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Special Events - Roots Music Series
Concerts & Workshops
Presented by Allegany Arts Council, WFWM Public Radio, and Dr. Ken Roberts
The Roots Music Series was established by the Allegany Arts Council, in cooperation with WFWM Radio and Dr. Ken Roberts, to encourage and sustain "traditional" music in our community. Using a program format that includes afternoon workshops followed by evening concerts, the Roots Music Series is able to showcase a variety of musical traditions (such as bluegrass, folk, country, blues, gospel, etc.), to educate, instruct and nurture local musicians, and 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 www.alleganyartscouncil.org.
Roots Music Series - Fall 2013
Darren Beachley, Grand Ole' Ditch
Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 8pm
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."
The Roots Music Series is sponsored in part by Dr. Ken Roberts, Susquehanna Bank, Potomac Highlands Pathology Associates, the Western Maryland Health System Laboratory, and Peak Performance Orthopedics. For questions about the Roots Music Series, please call the Allegany Arts Council at 301-777-ARTS (2787).
Roots Music Series - Spring 2013
Kenny & Amanda Smith Band
Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 8pm
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....
The Roots Music Series was established by the Allegany Arts Council, in cooperation with WFWM Public Radio and Dr. Ken Roberts, to encourage and sustain "traditional" music in our community. Using a program format that includes afternoon workshops followed by evening concerts, the Roots Music Series is able to showcase a variety of musical traditions (such as bluegrass, folk, country, blues, gospel, etc.), to educate, instruct and nurture local musicians, and to increase awareness and interest in these important art forms among area residents.
Roots Music Series: Fall 2011 Concert
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).
Phil 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.
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:
Dailey & Vincent
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Roots Music Series:
Spring 2009 Concert
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Roots Music Series:
Spring 2008 Concert
Saturday, April 28, 2007
John Cephas & Phil Wiggins