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A Show for Joe: Band of Ruhks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley and More

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Band Of RuhksGalax, VA -- The Blue Ridge Music Center invites music lovers to enjoy a day of bluegrass, blues, and gospel on Friday, September 1, in honor of the late Joe Wilson, a champion of traditional music from the mountains and around the globe. The Band of Ruhks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Linda Lay & Springfield Exit, Whitetop Mountain Band, and special guests Sherman Holmes and The Ingramettes will take the stage to celebrate the life and legacy Wilson.

From 2 to 3:30 p.m., the public is invited to attend a workshop led by Fred Bartenstein, editor of Roots Music in America: Collected Writings of Joe Wilson and Lucky Joe's Namesake: The Extraordinary Life and Observations of Joe Wilson. The session will feature performances by musical guests at the indoor theater. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first serve basis.

The concert at the venue's outdoor amphitheater kicks off at 4 p.m., bringing together revered talents, including bluegrass supergroup, Band of Rhuks, born out of the critically acclaimed Lonesome River Band, and Sherman Holmes, known for his role in The Holmes Brothers, a group lauded for its uniquely Southern fusion of rhythm & blues, gospel, soul, and country. The Ingramettes, founded more than 50 years ago by the late Maggie Ingram, continue to endure as one of Virginia's premier gospel ensembles. All of the performers represent musical genres championed by Wilson for their authenticity and connections to their communities.

The music of Linda Lay & Springfield Exit and The Whitetop Mountain Band is representative of the connections to the family- and placed-based musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The bluegrass and string band styles of music carried forward by these groups have been woven into the cultural fabric and traditions of the Appalachia where families and communities have passed on this uniquely authentic strand of American music for many generations.

In 2015, the music community lost visionary Joe Wilson, who along with others helped create the Blue Ridge Music Center. From his mentoring of musicians to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Wilson's passion for the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable. He produced festivals, recordings, national and international tours, and helped create the Roots of American Music exhibit housed at the Music Center. A native of Tennessee, Wilson was instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails. He was also the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Many musicians can attest to Wilson's guidance in their musical careers.

"Joe had an encyclopedic knowledge of music traditions and unwavering respect for the traditional musicians (and other traditional artists) of Southwest Virginia and across the nation," wrote Bill Kornrich in a remembrance for Wilson. "His life's work was invested in presenting and supporting these artists and the cultures which nourished them."

The second annual Show for Joe is made possible in part by a gift from musicians Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, and The Whites, all of whom were befriended by Joe Wilson, who positively impacted their careers. The memorial showcase is presented in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program and is sponsored by 98.1 WBRF Classic Country and Virginia is for Lovers.

A Show for Joe: The Joe Wilson Memorial Music Festival with Band of Ruhks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Linda Lay & Springfield Exit, The Whitetop Mountain Band and special guest Sherman Holmes & The Ingramettes
When: Friday, September 1, work shop 2-3:30 p.m., concert 4-9:30 p.m.
Where: Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Food: Concert-goers can purchase barbecue, down-home sides, and desserts from The Galax Smokehouse, and pizza, sandwiches, and salads from Creek Bottom Brewing during the show.
Tickets: $25. BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or (866) 308-2773, ext. 212

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