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Coming Soon to R.A. Fountain
Best place to hear acoustic Carolina music

May 2016
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Saturday, May 7, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $10 reserved tax included
Fret High
This Kannapolis-based quartet was nominated as 2016 bluegrass gospel group of the year and boasts over 100 years of bluegrass picking experience. Their latest CD, "He's All I'll Ever Need," includes several original and traditional bluegrass gospel songs. Their music is rooted in the traditional sounds of Flatt and Scruggs and Bill Monroe, and they feature excellent four-part harmonies. All the bandsmen share lead vocals.

Fred High has been nominated for best bluegrass gospel group of the year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in 2014 and 2016. Its individual members have also received several nominations for instrumentalists of the year, both from SPBGMA and the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards.

Brandon Rowe plays lead guitar. He played trumpet in the Appalachian State marching band and banjo for the bluegrass band Mirror Image prior to joining Fret High. He lives in Icard and endorses GHS Strings and Blueridge Guitars.

Morris Herbert has been playing banjo since he was 13. For five years he played with Wayne Benson, the Concord native who plays mandolin with Third Tyme Out. He also played guitar and sang lead with the country band Midnight Highway for over a decade before returning to his bluegrass roots with Fret High.

Robert Mcintosh plays bass and sings high lonesome lead. He lives in Statesville.

James Torrence, who lives in Kannapolis, has been playing mandolin since he was 14. He has recorded three solo bluegrass CDs and has appeared as guest and studio musician on many more. In 1990, he was called on stage to sing and pick with Bill Monroe. "For three songs," he recalls, "I was a Bluegrass Boy." He also has performed with Jimmy Martin. He endorses Kentucky Mandolins, Travelite Cases, Regal Dobroes, ToneGard mandolin tone enhancers, and GHS Strings.

Thursday, May 12, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $10 general admission, $12.50 reserved
Slocan Ramblers
These homegrown pickers from Toronto, Canada won the 2015 Edmonton Folk Fest Emerging Artist Award. They're stopping by for a Fountain performance of what the BBC calls "smokin' bluegrass" while traveling the area after their Merle Fest gig.

May 13 - June 4, 2016 CLOSED
Alex is leading a travel writing in Prague seminar for students from ECU, UNC-CH, and Clemson.

Friday, June 10, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $10 general admission, $12.50 reserved tax included
Steve Creech Jazz All-Stars with Mollye Otis

Saturday, June 18, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission, $11 reserved tax included
Ted Jones & the Tar Heel Boys

Saturday, July 9, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission $11 reserved tax included
Ash & Andy
This dynamic old-time duo based in Australia performs traditional and original music that features beautiful harmonies and driving banjo and fiddle duets you'd swear were straight out of an Appalachian house party or dance hall.

Ash is Ashlee Watkins, who was raised in a musical family outside of Newcastle, New South Wales. Andy is a Greenville, NC native who earned a master's from the Yale School of Music. He won the 2015 Australian National Bluegrass Mandolin Championship and has also won several other prizes for both fiddle and banjo. When at home in Australia, he also performs with the Melbourne-based acoustic trio One Up, Two Down.

They perform interchangeably on fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin.

Saturday, September 10, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission $11 reserved tax included
Russ Varnell & Too Country

Saturday, September 24, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $10 general admission $12.50 reserved tax included
Mile Twelve
Mile Twelve, one of the best new bluegrass bands in New England, stops by Fountain en route to their performances at IBMA's World of Bluegrass. Bluegrass legend Tony Trischka says their instrumental skills "reflect natural abilities enhanced by serious study of bluegrass tradition and a fearless desire to create fresh pathways."

Guitarist Evan Murphy, a Milton, Mass., native, graduated from Boston College in 2012 with a degrees in theatre and music. While living in New York City, he played with the bluegrass band Tenafly Rye and studied bluegrass guitar with Michael Daves and classical guitar with Jason Sagebiel.

Catherine "BB" Bowness, a native New Zealander, began playing banjo when she was 6. She won the Frank Winter memorial award at the Auckland Folk Festival, which allowed her to travel to the United States, where she has studied with Tony Trischka, Alan Munde and Noam Pikelny. In 2009, she became the first banjo player accepted to the New Zealand School of Music, where she graduated in 2011 with a degree in jazz performance. She won first place at the 2015 Freshgrass Banjo Contest and stays busy in New England these days recording, teaching and performing.

Bassist Nate Sabat is from New York City, where he graduated from the voice program at LaGuardia High School. He earned his degree in bass from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has performed with the New York Pops, Kronos Quartet, Eugene Friesen and Bruce Molsky. This past winter, he was one of 16 young acoustic musicians accepted to the Savannah Acoustic Music Seminar, where he worked with Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall and Chris Eldridge.

Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, originally from Charlottesville, Va., graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2013 with a degree in violin performance. She's played with Peter Rowan, the Milk Carton Kids, Anais Mitchell, and Tony Trischka, among others. And among her awards: first place at the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship in Winfield, Kan.,and first place at the Freshgrass Fiddle Contest. She teaches at Berklee College of Music and also independently in Boston and world-wide via Skype.

September 29 - Oct 1, 2016 -- CLOSED
We've gone to Raleigh for IBMA's World of Bluegrass.

Friday, October 14, 2016 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission $11 reserved tax included
Claude Bourbon

Friday, January 6, 2017 -- 7:30 p.m. -- $8.50 general admission $11 reserved tax included
Kevin Prater Band

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