HoustonFest snags Skaggs

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Galax music festival signs Grammy winner as headliner

By Staff Reports


HoustonFest has signed 14-time Grammy award-winner Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder to perform at the music festival, to be held May 4-5 in Galax’s Felts Park.
Skaggs will be one of 32 bluegrass and old-time performers on three stages, including co-headliners Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Sierra Hull & Highway 111, Blue Highway and John Berry.
This is the second annual HoustonFest event, created to honor the spirit and legacy of late banjo prodigy Houston Caldwell of Galax, who died in 2010. It was recognized by the Blue Ridge Travel Association of Virginia as the “Best New Event of the Year” for 2011.
The event’s mission is to “transform lives through the power of music and community service,” to help youth pursue their musical dreams and preserve the area’s music heritage and to support the Galax Volunteer Fire Department.
Over the course of his 40-year career, Skaggs has won 14 Grammy awards, eight Country Music Association awards, eight Academy of Country Music awards, 11 International Bluegrass Music Association awards, two Dove gospel music awards and countless others.
He has 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated albums, all from his own Skaggs Family Records label.
In 1982, he was made the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry at the time.
He made his television debut at the age of 7, performing with bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on their popular syndicated television show and earning his first paycheck ever for a musical performance.
At 15, Skaggs became a member of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley’s backing band, The Clinch Mountain Boys.
He and his ace backing band, Kentucky Thunder, have won eight Instrumental Group of the Year awards from the IBMA. He has had 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Country charts and 12 Top 20 Country albums.
In stores on July 19, Ricky Skaggs’ newest album “Country Hits Bluegrass Style,” is a mix of his number-one hits and fan favorites mixed with his country and bluegrass roots. He is sharing this music with fans around the country on his current “Treasure Chest” tour.
Other performers scheduled for HoustonFest 2012 include Jeff Little Trio, Wolfe Brothers, Snyder Family Band, Loose Strings, Freeman & Williams, East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band, Whitetop Mountain Band, Mountain Park Oldtime Band, Zephyr Lightning Bolts, Crooked Road Ramblers, The Church Sisters, Still-House, Marshall Brothers & Highroad, Galax Junior Appalachian Musicians program students, Houston Drive, Wayne Henderson & Friends, Johnny and the Jam Busters, Adam Larkey Band, Albert Hash Memorial Band, Adam McPeak & Mountain Thunder, Old Grass, Smith Family Bluegrass, Houston’s Bluegrass Kids, Fisher Peak Timber Rattlers, Stacy Grubb Band, Crossroad and VW Boys.
Special events and activities at HoustonFest 2012 will include:
• A live auction on the main stage, featuring acoustic string instruments crafted by master luthiers of the Appalachian region, including Wayne Henderson, Jimmy Edmonds and Gerald Anderson.
• Camp Houston, a unique area dedicated to youth music, workshops, jam sessions and other activities focusing on continuing the musical tradition of the region.
• Jam sessions in the park. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in on jams.
• Instrument appraisals by recognized masters in the field of music.
• Silent auction featuring a variety of musical and non-musical items.
• Antique firefighting equipment display, honoring the 100th anniversary of the Galax Volunteer Fire Department.
• Limited camp sites, available by reservation at (276) 236-9908.
• Showcases featuring Jon Lohman, Virginia State Folklorist and VFH Folklife Program Director, along with master musicians in bluegrass and old-time music.
• Military and law enforcement displays and exhibitions
• Arts and crafts of the Appalachian region, featuring members of the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

For more information, visit HoustonFestGalax.com. Money-saving advance tickets can be purchased at the website or by phone at (276) 236-9908; at all Grayson National Bank locations; and in downtown Galax at Leaf & String, Roy’s Diamond Center, Barr’s Fiddle Shop or the Galax Visitor’s Center.