Charlotte Folk Society’s next free gathering will take place Friday, August 11, 2017, at Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue. Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free. Doors open at 7 p.m., 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.
The featured band on August 11, 2017, is Strictly Strings.
Strictly Strings came together through fiddle classes in the Watauga County JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) Program in Boone, North Carolina, and has blossomed into an exciting multi-faceted band, performing old-time, swing, and original tunes, all topped off with fresh harmony vocals. Master old-time musician Cecil Gurganus has been fiddle instructor and mentor to the young members of Strictly Strings for more than five years.
Strictly Strings is Kathleen Burnett on fiddle and vocals; Anissa Burnett on bass, fiddle, and vocals; Willow Dillon on fiddle, cello, banjo, and vocals; and Caleb Coatney on mandolin, guitar, and banjo. As the senior member of the group, Cecil Gurganus holds down the rhythm guitar and vocals, and drives the van.
The band has an impressive resume, having played at the 2016 National Folk Festival, the 2016 IBMA in Raleigh, the North Carolina Arts Council 50th Anniversary Celebration in Raleigh, MerleFest 2017, and the 2017 Wayne Henderson Festival. The group will perform again at the National Folklife Festival in Greensboro, September 8-9, 2017.
Strictly Strings captured the title of Senior Champion Old-Time Band at Fiddler’s Grove over Memorial Day and Caleb Coatney went home as the Champion Hot Licks Master Jammer in the senior competition. Sisters Kathleen and Anissa Burnett won the Twin Fiddle Contest. Strictly Strings also took first place in the Old-Time Band competition at this year’s Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddler’s Convention.
Strictly Strings released their debut album, High on a Mountain, in December 2016.
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.