Nathan Stanley is the oldest grandson of Ralph Stanley. He picked up the spoons at six years old, playing on stage with the Clinch Mountain Boys, and became a crowd favorite. He has spent several years playing mandolin for the group. More recently, Nathan has begun to sing lead and play rhythm guitar. He has released four CDs, two of which are gospel. Saturday, July 7th, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Nathan Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Special guest will be Dr. Ralph Stanley. Admission to the concert is $15 for adults, age 11 and under $8, and under 6 free.
Ralph Stanley really needs no introduction. He was born in Dickenson County, Virginia, where he still resides when he’s not on the road. After nearly 60 years in the music business, he’s still the best banjo picker and tenor singer in bluegrass today. As a recording artist, he’s performed on more than 170 albums, tapes, and CDs. He’s written many songs himself and with his brother, the late Carter Stanley. Ralph has played throughout the United States and in many foreign countries – traveling numerous times to Japan. He has received numerous honors as a bluegrass musician, including membership in the Grand Ole Opry. In addition, he’s a Shriner, a member of the Primitive Baptist Universalist Church, and former member of the Dickenson County School Board. Active in his local community, he’s married to Jimmi Stanley. They have two daughters, Lisa and Tonya; and one son, Ralph II.
Clinch Mountain Boy Dewey Brown is the most recent addition to the group, joining the band in 2005. From Graham, North Carolina, Dewey is an accomplished fiddler who began his career with the band Blue Ridge while still in high school. He’s performed with Honi Denton, Charlie Waller & the Country Gentlemen, and IIIrd Time Out. Dewey started playing fiddle at age nine, and he placed first in the Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention at age 17. He sings harmony with the group.
Jimmy Cameron from Sanford, North Carolina, is no stranger to the bluegrass music scene and brings many years of experience to the job of bass player for the Stanley band. He has played mandolin with the Bluegrass Reunion and bass for Continental Divide. An accomplished driver, he gets the band to their shows safely and on time.
Steve Sparkman, from Harlan, Kentucky, grew up surrounded by old time music. His father played claw hammer style banjo. Steve began playing at age eleven. Originally hired to fill in when Ralph Stanley suffered a broken leg, Ralph found he simply couldn’t let him go when he recovered. He’s been a Clinch Mountain Boy for several years now. Steve has received several IBMA awards and a Grammy.
James Shelton joined the Clinch Mountain Boys in March, 1994, as a lead guitarist. From Scott County, James has served as the group’s road manager and booking agent. He has recorded several solo projects and is responsible for several publications and instructional videos on guitar. An avid collector, James owns several vintage guitars.
The Stanley and Carter families have defined the music of our region for over three generations. Dr. Stanley and John Carter Cash have collaborated on several recording projects, and he has issued a Carter Family tribute CD. The Fold is honored and humbled to present this special concert. You won’t want to miss it! Go to www.drralphstanley.com for additional information.
Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc., is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at www.carterfoldshow.com. Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. Visit them at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on Saturday’s concert, contact the Mountain Music Museum at 276-645-0035. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054.