The Blue Ridge Music Center is presenting the Lonesome River Band, with Ashlee Watkins & Andrew Small, for an evening of bluegrass and old-time music at 7 p.m. on May 27, in the outdoor amphitheater.
This is the first show of the center’s Roots of American Music 2023 concert series, presented weekly from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
After four decades together, the Lonesome River Band remains one of the most respected names in bluegrass music. The group is led by Sammy Shelor, five-time International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year and winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
With two stellar lead vocalists, Jesse Smathers (guitar) and Adam Miller (mandolin), and the impressive talents of Mike Hartgrove (fiddle) and Kameron Keller (bass), the band is constantly breaking new ground in acoustic music.
Opening the show is the duo Ashlee Watkins & Andrew Small. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, the duo performs music in a variety of styles including bluegrass, country, old time, folk and Americana.
Featuring an exquisite blend of vocal harmony, their versatile sound includes a range of acoustic instrumentation from fiddle and banjo tunes to mandolin and guitar numbers. As songwriters, Ashlee Watkins & Andrew Small were featured in the 2022 IBMA Songwriter Showcase and won first prize in the 29th annual MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The duo has been featured on the PBS television show “Song of The Mountains,” played on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest, and performed for the inauguration of the 74th Governor of Virginia.
This concert is sponsored by The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail and Classic Country 98.1 FM WBRF.
The Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of Galax and 30 minutes from Sparta and Mount Airy, N.C.
Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 day of show. Children age 12 and younger are admitted free of charge. Advance tickets are available online at BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org. Tickets can be purchased on the evening of the show at the admission gates.
Parking opens at 5:15 p.m. and is free. Admission to the amphitheater begins at 5:45 p.m.
The Galax Smokehouse will offer barbecue, home-style sides and beverages for purchase during the concert.
Upcoming concerts this season include:
June 3: Scythian + Cabin Creek Boys
June 17: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper + Crooked Road Ramblers
June 24: Amythyst Kiah + Foreign Landers
July 8: Jeff Little Trio + DaShawn & Wendy Hickman with Sacred Steel
July 15: Rissi Palmer + The Martha Bassett Band
Aug. 5: Kody Norris Show + Slate Mountain Ramblers
Aug. 19: Doc at 100: A Doc Watson Tribute Concert
Aug. 26: Larry & Joe + Shay Martin Lovette
Sept. 2: An Evening with Steep Canyon Rangers