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Town of Boone Hosts Sixth Annual Doc Watson Day Celebration Friday at Jones House

David Holt and Josh Goforth
David Holt and Josh Goforth will perform at this year’s annual Doc Watson Day at the Jones House, presented by the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department.

The Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department is proud to announce the sixth annual Doc Watson Day Celebration on June 17, starting at 5:00 p.m. with free performances by Charles Welch, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Crouch, David Holt and Josh Goforth, and The Jeff Little Trio.

In 2011, Mayor Loretta Clawson declared the third Friday in June as Doc Watson Day, and the downtown statue of Watson picking his guitar on a bench was unveiled.  Watson attended and gave one of his final performances in Boone, passing away the following spring.  The Town of Boone has continued the Doc Watson Day Celebration each year since, which has featured performances by The Kruger Brothers, Buck Stops Here, the Honey Chasers, The Sheets Family, and many others, including Charles Welch and Jack Lawrence and Patrick Crouch, who will be in attendance this year.  David Holt and Jeff Little both performed with Doc Watson at the first celebration, and this will be their first time returning.

Jeff Little Trio
Jeff Little Trio

“We are really excited to have David and Jeff back to the Doc Watson Day Celebration,” says concert organizer, Mark Freed.  “It is great that they get to bring their own acts – David Holt and Josh Goforth and the Jeff Little Trio – to help us honor Doc’s legacy.”

The Jeff Little Trio features Little on keyboard, Steve Lewis on guitar and banjo, and Josh Scott on bass.  Little grew up in Boone hanging out at his father’s music store, where lots of local pickers would gather, including Doc Watson.  Little developed a distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition with speed, precision, and clarity.  A professional musician since the age of 14, Little is conversant with traditional old-time country, bluegrass, Rockabilly, and blues.  After years in Nashville working as a session musician, Little returned to the Blue Ridge, and today he is the Director of Entertainment Technology Program at Northeast State in Bristol, TN.  Lewis is an award-winning guitar and banjo champion and music teacher, who lives in Ashe County.  Lewis has created a legacy in northwest North Carolina not only for bringing home hundreds of his own blue ribbons for guitar and banjo picking, but for his many students who have gone on to have successful music endeavors.  Scott is an upright bass master from Ashe County, who has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed artists of acoustic and Americana music.

Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt and rising acoustic music star and Grammy nominee, Josh Goforth join together to bring to life the joy and spirit of old time mountain music and stories.  Between them they combine the virtuosic sounds of guitar, banjo, fiddle, slide guitar, mandolin, and a wold of exciting rhythm instruments from hambone rhythms, to spoons, stump-fiddle, rhythem bones, jaw hard, and even paper bag.  Their program features stories and amazing musicianship.  Holt is well known for his television and radio series including Folkways and Great Scenic Railway Journeys.

Holt says, “Josh is one of the finest musicians in North Carolina and is helping bring the music that is his birthright into the 21st century.”

Jack Lawrence was a long-time picking partner with Doc Watson, and Patrick Crouch is a notable regional musician who plays in many area bands and his own Strictly Clean and Decent, which performed at the Doc Watson Day Celebration two years ago.  Lawrence started playing shows with Doc Watson after Merle Watson died in a tractor accident, and he became a staple musician at concerts and on recording projects.

The celebration will begin at 5:00 p.m. Friday with Charles Welch and John Kirby.  Welch, a longtime friend and performing partner with Doc Watson, grew up in the area and was school friends with Doc’s son, Merle Watson.  “Charles always has great stories to share about traveling with Doc and Merle as a young man or performing with Doc during the last couple decades of his career.”

The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free, and patrons are encouraged to bring their own chair or blanket to sit under the giant maple trees in the front lawn of the community center.  Performances take place rain or shine.  In extreme inclement weather, the concerts are moved inside the Jones House to the Mazie Jones Gallery, which can seat the first 40 patrons on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The 2016 Summer Concerts at the Jones House are produced by The Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department and sponsored by the Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store, M-Prints, ECRS, Rosemary Horowitz, Melanie’s Food Fantasy, and Stick Boy Bread Company.  For more information about the series, including a complete schedule of performances, please call 828.268.6280.