July’s highlight event along the Mountain Music Trail is the Augusta Heritage Center Summer Workshops at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, a three-week celebration of traditional music, dance crafts and folklore. Pictured above: Augusta music scene
Here are the musical themes by week:
July 7 – 12: Cajun & Creole Week and Classic Country Week
July 14 – 19: Blues & Swing Week and Old-Time Week
July 21 – 26: Bluegrass Week and Vocal Week
Ginny Hawker, the coordinator of Classic Country Week, describes Augusta: “The Augusta Experience does not, cannot, happen just anywhere. It’s something about eating together with new friends, staying up late dancing or talking, striving to pick up new skills in a nonjudgmental classroom, being cheered on when you finally ‘get it’ by your new buddy from another country, and watching an 85-year-old and an 18-year-old laugh and sit down and play together. Or maybe it’s just the closeness of the mountains that surround you all day. We welcome you to join us.”
The Augusta experience wraps up with the Augusta Festival on Saturday, July 27 , with a live Mountain Stage show featuring Chance McCoy, a Monroe County resident and member of the Old Crow Medicine Show, among others. Here’s Chance, with a fiddle tune he wrote:
and doing a traditional song, “Sugar Babe”, recorded at the Wild Bean in Lewisburg:
Also on the show will be Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
and local Elkins group the T-Mart Rounders:
To learn more about Augusta, go to augustaheritagecenter.org.
The end of July also marks the beginning of the biggest Old Time Music event of the year in West Virginia, the Appalachian String Band Festival (better known as “Clifftop”) at Camp Washington Carver in Fayette County. Last year Clifftop attracted more than 3,000 musicians, dancers, fans and friends representing all 50 states and 10 countries. The “pre-camping” sessions start July 26, and the Festival itself runs July 31 through August 4. To catch a glimpse of the Clifftop vibe check out:
The video is 11 years old, but the feeling is the same. For information on this year’s event, visit wvculture.org/stringband/index.html
Other happenings along the Mountain Music Trail this month include:
Mountain Music Mondays The Purple Fiddle in Thomas – highlighting a rising traditional music-based band each Monday throughout the month, including: July 8 – Songs from the Road Band, July 15 – Elk River Ramblers, July 22 – The Wildmans, July 29 – Flybirds.
The Elk River Ramblers also play at the Pretty Penny Café in Hillsboro on Wednesday, July 17 and at the Randolph County Community Arts Center on Friday the 19th.
Have a great July – it’s a super month to check out some live music!
– Gibbs Kinderman, HashtagWV #115. July 2019