Piedmont Melody Makers

Location: R.A. Fountain

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Bluegrass Hall of Famer Alice Gerrard Fronts All-Star Band at Fountain  Saturday Night 

[Fountain, NC]  Alice Gerrard and the Piedmont Melody Makers perform bluegrass and old-time music at Fountain General Store on Saturday night.

Nominated for a Grammy in 2015, Gerrard was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2017. With Legendary Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens, she recorded four solo albums in the 1960s and 1970s which have been recently reissued as CDs on Rounder records.

Joe Newberry calls her “a national treasure.”

Gerrard has also recorded four critically acclaimed CDs that showcase her many talents: compelling and eclectic songwriting; powerful vocals; and excellent instrumental work on guitar, banjo and old-time fiddle.

She has guested on over 20 recordings and produced or written liner notes for a dozen more. Founder of The Old Time Herald, she is also the subject of a documentary film in progress.

For Saturday night’s show, Gerrard has assembled an all-star, all-American band that features Suzy Thompson, from San Francisco, on fiddle; Chris Brasher, from Boston, on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin; and Jim Watson, from Chapel Hill, on bass, mandolin, and guitar.

“Fountain is the only date they’re playing,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proprietor. “And it promises to be one of the most memorable shows we’ve ever hosted.”

Suzy Thompson is a world-renowned fiddler in a variety of styles. She organized the California Cajun Orchestra in 1983 and more recently the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention. She has released seven CDs and performed on recordings by Geoff and Maria Muldaur, Mike Seeger, Peter Rowan, D.L. Menard, Beausoleil, her long-time musical partner Eric Thompson, and many more.

“This will be Suzy’s first time playing Fountain,” Albright said. “And a very special visit at that.”

Chris Brashear was the fiddle and mandolin player with Robin and Linda Williams for seven years and performs on their three most recent CDs. He has released five CDs himself.

Jim Watson was one of the founding members of the Red Clay Ramblers, with whom he performed for 14 years and made nine albums. He remains active in a variety of ensembles in the Triangle, including the Green Level Entertainers, with Jerry Brown, Tony and Gary Williamson, and Leroy Savage.

Alice Gerrard and the Piedmont Melody Makers’ June 23 concert begins at 7:30. General admission is $17.50; reserved seats, $20. Both prices include tax.


Tags: folk, gospel, old-time, original, tradtional bluegrass

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