Carolina Yellowhammers

Location: R.A. Fountain

from our promo for this concert

[Fountain, NC] The Carolina Yellowhammers play traditional bluegrass and bluegrass gospel at Fountain General Store this Friday night.

        The Yellowhammers are a quartet of area natives and bluegrass professionals who gather occasionally for public performances such as this one.

        “This is always an incredible show,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General proprietor. “Together, they’ve got 125 years of picking experience, and a lot of that’s been with each other, in various combinations, since the 1970s.”

        The players are Lightnin’ Wells on guitar; Frank Harrison, mandolin; Lane Hollis, banjo and fiddle; and John Booker, bass.

        Wells, who lives in Fountain, is one of the best known Piedmont blues performers of his generation. He performs throughout the U.S. and Europe. He and Booker, who lives in Ayden, played together with the Hometown Boys, a bluegrass mainstay on the Greenville music scene in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Booker also plays with Highway 58 and the Old Grey Suits.

        Hollis and his family band, from Greenville, perform throughout the region, sometimes with Booker and sometimes with Harrison. Daughter Sarah has recently joined Clyde Mattocks’ latest country music project, Without Further Ado.

        Harrison, from Williamston, is generally regarded as the fastest mandolin picker in East Carolina. He has performed at RAF with several bands, including his own, the Mac and Tammy McRoy Band, and Unshackled.

        The Yellowhammers take their name from the East Carolina Railway that originated in Tarboro in 1898, connected to Fountain in 1902, and to its terminus in Hookerton in 1908. Its passenger cars were called Yellowhammers because they sounded like the local bird of the same name. The ECR’s last train ran in 1965.

        Their name is also a nod to the Georgia Yellow Hammers, a 1920s oldtime string band whose music was a precursor to bluegrass.


Tags: bluegrass, Concert, tradtional bluegrass