Archive for the ‘HLS Events’ Category

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.

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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.

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Sunday, February 23, 2020 – 2:30 PM

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


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.


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Sunday, January 26, 2020 2:30 PM

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


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/

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Saturday, December 7, 2019  6:00 PM

Mt. Hope United Church of Christ
2400 Mt. Hope Church Rd
Whitsett, NC


Nick Chandler and Delivered

Nick Chandler and Delivered is a hard driving traditional bluegrass band from Western North Carolina. They were so honored to be named an IBMA Official Ramble Showcase Artist for 2019. After many successful years focusing on Gospel music, Nick has released a long-awaited bluegrass album, “Groceries, Gas and Used Cars” The first single “Eli Funkelby” is available on iTtunes. This band has been delighting crowds all over the country with their original songs, tight harmonies, and exciting pickin’. Nick Chandler and Delivered: Live it, Love it, Bluegrass.

Nick Chandler has traveled the country for many years delighting crowds with his extraordinary mandolin talents. Nick is a master on the mandolin and has won numerous awards stating the same. His talent for writing and arranging songs is evident and his love for bluegrass shows in every note that he plays.

Spencer Hatcher plays banjo and sings tenor, lead , and baritone. He is a fan of the great Don Reno and Raymond Fairchild and his banjo playing reflects that. He is currently a senior in the ETSU bluegrass program in Johnson City, TN. He also plays guitar and mandolin. He is originally from Thomasville VA and enjoys hunting and fishing when not playing music.

Gary Trivette plays the bass and sings all parts. A founding member of Claybank, Gary brings passion and excitement to the stage. Gary is an excellent songwriter as well.

Hudson Bosworth plays guitar, and sings lead and baritone. He is originally from Ogden Utah and studies bluegrass at ETSU. Hudson wows the crowd with his hot guitar licks and is the perfect addition to Nick Chandler and Delivered.

The band’s sound is one of tradition and history mixed with the talents of today. Their first Bluegrass release with Poor Mountain Records “Groceries, Gas, and Used Cars” was released this year. It showcases their diversity and talents in a way that cannot be denied. Check them out on their website: https://nickchandleranddelivered.com/

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Friday and Saturday,  October 25-26, 2019

 Hagan-Stone Park Campground Shelter
5920 Hagan-Stone Park Road
Pleasant Garden NC 27313


Performing Friday starting at 8 PM:

The Shiloh Creek Girls 

The Shiloh Creek Girls are a band from the backcountry roads of Ramseur, North Carolina. These ladies produce a mixture of bluegrass and gospel music that inspires and reaches the hearts of both young and old.

This talented band consists of four sisters and their mother, so their bond goes beyond their musical abilities. Katie (guitar) is the oldest sister, Karrie (fiddle) and Kylie (mandolin) are identical twins, Kassie (banjo) is the youngest, and Lanette (bass) is the mother of the family who leads her girls to come alive on stage and entertain audiences of all ages.

In 2019, the three younger girls each won a $500 High Lonesome Strings Youth Scholarship that can be applied to lessons or attending a music camp. Karrie used her award to attend a Mark O’Conner Fiddle Camp. Kylie and Kassie are applying their winnings to lessons on their instruments.

The Shiloh Creek Girls second album, There is a Time, made its debut at the 2019 IBMA show in Raleigh, NC, when they had the privilege to play on the IBMA World of Bluegrass Youth Stage. In addition, they played at the High Lonesome Strings stage during the StreetFest. The band enjoys playing in churches, local events, and has also played on the main stage at the 23rd annual Bluegrass First Class in Asheville, NC in 2018.

Performing Saturday starting at 8 PM:

Old River Road 

Old River Road, an emerging bluegrass band hailing from south-central North Carolina, consists of Bob Dotson (guitar, lead vocals), Stephen Caviness (banjo), Amelia Freeman (mandolin, lead and harmony vocals), Malachi Freeman (fiddle, lead and harmony vocals), and Justin Freeman (bass, lead and harmony vocals). They met as regulars at the [Clyde] Maness Pottery & Music Barn in Carthage, NC and the band was “formed” fortuitously when Becca Rae heard them jamming there and invited them to open for the Jeff Little Trio at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines. She put them on the spot by asking for the band name. The name of the road the Freemans live on in Carthage was suggested off the cuff and Old River Road was born.

