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Galax, VA -- Some of the biggest names in folk, bluegrass, and Americana, including the finest dobro player in contemporary acoustic music and the most highly decorated female musician of all time, will come together to honor the late Joe Wilson on Friday, September 2, 2016, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This one-day festival will include performances by Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and special guest Alison Krauss, as well as musical tributes from Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Barr Family & Tony Ellis, The Hurdle Brothers, and Frank Newsome.
The memorial showcase is presented by the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in collaboration with the Virginia Folklife Program and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, with support from the National Folk Festival and National Council for the Traditional Arts. The show is sponsored by WNCW 88.7.
The event replaces an originally scheduled concert on September 3.A Show for Joe with Jerry Douglas, The Whites, special guest Alison Krauss, plus many more beloved mountain musicians to play tribute concert on Sept. 2 at the Blue Ridge Music Center
In 2015, the music community lost visionary Joe Wilson. From his brainstorming sessions with then Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Gary Everhardt to create the Blue Ridge Music Center to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Wilson’s passion for the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable. He produced festivals, recordings, national and international tours, and helped create the Roots of American Music exhibit housed at the Music Center. A native of Tennessee, Wilson was instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails. He was also the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Many a musician can attest to Wilson’s work in helping to guide them in the music world.
Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman recalls Wilson’s impact on artists and the music world. “It would not be an overstatement to say that Joe Wilson was one of the most productive and influential cultural figures of his generation. His tireless work on behalf of artists and the community-based folk traditions that they mastered transformed not only the lives of these artists but of countless communities and audiences he exposed to them,” Lohman said. “These artists include some who have gone on to gain global recognition. Joe famously brought a then-unknown teenage fiddler named Alison Krauss on an international tour of master fiddlers, and showcased the likes of Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, and Wayne Henderson early in their careers. These artists as well as many others who formed a close relationship with Joe over the years will join together to celebrate his life and legacy at the Blue Ridge Music Center, itself a place born of Joe's dreams and visions.”Music legends come together for Joe Wilson Memorial Music Festival
The public is invited to attend a special preconcert tribute remembrance for Wilson led by Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman from 1 to 4 p.m. at the indoor theater. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first serve basis. There will also be a "Jam for Joe" in conjunction with the Music Center's regular Friday afternoon Bluegrass Jam from noon to 4 p.m. The ticketed concert begins at 4 p.m.
During the one-day festival, the exhibit, Banjos: From Africa to the New World, will be on display in the Luthier Shop. Food vendors will also be on site.
No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.
They recently played with the Allman Brothers at Wanee Fest and then brought the house down at Warren Haynes’ Annual Christmas Jam, an invitation only Southern Rock homecoming. Their jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and once word of the live video hit the streets, sent new fans online to watch a supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. They’ve also performed with Warren Haynes, Phish, and have a tour scheduled with the aforementioned Lee Boys. Ronnie McCoury described it as “peanut butter and jelly.” It was just right.
They can push forward so far because their roots are so deep. The band has a confidence that only comes with having paid their dues with twenty years on the bluegrass road. Other groups and new fans hear this immediately—the tight rhythm, the soulful material, and the confidence in taking bluegrass from the safety of the shore into uncharted waters.
Ronnie says, “We like to go in and play traditional bluegrass music the way we do it with Dad, but we also like to be able to step into situations where we can really stretch out. If we need to plug in, we’ll plug in. We’re open to anything.”
It’s that attitude, backed up by talent, that marks great musicians, traditional or progressive. The Travelin’ McCourys are twenty-first century musical pilgrims and adventurers. They’re onto something new, just like Bill Monroe was in the 1940s, but now we can see and hear that adventure live or online. Go see them, or—if you hold still long enough—they’ll come to you.
The work continues... These words have never rung more true for Jeff Austin. After almost twenty years of live creation and endless joy seeking Jeff has returned to the scene with a new found sense of passion. Sharing the stage each night with a band of like-minded adventurers he attacks each performance with a fire and desire to move and shake everyone in sight.
Each show stands as a statement. A statement of music... A statement of connection... A statement of just how joyful each moment can be. From note to note…song to song…these musical warriors set out to turn each ear in a way never heard before. The path is set. The energy is undeniable. Because with each new step The Jeff Austin Band takes... The work continues.
