The remarkable connections between the songs of Appalachia and the British Isles will be apparent when the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum at Ferrum College presents traditional singers Aoife Clancy of Ireland, John Roberts of England, Norman Kennedy of Scotland, and Bobby McMillon from North Carolina at 7:00 PM on June 9 in Sale Auditorium in Schoolfield Hall.
English musician John Roberts has been performing new and classic folk songs of the British Isles since the early 1970s. He has released dozens of albums over the last thirty-plus years, including the popular Nowell Sing We Clear acapella Christmas series and his album of songs born of the sea called Sea Fever.
Aoife Clancy is the daughter of Bobby Clancy, famed Irish multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the Clancy Brothers. Raised in a world of traditional Irish music, she began playing guitar at ten years old and was performing live by the age of fourteen. In 1995, Aoife joined the celebrated Irish-American group, Cherish the Ladies, with whom she recorded a number of albums including their Grammy-winning collaboration with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in 1999. Her recent solo album, Silvery Moon, combines traditional folk with contemporary sensibilities.
Scottish singer, storyteller and NEA National Heritage Fellow Norman Kennedy grew up learning songs and stories from his family in Aberdeen, Scotland. A performer at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, Norman shared his tremendous talent as a Scottish balladeer with the Americas, where he worked as a traditional weaver at Colonial Williamsburg before founding the Marshfield School of Weaving in Marshfield, Vermont in 1976. Kennedy continues to perform and teach the arts he has made a lifelong study of.
North Carolina Folk Heritage Award Recipient Robert Lynn “Bobby” McMillon learned primitive hymns, stories and ballads from his father’s family in Cocke County, Tennessee as a young man. He has performed throughout the region as a singer and storyteller and has appeared at events such as the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife, the A. P. Carter Memorial Festival, national storytelling conferences, and the Festival for the Eno.
This extraordinary international line-up and their focus on the vitally important ballad tradition is a perfect fit with the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming 2017 theme, The Year We Sang.
Tickets to this concert are available online at www.mtnsofmusic.com and locally at the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum at Ferrum College (540) 365-4412.
Attendees to this concert can also enjoy several nearby cultural events such as “Virginia’s Forgotten Canneries,” a one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Blue Ridge Institute or “Between the Rows of Corn,” an exhibit of Native American artifacts unearthed by generations of farmers in Floyd County on display at the Old Church Gallery in Floyd.
The Mountains of Music Homecoming is an extraordinary nine-day music and cultural showcase event that stretches across the 333 miles of the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. With 26 Crooked Road concerts and 130 cultural events, the Mountains of Music Homecoming invites travelers to follow the music through the heart of the scenic, culturally rich Crooked Road region.
The Crooked Road’s 76-page Official Guide to the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming is free and available at all Virginia Welcome Centers, at Southwest Virginia public library branches, and at Southwest Virginia branches of New Peoples Bank, the Bank of Marion, and Union Bank & Trust.
The Crooked Road thanks Blue Ridge Beverage, Davenport & Company, WDBJ-7, Virginia Living, Chantilly Farm, WVTF, Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development, and Virginia Tourism for making the 2017 Homecoming possible.
For tickets, schedules and more information about all Mountains of Music Homecoming concerts and cultural events, visit www.mtnsofmusic.com.
For hi-res photos and more information, click here.