Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:30 PM
Oakdale Campus Fellowship Hall
A satellite campus of Jamestown United Church
534 Oakdale Road
Bring instrument for jam sessions
Originally an all-female bluegrass band, Southern Magnolia marked its serendipitous beginnings in the spring of 1995 under the name of Steel Magnolia. Three of the founding members (Judy Arnette: guitar, lead vocal; Linda Thore: guitar, lead and harmony vocals; Cindy Tucker :banjo, harmony and lead vocals) met at a local haunt for bluegrass musicians known as Brown’s Ole Opry located in McLeansville, North Carolina. It was just a few short weeks later that the group gelled into its first configuration with Pammy Davis, also a founding member, on bass. When Pammy learned to play dobro and switched to lead on that instrument, Louise Wilson joined the band on the upright bass. Upon Louise’s departure in 2003, Keith Carroll expertly filled the vacancy. After twelve years together, the band recorded its first musical project titled “Something Blue”. Four of the songs were penned by two of the band members, Judy and Cindy. In 2011, the second CD was recorded titled “Down Home with Southern Magnolia” with five more originals from Judy, Cindy, and Pammy. Susan Owen (mandolin, lead vocals and harmony), a member of the group for several years, is featured on both recordings. The band presently consists of the following members:
Judy Arnette: Guitar, Lead Vocals – Although Judy has been singing since her early youth, she began playing guitar only in the late 70s. At that time, under the influence of her guitar teacher and friend, she began singing some of the traditional Stanley Brothers’ tunes. Judy became known among local jam sessions as the “Carter Half” of the Stanley Sisters’ duo. In addition to singing and playing, Judy enjoys trying her hand at song writing. The band features her original tunes: “Something Blue”, “Leave Me Free”, “Just for Tonight”, “You Can’t Go Home Again” and “Heart of my Heart”, a song written about her husband’s heart transplant. Something Blue”, is on the 1st CD and the latter two songs appear on the 2nd CD. Since her retirement from a 40-year teaching career, Judy has been sharing her music as a volunteer with the Adult Center for Enrichment, Adams Farm Living, Friends Homes and other senior facilities in the Greensboro area. Judy is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Linda Thore: Guitar, Lead and Harmony Vocals – Linda (from Reidsville, North Carolina) has been singing and playing most of her life. Growing up in a musical family (her father who played fiddle and two brothers who played various instruments), she was influenced by the traditional/bluegrass/country sounds of such artists as Flatt and Scruggs, Reno and Smiley, the Louvin Brothers, the Carter Family, Bill Clifton, Merle Haggard and Don Williams. When you are in a jam session with Linda, you just never know what you might hear. Linda was a founding member of the original band, then known as Steel Magnolia. In addition to bringing strong lead and harmony vocals to the group, Linda also injects her unique guitar picking style into several tunes. Upon her retirement, Linda formed the band, Linda and Company, which is featured on the first Friday of each month at Brown’s Ole Opry in McLeansville. The group plays other local venues and private parties as well.
Pammy Davis Lassiter: Dobro, Harmony Vocals: Pammy has been playing dobro since June 1997. Prior to the dobro, she played bass with Southern Magnolia until Louise Wilson joined the band on bass in September 1997. Pammy has performed in several small bands throughout the years competing in fiddlers’ conventions and entertaining at parties. In addition to playing dobro, she also adds her baritone harmony to several tunes. Pammy is a charter member of the Charlotte Folk Music Society and along with Judy and Cindy, founded the bluegrass association in the area called High Lonesome Strings of which she was president for the first ten years. She chairs an event known as ResoGat which is a gathering of players, collectors, builders and craftspeople who meet in Wilkesboro NC once a year to jam, entertain, and celebrate the dobro guitar. Pammy placed first in the dobro competition in the 2014 Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax Virginia. She is the first woman to win the award in this prestigious competition’s history. The very first song which she co-wrote with Cindy appears on the latest CD and is titled “Chimney Rock Slide”. Pammy resides in West End, North Carolina.
Cindy Tucker: Banjo, Harmony Vocals – Cindy was inspired by her father’s love for the music and for the banjo in particular. Due to this inspiration, she began to play banjo in the late 80s. The artistically crafted instrument that she plays on stage was made by her father, A.V. Murray. In addition to her exceptional contributions on the banjo and vocal harmonies, Cindy also is a songwriter and penned the instrumental “Fox in the Hen House” and, along with Pammy, composed the instrumental “Chimney Rock Slide”. Her vocal number, “Will You Love Me Anyway”, written about her brother-in-law’s care for his wife, is recorded on the band’s first CD. Her vocal number “There’s An Empty Place” along with “Chimney Rock Slide” appear on the latest CD, Down Home with Southern Magnolia. Cindy is from Altamahaw, North Carolina.
Keith Carroll: Bass – Keith Carroll is a most sought after bass player from Ruffin, North Carolina. He is a multi-instrumentalist playing banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. He is currently involved in learning how to play dobro. In addition to the standard bluegrass instruments, Keith plays saxophone, harmonica, hammered dulcimer, autoharp, bowed psaltery, ukulele, banjimer, lap dulcimer, didgeridoo and can even play an old piano recital piece if he can find the music. When encouraged, Keith will even render a tune or two on lead vocal. Keith has been with Southern Magnolia since November, 2003 when Louise Wilson left the band.