The Grateful Ball Tour dates include:
New York -- On July 16, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is pleased to present a night of sublime harmonies and extraordinary musicianship, headlined by “masters of soulful folk” (Paste) The Wood Brothers and featuring Aoife O’Donovan, whose latest record The Magic Hour “evokes the reverberant chamber pop obsessions of Grizzly Bear and the lush austerity of Alison Krauss”(The New York Times). The shape-shifting M.C. Taylor, a.k.a. Hiss Golden Messenger, a musician with a voice that’s “craggy and wounded, but it soars in his broken sort of way” (Stereogum), kicks it off with a solo set. The concert, which takes place at the Prospect Park Bandshell (9thSt. & Prospect Park West) is free to the public (with a suggested $5 contribution at the gate) and begins at 7:00 P.M.
The Wood Brothers formed after Oliver’s band, King Johnson, opened for Chris’s band MMWin 2005. “He sat in with us during our set,” Chris remembers, “and it was a creepy experience, like watching myself. Part of it was influences; part of it was blood.” This brother band allowed the pair to explore the roots and influences that had been at the core of their musical lives, and they released their debut studio album, Ways Not To Lose, on Blue Note in 2006. Almost a decade later and with drummer Jano Rix as a permanent third member, the band’s latest release, Paradise captures the latest chapter in the ongoing evolution of a band and family navigating the joy and challenges of a life in music. The Wood Brothers have refined a soulful blend of blues, folk, back-porch funk and other forms built largely on the foundation of Oliver’s guitar and lead vocals and Chris’s stand-up bass, harmonica and high lonesome harmonies.
Aoife O’Donovan’s sophomore release, In the Magic Hour(Yep Roc Records) is a 10-song album full of the singer’s honeyed vocals mixed with gauzy, frictionless sounds: splashing cymbals, airy harmonies, the leisurely baritone musings of an electric guitar. Written in the wake of O’Donovan’s grandfather’s death, In the Magic Hour is her most introspective effort yet, an aching exploration of memory and mortality. For a decade, O’Donovan wielded her instrument with tensile strength as the captivating lead singer of the Boston-based progressive string band Crooked Still. In 2013 O’Donovan released her debut solo album, Fossils, a moody collection of original songs with a country lilt. The album garnered praise from The New York Times and Rolling Stone, while The Guardian deemed O’Donovan the “next Americana celebrity.”
Hiss Golden Messenger is the vehicle for North Carolina-based songwriter Michael (M.C.) Taylor and multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Scott Hirsh who lives in Brooklyn. This musical fusion of classic rock, folk-pop, and sparse blues as been described by David Bowie as "mystical country, like an eerie yellowing photograph.” The pair has been making music together for twenty years in various incarnations, including six records with the San Francisco band the Court and Spark. Their latest release, Lateness of Dancers(Merge Records) is the fifth full-length from Hiss Golden Messenger. Recorded in a tin-roofed barn outside of Hillsborough, North Carolina last fall, this is an open, confident, immediate album which feels like a direct response to the darkness of their last record, 2013's Haw, or to the searching of 2010'sBad Debt, the stunning acoustic LP Taylor made at his kitchen table shortly after the birth of his son.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Series Title Sponsors include Bud Light and American Express. To help ease congestion and offer additional transportation solutions, first time co-sponsor Lyft will offer discounts on rides to and from the Festival. New users can get $20 off their first ride with the code BRIC16. Returning Co-Sponsors include IKEA Brooklyn, and World Stage. Returning long-time Season Media Partners are The Village Voice, WABC-7 and WNYC 93.9 FM/820 AM. Longtime Promotional partners on select performances include WBGO 88.3 FM and WFUV 90.7 FM.
Tickets are still available for upcoming benefit concerts by case/lang/veirs (July 26), a super group made up of avant-rock icon Neko Case, legendary musical nomad K.D. Lang and indie folk star Laura Veirs; Brooklyn-based indie rockers Beirut (August 2); and jazz icon Herbie Hancock (August 11), who brings with him his new band featuring Terrace Martin, Lionel Loueke, Trevor Lawrence, Jr. and James Genus, as well as performances by Robert Glasper Experiment and BADBADNOTGOOD.