Worlds collide this week at the Fold

Saturday, April 20th , 2019, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a unique concert of old time and bluegrass music. Longtime Fold performers Wayne Henderson and Helen White till be joined by a German bluegrass band, the Looping Brothers. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Tickets are available at the door; doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar, and in seven nations in Asia. In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about twenty instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin.

Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated, but they are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.” There is a waiting list for Henderson’s guitars made up of the “famous (and not-so-famous).” He built a custom guitar for Eric Clapton. Above and beyond his great talents as a musician and instrument maker, Wayne Henderson is known as a “friend to everyone” and shares his talents and knowledge unselfishly. Wayne is one of the finest people you’ll ever meet. He works tirelessly to promote the music of the mountains. You will never find a more humble, down-to-earth person than Wayne. He represents our region in a way few others could. There probably isn’t a guitar picker anywhere who can out-pick Wayne. You truly have to see him to believe it.

Helen White is as good on fiddle as she is on guitar, and her vocals are as lovely as they are heartfelt. A very accomplished musician, Helen has worked all her life with young people. Once of her biggest accomplishments was getting the JAM program active – not only in the state of Virginia – but the entire region. JAM stands for Junior Appalachian Musicians; their web site is http://jamkids.org/. Evidence of all the hard work and devotion Helen and others put into getting JAM into our area schools is all around us. There are JAM programs in nearly every county in the region. Now the upcoming generation of young people in Appalachia has the option of pursuing music as a career should they choose. Helen is a friend to mountain music, dogs, and everyone who meets her.

The Looping Brothers are a German bluegrass band. They formed their project in 1996 after playing with the renowned band Groundspeed all over Europe and in the USA for about two decades. Ulrich Sieker is featured on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and on vocals. Matthias Malcher plays the guitar and banjo and also does vocals. Ralf Strotmann plays bass and does vocals. The Looping Brothers play typical bluegrass instruments, doing a great selection of traditional songs as well as original material. Competent picking is combined with tasteful harmony singing. A concert by the group will get you in the atmospheric mood of authentic American mountain music and then give the the essence of dry Westphalian humor. Now the trio is reaching an even wider audience, playing major festivals and successfully helping the interest of bluegrass music grow in the Old World. In addition to traditional bluegrass, the band plays music in the tradition of the old brother duets. The last European bluegrass group that played the Fold brought the house down, and we expect that the Looping Brothers will do the same.

For a night of fine old time and bluegrass music, be sure to come out and see Wayne Henderson, Helen White, and the Looping Brothers at the Fold. There’s no better demonstration that music truly is the international language than to see a European band play the music of the mountains we call home. Don’t miss this unique concert. Bring along your friends, your family, and your dancing shoes. With two fiddlers, we are very sure there will be lots of dance tunes. For more information on Wayne and all the work he does for our area’s music, visit www.waynehenderson.org/. You can also check out Wayne, Helen, and the Looping Brothers on the internet and YouTube.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic mountain music. The center is a family-friendly, drug and alcohol free venue. In addition to the performance area, we also maintain the Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin. Both are historic landmarks and are open from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and later at performance intermission on Saturdays. For more information on the center, go to our site on the internet – www.carterfamilyfold.org/. Partial program funding for shows at the Fold is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by Virginia Tourism Corporation. To access recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. We can be found on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a Fold volunteer staff member, call 276-594-0676.