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Special Events - Roots Music Series

The Gibson BrothersRoots Music Series Fall 2015
The Gibson Brothers

Hamilton County Ramblers
Saturday, 14 November, 2015 - 8pm
Palace Theatre
Frostburg, MD

The Gibson Brothers and the Hamilton County Ramblers will be featured on a double-bill for the next Roots Music Series concert. The concert will be held at the Palace Theatre in Frostburg on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8pm.

Since winning the “Emerging Artist of the Year” award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 1998, the Gibson Brothers have won every major award presented by IBMA, including Song (twice), Album, Songwriter, Vocal Group (twice) and Entertainer (twice) of the Year awards. Led by brother harmonies of Eric and Leigh Gibson, the Gibson Brothers combine the deep-rooted sounds of Bill Monroe and the pioneers of bluegrass with the country-flavored, sibling harmonies of the Blue Sky Boys, the Louvin Brothers and the Everly Brothers. In fact, their latest album, Brotherhood, is a homage to many of the brother duos that influenced the band’s sound. It has been nominated for Album of the Year for the 2015 IBMA awards. Joining Eric and Leigh in the band are Jesse Brock on mandolin, Clayton Campbell on fiddle and Mike Barber holding down the bass. Impeccable playing, stellar harmonies and great showmanship are what you can expect when the Gibson Brothers take the stage.

The Hamilton County RamblersThe Hamilton County Ramblers are a traditional bluegrass band from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The band includes three-time National Flatpick Guitar Champion Roy Curry, Georgia and Tennessee State Champion Jim Pankey on banjo, 2006 Tennessee State Fiddle Champ John Boulware, James Kee on mandolin and bassist Josh Hixson.

The Roots Music Series was established by the Allegany Arts Council, WFWM Public Radio and Dr. Ken Roberts, to encourage and sustain "traditional" music in our community. The Roots Music Series showcases a variety of musical traditions (such as bluegrass, folk, country, blues, gospel, etc.), to increase awareness and interest in these important art forms among area residents. For addition information, call the Allegany Arts Council at 301.777.ARTS (2787) or visit


Frank Solivan & Dirty KitchenRoots Music Series Spring 2015
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Johnny Staats & the Delivery Boys
Saturday, 28 March, 2015 - 8pm
Palace Theatre
Frostburg, MD

Grammy-nominated bluegrass band Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen and Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys will be make up a double-bill for the next Roots Music Series concert. The concert will be held at the Palace Theatre in Frostburg on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8pm.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen is a contemporary Bluegrass band based in Washington, DC that has been garnering a lot of praise from both fans and critics for their amazing musicianship and songwriting. Last October, they were named “Instrumental Group of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Their most recent release Cold Spell was nominated in the “Best Bluegrass Album” category for the 2015 Grammy Awards. Led by master chef and mandolinist Frank Solivan, the Dirty Kitchen features 2013 IBMA “Banjo Player of the Year”, Mike Munford, as well as Danny Booth on bass and 2013 IBMA “Momentum Award” winner Chris LuQuette on guitar.

West Virginia native Johnny Staats makes his return to the Roots Music Series as part of this double-bill. Staats joined his first band when he was thirteen years old. He went on to win the prestigious Vandalia Gathering mandolin championship in 1996, 1997 and 1999. Joining Johnny in the Delivery Boys is Butch Osborne on banjo, fiddler Ray Cossin, Dave Vaughn on guitar and bassist John Inghram. The Delivery Boys got their name from the fact that Staats is a full-time UPS driver.


Kenny and Amanda SmithRoots Music Series Fall 2014

Saturday, 08 November, 2014 - 8pm
Palace Theatre
Frostburg, MD

The Rambling Rooks are the featured performers for the Fall 2014 Roots Music Series concert presented by the Allegany Arts Council and WFWM Public Radio. The concert will be held at the Palace Theatre in Frostburg on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8pm. The duo of Kenny and Amanda Smith will be the opening act.

