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We would like to thank all members who renewed their membership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your support of local bluegrass music is very much appreciated. High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association is alive and well, waiting for the COVID regulations to ease up so that we can start having events again. In the meantime, due to the lack of membership benefits and group events over the past year, we have extended all active membership expiration dates by one year. All 2020 members’ new expiration date is June 30, 2021. Any other members who did renew their membership for 2021 will have their membership changed to 2022.

We also regret to inform you that the High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association’s 2021 Pickin’ in the Park event that normally would have been scheduled for May 15, 2021 will not be held. We are sincerely disappointed to have to make this decision, but the health and safety of band members, volunteers, and event guests are our priority. We do plan to have our festival next year on May 14, 2022. Be sure to add to your calendar. If you had paid for reservations at the campground, you can call the park and change them to 2022. Elizabeth Greeson is working on booking the bands for 2022 and once finalized, we will let you know.

Please know that all of you are in our thoughts during this time, and we thank you for continuing to support the community of Bluegrass music. Please be safe!

Kindest regards,
Elizabeth Greeson, President
High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is impacting our state of NC, including our Triad community, we regret to inform you that the High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association’s 2020 Pickin in the Park event that was scheduled for May 16, 2020 has been cancelled. 

We are sincerely disappointed to have to make this decision, but the health and safety of band members, volunteers, and event guests are our priority. 

Please know we will keep you in our thoughts during this time and we thank you for continuing to support the community of Bluegrass music.

The 2020 guidelines for the annual Pickin’ in the Park Youth Scholarships are now available!

Please check out the PITP Youth Scholarships page for more information.

The High Lonesome Strings Bluegrass Association, Inc. – Pickin’ in the Park Youth Scholarships are awarded annually to motivated students who are involved in traditional acoustic bluegrass music, who have demonstrated musical ability or an aptitude for music and who demonstrate a need for financial assistance for study.

Sunday, February 23, 2020 – 2:30 PM

Cabaret Room, Triad Stage
232 South Elm Street
Greensboro, NC

Featuring:

Zoo City Pickers

Zoo City Pickers is based in Asheboro, right in the middle of North Carolina. We are: Barbara Bartos on banjo, Bernie Bartos on upright bass, Terry Lawrence on guitar and mandolin, and Perry Coble on harmonica. We all sing and especially love to blend our voices in harmony.

The past year has been especially busy, with ZCP appearing several times at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, Tunes@Noon in LeBauer Park, the Fall Festival at Ingram’s Strawberry Farm, a special community event at The Table in Asheboro, and capping it all off at Greensboro’s Festival of Lights in December. We were especially tickled to be part of the Pickin’ at the MARC Fiddlers convention in November, where we placed fifth for bluegrass bands, what a fun evening with great people!

Barbara and Bernie formed Zoo City Pickers in 2017, with the current members playing together since the start of 2019. Some background on all of us:

Bernie and Barbara Bartos are originally from Massachusetts and New York, respectively. Yes, they are d—— Yankees but don’t hold that against them! Barbara’s family is from Wilkes County, so they’ve always had one foot in the south. And as the saying goes, they got here as soon as they could. That journey took place about eight years ago when they moved to South Carolina. A couple of years later, Barbara fell in love with the sound of the banjo and started lessons with Jim Fraley of A Deeper Shade of Blue. You all know Jim, what a wonderful picker and proud to call him friend. A couple of years after that, Bernie and Barbara relocated to central North Carolina to be closer to the music they loved, where they could hear it and play it often. During that time, Bernie had mentioned to a friend that he’d always wanted to learn to play bass, and the next thing you know, that same friend gifted him with a bass! She had also been given that bass, never played it, and knew it would finally be in it’s forever home. And so, it was.

Terry Lawrence is originally from Tampa, Florida, and has lived in North Carolina for 33 years. He and his wife, Bev, have lived on their farm for 31 of those years. His early music training was in playing trumpet in the school orchestra, marching and jazz band. Right around the time he was finishing high school, Terry started playing bass guitar, then acoustic guitar. From Terry: “I’ve always had a liking for organically sounding acoustic music which is what took me through folk, pop, country and now Bluegrass. I enjoy playing guitar and occasionally mandolin with our group, The Zoo City Pickers and have been with the band for close to a year. I look forward to this new year and the opportunity to play together.” Terry also plays trumpet in the Randolph Jazz Band, bass and guitar in First Presbyterian Church Worship band “Psalm 150”, and sings tenor at the traditional service. The Randolph Jazz band plays at several local venues and has appeared at the Sunset Theatre in Asheboro.

Robert Perry “PBob” Coble grew up in the Grantville community 8 miles east of Asheboro NC. His entire family was musical: Grandpa Wesley Spivey (maternal grandfather) played fiddle, Dad played guitar and Mom played piano and organ. His older brother Roy and youngest brother Warren both play piano and organ, while his younger brother Sydney plays guitar. Roy and Sydney were music ministers, leading large choirs and writing/publishing many original Southern Gospel songs. PBob took piano lessons for a couple of years while very young, but never developed either skill or interest in the instrument. He began playing rhythm guitar in his teen years, playing off and on throughout life. In 2001 at 53 years of age, his wife Jabet suggested learning to play harmonica. He began teaching himself, with lots of help with music theory from Roy via many long-distance late-night telephone calls. He became a regular member of two large harmonica clubs in the Tidewater VA area. He and Jabet moved from Williamsburg, VA to Grantville NC in 2005 (after living out of NC for 40 years).

