November 4, 2019

Wytheville Community College is sponsoring its free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree, this time featuring The Country Boys and The Slate Mountain Ramblers on Sat., Nov. 16, from 7-9 p.m. The jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium at WCC, located at 1000 East Main Street in Wytheville, Va.

The Country Boys have been playing traditional bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music throughout North Carolina and Virginia for over 40 years. The present band is made up of Johnny Joyce, Tim Bowman, Billy Hawks, Kevin Easter, Doug Joyce, and Donald Clifton. Joyce joined the band in 1973 as the tenor singer and guitarist. In 1987, Bowman began as the banjo player, and Easter became the mandolin player in 2003. Clifton, the youngest member, came on board in 2012. Billy Hawks is currently the fiddle player. Members of the band cite the Country Gentleman and the Osborne Brothers as some of their musical influences.

The Slate Mountain Ramblers are a family, old-time band from Mt. Airy, N.C. For many years, Richard Bowman, his wife, Barbara, and their daughter, Marsha, have spent weekends playing music. Richard plays fiddle, Barbara plays bass, and Marsha plays claw-hammer banjo. Randy “Frosty” Hiatt rounds out the band on guitar and vocals. The band has a winning tradition by placing at fiddler’s conventions they have attended throughout the years. The Slate Mountain Ramblers play for dances, shows, family and community gatherings, benefits, and compete at fiddler’s conventions throughout the year.

The doors will be open at the William F. 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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