The Rambling Rooks reunites former band mates Ronnie Bowman on bass, Don Rigsby on mandolin and guitarist Kenny Smith. During the 90’s, the trio spent five years together in the Lonesome River Band recording and performing some of the best music in the band’s long career. Since leaving the Lonesome River Band, each member has pursued successful solo projects. Ronnie Bowman has become a respected songwriter in both Bluegrass and Country circles having written hits for artists like Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn and Lee Ann Womack. He has also twice been awarded the “Song of the Year” from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). In addition to his stint in the Lonesome River Band, Don Rigsby’s tenor vocals and mandolin playing have been featured in the Bluegrass Cardinals, J.D. Crowe & the New South, and with Dudley Connell. Two-time IBMA “Guitarist of the Year” Kenny Smith is one of the most respected flat-picking guitar players in Bluegrass. He and his wife Amanda front their own band, which was awarded the “Emerging Artist of the Year” title by the IBMA in 2003. In addition, Amanda Smith was just awarded the 2014 IBMA “Female Vocalist of the Year.” Kenny and Amanda Smith will give a rare performance as a duo to open the concert.


Rhonda VincentRoots Music Series Spring 2014

Jimmy Gaudreau & Moondi Klein 
Saturday, 26 April, 2014 - 8pm
Allegany High School Auditorium
Cumberland, Maryland

Tickets go on sale for the Spring 2014 Roots Music Series concert featuring Rhonda Vincent & the Rage on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. The concert will be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014.  Vincent, known as the ‘Queen of Bluegrass,’ sold out her 2012 Roots Music Series appearance weeks before the concert was held in Frostburg’s Palace Theatre, resulting in this year’s concert being moved to the larger Allegany High School auditorium.  Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein will open the concert.

The concert begins at 8 pm with doors opening at 7:30 pm.    Tickets will be available from the Allegany Arts Council and the Book Center in Cumberland and from Main Street Books in Frostburg as well as through Paypal on the Allegany Arts Council’s website  All tickets will be general admission, including a limited number of premium tickets for front and center seating.

Having won over seventy awards, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage is one of the most respected and popular bands in Bluegrass today. Rhonda has won the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) “Female Vocalist of the Year” award seven times in a row during 2000-2006.  She was also awarded “Entertainer of the Year” five times from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBMA).  In 2001, Vincent signed a sponsorship with Martha White baking company, which had previously sponsored Bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs.

Vincent began her career as a child in her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show.  She began playing mandolin on stage at eight years old and quickly learned fiddle and guitar.  Also in the family band was younger brother Darrin Vincent, who is now part of the popular Bluegrass band Dailey & Vincent.  Rhonda released her first solo album in 1986 and followed with a string of well-received albums for the famous Rebel Records label.  Following a short stint in Country music, Rhonda returned to Bluegrass in 1999 and signed with Rounder Records.  Her career has taken off since then resulting in the Wall Street Journal crowning her “the new Queen of Bluegrass.”  In 2010, she formed her own label and management company, Upper Management, with her husband Herb Sandker.  Her new two-disc set called “Only Me” is scheduled for release on January 18th and will feature both Bluegrass and Country songs.            Vincent’s band, the Rage features Josh Williams on guitar, Hunter Berry on fiddle, Mickey Harris on bass, Aaron McDaris on banjo and dobro-player Brent Burke.

Opening act Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein are respected veteran musicians themselves having played in bands like the Country Gentlemen, Seldom Scene, Tony Rice Unit and Chesapeake.  Together, their duets offer a modern version of the classic country duets of the 30’s and 40’s and deliver a wide variety of exquisitely-performed acoustic tunes.  They have released two albums on Rebel Records, “2:10 Train” in 2008 and “Home From The Mills” in 2012.


Roots Music Series - Fall 2013
Darren Beachley, Grand Ole' Ditch
Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 8pm

Darren Beachley

On Saturday, November 9 at 8PM, the Roots Music Series, presented by the Allegany Arts Council, WFWM Public Radio and Ken Roberts, will offer another evening of great bluegrass music by headliner Darren Beachley, and opening act Grand Old Ditch! Tickets will be $15/person ($12/person for Allegany Arts Council members and FSU students), and will be available for purchase in early October. The concert will be held at the Palace Theatre in Downtown Frostburg.

Darren Beachley has ten Washington Area Music Award nominations, two Grammy Nominations, four IBMA awards, and countless production credits. He is also a much sought after vocalist on other artist projects. Born in June 1967, in Frederick, Maryland, Darren was influenced early in his life by the music of Jimmy Martin, Flatt and Scruggs, The Osborne Brothers, The Seldom Scene, and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Darren started playing mandolin at age four; by age nine was playing upright bass. At age fourteen he was also playing resophonic guitar and guitar. He made his first stage appearance at age 11.

