Lightnin’ Wells

Location: R.A. Fountain

our promo for this concert

Lightnin’ Wells Friday – Bluegraass & Poetry Saturday

[Fountain, NC] A full upcoming weekend of activities at Fountain General Store kicks off with a Lightnin’ Wells concert on Friday night. Saturday night, the bluegrass gospel quartet Damascus Ridge plays Fountain for the first time. 

And on Saturday afternoon, North Carolina’s newest poet laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, will be introduced to Eastern North Carolina by our outgoing poet laureate, Shelby Stephenson, at a free poetry reading that begins at 4 p.m.

Lightnin’, who lives near Fountain, performs and teaches blues and guitar workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been especially popular in Germany and on the West Coast. “We’re fortunate to be Lightnin’s home venue,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proporietor. “He gets to bring all of his instruments along for the short ride from his home, and he’s pretty much mastered them all.”

Wells performances demonstrate a broad range of musical talents and interests. He plays acoustic and resonator guitars; harmonica; banjo; and a variety of mandolins and ukuleles. He also whistles and yodels and serves up with many of his songs an entertaining and lively historical perspective.

“His shows are really variety shows,” added Albright. “He plays Piedmont and Delta blues, early vaudeville and hokum, country, early 20th century pop, gospel, and old-time songs. We always get a full evening’s entertainment when Lightnin’s in town.”

Mike “Lightnin'” Wells was born in West Virginia and grew up in Goldsboro. Before moving to Fountain, he lived for many years in Farmville. He earned degrees at UNC-CH and ECU and worked for several years as a music therapist before embarking on a career as a solo musical artist.

He built his national and international reputations as one of the most outstanding proponents of Piedmont blues, and he has performed with many of the best second generation of Piedmont blues people, including Big Boy Henry of Beaufort; George Higgs of Tarboro; Algia Mae Hinton of Johnston County; and John Dee Holeman of Durham.

His latest CD, from 2017, was produced on the Blind Lemon Records label in Germany. “O, Lightnin’, Where Art Thou?” his sixth solo CD, has gotten rave reviews from the U.S. blues community.

He also wrote the extensive liner notes on the recently released compilation of Colonial Records rockabilly tunes produced on the Bear Family label, also from Germany.

Tags: acoustic Americana, Concert, country, gospel, hokum, old-time, popular, traditional