Band front man Bob Dotson is a bluegrass lifer from Hamlet, NC. He started taking guitar lessons at the age of nine and was playing in Gospel groups and at church by the time he was thirteen. Bob fell in love with bluegrass music about that time and bought his first album by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. He has played in many bands all over the eastern seaboard including local groups The Twisted Grass Entourage and Flatt Blue. An accomplished guitar picker, Bob has won numerous awards at area competitions, most recently winning the bronze medal in the instrumental category of the Silver Arts portion of the North Carolina Senior Games State Finals.   He  loves to  share music  whenever  and wherever possible and can be found anywhere from senior centers and local shops in Hamlet to jams and conventions throughout North Carolina.

Stephen Caviness, from Carthage, NC, provides the driving banjo that Old River Road thrives on. A multi-instrumentalist who has been playing since a young age, he has also won often at the local conventions. In college, Stephen was a member of Petite Team (with Steve Petite, now the president of Bob Jones University), recording a couple of CDs with them. During his run with Petite Team, Stephen played banjo, some guitar, and bouzouki on Celtic arrangements. He has played banjo for Bridgetown and Flatt Blue, and currently plays with the Ingram Family as well. When he’s not protecting and serving the City of Sanford, Stephen enjoys spending time with his family and filling in with any group who needs him.

As brother and sister, Malachi and Amelia Freeman have travelled the same path together. When Malachi was six years old and Amelia was five, a family friend gave them both ukuleles and their musical journey began. Four years later, both were singing with the Moore County Choral Society Children’s Chorus, having been selected with no prior vocal training. Mostly self-taught from books and internet resources, they began performing on fiddle and mandolin having never had a formal lesson. They were blessed to meet T and Pammy Lassiter at Clyde’s who taught them about performing as part of a band, and have included them in several editions of The Twisted Grass Entourage. This past year, Malachi and Amelia were both selected to perform in the 2019 IBMA Kids On Bluegrass showcase in Raleigh and both also received High Lonesome Strings Youth Scholarships (THANK YOU HLS MEMBERS AND DONORS!!!).

Now 13 years old, Amelia has already enjoyed performing with bluegrass superstar groups Flatt Lonesome and Sideline. She has been a perennial youth division winner at local fiddler’s conventions, and this past March she won first place at the Highfalls Fiddlers’ Convention in her first year competing with adults. She followed that achievement with a fifth place finish in the youth mandolin at the Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, VA. In addition to singing and playing the mandolin, Amelia toys with the fiddle, guitar, and upright bass. She has also played the piano since age 7 and was the pianist for her church’s Young Women’s group. Other than singing and playing music, Amelia is an animal lover, hatching and raising chickens and ducks.

Malachi is 15 years old and has already been able to sing and play with the Lonesome River Band and Sideline. In only his second fiddle performance ever, he won the Most Promising Talent category at the 2017 Seagrove Fiddlers’ Convention, having never had a formal lesson. Since that time, he has enjoyed success at fiddlers’ conventions in both youth and adult divisions. At the  IBMA World of Bluegrass this past September, Malachi discovered busking and spent two nights playing (and making a little extra money) with newfound friends. In addition to singing and playing the fiddle, Malachi also plays piano and is dabbling with the guitar. He also enjoys acting, 4-H firearms and archery, and robotics team. Malachi has earned the rank of Life in Boy Scouts and is working toward his Eagle rank.

Justin  has been involved with music his whole life.  His mother is very musical and had Justin, along with his 9 brothers and sisters, participating in Kids Chorus from a young age. He played the drums in his high school band. Justin’s father played the guitar and participated in folk bands. So, in college, Justin picked up the guitar and started learning it along with the mandolin. Then life got busy with 5 kids and Justin put music on hold until a few years ago when Malachi and Amelia began playing regularly at Clyde’s Music Barn. He then taught himself the upright bass. Justin also is one of the lead vocalist for the band and sings harmony.

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Sunday,  September 15, 2019 @ 2:30pm

Piedmont Triad Farmers Market
2914 Sandy Ridge Road
Colfax, NC 
Exit #208 on I-40

Greg Wilson & Second Wind

Second Wind is a group Greg Wilson formed after returning to music. They play bluegrass, swing, jazz, etc.  The gig determines the folks he brings to play. For this show he will have fiddle, banjo and bass. They play everything from original progressive bluegrass to covers of rock/country to swing/gypsy jazz. You can always expect them to have 3-part harmony and at least 4 instruments. Greg has played the Grand Ole Opry when he was a kid and with many incredible amateur and pro bands after returning to music from teaching physics at the university level.

 “I think I’ve played almost every type of show imaginable from corporate to private parties, bluegrass festivals, and coliseum shows.”

You can catch Greg Wilson & Second Wind at the High Lonesome Strings stage at the yearly IBMA festival in Raleigh, as well.

Hope to see you out this month enjoying music and company with us.

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