On Sunday, May 14, Mountain Stage will celebrate its 34th season of live performance radio at The Clay Center in Charleston, West Virginia, with the unofficial "First Family of the Banjo" Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn. The duo are widely credited with reinventing the sound and image of the banjo — Fleck through the three-finger Scruggs style and Washburn via the traditional clawhammer approach. A fifteen-time Grammy winner, Béla has devoted time away from his genre-busting ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones to a staggeringly broad array of musical experiments, from writing a concerto for the Nashville Symphony to exploring the banjo’s African roots to jazz duos with Chick Corea, while Washburn has drawn critical acclaim for her solo albums, done fascinating work in folk musical diplomacy in China, presented an original theatrical production, contributed to singular side groups Uncle Earl and The Wu-Force and become quite a live draw in her own right.
The show will also feature the return of The Del McCoury Band. One of the most respected and beloved performers in bluegrass music, Del McCoury began working as a musician in the '60s, touring and playing as a singer and guitarist with various groups, including Bill Monroe's famous Bluegrass Boys. He made his first trip to Mountain Stage in 1989, backing legendary mandolin player David Grisman. It was also around this time that he began spending more time with his own band, which included his young sons Ronnie on mandolin and Robbie on banjo. The band's popularity has continued to rise over the years, and they remain one of the few groups capable of headlining both traditional bluegrass festivals and jam band shows with equal success and adoration.
More acts for this show will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets are already available for Clay Center subscribers. Single tickets go on sale for the general public online and at the Clay Center Box Office on Friday, January 6, and are $25 in advance and $40 day of show. All tickets are assigned seating for this May 14 show, with doors opening at 6:30pm and the show promptly starting at 7pm.
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