June 5, 2012. The Summer Concerts at the Jones House continue on Friday with guitar-virtuoso, Wayne Henderson, and old-time group the Elkville Stringband, starting at 5 p.m.
Wayne Henderson has been hailed as a national treasure, and he backs it up as a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Henderson has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and as a participant in the “Masters of Steel-String Guitar” tour.
“Henderson was a great young musician, and like wine, has gotten better with age,” said Mark Freed of the Jones House Community Center.
He has appeared on Prairie Home Companion and National Public Radio. His unique finger-style of picking closely mimics flat-picking styles of his heroes, like Doc Watson, who was also a good friend.
“If you close your eyes, it sounds like one thing,” said Freed. “You can hear the Doc Watson, you can hear the flat-picking, but when you open them and see him do these finger rolls… he, like so many mountain musicians came up with a way that worked for him. He had no formal lessons.”
In addition to his extraordinary playing and performing, Henderson is also one of the most celebrated acoustic guitar builders. His instruments are prized by many local and regional players, and famous musicians as well. The process of building a guitar for Eric Clapton is chronicled in the book Clapton’s Guitar. Henderson is also the founder of the annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, which will be held on June 16 at Grayson Highlands State Park. The winner of the competition receives a Wayne Henderson guitar, which is about the only way to cut the infamous waiting list for a guitar.
Elkville Stringband hails from Wilkes County, and was originally created to accompany the outdoor drama Tom Dula: A Wilkes County Legend about 10 years ago. Original members, Herb Key and Bill Williams, still lead the band, which is rounded out by Jim Lloyd and Trevor McKenzie. Key grew up in Wilkes County and has played bass and guitar for numerous bluegrass and old-time bands from Wilkes County. Like Henderson, Key is also a guitar builder and repairman, and he works in Henderson’s shop. Key is very knowledgeable about local and regional musical history, and he shares lots of great stories about the songs the band performs.
Lloyd and McKenzie are both multi-instrumentalists from Rural Retreat, Virginia. Lloyd runs a barbershop in Rural Retreat, which is where McKenzie started learning to play. The two are expert banjo players, who know dozens of regional picking styles. McKenzie will play a lot of fiddle during Friday’s performance in the style resembling late Elkville founding member, Drake Walsh, who passed away in November 2010.
The Summer Concerts at the Jones House are free performances from the front porch of the Jones House in downtown Boone every Friday from June through September, starting at 5 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. The concerts take place rain or shine.
The 2012 sponsors include Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store, Footsloggers, MPrints, Stickboy Bread, and Melanie’s. This week’s concert is also sponsored by Rennie and Lana Brantz and John and Bettie Bond.
For more information about the Summer Concerts at the Jones House, please call (828) 262-4576 or visit www.boone-nc.org for the complete summer schedule.
Jones House Community Center