PBob (on harmonica), Roy (on keyboard) and cousin Edward Hammer (on upright bass) began playing gospel music in retirement communities and churches as The Up The Creek Boys, so called because PBob and Roy grew up literally “up the creek” (along Richland Creek) on adjoining farms with the Hammer family, . He and Edward also actively support the Good Times Jam on Thursday evenings at the Randolph Arts Guild (RAG); this jam was created over 45 years ago by Edward’s uncle Clinton Brown, the original fiddler in the local bluegrass group The Good Times Band. PBob also hosted a harmonica club at RAG for several years. In 2017, he retired and was asked to join the Zoo City Pickers. He has been playing “pneumatic fiddle” steadily with them ever since. He is currently learning to play dobro. His primary goal is to have lots of fun playing music with and for other people.

 

Sunday, January 26, 2020 2:30 PM

3rd Floor Cabaret Room
Triad Stage
232 S. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC

Featuring:

Second Chance Bluegrass

Founded in 2002 by Jerry Tysinger, Randy Dally and Jon Essick, in 2005, Randy Shumaker (banjo- guitar-dobro 2005-2016) joined the band and brought a strong lead vocal to the group. Randy’s vocals, coupled with Jerry, Randy, and Jon formed a new sound that became recognizable as Second Chance Bluegrass. Tom Hyatt (2007-2010) joined the band in 2007 on banjo. Jon moved to the upright bass, and Randy moved to the guitar. Now the group was ready to record. Randy Shumaker had written a song about his battle with cancer titled “Bend in the Road” and it became the title track to the first project. The group now had a ministry going and sang in 67 churches and venues that year alone. Tom Hyatt moved to Kentucky, and after a few months, Greg Pettigrew (2010-2014) from Monroe, NC took over the banjo as the group’s ministry continued to grow. After Greg had to leave the road, Terry Martin (2014-2014) played banjo for a little while until his health wouldn’t allow him to continue. Blake Lanning, a 17-year-old from Reedy Creek, NC stepped in to take the banjo role, and still holds it today.

During 2014, the group recorded “It’s About Time”, which included the banjo work of Greg, Terry, and Blake. Back in 2007, Randy Shumaker had been diagnosed with cancer and was given 6 months to live. Randy ended up living for 9 more years before a blood disease finally overtook him in 2016. Randy was an inspiration to Second Chance as well as many people with his songs and testimony. Although this was a difficult time for the band, they remembered his last request was for the group to continue sharing the gospel and “keep on singing”. In 2019, the band released the long-awaited self-titled album “Second Chance Bluegrass”. They continue their mission together to share both their love for Bluegrass and their love for Jesus everywhere with everyone for whom they have the opportunity to perform.

Jon Essick is no stranger to bluegrass. At a young age, while living in Welcome, NC, Jon fell in love with singing. It didn’t take long for him to learn to clog. Even in elementary school, Jon would compete at fiddler’s conventions showing the world his love and talent for bluegrass. Jon joined The Welcomaires as a tenor in 1991, and it was there that he fell in love with harmony. As a founding member of Second Chance, Jon began by playing the banjo, but in 2007 he moved to the bass. Now Jon continues to show the world his love for bluegrass while remembering talents such as Russell Moore and Doyle Lawson for their influence on his musical style.

Jerry Tysinger is one of the founding members of Second Chance, but his bluegrass story began long before Second Chance was a thought. Inspired at an early age by Mike Riddle and the Primitive Quartet, Jerry followed in his father’s footsteps and began a journey in gospel music. Jerry joined the Welcomaires in 1994 and he has been playing guitar and singing bass for audiences everywhere, having been with Second Chance since its beginning.

Hailing from a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania, Randy Dally’s love for music began as a teenager. Randy started playing guitar while listening to rock, rhythm, and blues. The driving chop of Bill Monroe’s mandolin grabbed his attention in his twenties and never let go. Randy’s wife gave him a mandolin for Christmas one year, and from then on he began to teach himself how to play, while studying the styles of Wayne Benson and Doyle Lawson. In 2002, Randy, along with his band mates, formed Second Chance and has been with them ever since.

Blake Lanning is the newest, and youngest, member of Second Chance. Blake joined the seasoned band in 2015 at the age of 17. Blake’s skill as a bluegrass musician has proved to be well beyond his years. He wields an award-winning, no-nonsense, driving banjo that draws the audience in. Combined with his smooth lead vocals, Blake was clearly created for bluegrass. He grew up in Reedy Creek, NC listening to the likes of Terry Baucom and Doyle Lawson and now enjoys influencing others as a member of Second Chance.

Check them out on their website: https://www.facebook.com/SecondChanceBluegrass/