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Originally published: 2014-06-25 14:59:51
Last modified: 2014-06-25 15:00:34

Mountain Home Music features folklore, folk songs

Joe Shannon's Mountain Home Music will share four "firsts" with folks in the High Country for the fifth concert of the season, "From Folklore to Folksongs." 

The concert features three seasoned performers, who are all making their debut at Mountain Home Music. 

Bobby McMillon, Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones and will take the stage at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21.Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Student tickets are $11, and children 12 and younger are admitted free.

This is JSMHM's first concert at Harvest House, and concert organizers are excited to showcase the talents of McMillon, Marshall and Jones in the state-of-the-art theater.

The first half of the concert will feature McMillon, who was born in Lenoir in 1951 and was heir to numerous strands of Appalachian culture. 

From his father's family in Cocke County, Tenn., he learned Primitive Baptist hymns and traditional stories and ballads. From his mother's people in Yancey and Mitchell counties, he heard "booger tales, haint tales" and legends about the murder of a relative named Charlie Silver. 

In Caldwell County, he went to school with relatives of Tom Dula, learned their family stories and heard ballads, gospel songs and Carter family recordings.

By the age of 17, he had begun taping and interviewing family members, neighbors and friends who knew old songs and stories. 

McMillon has performed throughout the U.S. as a singer and storyteller, and for the lovers of Appalachian ballads, he is considered a national treasure. 

He has appeared at events such as the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, the A.P. Carter Memorial Festival, national storytelling conferences and the Festival for the Eno. In 2000, McMillon was the recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award.

The second half of the concert features the music and singing of Marshall and Jones. The two entertainers have been performing together for a number of years, and just this past year they were married. They make their home in Galax, Va. 

Marshall is a Canadian-born fiddler, who is now immersed in traditional Southern music, whether performing, teaching or recording. She has been playing fiddle for more than 30 years. She learned elements of Appalachian fiddling directly during countless visits in the homes of older tradition bearers Melvin Wine, Lester McCumbers, Leland Hall, Art Stamper, J.P. Fraley, Clyde Davenport and others.

Marshall is a regular performer and fiddle instructor at prominent festivals and music camps in North America and Europe and has won numerous ribbons at fiddle conventions. She just completed a new CD, "Tune Tramp" (Hickoryjack 2013), which features 45 traditional musicians from across North America. 

Jones' multi-instrumental musicality, coupled with his nonstop sense of humor, have earned him prominence at major festivals and music camps around the country. Jones has been an instructor at many camps, teaching old-time mandolin and banjo, guitar and arranging and songwriting. His songs have been recorded by the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins, Mark Weems and Julee Glaub and others.

"For over a decade now I have been teaching ... as a self-proclaimed 'confusion enhancement specialist' -- I truly believe out of confusion comes clarity," Jones said. "My favorite thing is letting music and words merge out of thin air as inspiration beckons."

"All three of these performers are good friends of mine, and I am excited to present them to our wonderful audience," JSMHM director and host Rodney Sutton said.

Advance tickets may be purchased online though the JSMHM website at http://www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred's General Mercantile on Beech Mountain and at Pandora's Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock. 


Harvest House is located at 247 Boone Heights Drive in Boone. 

For more information, visit http://www.mountainhomemusic.com or call (828) 964-3392.