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The John Cockman Family, Amantha Mill Play Shannon’s MHM Concert on Oct. 24

Amatha Mill pic
Amantha Mill

The bright colors of fall foliage here in the High Country signal an end to a favorite time of the year for many folks, yet Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is offering everyone a chance to extend their fall festivities by brightening their season with a lively night of colorful traditional and contemporary bluegrass music this Saturday, Oct. 24.

The concert features two local groups, The John Cockman Family and Amantha Mill and will be staged at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone. The doors open 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m.

John Cockman Family
John Cockman Family

The John Cockman Family gave members of JSMHM a taste of their entertainment prowess at the annual member’s picnic back in 2014. This trio features dad, John Cockman Jr., along with his two daughters; Arwen and Lorien. Cockman has been playing and singing bluegrass and gospel music with his father and siblings in the region since he was a teenager back in the late 1980’s.

He has a Doctorate in Physics and is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University. Cockman also teaches bluegrass fiddle from his home and on-line on his website, bluegrassdaddy.com. The girls were formally known as the Butterpats and they made a name for themselves nationally a couple of years ago by being the recipients of the Harmony Yodeling Duo of the Year Award and the Youth Harmony Award from the Western Music Association in Albuquerque, NM. Arwen plays guitar, fiddle and piano, while younger sister, Lorien, plays fiddle, dobro and piano. Lorien is also a great Cape Breton step-dancer!

JSMHM director, Rodney Sutton, clarifies, “This concert will give a chance for John Jr. and his daughters to shine. Anyone who attends regional bluegrass and gospel music events in the High Country are familiar with ‘The’ Cockman Family. JSMHM is looking forward to booking the full Cockman Family Band that features John’s father and siblings for our 2016 Summer Concert Series”.

Rounding out the show is Amantha Mill, a community oriented folk/bluegrass act that is based out of Boone and has long been a favorite of Mountain Home Music audiences. Bass playing Rebecca “Becca” Eggers-Gryder, formed Amantha Mill and derived their name from the small mill community of Amantha, NC from which her family comes. She is a prolific songwriter and her unique voice transforms her original tunes into gritty story songs about the human experience. The band has honed their sound and performance to include musical styles from traditional Bluegrass to Swing, Cowboy, Country, and Americana/Roots. Amantha Mill consist of Bill Helms on guitar, Kevin Eller on banjo, Dustin Petrey on mandolin and John Cockman on fiddle. Helms spent years playing with Grammy-winning artist, the Moody Brothers, touring in France, Spain and Italy. Eller and Petrey are both well-known regional musicians who sing harmony and both can switch off on guitar.

This concert is supported by the following private sponsors: T. C. Farthing Family, Lynn Hubbard, Merida H. Steele – In Honor of John H. Steele, and The Estate of Joe Shannon. Business sponsors include; The Dulcimer Shop, The Mast General Store, Mountain Times Publishing, and WETS-89.5FM. 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 $10. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Stick Boy Bread Company(345 Hardin St, Boone), and Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 170 Council Street, Boone, NC. Directions and more info can be found at the JSMHM website – www.mountainhomemusic.com/