Charlotte Folk Society’s next free gathering will take place Friday, October 14, 2016, at 7:30pm, at Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue. Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free. Doors open at 7pm, and it’s strongly suggested that you arrive early. Donations are appreciated and essential to presenting the concert series in the Stella Center. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground-level door. Free parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center. Refreshments, a song circle, and a jam session follow the event.
Alice Gerrard & the Piedmont Melody Makers (Jim Watson, Cliff Hale, and Chris Brashear) are a North Carolina grown quartet who play unapologetic old-time, country, and bluegrass music. Their relaxed, easy charm belies a serious collection of musical talent and songwriting ability with roots deep in the red soil of Carolina. Join them as they celebrate the release of their very first record, Wonderful World Outside. “. . . a pure Southern delight – 16 tracks of classic country, bluegrass, gospel and old-time music. Some, including Sam (No Legs) Fincher’s Some Old Day, which Hale’s rich baritone leads against the ornamenting harmonies of Watson and Gerrard, are rare, often hidden, gems.” – The News & Observer, September 23, 2016
Simply put, Alice Gerrard is a talent of legendary status. In a career spanning some 50-plus years, she has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has, in turn, earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. She is particularly known for her groundbreaking collaboration with Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and 1970s. The duo produced four classic LPs (recently reissued by Rounder on CD) and their Pioneering Women of Bluegrass album on Smithsonian Folkways, and influenced scores of young women singers — even The Judds acknowledge Hazel and Alice as an important early inspiration. Gerrard is still making extraordinary music, as evidenced by the 2015 Grammy nomination in the Best Folk Album category for her solo recording Follow the Music.
Chris Brashear has performed with Peter McLaughlin for 20 years and was the fiddle and mandolin player with Robin & Linda Williams for seven years. Brashear is an exceptional and colorful multi-instrumentalist, a charismatic singer with a high, clear voice, and a songwriter who portrays contemporary life with old-time flavor. Cliff Hale is a monster on the mandolin whose voice is a profound blend of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, and Carter Stanley all in one. As well as the Piedmont Melody Makers, he performs with the Rye Mountain Boys, a classic bluegrass band. Jim Watson has delighted music audiences far and wide with his soaring high tenor as a founding member of the original Red Clay Ramblers, the bassist with Robin & Linda Williams, and in numerous combinations of bluegrass and old-time music bands.
Monthly second-Friday Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated. Refreshments, a song circle, jam sessions, songwriters’ circle, and an Appalachian dulcimer group follow the hour-long concert. Free parking is available in the 4th St. Mecklenburg County parking deck, between Kings Dr. and McDowell St. Accessible entry.
Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.