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The Jones House’s 2014 Indoor Concert Series Kicks Off with Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton on Tuesday, Sept. 23

By Madison Fisler Lewis

Sept. 22, 2014. Just because summer is quickly fading doesn’t mean that the music stops flowing at the Jones House Community and Cultural Center. On Sept. 23, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton will kick off the Fall 2014 Indoor Concert Series at the Jones House followed by plenty of other stellar shows to tap your toes to as autumn settles in.

Jerron Paxton 4
Photo by Lonnie Webster

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton is an American blues musician and vocalist from Los Angeles. Paxton will be making his way to the High Country for a one-night-only show in Boone at the Jones House.

From a press release:

Paxton first visited Boone to participate in the 2009 Black Banjo Gathering, and he has since made several return trips, performing his expansive repertoire of early 20th Century blues, rags, country songs, and tunes on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and piano. 

Paxton grew up in Los Angeles, with family roots from Louisiana.  Listening to his grandmother sing old Cajun and country blues songs, he got interested in southern roots music.  He started playing fiddle at age twelve, adding banjo a couple years later.   Today, Paxton is also proficient on piano, harmonica, mandolin, Cajun accordion, bones, ukulele, and most any instrument he can get his hands on. 

Paxton moved to New York City to attend school about five years ago, and he has quickly caught the attention of roots music fans in the city and everywhere he tours. 

“The indoor concert series started last October, when Bruce Molsky came for workshops and a sold out concert,” said Mark Freed, who coordinates the events. “We did not really intend to start a series, but a handful of other concerts kind of fell into our lap when artists traveling in the area contacted us about performing. We cobbled together an inaugural series with some really amazing old-time, Irish and bluegrass musicians – Alice Gerrard and Beverly Smith, John Cohen and the Down Hill Strugglers, Red June, Handsome Molly, Bruce Greene and Don Pedi.”

Unlike the summer concerts that are held on the Jones House Lawn, the indoor shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Cost to attend is just $20 per person, and seating is limited to just 40 attendees per show. Since seating is so limited, reservations for each show are strongly recommended.

Other shows in the lineup this fall include the following:

  • Open the Door for Three – Sept. 30
  • Foghorn String Band – Oct. 5
  • Jay Brown – Oct. 21
  • The Tillers – Oct. 18

After these concerts conclude, Freed anticipates that the Jones House will continue with a winter/spring series between February and April.

“Aside from campus there is not a good listening environment in downtown Boone,” Freed said. “The Mazie Jones Gallery can seat 40 people for an intimate, close performance space that allows the audience to listen acoustically – the natural sound that really showcases the folk music styles that we are presenting.”

In addition to the concerts, many of the musicians offer workshop style master classes intended for immediate to advanced musicians.

“Paxton will be offering a ragtime, finger style, blues guitar master class at 4 p.m. on Sept. 23,” Freed said. “Likewise, Open the Door for Three will be offering Irish Fiddle, pennywhistle and rhythm guitar master classes Tuesday, Sept. 30. The Foghorn String Band will offer classes in fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass on Oct. 5 starting at 3 p.m.

The Jones House Community and Cultural Center is located at the center of downtown Boone at 604 W. King St. For more information, call the Jones House at 828-268-2680 or visit the website here.