior Appalachian Musicians at the Jones House in Boone. Strictly Strings won the blue ribbon in the Old-time Band category at the Happy Valley Festival last Labor Day. They also gained a lot of respect by placing third in the adult category at the Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention a couple of weeks ago, on the first weekend in June.

“It is no easy task for “non-local” bands to place in the judging at fiddlers conventions at places like Mt. Airy and Galax, but for a youth band to get recognized in the adult completion is a feather in Strictly Strings’ hat,” Sutton said. “This group continues to expand its repertoire as they now include some wonderful traditional songs with three part harmony singing.”

Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $10. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.
Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain and Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

The Harvest House is located at 247 Boone Heights Drive in Boone.

This week’s concert is sponsored by Anne & Alex Bernhardt Foundation, Bob Goddard and Bonnie Guy, Dr. E. Frank and Tara Hancock, Lynn Hubbard, Merida H. Steele – In Honor of John H. Steele, and The Estate of Joe Shannon.

Business sponsors include BlueRidge Electric Membership Corp., Music Fest ‘N Sugar Grove, Harvest House Performing Arts Venue, The Mountain Times, and WETS-89.5FM. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is also a site on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina (BlueRidgeMusicNC.com).