Holiday Concert /Square Dance To Feature Variety of “Ramblers”

Fiddler Richard Bowman.
Fiddler Richard Bowman.
Fiddler Richard Bowman.

Whether you love to dance or just prefer to watch, you won’t want to miss the Independence holiday weekend concert at the Blue Ridge Music Center on July 6th. This show, dedicated to mountain dance traditions, will feature two of the best string bands from North Carolina: the Slate Mountain Ramblers and the New Southern Ramblers.

The Slate Mountain Ramblers, featuring fiddler Richard Bowman, have long been a staple both at fiddler’s conventions and dances in the northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia area.  Fueled by Bowman’s energetic fiddling, and backed up by daughter Marcia’s rock-solid, clawhammer banjo and wife Barbara’s driving bass, the Slate Mountain Ramblers provide the perfect elements for a square dance: good rhythm and great old-time tunes. The band formed 30 years ago but for the last 22 years, has centered around the family with additional musical support from guitarist, Ted Ashe. The Slate Mountain Ramblers have also performed in England, Austria, and across the US.

The New Southern Ramblers from Asheville, NC formed in 1982 as the string band that backed up late, Tennessee fiddler, Ralph Blizzard for 23 years. Gordy Hinners plays banjo, Phil Jamison plays guitar, Meredith MacIntosh plays bass, John Herrmann plays fiddle and they all sing. Hinners and Jamison also toured extensively as Green Grass Cloggers and will show some of their dance moves during this exciting concert. Phil Jamison will teach the 6pm square dance lesson (beginners welcome) then everyone can try their new dance moves out during the 7pm show. Bring the whole family!

The Holiday Concert and Square Dance starts at 7pm on July 6, 2013, square dance lesson at 6pm (free with concert ticket), gates open at 5:30pm. Tickets: $5 with children 12 and under free. All ticket sales support our daily free programs and non-profit traditional music concert series. Advance tickets are available at the Blue Ridge Music Center, Barrs Fiddle Shop, the Galax Visitor Center, online at or by calling (276) 236-5309 x112.

Concerts are made possible with the support of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and National Park Service. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway only 10 miles from Galax, Virginia and 20 miles from Mount Airy, North Carolina.