Kenneth Glover Benefit

Location: R.A. Fountain

This benefit for Kenneth, who was battling cancer, featured perhaps the best lineup of bluegrass talent that we’ve ever hosted:  Roby Huffman and the Bluegrass Cut-ups; Samantha Casey & Bluegrass Jam; Unshackled; and the Carolina Yellowhammers, with Clyde Mattocks on banjo, Lightnin’ Wells on guitar, Frankie Harrison on mandolin, and Patty Hopkins on fiddle.

One of those “you shoulda been here” kinds of days, to help out one of our finest.

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From our promo for this event:

Sunday’s benefit brings Al Batten to Fountain for the first time, to perform with Roby Huffman and the Bluegrass Cut-ups. 

Batten was an early member of the band that Huffman took on tours throughout the U.S. and Europe in the 1960s and ’70s. Glover, who is being treated for cancer, was Huffman’s original bass player and has been with him on virtually every show of the thousands that Huffman has performed over the decades. 

“What we’ve got is some of the best of the best coming together to help out Kenneth,” said Albright. 

Samantha Casey and the Bluegrass Jam begin the show at 2 p.m.

Backroads, 3 p.m.

Roby Huffman and the Bluegrass Cut-ups with Al Batten, 4 p.m.

Unshackled, 5 p.m.

The Carolina Yellowhammers, with the Green Grass Cloggers, 6 p.m.

Samantha Casey and the Bluegrass Jam features the teen-age fiddling sensation Casey, along with her dad, Daniel, on banjo; Jeff Huffman on guitar; and Dell Tims on bass. “Samantha plays with Roby, and he’ll probably come up and sing a song with her,” said Albright. “We expect a lot of band mixing to be going on.”

Backroads, from Greene County, has performed at RAF several times, most recently opening for Marshall Stephenson’s Bluegrass Train. The band features Beth Lamm on vocals; Mike Sugg on mandolin; Wally Perry on banjo; and Matt Measley on guitar.

Roby Huffman and the Bluegrass Cut-ups were organized in the late 1950s, with his neighbor, Marshall Strickland, on banjo, Bob Creech on fiddle, Pat Holland on mandolin, Willie Lee on guitar, and Kenneth Glover on bass. They toured the U.S. and Europe and recorded three classic bluegrass LPs that have become collectors items.  [see accompanying article for list of Huffman’s other bandmates from over the years.]

Sunday’s Cut-ups will reunite Huffman with Al Batten, the banjo picker whose band Bluegrass Reunion has consistently been one of the most popular festival bands since the 1990s and has 5 CDs currently available. Huffman’s son, Jeff, is on guitar; Daniel Casey will also play banjo; Samantha Casey will play fiddle; and Glover will sit in for at least a few numbers on bass. 

Unshackled is one of the most popular bluegrass gospel bands in East Carolina. They’ve recently added Mac McRoy of New Bern on banjo. Long-time members are Phillip Legget of Old Ford on fiddle; Warren Blackard of Chocowinity on bass; and Elton Ipock of Washington on mandolin.

The Carolina Yellowhamnmers is an occasional band that performs at Fountain General when circumstances can get them together. Performers are Lightnin’ Wells, guitar; Clyde Mattocks, banjo; Frankie Harrison, mandolin; John Booker, bass; and Pattie Hopkins, fiddle. 

“No body in this band needs an introduction,” said Albright. “They’ve played here three times before, each a sensational show, but this is their first time with Pattie, who’s now a regular with Kickin’ Grass. It’s unlikely that it’ll happen again.”

The Green Grass Cloggers, celebrating their 40th anniversary, will also dance to the Yellowhammers.

Suggested donation for the October 16 benefit for Kenneth Glover is $15 per person. Two rows of seats will be available for all-day reservations for a $20 donation per seat. 
 Free ice, iced tea, and coffee will be provided by Fountain General Store. 

All door proceeds and all sales of homemade ice cream on October 16 will go to Kenneth Glover to help off-set his medical expenses. Donations to Glover may also be mailed to RAF, PO Box 44, Fountain, NC  27829. Checks should be made out to Kenneth Glover.

• • •

From the October 12, 2011 FAD:

Benefit for Bassist Kenneth Glover Sunday Features Reunion of Roby Huffman and Al Batten

Roby Huffman and Al Batten were both quick to volunteer their performances for Sunday’s benefit for Huffman’s long-time bass player Kenneth Glover. “We go back almost as far as air,” said Batten. 

Glover was Huffman’s original bass player and has been his bassist for most of the thousands of shows the Bluegrass Cut-ups have performed since organizing in the late 1950s. He is currently battling cancer.

Over the past few weeks, Wade Hampton, Glover, and Huffman have attempted to re-construct the various incarnations of the Cut-ups. Hamilton had a bluegrass radio show on WBZB 1090 a.m. in Smithfield in the 1960s and helped promote Huffman when he was first starting out.

In addition to Marshall Strickland, other banjo pickers with the Cut-ups have included G.G. Woodall, who died about a month ago; Jesse Harmon of Edenton; Kenneth Peed of South Boston, Virginia; John Whitley of Wendell, who also played Dobro; Batten of Selma (“He lives on Bluegrass Road,” Hampton noted) and his current banjo picker, Daniel Casey. 

Glover and Elmer Jackson are the only two bassists who have played with the Cut-ups.

Other mandolin players: Tommy Mendenhall of Greensboro; Norman Wright of South Boston, Virginia; and  Mike Rose of Goldsboro. “Jeff’s Huffman’s daughter, Casey, has sat in a few times with the band, but I don’t think she’s officially calling herself a Cut-up yet,” said Albright.

Travis Johnson of Four Oaks succeeded Willie Lee on lead guitar. They are the only two guitarists except for Huffman’s son, Jeff, who have played with the Cut-ups. 

Samantha Casey and Bob Creech are the only two fiddlers to play regularly as a Cut-up.

Talk of the old days last week led Huffman to reveal that the first radio show he was on was Chester Thompson’s Old-Time Radio Jamboree that ran on WGBR in Goldsboro from 1948 until Thompson’s death in 2009, at age 82, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Huffman was visiting after his performance with Thompson’s granddaughter, Annette Grady, who has taken over hosting the show and moved it to  WNCT 1070 A.M. in Greenville. 

“She’s got a great radio show,” said Albright. “I wish I’d heard what she and Roby were recalling about that show. But we ought to get plenty of those kinds of memories going come Sunday afternoon.”

From the October 19, 2011 FAD:

Benefit for Bassist Kenneth Glover Raises over $1200 for Kenneth Glover – Big Benefit for Samantha Casey Sunday in Goldsboro

Sunday’s benefit for Kenneth Glover, featuring an all-day all-star lineup of East Carolina’s best bluegrass musicians, netted over $1200 in donations–and a commitment from Al Batten to bring his Bluegrass Reunion back to RAF in 2012.

One of Sunday’s many highlights at RAF was Roby Huffman’s appearance with Batten’s band. They’ll both be performing again with their bands, the Bluegrass Cut-ups and Bluegrass Reunion, at Sunday’s benefit, which will also feature the Boys from Carolina, Samantha Casey and the Bluegrass Jam, and Beth Ivey. Annette Grady from the Chester Thompson Old Time Radio Jamboree will emcee.

Music starts at 3 p.m., at Rosewood High School, 900 Rosewood Rd., Goldsboro. Advance tickets are only $5; at the door, $7. For further information call Grady at 919.920.3405.

Tags: benefit, bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, Concert, tradtional bluegrass