Darren began his professional career in August of 1988 with South Central Bluegrass. In the fall of 1991 Darren became one of Bill Harrell's Virginians. Darren carries many of the lessons he learned from Bill to the stage today. In the fall of 1991, Darren was asked about coming to work as a member of The Travelers featuring Country Gentlemen Norman Wright and Kevin Church. Darren spent the next twelve years with The Travelers in three different stints while continuing to do freelance work with Seldom Scene, Tony Rice and Moondi Klein & Jimmy Gaudreau.

In October 2003, Darren decided it was time to head out on his own and The Maryland Line was formed. The band released its first CD Remembrances, which was nominated for five WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Awards). In late 2004, Darren would get to know Nashville great Tom T Hall and his wife Dixie. They encouraged Darren and helped with a new recording called I Love You to the Moon and Back, which Tom T, Dixie and Larry McPeake wrote. Songwriters Paul Craft, Donna Hughes, Jimmy Moore, Pete Goble, and Chris Walls would also add originals for Darren to sing. I Love You to the Moon and Back was released on Tom T and Dixie Hall's Blue Circle Records, and it also was nominated for a WAMMIE for bluegrass recording.

In 2005, Darren was honored when asked to fill in for Jamie Dailey as a part of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Little did he realize he would return to work with DL&Q just a few months later. On January 7, 2006, Darren would play his first show as a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Darren's first recording with Doyle Lawson, "He Lives in Me," would remain on the gospel charts for a record 148 weeks. "He Lives in Me" climbed the bluegrass and southern gospel charts peaking at number five on both charts. It remains the only song in IBMA history to win gospel-recorded event two consecutive years 2006 & 2007. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver would capture its sixth consecutive IBMA vocal group in 2006. Darren's second recording with DL&Q was More Behind The Picture Than The Wall. "Sadie's Got Her New Dress On" stayed at number one for six months on The Bluegrass Unlimited national charts and the video would be number on CMT's pure pack twelve. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver would again return to the IBMA awards stage and receive their 7th consecutive Vocal Group of the Year Award in 2007. DL&Q's third effort with Darren aboard, Help Is On The Way, would be another record setting CD for DL&Q as they would become the first bluegrass band to ever crossover into the Southern Gospel genre and achieve a number one recording. Darren would return to the studio in the fall of 2009 to record DL&Q's "Lonely Street."

"Of all the recordings I did there that's my favorite, I felt like the production was great and the material was top notch." Darren would leave Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver in January of 2009 to form his own group Darren Beachley & Legends of The Potomac with former Seldom Scene alums and heroes Mike Auldridge and Tom Gray. "It was time to move on, there were a lot of band changes within DL&Q going on, and I had a vision for the next leg of my musical journey". The Legend's debut and only recording "Takeoff" would achieve high marks and would reach Number 1 on The Roots Music Report charts and number 11 on the Billboard sales charts as well as being on the top 15 best-bluegrass recordings of the year. But in the fall of 2010 Mike Auldridge would retire due to his health and the band was at a crossroads. "I wanted to push the band as hard as I could and some of the other guys just weren't up for that. I was doing this for a living and needed to push harder, and the resistance was tough." Darren disbanded the Legends and became a partner with ex-Quicksilver alum Barry Scott until the fall of 2011 when Darren decided to quit touring full-time. "Doing this for a living comes with a price. You're gone away a lot [and] the money is not the best. I got tired of saving up to go on tour [and] also having to deal with people whose vision of where you wanted to go became blurred. Now I can play what I want, when I want."

Roots Music Series - Spring 2013
Kenny & Amanda Smith Band
Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 8pm

Kenny & Amanda Smith Band

On Saturday, April 13, at 8PM, the Roots Music Series is pleased to present the Kenny & Amanda Smith Band in concert at the Mountain Ridge High School Auditorium in Frostburg.

