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Coming Soon to R.A. Fountain

Best place to hear acoustic Carolina music at its best

September 2014
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Friday, November 7, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10.75 reserved tax included
Diamond Creek
Diamond Creek, a new band based in Johnston County, makes its RAF debut tonight. Winners of the 2013 "Got to be NC" bluegrass band competition, they play traditional and original bluegrass and bluegrass gospel, and given the talents in this band, tonight promises to be an excellent show.

Russ Johnson of the Grass Cats plays mandolin and his wife, Kandis, plays upright bass. Spencer Mobley and Emily Kirsch play guitars; Julie Elkins is on banjo; and Matt Hooper is on fiddle. Most everyone joins in on singing lead and harmony.

Russ, of course, has one of the most distinctive voices in bluegrass--he's got that high, lonesome that so many people associate with genre. HIn addition to be a terrific mandolin picker, he's also one of the most successful songwriters in the business. Kandis most recently played RAF with the String Machine Bluegrass Band.

Julie Elkins has played with New Vintage, another Russ Johnson project, and Kane's River. She was featured on the the compilation CD "Daughters of Bluegrass." Bluegrass Unlimited says she's "contemporary bluegrass at its finest." A Montana native with deep roots in Kentucky, she was a 3-time winner of the Classic West Open Banjo Competition by the time she was 12. She now lives in Raleigh, where she teaches banjo, guitar, and bluegrass vocals.

Emily Kirsch began singing in church at age 6. She has also sung with the Lost Colony Chorus and was introduced to bluegrass by Russ, who has said "she's able to take any song and make it her own with her heartfelt delivery and stylistic interpretation." She was lead vocalist and guitarist for the Supper Break Band. Her first recorded solo came on Russ's CD,, "Anytime, Anyplace, But only You," and she has also released her own solo CD, "Just Another Memory." A Four Oaks native, she graduated from South Johnston High last year and is now a freshman at N.C. State.

Spencer Mobley, a Raleigh native who also plays mandolin, has performed with GrassStreet, Kickin Grass, the Outliers and Danny Paisley and Southern Grass. He's one of the most talented young bluegrass pickers in the state.

Matt Hooper began playing classical violin when he was 12. At 26, he's become one of the best fiddlers on North Carolina's incredibly talented bluegrass scene, and he also plays with Kickin Grass, the Hotwires, and Don Rigsby and Midnight Call. He lives in Broadway.

Diamond Creek bluegrass tonight!

Saturday, November 8, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10.75 reserved tax included
Russ Varnell & Too Country

Friday, November 14, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m.
Greenville Grass

Saturday, November 15, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10.75 reserved
the Stephenson Brothers

Marshall and Shelby Stephenson have been singing classic bluegrass and country since they were little fellows growing up in the Johnston County community of McGee's Crossroads. Their family band, the Stephenson Brothers and Linda, was the first act to play RAF, ten years ago. Now, they're celebrating the release of their "brother duets" CD, which features covers of classics and obscurities by such brothers as the Louvins, the Monroes, the McReynolds, and the Stanleys.

They've also got a stellar band with them tonight, all fine pickers who've played RAF with bands like Carolina Grass, Ted Jones and the Tar Heels, the Smith Brothers, and Sapony Creek. Lee Flood of Rocky Mount is on banjo; Paul Winstead, also of Rocky Mount, is on upright bass; and Joe Passolano, who lives in Angier, will play mandolin, banjo, and bass as needed. He and Paul will sing some lead and a lot of harmony, and we'll all have a real good time. This is an all-star band with two Carolina treasures up front, and it's a show that won't be repeated.

ALSO Saturday, November 15, 2014 -- 4 p.m. FREE!
Celebrate Shelby Stephenson!
Shelby got inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame (along with Ron Bayes, Jaki Shelton Green, and Betty Adcock) on October 12, and to honor our fine friend, we're staging poetry in the Smith-Yelverton Typewriter Museum (next door to RAF) at 4 p.m. and serving supper at 6:00 or so. The poetry's free; reservations for the $10 dinner are required.

Friday, November 21, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10.75 reserved tax included
Lynda & Pattie
Lynda Dawson and Pattie Hopkins are both still playing with Kickin' Grass, but their duet act is getting high praise wherever it's played. By the time they hit Fountain, they'll have performed at the International Bluegrass Music Association and released a new CD.

Friday, November 28, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, tax included
Samantha Casey & the Bluegrass Jam

Sunday, November 30, 2014 -- 7:00 p.m. -- $10.75 general admission, $13.50 reserved tax included
Compton & Newberry

Mike Compton & Joe Newberry return for another extraordinary night of acoustic magic.

Please note 7 p.m. start time for this special Sunday concert, for which reservations are highly recommended.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10.75 reserved tax included
Mike & the Maxwells
Mike Hamer and friends Nathan and Melody Maxwell, who used to be the Nu Clear Twins, return for another exceptional night of original music. A few Christmas songs, too.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $10.75 general admission, $13.50 reserved tax included
Steve Creech Jazz All-Stars with Carolyn Greene Myers

Saturday, December 20, 2014 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $11.00 general admission, $13 reserved tax included
Lemon Sisters & Rutabaga Brothers
Their 3rd annual Christmas dance: hardly any room for sitting at this one!

Friday, February 27, 2015 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10.75 reserved tax included
Naming the Twins

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