Augusta Heritage Center to host Mountain Stage
ELKINS — The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College will again host Mountain Stage live for the Augusta Festival concert as a grand finale to the summer session.
A blend of country, bluegrass, old-time and honky tonk will share the stage in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Storyteller, writer and humorist Bil Lepp steps up to guest host Mountain Stage with performances by Kathy Mattea, award winning bluegrass group Darin & Brooke Aldridge, West Virginia-based honky tonk group Blue Yonder and old-time multi-instrumentalist Joe Newberry.
Tickets are $25 general admission and can be purchased online at www.augustaheritagecenter.org, by calling 304-637-1255 or in person at the Augusta Box Office in Jennings Randolph Hall on the D&E campus. Student tickets are $15 with student ID at the D&E Box Office in Myles Center for the Arts on the night of the concert only. Remaining tickets will be available the night of the show at the D&E Box Office beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets include admission to the dance after the concert. Presented by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College, the concert is a highlight of the final weekend of Augusta’s three-week summer session.
Mountain Stage host and co-founder Larry Groce says the Augusta Heritage Festival and instructional weeks represent some of the best of West Virginia.
“The workshops are a prized resource for anyone interested in learning more about a particular style of music, and Mountain Stage is proud to join the Augusta Festival and celebration,” Groce said. “We are glad we can help spread the word to our national radio audience about the wonderful things happening there in Elkins each year.”
The Augusta Festival concert will be recorded live for the nationally syndicated radio program Mountain Stage with Larry Groce airing on 200 stations. Heard weekly on NPR stations across the country, Mountain Stage is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and is celebrating its 35th year on the air.
“We are so happy to welcome Mountain Stage back to the Augusta Festival for the fifth year,” said Beth King, director of the Augusta Heritage Center. “They have a wonderful lineup of artists for the show. The evening will be the perfect celebration at the end of Festival Saturday and at the end of our 45th summer.”
A West Virginia native and two-time Grammy winner, Mattea will perform songs from her upcoming album “Pretty Bird.” Set to release Sept. 7, the record is a sublime acoustic collection that includes the track “I Can’t Stand Up Alone” and other heartfelt covers.
In her 30-plus year career, Mattea has garnered top awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association, three of which for her signature song “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses.”
Darin and Brooke Aldridge
Husband and wife duo Darin and Brooke Aldridge have placed several tracks at the top of Americana/Roots, SiriusXM, Bluegrass and Gospel charts.
Their eighth album, “Faster & Farther,” is rooted in their bluegrass and gospel background. “Snapshots,” their highly acclaimed previous album, made its debut at the No. 8 spot on The Billboard Bluegrass Album Chart in April 2016 and by May the first single “Tennessee Flat Top Box” had claimed the No. 1 position on the Bluegrass Today Chart.
Anchored in compelling grooves of classic country, rockabilly, swing and folk music, Blue Yonder presents original songs about “living, loving and losing along life’s backroads and highways.” Comprised of John Lilly on vocals, Robert Shafer on guitar and Will Carter on bass, the band released “Rough and Ready Heart” earlier this year.
Banjo player, guitarist, fiddler and songwriter Joe Newberry has played music most of his life. His songwriting is characterized by the same clean, elegant style as his banjo playing, and his songs are often recorded by artists in the folk and bluegrass world. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” award. In 2013, Joe shared co-writing honors with Eric Gibson for the IBMA Song of the Year, “They Called It Music.”
Newberry has also taught at numerous camps and festivals, including the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College, and for many years served as coordinator of Old-Time Week at Augusta.
A D&E center of excellence for 45 years, the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College offers several week-long programs featuring instruction in many traditions of music, dance, craft and folklore. Concerts, dances, a summer festival and other heritage arts events are part of the Augusta experience. The Augusta Heritage Center is also home to significant collections of field recordings, oral histories, photographs, instruments and Appalachian art. For additional information, call the Augusta Heritage Center at 304-637-1209 or visit www.augustaheritagecenter.org.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts and the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local support is provided by the Randolph County Commission.