This has been the hottest Summer in many years – and August is usually the hottest month of all. We can’t predict the weather, but we can assure you there will be a lot of hot music up and down the Mountain Music Trail this month.
August begins with the “Pickin’ in Parsons” Bluegrass Festival on US 219 in Tucker County, Tuesday, July 31 through Saturday, August 4 – This festival was named “2017 Event of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Go to fiverivercampground.com/pickin-in-parsons.html to see the amazing lineup of acts.
August 5 to 10 is Bluegrass Week at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins. Among the teachers are famed fiddler Darrell Anger, super bass player Marshall Wilborn of the Lyn Morris Band, and Nashville session guitarist Russ Barenberg. Darrell also teaches fiddle on line – here’s a sample lesson: youtube.com/watch?v=EayTRua0nSo.And here’s Marshall with a brief online bass lesson: youtube.com/watch?v=zaO3hSLLCSk
The Augusta staff of well-known bluegrass figures will share their talents with participants in workshops, demonstrations, special presentations, concerts, and jam sessions throughout the week. Informal picking sessions at all levels go on ’til the wee hours all over campus as participants and staff get together with old friends and make new ones. Evening performances feature exciting combinations of master bluegrass artists with special guests. While workshops are geared for adults, young folks able to maintain an adult level of participation are welcome. All workshops (except Vocals) are intended for those who can already play their instrument to some extent and are ready to start learning bluegrass style, technique, and repertoire.
The week at Augusta ends with the West Virginia Open Fiddle and Banjo Contest Saturday the 11th.
The Purple Fiddle in Thomas has been featuring young acoustic bands on its “Mountain Music Mondays” this summer. August groups include the Wildmans, a family band from Floyd VA on the 6th (youtube.com/watch?v=LryP1FWN5Vk) and Hay Fever, from the Canadian prairies, on the 13th (youtube.com/watch?v=zrpRJZ5mNys)
It’s State Fair of West Virginia month! On Thursday, August 16, the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys will play free shows at the Fair on the Sprint Center Stage at 2:30p and 5:30p. This is their 50th year as a band! (Hear them at last year’s Fair : youtube.com/watch?v=KezRaDO7irg. And on Mountain Music Day, Saturday, August 18, three Mountain Music Trail bands will perform at the WV State Fair:
Hans Creek String Band at 11a (You can hear their banjo player, Bert Ellison, at youtube.com/watch?v=BWNnWgEFB9U),
Doc Northern and the Keeney Mountain Boys at 2:30p (hear them at mountainmusictrail.bandcamp.com/album/doc-northern-and-the-keeney-mountain-boys-the-living-room-sessions),
Greenbrier County’s own Mud Hole Control at 5:30p on the Sprint Free Stage (mountainmusictrail.bandcamp.com/track/mud-hole-control-buffalo-gals).
And finally – acoustic artist Grayson Samples sings at the Locker Room Sports Bar at Snowshoe 9pm on Saturday, September 1, while the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys play that night at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton.
Have a great August – see you in September!
– Gibbs Kinderman. Hashtag #104, August 2018.