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Blue Ridge Music Center Hosts Mountain Music Dance Party

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 Slate Mountain RamblersGalax, VA -- The Blue Ridge Music Center will kick off the Fourth of July holiday weekend with a Mountain Music Dance Party featuring two of the region's most popular old-time string bands, the Slate Mountain Ramblers and The Zephyr Lightning Bolts on July 1. The performance is part of the Roots of American Music summer concert series presented at the Music Center's beautiful, outdoor amphitheater, located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This evening features a free flatfoot dance workshop led by Marianne Kovatch of The Chestnut School of the Arts prior to the show. The workshop will be held from 6:15 - 6:45 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. A concert ticket must be purchased to attend the workshop.

The Slate Mountain Ramblers have been a mainstay of the dance and festival scene in central and Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia for more than 24 years. The Ramblers are a premier contemporary family-based string band, with many of their members earning honors at fiddler's conventions. Led by fiddler Richard Bowman from Ararat, Virginia, the group is representative of the multigenerational family music traditions of the area and also feature Barbara Bowmen on bass, daughter Marsha Todd on banjo, and Randy Hiatt on guitar.

String band The Zephyr Lightning Bolts are a favorite of the old-time dancers from the region. The band represents and carries on the old-time and American musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountain region and frequently performers at festivals, competitions, and dances in Western North Carolina. The group formed in the early 1980s with husband and wife Steve and Diane Bowen. Their son, Jacob, joined the band as a fiddler in the 1990s to complete the core of the current lineup, which also includes well-known guitar player Chester McMillian.

This show is sponsored by The Old-Time Herald.

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