Lonesome Will Mullins grew up near Clintwood, Virginia, in a house that was filled with family musicians and plenty of bluegrass, old time, and country music. He learned to play the banjo and guitar as a teenager, and before long he was playing in several bands while honing his trade by studying the work of bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, and Dr. Ralph Stanley. To say he learned well would be an understatement. Saturday, September 15th, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Lonesome Will Mullins and the Virginia Playboys. Admission to the concert is $8 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.
Today, Lonesome Will is one of the most accomplished singers and musicians around. Also influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis, he mixes traditional bluegrass music with a breathtakingly energetic stage show. Backed by the Virginia Playboys, the show will be jam-packed with hard driving bluegrass, old time clawhammer banjo, and gospel music. When Lonesome Will takes the stage, audiences are swept away by his range, talent, and showmanship.
The Virginia Playboys will be backing Lonesome Will. The Burrows brothers – Adam and Jake – and Junior Blankenship are the Virginia Playboys. From the mountains of North Carolina, Jake and Adam Burrows have a history of bluegrass in their family. The McPherson Brothers Band, who played on the Grand Ole Opry and shows with the great Jim and Jesse McReynolds in the ‘60s are their uncles. Their love of bluegrass began there, and they’ve learned well.
Jake and Adam can play pretty much any instrument they pick up. Junior Blankenship was raised where bluegrass music was a corner stone of many mountain families. His father, Hillard, drove the bus for Dr. Ralph Stanley. Junior and his father formed a band called the Rocky Mountain Boys, but Junior left the group after Keith Whitley’s death to join the Clinch Mountain Boys playing lead guitar. He played with Ralph until 1989. Since that time, Junior has played with Ralph II, Ernie Thacker and Route 23, and Sammy Adkins and the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys. His cross picking style put him in the recording studio with the likes of George Jones, Vince Gill, Emmy Lou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Dwight Yoakam, and Bill Monroe.
For some of the best bluegrass, old time, and gospel music you’ll ever hear, don’t miss Lonesome Will Mullins and the Virginia Playboys at the Carter Family Fold. Over the past several years, Will has become a favorite of Fold audiences. He captivates his fans, and he holds his audiences spellbound. Performing officially since 2006, Will has released four CDs. Bring along your dancing shoes, and be prepared for an evening of fun-filled entertainment!
Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.
Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and 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.