Ben Jones and Alma Viator present
The First Annual Rappahannock Americana Music Festival
May 17, 2014 • Noon-10 pm • Beautiful Washington, Virginia
Americana Music for an Americana Town
“Americana music is the home-grown music of America. It is influenced by old time string music, jug bands, the blues and rhythm and blues, country and bluegrass, Cajun and Creole, and whatever else that came from the bottom up instead of from the top down. Some people call it ‘roots,’ some people call it ‘folk’ music, but it is all of that and more, because a lot of it is new music made in the traditional way.”—Ben Jones, former Congressman and “Cooter” from “The Dukes of Hazzard”
“I don’t know of any place in the nation that better fits the description ‘Americana.’ There are only about 150 residents here, and the village hasn’t changed much since George Washington’s time. Our county is unique in that there are no stoplights, no fast food joints, and no franchised chain stores. Everything is ‘mom and pop’ operated, the food is fresh from the fields, and just about everybody knows everybody else. You can feel the history here.”—Alma Viator
Noon-6 pm — Afternoon Concert at Avon Hall (rain location is Washington Schoolhouse) with:
Craver, Hicks, Watson and Newberry
Big Buster and The Dirty Dawgs
Gold Top County Ramblers
Manabu and John
Click here for directions and info.
6-8 pm — Pickin’ and Dinner Between the Concerts in the Stonyman Gourmet Courtyard
8-10 pm – Indoor Concert at The Theatre at Washington, Virginia, with:
David Olney with Sergio Webb
Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group
Click here for directions and info.
Americana Music at It’s Finest in an All-American Town — Scenic and Historic Washington, Virginia!
Local Food, Wine, Arts and Crafts
Afternoon Concert at Avon Hall: $25
Evening Concert at The Theatre (only 200 tickets): $25
Both Concerts: $40
Free Under 12
About the Artists
David Olney with Sergio Webb — Nashville-based touring and recording artist David Olney, accompanied by string-slinger Sergio Webb, spent 2013 on a cross-country tour from Boise to Little Rock, having kicked off the summer season on a California co-bill tour with Anne McCue. That was preceded by a triumphant debut tour of Australia in March, followed by a new album release tour in Scandinavia. During that touring, Olney’s “Postcard From Mexico” song was prominently used in the ABC-TV show “Nashville.” In addition to always being on the road, Olney broadcasts every Tuesday on his website via YouTube with his “You Never Know” video shorts where he plays a song and shares the story behind it. One of the early pioneers of what has become known as Americana music, he has released more than 20 albums over four decades, including six live recordings and is often likened to Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and Randy Newman. His intelligent compositions have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Steve Earle, Lonnie Brooks, Tim O’Brien and many more. Ms. Harris says, “David Olney tells marvelous stories, with characters who cling to the hope of enduring love, all the while crossing the deep divide into that long dark night of the soul.” A new crowd-funded full length studio album, “When The Deal Goes Down,” is slated for a July 8 release. Olney is well-known for his energetic live performances — especially those accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Sergio Webb — packed with such intensity it leaves audiences with a truly memorable experience. DavidOlney.com
Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group — As live performers, the Williamses they are second to none. Their stirring concerts have earned them a huge body of fans over the years. But as gifted songwriters Robin and Linda have earned an even rarer honor, the devotion and deep respect of their musical peers. As The Washington Post put it, “The Williamses are able to sum up a life in a few details with moving completeness.” The list of artists who have covered their original songs include some of the greats of country music, names like Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, George Hamilton IV, Tim & Mollie O’Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea and The Seldom Scene. Robin and Linda have made appearances on such major programs as “The Grand Old Opry,”"Austin City Limits,”"Music City Tonight,”"Mountain Stage” and they continue to make frequent appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion.” In Robert Altman’s final film, “A Prairie Home Companion,” a fictional representation of behind-the-scenes activities at the long-running public radio show of the same name, Robin and Linda appeared as themselves and performed “Old Plank Road.” Roger Ebert awarded the film four out of four stars, saying, “What a lovely film this is, so gentle and whimsical, so simple and profound” and later added the film to his “Great Movies” list. Robin and Linda tour constantly a band, Their Fine Group. Band members include Jim Watson on bass, vocals and mandolin, who has been with them since the group’s beginning. Jim was a founding member of The Red Clay Ramblers and played with them for 14 years. The fourth chair of the Fine Group is filled by the wonderful fiddle/mandolin player, Chris Brashear. He also performs in a duo with Peter McLaughlin and with the bluegrass band “The Perfect Strangers.”robinandlinda.com
