The biggest event this month on the Mountain Music Trail takes place in Elkins – The Augusta Heritage Center’s October Old-Time Week at Davis and Elkins College October 21-26. October Old-Time Week focuses on West Virginia’s rich traditions of old-time music. Workshops meet 9 a.m. to noon, with an afternoon cultural session each day and afternoon workshops. Presentations from master artists, evening jam sessions and much more fill out the week. Fiddler and instructor Dave Bing and banjo picker and coordinator Ben Townsend tell you all about it in a video at youtube.com/watch?v=3-_YmPnSRkk&t=7s. Detailed information is available at augustaheritagecenter.org October-old-time. (Pictured above: Dave Bing and Ben Townsend of the August October Old time week.)
Stick around Augusta (or just come for the weekend) for the Old-Time Fiddlers’ Reunion, October 26-27, a celebration of West Virginia fiddlers. The Reunion kicks off Friday night with a square dance and continues Saturday with performances by West Virginia’s master fiddlers, a flatfoot dance contest, instrument vendors, and the Augusta Store.
In Greenbrier County, check out the WV Music Hall of Fame Exhibit: “The Art of Music in West Virginia” at Carnegie Hall, which has become the permanent home of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Exhibit. This ongoing exhibit features a rotating selection of memorabilia, artwork, photographs, show posters, stage clothes, instruments, and recordings from artists who have made their mark on the musical landscape of West Virginia. Past inductees into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame include Kathy Mattea, Bill Withers, and Hazel Dickens, and Tim O’Brien. Admission is free!
And on Tuesday nights at 7 PM, you can take part in the American Heritage Music Hall weekly jam session and dance in the former Island Park Roller Rink in Ronceverte, right off US 219 and next to the Greenbrier River. This event has been going on for years. The Music Hall also has a live band and a dance the fourth Saturday of most every month. For more information, you can call 304-645-4667.
Saturday, October 6th three Mountain Music Trail bands with “Mountain Boys” in their name will play for the Williamsburg Volunteer Fire Department’s Pig Pickin’ Bluegrass Festival, from 5 to 11: The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys, the Viney Mountain Boys and the Keeney Mountain Boys. From 219 in Frankford take the Williamsburg Road and follow the signs about 8 miles to the fire department. It’s from 5 to 11.
The Purple Fiddle in Thomas has a great lineup of acoustic acts in October. Woody Pines brings their “Down Home Swing” otherwise known as “Hillbilly Boogie” sound to town on Friday the 12th. You can check them out at youtube.com/watch?v=fhpwQSk8u0o
On Wednesday the 17th Rachel Eddy (pictured below) will play her fiddle and banjo at the Purple Fiddle in Thomas. She’s scheduled for a house concert in Elkins on the 18th and a show at Adam DeGraff’s Lee Street Listening Room on Friday the 19th. She’ll then perform at Blair’s Place (formerly Pretty Penny Cafe) in Hillsboro on Saturday the 20th. After this swing along the Mountain Music Trail, Rachel will be an instructor at the Augusta October Old-Time Week. You can hear her fiddling at youtube.com/watch?v=JdufdJL5NUE
Another Augusta instructor, Emily Miller, will play at the Purple Fiddle as one of the Sweetback Sisters, “A modern take on the Golden Age of Country Music” on Friday the 26th. With her duet partner Zara Bode, Emily presents a mix of infectious originals and unexpected interpretations of everything from George Jones to Gram Parsons. Hints of jazz and ragtime flesh out the group’s unique brand of Americana. You can hear them do an old-time number, “Walking in My Sleep” at youtube.com/watch?v=sF6HbN_xq0M.
And the Fiddle’s October offerings wrap up Saturday the 27th with Morgantown’s own Hillbilly Gypsies with their unique brand of good time Bluegrass. Here’s what they sound like youtube.com/watch?v=zUCQb-Y1N_M. PS If the fiddler looks familiar – it’s Ben Townsend, coordinator of the Augusta October Old-Time week.
Have a great month – enjoy the Fall colors along the music trail!
– Gibbs Kinderman, HashtagWV #106. October 2018.