On June 4th blues masters will converge at the Blue Ridge Music Center located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway to give workshops and collaborate in a special concert. Performers include: gospel-blues songster Nat Reese, harmonica wizard Phil Wiggins and the “mistress of the country-blues” Emily Spencer accompanied by the Whitetop Mountain Band.
Nat Reese, an 87-year-old “coal country bluesman,” learned his craft from itinerant musicians in the coal camps and later while singing with gospel groups. In 2009, Reese was inducted into the West Virginia Hall of Fame. Phil Wiggins is arguably America’s foremost blues harmonica virtuoso. While rooted in the melodic Piedmont or “Tidewater” blues of the Chesapeake region, his mastery of the instrument now transcends stylistic boundaries. Emily Spencer is known for her powerful voice, soaring harmonies, authentic sound and large repertoire of songs from the Whitetop region of Southwest Virginia and beyond.
There will be a Pre-concert showcase: “Talking About the Blues” from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Music Center’s theater. A free harmonica workshop with Phil Wiggins will be held at 3 p.m. as well. (Reservations required for both events.) The Main Concert will take place at 7 p.m. Cost of admission is $10.
For more information go to: www.blueridgemusiccenter.org or call the Blue Ridge Music Center at (276) 236-5309.