Big Buster and The Dirty Dawgs — Before he became internationally known for his role of “Cooter” on “The Dukes of Hazzard”, Ben Jones had another nickname. “Everybody called me ‘Buster’, he says. “In my head I’m still ‘Buster’, but now people all over the planet have given me the permanent nickname of ‘Cooter.’ Down South, a cooter is a turtle. It’s a Gullah word from West Africa. I am honored to be ‘Cooter.’ In the Gullah culture, a turtle is a symbol of longevity, wisdom, and perseverance. Don’t forget who won that race between the cooter and the rabbit. But back at my roots, I’m still ‘Buster’ to the family.” At the Rappahannock Americana Music Festival in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Jones and his band will perform as Big Buster and The Dirty Dawgs. “This was an easy gig to get,” he laughs. “My wife Alma and I are producing the event.” In a diverse professional career which began in 1962, Jones has appeared in hundreds of films, television shows, and stage productions. It is a career that includes playing the Kennedy Center with Eva Marie Saint, creating a magic show with Orson Welles, singing at the Grand Old Opry, playing basketball against Magic Johnson, appearing in films with the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Jackie Gleason, James Earl Jones, Emma Thompson, and Richard Pryor, and singing with Bluegrass icon Dr. Ralph Stanley. Along the way, he also served two terms as a United States Congressman from Georgia. His memoir, Redneck Boy in the Promised Land, was published by Random House. “I work on the road with ‘Cooter’s Garage Band,’ and they are about as good as it gets. We love all kinds of music, and we’re going to have fun at the festival as ‘Big Buster and the Dirty Dawgs.’ It will give us an opportunity to do some different things, try some new stuff, and kick back at home with our friends. Americana is musician’s music, and we have some great musicians. We can’t wait!”
Irene Kelley is a Nashville-based recording artist who performs worldwide doubling as an extremely successful songwriter with songs recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Will Kimbrough, Tommy Womack, Kim Richey, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, the Osborne Brothers, The Whites, Ricky Skaggs, Carl Jackson and others. She released her first new full-length record in 10 years in February. The new “Pennsylvania Coal” album is Irene’s first true bluegrass album, produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Fain, featuring Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Jerry Salley, Brian Sutton, Carl Jackson, Trisha Yearwood and lots of other notable artists. Listeners may already be familiar with Irene Kelley from her performances at the Grand Ole Opry, the CMA Music Festival, IBMA, Folk Alliance International, the Americana Music Festival, BayFest and elsewhere. She’s also enjoyed airtime on CMT, GAC, NPR’s “Live at Mountain Stage” and on other syndicated programs. Look for her debut at the “Bluegrass Ramble” at this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association’s gathering in Raleigh, N.C. in October 2014. irenekelley.com
Craver, Hicks, Watson and Newberry are Mike Craver, Bill Hicks, Jim Watson and Joe Newberry. Hicks and Watson, along with Tommy Thompson, founded the Red Clay Ramblers in 1972. Craver joined in 1973. For the next decade they toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Scandinavia and Africa; acted and played in two Off-Broadway shows and released eight albums. In the early 80s, Watson, Craver and Thompson released a highly acclaimed album of Carter Family songs titled “Meeting in the Air.” Co-founder and banjo player Tommy Thompson died in 2003, and Bill, Jim and Mike had all left the band by 1986, but they still get together and play music, these days joined by Joe Newberry. In 2012, Craver, Hicks, Watson & Newberry released an album of their current repertoire entitled “You’ve Been a Friend to Me.” They have made numerous appearances at festivals and clubs throughout the east and midwest, including the Omagh Festival of American Music in Northern Ireland. They do songs, fiddle and dance tunes from their early repertoire, as well as originals and selections from their individual CDs.
