The Blue Parkway Foundation announced that the Blue Ridge Music Center will once again be welcoming visitors four days a week, and a five-week concert season is set to begin on Aug. 1. National Park Service staff will be on hand to welcome visitors and the America’s National Parks Bookstore will be serving visitors in the Luthier Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. Local musicians will provide free music performances on the breezeway from noon to 4 p.m.
The breezeway, Luthier Shop, and other areas have been set up to ensure social distancing. It is highly recommended that visitors wear masks, especially when in the gift shop and when in proximity to other patrons. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is extremely important. We work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
High Fidelity and New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters
The first concert of the summer season harkens back to the golden age of bluegrass when High Fidelity takes the amphitheater stage at 7 p.m., Saturday, August 1, Opening the show is the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters bringing their old-time fiddle tunes and songs. Tickets are $15, and children 12 and younger are admitted free. The concert will be held in the outdoor amphitheater at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
High Fidelity draws much of its inspiration from bands like Don Reno & Red Smiley, The Stanley Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and other regional artists from the same era. Many have described them as the new Johnson Mountain Boys, interpreting classic era bluegrass through the fresh, young perspective of today’s generation.
High Fidelity formed in early 2014, and the same year the group took first place in the International Band Championship at the 40th Annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America Awards. They have been nominated for 2020 New Artist of the Year Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association. The band is comprised of five stellar musicians and singers: Jeremy Stephens (guitar, banjo, lead vocals), Corrina Rose Logston (fiddle, mandolin, harmony vocals, Kurt Stephenson (banjo and harmony vocals), Vickie Vaughn (bass), and Daniel Amick (mandolin). Band members have played with a host of nationally acclaimed groups including The Chuck Wagon Gang, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, David Peterson & 1946, Patty Loveless, Kody Norris & the Watauga Mountain Boys, and Kenny & Amanda Smith. The band has recently released their second album, Banjo Player’s Blues, on Rebel Records.
Formed in 1986, the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters of Galax took their name in part from the original Bogtrotters group of the 1930s. The New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters play in the traditional Appalachian string-band style, often performing for square dances around the region. Band members include National Heritage Award winner Eddie Bond on fiddle, Dennis Hall on guitar, Josh Ellis on clawhammer banjo, Bonnie Bond on bass, and Caroline Noel Beverley on mandolin.
This concert is part of the Blue Ridge Music Center’s series A Place in the Band: Women in Bluegrass and American Roots Music, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. This project was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Foundation.
Tickets are available at the door the night of the show. Credit cards are encouraged. Tickets that were purchased in advance for any of the cancelled 2020 Blue Ridge Music Center concerts will also be accepted for admission.
The Music Center is taking several precautions during concerts to make the experience as safe as possible for visitors. Those who have a fever, cough, aches and pains, loss of smell or taste, difficulty breathing, or if you are sneezing and coughing, are asked to please stay at home.
Concert attendees must follow these guidelines:
Maintain six feet of distance between groups throughout the evening, including when standing in line and selecting seating locations in the amphitheater.
When in high traffic areas (such as the bridge between the concert area and restrooms), concertgoers must wear a mask to protect others.
A hand sanitizing station will be set up near the admission gate Added precautions may slow entry to the amphitheater, so arriving early is encouraged.
Tickets are $15, available at the door. For more information, visit BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or call (866) 308-2773, ext. 212. Parking is free.
Local musicians have returned for Midday Mountain Music sessions, from noon to 4 p.m. on the breezeway. Performances will be held:
Thursday, with Willard Gayheart and Scott Freeman;
1st Friday: Bill and Maggie Anderson
2nd Friday: Miss Ellie and the Buck Mountaineers
3rd Friday: Bill and Maggie Anderson
4th Friday: Miss Ellie and the Buck Mountaineers
1st Saturday: Mountain Breeze Band
2nd Saturday: Jim Lloyd
3rd Saturday: Sugarloaf Mountain Band
4th Saturday: Jim Lloyd
Fisher Peak Timber Rattlers
The breezeway, Luthier Shop, and other areas have been set up to ensure social distancing. It is highly recommended that visitors wear masks, especially when in the gift shop and in proximity to others. The health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is extremely important. The Music Center works closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean.