Jeff Little Trio at Carter Family Fold Oct. 28

Jeff Little

Saturday, October 28th 2017, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by an old time band – the Jeff Little Trio. Concert admission is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Hotshot rockabilly pianist Jeff Little comes from Boone, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge, where he grew up surrounded by music.  Jeff began to play piano at age five.  His family owned a music store, and musicians of all persuasions dropped by to play a few tunes with the kid, which helps account for Jeff’s mastery of a range of styles.

But Jeff’s critical influence was Appalachian singer and guitarist Doc Watson, a neighbor and close family friend.  His uncompromising approach helped shape Jeff’s approach to music.  Known as a keeper of deep Appalachian traditions, Watson was a rockabilly guitarist when he began visiting Little’s Music Store in Boone to play a few tunes with his young friend.  Today Jeff Little is still conversant with a range of music, but finds his greatest joy in performing two styles that were hot when he was growing   up in the music store – rockabilly and traditional Appalachian music. An astounding performer in the rockabilly genre, he obviously owes some inspiration to Jerry Lee Lewis.  “Oh sure, you had to know some Jerry Lee when I was coming up.  His tunes would buy you a burger; you didn’t have to live on peanuts.  But even back then I never did get to thinking I was Jerry Lee.  I kept a lot of me in my music.”

Jeff Little’s approach to the music of his native Blue Ridge is based upon the traditional dance of the area and a regional piano style.  Made famous by Al Hopkins of The Bucklebusters on 1920s Brunswik recordings, the piano style was also performed by Woodie Blevins and others.  Hopkins lived at Gap Creek, between the ancestral homes of Doc’s and Jeff’s families.  But there is also an echo of more contemporary mountain tradition in Jeff’s performance.  His lead solos, much influenced by the flat-pick guitar tradition, are breathtaking in their speed, precision and clarity.  They tell that he learned much from Doc Watson.

National Council for the Traditional Arts: “With few exceptions, the piano does not play a prominent part in Americana or traditional music, and is rarely the lead instrument.  But Jeff Little is an exception – and a remarkable one.  His distinctive style, much influenced by the flatpicked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision, and clarity.”

National Public Radio:  “Jeff Little is a remarkable musician, steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet also a virtuosic and eclectic innovator.”

The Boston Globe:  “Jeff Little tore the place apart with his wondrously quick and articulate piano style.  He is tricky and playful, yet always intelligent and richly melodic.”

National Public Radio, PBS, National Council for the Traditional Arts, American Piano Masters Series, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the American Folk Festival are just a few of the venues that have featured Jeff’s music.  He has also performed internationally – including concerts in Sri Lanka, Oman, Tanzania, and France.

Performing with Jeff will be Steve Lewis on guitar and Josh Scott on upright bass.  Steve (from Todd, NC) is one of the most respected acoustic musicians in the country.  Well-known for his flat picking on guitar and his mastery of the five string banjo, Steve has won many championships for his guitar and banjo playing.  Some of the prestigious events include the Walnut Valley Nationals, Merelefest, the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Renofest, and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition.  Steve is also a two-time national champion on the banjo as well.  Josh Scott rounds out the trio.  From Fleetwood, NC, Josh is considered to be one of the most talented upright bass players.  He has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed artists of acoustic and Americana music.

For a concert unlike any other you’ll ever experience, don’t miss the Jeff Little Trio at the Carter Family Fold.  Jeff has performed at the Fold many times, and he just gets better every time.  Bring along your family and friends and your dancing shoes and join us for an evening of down-home, fun, family entertainment.  For more information, go to http://jefflittle.net.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music.  The center is a family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility.  For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org.  Previous shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.  Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Tourism Corporation.  For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054.  The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.  To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.  If we don’t answer you right away, we’ll get back to you in 24 hours.