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McLain Family Band Returns to Carter Family Fold March 10th

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Raymond McLainThe McLain Family Band began performing at Carter Music Center when Janette Carter first began presenting concerts in the old A.P. Carter Grocery in 1974. Raymond McLain, Sr. formed the family band in the late 1960s when his five children were very young. Mr. McLain was a Carter Family Memorial Music Center board member from the day the center was created. His son Raymond now serves on the Music Center's board of directors in addition to serving as the Artistic Director at the Fold. Raymond is Director of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University. He also performs, produces, and records. Saturday, March 10th, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by Raymond McLain and Mike Stevens. Backing them up will be some of the finest musicians from the region. Admission to the concert is $7 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Raymond's 40 plus years of entertaining have taken him to performances in all 50 states and 62 foreign countries, including a tour as a musical ambassador of the U.S. State Department. For 21 years with his family band, Raymond was featured internationally at thousands of festivals and concerts and also as a soloist in appearances with over 230 orchestras. Raymond was with Jim & Jesse's Virginia Boys for ten years. He currently performs with Canadian harmonica whiz, Mike Stevens, and with his family whenever possible. Through the years, the McLains have produced dozens of CDs and records.

Mike Stevens' talent is unorthodox. As an innovative, groundbreaking performer, educator, and author Mike continues to expand the paradigms of harmonica, balancing tradition with cutting edge innovation. He has toured the world with legendary stars of bluegrass Jim & Jesse. Roy Acuff is one of his biggest fans, often making special trips to the Opry just to watch Mike play. He has logged more than 300 performances on the world famous Grand Ole Opry stage and is a true pioneer of bluegrass harmonica – creating a much copied style of playing.

When Mike performs, the harmonica becomes a musical paintbrush with no limits. He literally breathes in the world and breathes out music. Mike hails from Canada, and he won the "Entertainer of the Year" at the Central Canadian bluegrass awards for five consecutive years before he was retired in this category. To his credit he adds many other accolades, including "Best Selling Album of the Year" for his recording on the Pinecastle label - Blowin' Up a Storm; "Album of the Year" for his release Harmonica; and he was made a "Kentucky Colonel" for his accomplishments in bluegrass music.

Together, Stevens and McLain play a new and unique combination of musical styles reflecting their background in bluegrass, blues, and old time country music. When you combine Raymond's brilliant fiddling and banjo picking with Mike's breathtaking harmonica jamming, you can also expect to hear sounds you never thought existed--and beautiful sounds at that! Backing them up will be some of the region's finest musicians.

There'll be something for everyone. Come on out to the Carter Family Fold to see Mike Stevens and Raymond McLain. They haven't performed together at the Fold since 2006, so this show will be really special. Be ready to dance and have some good, clean family fun. For more information on Raymond McLain, go to www.mclains.com and for more information on Mike Stevens, go to www.mikestevensmusic.com

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 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. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at 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.

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