The Blue Ridge Music Center’s first concert of the summer season harkens back to the hard driving bluegrass style of the Flatt and Scruggs era when the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys take the stage amphitheater stage on Saturday evening, May 25, 7 p.m. Opening the show are Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno, singing and playing old-time tunes and original songs. The concert will be held in the outdoor amphitheater at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Virginia.
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are a high energy, fast-paced traditional bluegrass band from the Great Smoky Mountains. Named the IBMA’s 2018 Emerging Artist of the Year, this old-school bluegrass band emulates music from a time before people saw bluegrass and country as separate genres. With a hard-driving style, they take joy in playing bluegrass “the old time way.” The group’s debut album Back To The Mountains, includes original songs and old numbers that honor the group’s mentors and bluegrass heroes. “We love to dig up old songs that haven’t been heard in years and bring them back into the spotlight,” explains C.J. Lewandowski, the group’s founder and mandolin player. “When we take these songs and bring them to a larger audience, our heroes and their music will not be forgotten.”
Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno take lesser-known old songs and present them next to timeless originals. Their music springs from a grassroots connection to the traditional music community in which they were raised. Leva’s voice is the sound of living tradition. Raised by parents who paid visits to old-time legends like Tommy Jarrell and Doug Wallin, she grew up steeped in the Appalachian and country music of her Lexington, Virginia home. Calcagno, from Washington state, also spent his formative years immersed in traditional music playing with The Onlies.
Tickets are $15; parking is free.
This concert is the season kickoff for the Blue Ridge Music Center’s Roots of American Music summer concert series. The series is supported in part by a Music Festival Sponsorship Program grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), promoting the idea that Virginia is for Music Lovers. This funding was awarded to the Blue Ridge Music Center to help the growth of the music series and to increase visitation to local communities, while also building Virginia’s reputation as a music destination.
This year, VTC awarded $216,000 to 34 music festivals and concert series across the Commonwealth featuring musical genres ranging from jazz to bluegrass, classical to soul and country. The music festivals that received awards reported 636,000 in attendance and an estimated $71 million in economic impact to communities throughout Virginia in 2018.
“Music is an important driver for tourism in Virginia, as well as a vital part of our culture and heritage,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Music festivals across the Commonwealth help to amplify vibrant communities and premier destinations that attract travelers from all over the world. We are pleased to support these festivals as they help to show travelers why Virginia is for Music Lovers.”
For more information, visit BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or call (866) 308-2773, ext. 212.