Kenny & Amanda Smith Band are a fine Bluegrass & Gospel group that formed in 2001 after Kenny met Amanda at a Lonesome River Band concert and they began playing music together. The band was awarded the “Emerging Artist of the Year” award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 2003. The band consists of two-time IBMA “Guitarist of the Year” Kenny Smith. Kenny is one of the most respected flat-picking guitar players around. He was a member of the Lonesome River Band for six years. His wife, Amanda, provides vocals and rhythm guitar. She began singing in church as a young girl and was exposed to Bluegrass through artists like Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. Cory Piatt joins Kenny and Amanda on mandolin. Cory recently released a fine solo album on Patuxent Records entitled Daydreams, which features backing from Bluegrass players like Darren Beachley, Ronnie Bowman, Randy Kohrs and Scott Vestal. Cory’s brother Owen takes on banjo duties. Owen formally played with the talented young band Blue Moon Rising. Austin Ward holds down the bottom end on bass. Austin is another young player gaining respect in the Bluegrass world where he has become an in-demand session player.

Look for additional details about this Roots Music Series concert, including ticket prices, in the coming months....

Roots Music Series - Fall 2012
David Peterson & 1946
Traditional Bluegrass & Country Music

Saturday, November 3, 2012, 8 pm
Palace Theatre, Frostburg
Doors open at 7:30 pm
David Peterson

On Saturday, November 3 at 8PM, the Roots Music Series will present great bluegrass music by David Peterson & 1946. The concert will be held at the historic Palace Theatre in Downtown Frostburg's Arts & Entertainment District.

David Peterson is a rare combination: an independent and savvy recording artist and a bluegrass singer who cherishes tradition. His voice has that lofty quality that carries from mountain-top to mountain-top. It’s powerful, complete and saturated with Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin’s blues. A Boston native, he’s not somebody who would have been issued a bluegrass license at birth. But Peterson learned the music from a deacon at his church and as music writer Robert Oermann likes to say, there’s nobody as zealous as a convert. When he got serious about the mandolin, the guitar and bluegrass music in 1995, he left his track from becoming a minister to pursue music. Now Dave preaches bluegrass with a missionary zeal. It comes down to this. David Peterson and 1946 capture the essence of why bluegrass was so direct and compelling in its original form, and we’re still enjoying its complicated reverberations years later. In his music, you can count on hearing the sound of the Big Bang itself, and that makes him a worthy part of the American musical firmament.


Roots Music Series: Spring 2012 Concert
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage
Saturday, 14 April 2012, 8pm

Rhonda VincentThe Roots Music Series will present bluegrass legend Rhonda Vincent & the Rage in concert at the Palace Theatre in Frostburg, MD on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8 pm.  Tickets for the performance are $25 for the general public, and $22 for members of the Allegany Arts Council and FSU students. Tickets will be available at the door on the night of the performance beginning at 7:30PM. Advanced tickets are now available from the Allegany Arts Council, Main Street Books in Frostburg, and the Book Center in Cumberland. For questions, please call the Allegany Arts Council at 301-777-ARTS (2787).

Rhonda Vincent is known as “the Queen of Bluegrass” and few artists have attained her level of both critical and popular acclaim.  She began performing in her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show, when she was five years old.  After a short time exploring contemporary Country music in the 90’s, she returned to Bluegrass in 2000.  The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) named Rhonda their “Female Vocalist of the Year” seven consecutive times between the years 2000-2006.  Her band, the Rage, is one of the most visible, hardest-working and popular acts in Bluegrass today and is known for their hard-driving, high-energy shows that have made them favorites at hundreds of Bluegrass festivals a year.  Visit Rhonda’s website at





Roots Music Series: Fall 2011 Concert

Phil Wiggins & Corey Harris

Phil Wiggins & Corey Harris + Ernie Hawkins
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 8 pm

The Roots Music Series will present acoustic Blues music at the Frostburg Palace Theatre on Saturday, November 5th at 8PM featuring Phil Wiigins & Corey Harris, with special guests Ernie Hawkins. Tickets for the performance are $20 for the general public, and $18 for members of the Allegany Arts Council and FSU students. Tickets will be available at the door on the night of the performance beginning at 7:30PM. Advance tickets will be available after March 1 from the Allegany Arts Council, Main Street Books, and the Book Center. For questions, please call the Allegany Arts Council at 301-777-ARTS (2787).

Ernie HawkinsPhil Wiggins is a harmonica player best known as the longtime musical partner of the late John Cephas.  Phil was born in Washington, DC and learned firsthand to play Blues from many of the area’s best musicians, including Archie Edwards, John Jackson, Flora Molton and others.  He met John Cephas in 1976 after having played the Smithsonian FolkLife Festival with Flora Molten.  He and John went on to be the most popular proponents of the Piedmont style of Blues for over 30 years.  Cephas & Wiggins were the featured performers at the Spring 2007 Roots Music Series.  We are pleased to have Phil back.

