Karl Shiflett & the Big Country Show

Location: R.A. Fountain

from our promo for this show

[Fountain, NC] The return of the Texas-based Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show highlights Fountain General Store’s spring schedule of live music. 

Shiflett and two nationally known bluegrass acts, the Bluegrass Sweethearts and the Canadian band Slocan Ramblers, play Fountain on tours that have them also performing at MerleFest.

Shiflett and his band played an SRO show at Fountain last April, when they introduced to East Carolina audiences their new mandolin picker, Williamston native Justin Harrison. “Their April show was one of the highlights of our musical year,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proprietor.

The Bluegrass Sweethearts, from Ohio, and the Canadian-based Slocan Ramblers are playing Fountain for the first time.

Shiflett, the Bluegrass Sweethearts, and the Slocan Ramblers are all booked for this year’s Merle Fest. The Rambler’s won the 2015 Edmonton Folk Fest Emerging Artist Award.

“We’re open less this spring,” said Albright, “and are including a couple of Thursday night shows in order to catch some of these bigger acts. But we’ll also likely fill in some weekend dates with local and regional acts.”

• • •

Karl Shiflett and the Big Country Show hit Fountain for the second time with their mandolin player Justin Harrison, a Bear Grass native who in May earned his degree in bluegrass studies at Morehead State University in Kentucky.

Lead singer and guitarist Shiflett has led his band for over twenty years, and he says this is the best one he’s ever had. Also in the band is Shiflett’s son, Kris, on bass, who joined up in 1996 when he was 16 years old.

Billy Hurt, who lives in his native Boone’s Mill, Virginia, has been playing fiddle since the late 1970s.

Banjo picker Brennen Ernest also played some swing guitar and ragtime piano for us–he’s got two solo recordings out on CD. He also lives in Boone’s Mill, Virginia.

Justin Harrison, who also started out on fiddle, counts among his mandolin teachers his dad, Frankie Harrison, the fastest mandolin picker in East Carolina. Frankie has played RAF often, with bluegrass legend Les Sandy as well as with the Carolina Yellowhammers and others.

Percussionist Dany Bureau was born in Canada but grew up in Danbury, Connecticut. The band touts him as “the only scrub board player in bluegrass music.”

Karl said they’d need to do a single long set so they could get on the road, but once they got going, nobody wanted to quit, and this great show kept going & going: another one of those ‘you shoulda been here’ kind of nights.

Tags: bluegrass gospel, classic, original, tradtional bluegrass