Hundreds enjoy free concert at Elkins Depot Welcome Center

ELKINS – Gray skies gave way to abundant sunshine as bluegrass band Flatt Wound took the stage during this year’s second Elkins Depot Welcome Center free summer concert Thursday.

More than 200 people were in attendance to listen to the band perform traditional bluegrass favorites as well as songs from their own repertoire.

Flatt Wound features a group of award-winning and versatile local musicians including banjoist Joe “Danger” Gainer, and his wife Kathy, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Ramie Bennett on guitar and banjo, Marilyn Bennett on bass with mandolinist Jeremy Wanless rounding out the lineup.

Sue Sheets, the president of the Elkins Depot Welcome Center Board of Directors, said the crowd in attendance was the largest the depot has ever seen for the summer concert events.

“I’m really excited over this concert. This is the biggest one we have ever had. They (Flatt Wound) bring out a lot of folks because a lot of people know the group and they advertised it well,” Sheets said. “I’m really excited because it was a great turnout and perfect weather.”

Jake Barkley of Elkins, who attended with his wife, Mary, said he enjoys coming out to the concerts because the music is good and he enjoys the atmosphere.

“I came out because I like bluegrass music. It is a nice evening to be down here (the town square) and a nice atmosphere. I am surprised more people don’t come out,” Barkley said.

“It is a good atmosphere, good music and good people. It makes for a nice evening.”

Another Elkins resident, longtime music educator Jack Basil, said he came to the show because he taught one of the members of the group while he was a high school band director in Randolph County.

“I know a couple of these guys and I had Joe ‘Danger’ Gainer in band at Elkins High School,” Basil said. “I am also very good friends with the mandolin player (Wanless).”

Wanless said the band was very pleased to perform as part of the series because it is nice to be able to play in your hometown.

“We are excited to be part of the concert series. It is great to be able to play at home instead of on the road. We are pleased to perform in front of the people of Elkins,” Wanless said.

“We put this band together last year to play here and liked the way things worked out so we just kept it.”

The concert was free to the public but depot volunteers and staff sold refreshments at the event with proceeds going to future concerts as well as to assist in funding the Christmas light display in the Town Square.

The third show in the free summer concert series will feature Bear Hill Bluegrass. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Elkins Town Square.