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Arts & Entertainment Mountain Heritage Center jam series to begin Nov. 3

Mike Bingham plays the “stump bass” with Steve Waldroop and the Heartland Band. The group gets together with members whose numbers vary from 5 to 15. “We never know who’s going to show up,” says Waldroop. The group plays every Saturday night at the Carson Community Building beginning at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Photo by Betsey Gooderwith concert by Blue Eyed Girl

The First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Jam Series for 2011-12 will get under way at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center on Thursday, Nov. 3, with a concert by the band Blue Eyed Girl.

The group’s 7 p.m. performance of oldtime music will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam session in which local musicians are invited to participate.

The three women from Asheville who comprise Blue Eyed Girl were raised in families firmly rooted in old-time music. Banjo player Annie Fain Liden grew up in Cherokee County near the John C. Campbell Folk School, and she now teaches banjo and creates handmade books. Mandolin player and guitarist Ellie Grace teaches percussive dance in Asheville and also performs with the Dirk Powell Band, and Black Mountain native Pearl Mueller, who has been playing fiddle since she was a small child, also is a member of the contra dance band Mock Turtle Soup. The three women weave traditional dance into their shows when they take the stage as Blue Eyed Girl.

The concerts and jam sessions will continue at the Mountain Heritage Center through the winter, with programs from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Other performers scheduled to present concerts are Whimzik, Ric Ledford and the Reems Creek Incident, and the New Southern Ramblers.

The events are free and open to everyone. Pickers and singers of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the jam sessions, and the events also are open to those who just want to listen.

The Mountain Heritage Center is located on the ground floor of WCU’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building. For more information, call the museum at (828)227-7129.


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