BOONE — Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music welcomes everyone to come and celebrate the spirit of the holidays for its final concert of the year, “An Appalachian Christmas.”
This annual free performance has become a favorite tradition for many families in the High Country. The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14, at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Boone.
As Joe Shannon once said, “As MHM closes the door on its current season, in the process, it opens the door for others.”
No admission is charged for this benefit concert, but a love offering will be collected, and 100 percent of the proceeds are given to two community nonprofit organizations known for helping those less fortunate. The benefactors once again are the Hospitality House, which is Watauga County’s homeless shelter, and Santa’s Toy Box, which helps to assure that children in Watauga County get a visit from Santa.
“Each year, Joe would invite musicians who had performed over the years at his MHM concerts, to headline an evening of wonderful holiday music that reflects that special flavor of an Appalachian Christmas,” said Rodney Sutton, director of JSMHM. “Our local musicians are always eager to offer up their talents when it comes to performing for benefits. Moving this concert from the first Saturday of December to a Thursday mid-month has allowed more groups to join us this year. Plus we felt like folks would be more in a holiday mood closer to Christmas day.”
The Appalachian Christmas Concert lineup will feature members of the following groups: The Silver String Dulcimer Band, Strictly Clean and Decent and members of the Mountain Home Music Bluegrass Boys. Matthew Weaver will be joining the concert for the first time. Also appearing will be Mary Greene, plus other special guest, including a possible appearance by the dancing Frosty the Snowman.
The Silver String Dulcimer Band offers up the sweet and gentle sounds of the mountain dulcimer and features Jewel and Bill Magee, Sarah Borders and Tom Pace. All four members of the band serve on the board of JSMHM and they have played at weddings, concerts and benefits in the High Country for many years.
Patrick and Kay Crouch, of Strictly Clean and Decent, have an eclectic repertoire that includes modern folk songs by American, Canadian and Irish songwriters, fiery breakdowns and songs of family and home found in both traditional and contemporary bluegrass settings.
The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys will feature a man who can play anything with strings, two-time studio musician of the year winner, David Johnson. Johnson is also a member of the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame. Joining him will be award-winning guitar and banjo player, Steve Lewis, who played at the first MHM concert 24 years ago. In addition, Johnson’s cousin Eric Ellis will return to round out this trio and give these Christmas songs and carols a bluegrass flavor.
Matthew Weaver is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter and six-time winner of Pianist-Instrumentalist of the Year for the North Carolina Folk Festival (2011-2017). Matthew plays 19 different instruments and has appeared on stages from The Grand Ole Opry, Dollywood, bluegrass and mountain music festivals and numerous churches.
Mary Greene is well known throughout the region as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. She teaches music in local public schools and has been a mainstay at JSMHM since the very beginning.
Sutton remarked, “What better way to pay tribute to the giving spirit of Joe Shannon, than to shine a light on one of Joe’s favorite concerts each year.
“JSMHM gets to give back to the community with a free show and in turn we offer the opportunity for the those who attend to give to these two charities.”
No tickets are needed for this concert.
Grace Lutheran Church is located at 115 E King Street in Boone. Directions can be found at mountainhomemusic.org.
JSMHM will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season in 2018. Keep an eye out for announcements for a year full of concerts featuring favorite artists, new concert surprises and special outreach projects — all to honor the vision of Joe Shannon.