Patrick County, Virginia, is famous for its deep-rooted musical traditions. You’ll understand why when you hear these two outstanding bands: The Slate Mountain Ramblers and the Country Boys on Saturday, July 28th at the Blue Ridge Music Center. As always, there will also be free Mid Day Mountain Music in the BRMC breezeway from 12-4pm and the free Roots of American Music museum will be open 9am-8pm on this concert night.
Decades of playing music together creates a special sound that is evident when you hear this Patrick County family band, The Slate Mountain Ramblers. This popular stringband, featuring fiddler, Richard Bowman, have long been a staple both at fiddlers’ conventions and dances in the northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia area.
Fueled by Richard’s energetic, traditional fiddling, and backed up by daughter Marcia’s rock-solid, clawhammer banjo and wife Barbara’s driving bass, the Slate Mountain Ramblers provide the perfect elements for a square dance; good rhythm and great old-time tunes. They’ve won their share of blue ribbons too – as a group, on their instruments and for flatfoot dancing. They even call square dances while they perform!
The Slate Mountain Ramblers formed 30 years ago. Members have changed over time, but for the last 20 years the band formation has been primarily the Bowman family with additional musical support from guitarist, Ted Ashe. This stringband has performed in England, Austria, and across the US but they are best known as a mainstay of the dance and festival culture locally here within the region. Dance boards will be out for the dancers!
The Country Boys are one the best kept secrets from Patrick County. The group has been playing bluegrass and gospel for over 35 years at fiddlers’ conventions, festivals, churches and porches along the Virginia/North Carolina line. Great vocal harmonies and fine musicianship are their trademark. The Country Boys consist of Johnny Joyce on guitar, Tim Bowman on banjo, J.A. Midkiff on fiddle, Kevin Easter on mandolin and Donald Clifton on bass. Come hear why local folks think this group is one of the best in the Blue Ridge.
The Patrick County Tribute concert starts at 7pm on Saturday, July 28th. Concert seating opens at 5:30pm. Admission $8/ $5 students & seniors. Children 12 and under are free. Bring lawn chairs and the whole family. Picnics welcome. Smokehouse BBQ available. No pets or alcohol. For info call (276) 236-5309 x112. Tickets are available at the Galax Visitor Center, Barr’s Fiddle Shop, online at www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org and at the gate. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The summer-evening concert series occurs every weekend through mid-September in the outdoor amphitheater at the foot of beautiful Fisher Peak.