February 7, 2017

WCC Monthly Bluegrass and Old Time Jamboree Set for Feb. 18

Wytheville Community College is sponsoring its free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree, this time featuring The Loose Strings Band and The Crooked Road Ramblers on Sat., Feb. 18, 2017, from 7-9 p.m.

The Jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium in Grayson Hall on the main WCC campus, located at 1000 E. Main Street in Wytheville, Va.

The Loose Strings Band is an all-girl, five-member band. The band has been together for 11 years, playing at bluegrass conventions, weddings, benefits, churches, reunions, and festivals.  They are known in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and beyond for their blend of tight vocal harmonies and sweet rhythms. They are also unique in their style since they all play an instrument and sing. The band includes Ashley Nale on vocals and banjo; Channing Combs on vocals and guitar; Grace Wilson Davis on vocals and bass; Lindsay Nale on vocals, mandolin and guitar; and Mary-Claire Hooper on vocals and fiddle.

They have traveled throughout Southwest Virginia and beyond playing for many different events including performances at Dollywood, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Merlefest, and Song of the Mountains. Band members share a fine balance in their music career, with educational studies, family, and extracurricular activities. Somehow through their love of music, determination, and very busy lives, they have continued to perform and record music, and they have just completed a new CD titled “Journey with No End.”

The Crooked Road Ramblers are an old-time band from Southwest Virginia, steeped in the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. They have played at the Carter Family Fold, the Wayne Henderson Festival, Houstenfest and many other venues across Virginia and North Carolina. They have won first place in the old-time band category at the Ashe County, Alleghany County, Laurel Bloomery, Fries, and Union Grove fiddler’s conventions in addition to a second place finish at the Galax Fiddler’s Convention. They were also named the Old Time Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2014 Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising.

The band was started by fiddler Kilby Spencer, originally from Whitetop. Spencer has been playing old-time music most of his life, learning from his parents, Thornton and Emily, who have been in the Whitetop Mountain Band for over 40 years. Wayne “Peco” Watson of Galax propels the band with his driving and steady rhythm on clawhammer banjo. John Perry of Independence plays guitar and also sings. Donald Hill of Fries is one of the foremost rhythm guitar players in the Blue Ridge in addition to being a vocalist for the band. Karen Carr of Galax plays bass and sings for the band. Wayne Dye of Cleveland plays mandolin and also provides vocals for the band.

 The Loose Strings Band will perform from 7-8 p.m., and The Crooked Road Ramblers will perform from 8-9 p.m. The doors will be open at the Snyder Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help defray the travel expenses of the bands.


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