The Whitetop Mountain Band will be making a rare NC High Country appearance for Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Concerts, this Saturday, August 27th at the First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock. The concert begins at 7:30pm.
The Whitetop Mountain Band hails from Whitetop Mountain, Virginia, a mere 50 miles from Bowing Rock. They are a family-based old-time band, founded in the early 1940’s by the legendary Albert Hash(1917-1983), a beloved and well-known fiddler and luthier. In the 1970s, Albert’s brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer(fiddle) and his wife, Emily Spencer (banjo, vocals), joined Albert in the band. These days the group includes the Spencer’s daughter, Martha(banjo, fiddle and vocals), along with Ersel Fletcher(guitar, vocals) and Debbie Bramer(acoustic bass, vocals). Their shows are very versatile and entertaining – containing everything from fiddle/banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky-tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, and four part mountain gospel songs. They are well known for their high energy and charisma on stage.
JSMHM director, Rodney Sutton states, “The Whitetop Mountain Band represents a link to the past that has pretty much been lost here in this area of North Carolina. They are an authentic old-time family band who, in the time-honored tradition, have learned directly from their old-time mountain music ancestors. While there are many really great “revivalist” bands to be found locally, nothing compares to the genuine traditional sound in the music and singing that can be only be achieved from having that genetic family connection.”
The band has won many awards throughout the years at competitions and fiddlers conventions like Fiddlers Grove, Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Sugar Grove, Jefferson, Fairview Battle of the Bands, Laurel Bloomery, etc. They have over a hundred ribbons/trophies altogether in band, fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, folk song, duet singing, and dancing awards. In 2012, they were recognized by a bill passed by the Virginia State Senate and House for their contribution to Virginia mountain music. The Whitetop Mountain Band also won ACMA Old Time Entertainers of the Year in 2013.
The band currently has recordings on the Arhoolie Record Label and Virginia Foundation of the Humanities. The band has also been recorded by JuneAppal, Heritage and been on compilations for Rounder Records.
Over the past 45 years, The Whitetop Mountain Band has played more shows than any Old-time Appalachian band. Their tours have taken them to every major North American folk festivals and to foreign countries from Ireland to Australia. For a chance to hear “the real deal” when it comes to Old-time Mountain music and singing, make sure to catch this JSMHM concert.
Please note the venue change from earlier promo – The First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock is located at 350 Sunset Dr. in Blowing Rock.
This concert is supported by the following private sponsors: The Ned Trivette Family; Dr. E. Frank and Tara Hancock; JP Green and Marianne Ferlazzo; Lynn Hubbard; Merida H. Steele – In Honor of John H. Steele; and The Estate of Joe Shannon. Business Sponsors include; The Mast Store, Stick Boy Kitchen, Mountain Time Publishing and the High Country Press. Additional support is provided by the Watauga County Arts Council and the North Carolina Art Council. 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 mountainhomemusic.org and at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Stick Boy Bread Company(345 Hardin St, Boone), also Footsloggers and Pandora’s Mailbox on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.
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