Corey Harris was born in Denver, Colorado and is a fine guitarist and songwriter who has explored both the Mississippi Delta Blues traditions and its roots in African music.   In the mid-1990’s, Harris, along with Alvin Youngblood Hart and Keb’ Mo, helped bring acoustic Blues music back into the popular consciousness.  He has successfully incorporated a variety of musical influences from Africa, Caribbean and New Orleans into his eclectic mix to create a sound which is both traditional and forward-thinking. Wiggins & Harris first started playing together after the passing of John Cephas in 2009.

Ernie Hawkins is a Pittsburgh-based Blues guitar player who has made several appearances in the western Maryland area.  His influences include Blind Blake and Rev. Gary Davis, from whom he took lessons.  In the early 1970’s, Ernie played the around Pittsburgh area with Niles Jones, who later went on to be ‘rediscovered’ as “Guitar Gabriel” in the 1990’s.  Ernie’s latest album, Whinin’ Boy, finds him playing with a band that includes  trombone, clarinet, trumpet and tuba and swings from finger-picking Blues to Dixieland.

Past Events

Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice

Roots Music Series:
Spring 2011 Concert


Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice
Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Roots Music Series will present great bluegrass music at the Frostburg Palace Theatre on Saturday, March 26 at 8PM featuring Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, with special guests The Rye Mountain Boys. Tickets for the performance are $20 for the general public, and $18 for members of the Allegany Arts Council and FSU students. Tickets will be available at the door on the night of the performance beginning at 7:30PM. Advance tickets will be available after March 1 from the Allegany Arts Council, Main Street Books, and the Book Center. For questions, please call the Allegany Arts Council at 301-777-ARTS (2787).

Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice are gaining great recognition as one of the best traditional bluegrass bands to hit the scene in decades. Junior's soulful and sometimes haunting vocals, reminiscent of the late, great, Carter Stanley, who happens to be his hero, have captivated audiences for years. With the brand new release of their sophomore project on Rebel Records, "Heartaches and Dreams", the band has once again captured something magical. The pleasant mix of old and new is sure to offer something here for everyone. Joining Junior is long time singing partner and cousin Timmy Massey on bass, along with band members Jason Davis on banjo, Jason Tomlin on mandolin, and Billy Hawks on fiddle. Junior has lived most of his life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where he listened to and played the music that was born there. His songwriting helped The Lonesome River Band in its ascent to bluegrass stardom in the early 1990's, but it was his lonesome, haunting singing that earned him the devotion of traditional bluegrass fans a few years later as a member of Wyatt Rice and Santa Cruz. Subsequently, he assembled Ramblers Choice, which released the acclaimed "Sounds of the Mountains" in 1998, and contributed to the IBMA award winning "The Stanley Gospel Tradition." A brief stint with The Lost and Found followed before Junior took over the lead vocal role for BlueRidge. Junior has been nominated many times for Songwriter and Male Vocalist of the year.

Heralding from the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, The Rye Mountain Boys are an experienced and fun band that recreates the most powerful Bluegrass of the 1940's and 1950's. Some folks have even reported seeing Hank Sr. and Lefty at their shows. These boys like to gather around a single microphone and put on a lively show filled with tight three-part harmonies, great lead vocals, and powerful instrumentals.



Roots Music Series:
Fall 2010 Concert

Dailey & Vincent
Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dailey & Vincent


Roots Music Series:
Spring 2010 Concert

Darrell Scott
Saturday, April 24, 2010

Darrell Scott


Roots Music Series:
Fall 2009 Concert

Johnny Staats
Saturday, October 3, 2009

Johnny Staats



Roots Music Series:
Spring 2009 Concert

Seldom Scene
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seldom Scene



Roots Music Series:
Fall 2008 Concert

The Hedge Band
Saturday, October 11, 2008


The Hedge Band


Roots Music Series:
Spring 2008 Concert

Dan Paisley
Saturday, April 5, 2008


Dan Paisley



Saturday, April 28, 2007
John Cephas & Phil Wiggins

Cephas and Wiggins







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