Gold Top County Ramblers rock an acoustic, bluegrass style of music. They mix all kinds of music together from all musical eras and genres, and then bluegrass it up a little. They’ve been known to jam out at bars for hours on-end after last call, and still find time to play some soft sweet ones at local pig roasts and weddings. Band members are Adam Rogers, mando vox, Jesse Rogers, bass, Tucker Rogers, resonator guitar, Forest Marquisee, guitar, Joe Whitesides, drums, and William Walter, banjo. goldtopcountyramblers.com
Jeffrey Scott is a native of Culpeper, Virginia. He’s the youngest of eight children for whom music was the primary source of recreation. A blues guitarist and singer, his music was influenced early in life by his mother and blues legends like his uncle, John Jackson, and his good friends John Cephas and Doc Watson. Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Blake influenced his guitar playing style. He started his singing career in church and at extended family gatherings. Scott mastered the guitar playing Piedmont Blues, which is the oldest form of the blues with its origins in African American string bands of Colonial America. Scott also plays country blues, gospel, folk, jazz and ragtime and is proficient on banjo, trombone, autoharp and tuba. He has performed at many blues festivals, workshops and conventions from California and Texas to Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as locally in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. He has also played for live radio shows and for governors and senators. Jeff is a man of many talents who has worn many hats — truck driver, police officer, farmer, mortician/funeral director, and always, musician.
Mandalélé is the collaborative creation of three singer-songwriters: Lorraine Duisit (long-time member of Trapezoid), Robert “Smiggy” Smith, and Wendi Sirat. This lively trio blends three part harmonies with sparkling strings, toe-tappin’ rhythms, and groovy bass lines to create music infused with a potpourri of global traditions and inspired by life in the Appalachian mountains where the band was formed. Their spirited sound breathes life into rich lyrical images that touch the soul and make you want to smile. mandalele.com
Ben Mason plays piano and sings songs he’s written about his life and the world around him. He is also a mixed media artist and novelist. Mason has been performing in the D.C. area since the 60s at music venues such as the Birchmere, the old Cellar Door, Blues Alley, the Bayou, the Kennedy Center, the Baltimore Civic Center and everywhere in-between. He was on Lifesong Records (Jim Croce) and RCA Sunberry/ Dunbar, signed to Nashville’s Cedarwood Publishing as a writer, appeared on the Today Show, written film scores for NBC, and won grand prize in the 10th Annual Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. He appeared and/or recorded with Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Jennings, The Dilliards, Poco, Rick Derringer, Steuart Smith of the Eagles, Bo Diddly, Dave Mason, and John Cougar Mellencamp. Mason opened for Billy Ray Cyrus for Rolling Thunder on the Mall in D.C. before a crowd of 80,000. He will return this year on May 25. Mason has released three CDs. His third, “Loveland” has songs on it featured in the film “Recludere” and on MSNBC’s “Juvies.” Disney recently licensed “Every One of Us” from the same CD. He is currently working on his fourth CD, “Beautiful Mistakes,” which features Steuart Smith, lead guitarist of the Eagles. benmasonsongs.com
Manabu and John are Manabu Nagase and John “Smokehouse” Hallberg. Nagase is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and established music instructor. He plays violin, mandolin, guitar, keyboards, bass, trumpet, and saxophone. He is well versed in bluegrass, old-time, jazz (from swing including gypsy jazz to post bebop), rock, blues, early music and classical. He has won numerous awards for guitar, fiddle and mandolin at festivals in the Southeastern United States. Hallberg plays multiple instruments including percussion, drums and the mountain dulcimer. His personal dulcimer collection includes over a dozen hand-crafted instruments, many from Appalachian craftsman. At one time, he housed a dulcimer museum in his mead winery, The Smokehouse, in Sperryville, Virginia. A musician, filmmaker and music promoter, “Smokehouse” ran a series of music festivals in Sperryville. Participating musicians included bluegrass, Americana, Piedmont blues, and roots styles. Several of the artists performing in the 2014 Rappahannock Americana Music Festival have played on the Smokehouse stage.Free Under 12
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