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New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters at Carter Fold Dec 9th

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New Ballard's Branchy BogtrottersHiltons, VA -- Saturday, December 9th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present an old time music concert by the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters. The New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters took their group's name from the original Bogtrotters, the famous Galax, Virginia, area band of the 1930s, and because band leader Dennis Hall actually lives on Ballard's Branch. Galax is home to the world-renowned Old Time Fiddler's Convention, and the area has traditionally produced some of the country's finest old time string bands. Carrying on that rich musical tradition, the New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters features Dennis Hall on guitar, Eddie Bond on fiddle, Josh Ellis on banjo, Caroline Noel Beverley on mandolin, and Bonnie Bond on bass. The Bogtrotters have been a group for over sixteen years.

Eddie Bond's four great grandfathers were old time banjo players. He was raised by his grandmother who was a singer and guitar player. His family - on both sides - is packed with musicians who played the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. Eddie began performing at age 3 dancing for quarters. Through the years, he's added guitar, autoharp, fiddle, and banjo to the list of instruments he plays. He grew up in Fries where some of the first old time music had its beginnings at the Washington Cotton Mill from 1923 to 1929. Fries is about six miles from Galax.

Dennis Hall is a grand nephew of Uncle Eck Dunford – the droll voiced fiddler and spokesman for the original Bogtrotters. Their dance band was recorded by Alan Lomax in the 1930's. Lomax left a trove of important recordings by the Bogtrotters and others at the Library of Congress. Uncle Eck was very conscious of his Ulster Irish background and his name. The Bogtrotter heritage is closely tied to that of Eck Dunford. Dennis is noted among old time musicians for his unerring and rock-solid guitar. He is the keeper of a rich score of older, historic music.

Josh Ellis was a Clapton-style rock and roll guitar player when he came to Galax, but all that changed when he picked up a banjo. Like the other Bogtrotters, Josh is very passionate about timing. The banjo and fiddle are the original string band created by Virginia slave musicians in the early colonial period. Keeping with that tradition, Josh works closely with Eddie to adhere to that ancient musical combination.

There are two talented ladies round out the lineup for the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters. Bonnie Bond, Eddie's wife, plays the doghouse bass and does both lead and harmony vocals for the group. Caroline Noel Beverly plays mandolin as well as lending her vocal talent to the band.

The group won the old-time band competition at the Galax Fiddler's Convention on six different occasions. In addition, they have played their music at such regional and national festivals as the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Merlefest, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the University of Chicago Festival. Having performed many times at the Fold, they're a favorite of Carter Fold audiences. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $2, under age 6 free.

This group covers it all – great fiddle and dance tunes, outstanding vocals and harmony, beautiful gospel numbers, waltz tunes, and some of the finest instrumentals you'll ever hear. For more information, check out the Bogtrotters on Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also go to their web site www.newballardsbranchbogtrotters.com/.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. 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, and 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.

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