Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM  (Please note the later time)

 Mt Hope United Church of Christ
2400 Mt Hope Church Road
Whitsett NC 27377

Bring instrument for jam sessions


New Southern Ground

New Southern Ground is a new and upcoming bluegrass band that loves playing traditional bluegrass and gospel bluegrass tunes. It features five talented artists demonstrating a vast array of musical talents. The band consists of over 90 years of combined performance experience. Based out of Asheboro, NC, New Southern Ground takes pride in preserving our traditional bluegrass heritage. The band got its start as a brother/sister duo called The Hensons and later evolved into the full band. The band has played at the Wide World of Bluegrass Raleigh-Durham Airport, IBMA event with the High Lonesome Strings Association, The Earle Theatre in Mount Airy, NC State Fair, Sunset Theater, The Liberty Showcase and many other local benefits and churches.

Tanner Henson is the band’s talented 18-year-old lead singer and guitarist. Tanner travels all over North Carolina and Virginia competing in festivals and is a multi-award winning musician. He also plays fiddle and mandolin. His bluegrass career began at the age of twelve when he was promised his great, great, great grandfather’s fiddle if he would learn to play it. Needless to say, when Tanner’s bow hit the fiddle he was hooked on bluegrass and his life was forever changed. Tanner will be attending the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the fall and plans to be a part of the Carolina Bluegrass Band.

Macy Henson is the band’s thirteen-year-old lead singer and fiddle player. With her sassy personality and great clogging steps she brings fun and excitement to the stage. At age of eight, Macy was inspired by her brother’s playing and decided to start taking lessons. She too was enthralled by the sound of bluegrass music and began singing and playing with her brother Tanner at churches, festivals, and local events. Macy plays the fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. Macy is also a multi-award winning youth bluegrass musician who strives to keep the music alive by sharing it with others. She is known to many as the All American Bluegrass Girl, earning that name as she proudly sings Rhonda Vincent’s All American Bluegrass Girl.

Tom Isenhour is a veteran of the bluegrass scene in the Carolinas. He adds to the band with his skillful mandolin ability. Tom’s interest in bluegrass was sparked upon first hearing the Beverly Hillbillies theme song back in 1962. Tom plays all of the instruments of bluegrass and has played with The Garland Shuping band, the original High Country Boys, and Wild Country. He has also had the opportunity to pick tunes with The Masters of Bluegrass. Tom says, “Bluegrass is in my soul.” He has his own personal bluegrass museum in his residence in Salisbury, NC. Tom’s desire is to play music as long as he can and spread his love for bluegrass to others.

Danny Bowers will be filling in on Banjo. He has been a member of High Lonesome Strings since May of 1998, a long time member! He has played and sang with numerous bands over the years, is the master of many instruments, taught a Dobro workshop for me one year at PITP, and participated in one of our songwriters showcases.

Don Jones is handling the Bass duties. Another longtime member since November 1997, he also has been with many bands and can be seen all around the area jamming. He also plays guitar and sings.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Stonefield Cellars Winery
8220 NC Hwy 68 N
Stokesdale NC


Hubert Lawson & The Bluegrass Country Boys

Hubert Lawson & the Bluegrass Country Boys

Hubert and his sons Lee and Eddie organized their band in 1980. They feature the best in Traditional and Modern Bluegrass, Square Dance music, and their own original compositions.

Hubert Lawson & the Bluegrass Country Boys play a variety of music including traditional Bluegrass, Modern Bluegrass, Gospel, Square Dance, some country and even the occasional rock and roll song. To date the band has recorded 5 CD’s
The band has played up and down the east coast, including North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and New York. The band continues to travel, perform and enjoy the music as much as the first day they started.

Over the years Hubert and the band have been fortunate enough to play on shows with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, The Lost & Found, The Tony Rice Unit, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys and many others.

The band consists of:

Hubert Lawson – Leader and spokesperson for the group. Hubert also plays lead guitar and sings baritone.
Lee Lawson – plays banjo and sings lead.
Eddie Lawson – plays mandolin and sings tenor.
Vera Lawson – plays bass.

Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 2:30 PM

At Shelter 5

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

Bring instrument for jam sessions

Present out special guests:


The Hey Brothers

The Hey Brothers

On a dark and stormy night…five friends gathered to play and sing, the old, the new, the borrowed and the blues. The picking was good, the midnight hour came and went. Driving to work the next morning would take extra caffeine. They discovered how much they really enjoyed the work that didn’t feel like work, the laughs, the sound of trio harmonies and the natural ease finding the elusive groove. “We’ve gotta find the time to do this again, this is fun. It’s bona fide !” they said. Several dark and stormy nights later a moniker for the five was chosen. They call themselves The Hey Brothers, “Makers of Fine Bluegrass”.

Allen Ray – Guitar and vocal. Comes by it “honest”. From a family rich in bluegrass heritage, his flat top notes seem to flow effortlessly with powerful rhythm foundations and carefully chosen accents it pays to listen for. He’s from Creedmoor and has played with multiple groups including Sourwood Mountain and the well traveled Cadillac Stepbacks. Allen offers up some nice tenor work and a handful of lead vocal selections.

Brian English – Fiddle and vocal. A veteran fiddle player from the area and enjoys a good song about the Civil War. When he sings, the floorboards rumble, carrying a smooth low range lead on some crowd favorites. Brian lives in the Durham area, and is known for his excellent fiddle work which he has delivered in several bands including Old Habits, The Rye Mountain Boys and Lost County 35.

Keith Sikes – Upright Bass and vocal. Keith thumps out ancient bluegrass tones on his vintage Kay bass, driving The Hey Brothers from tune to tune. He renders many-a-fine lead vocal for us, both classics and newly discovered gems. He lives in the Pittsboro area and has played with Down the Road and Vintage Blue.

Tim Lee – Mandolin and vocal. Sharing many of the lead vocal duties with Keith, Tim plays the tiny eight string and chops away at the back-beat. So far, he’s the only brother with songwriting to his credit, and we enjoy sharing some of his great sounding songs in every set. Tim is also a gifted artist and you’ll recognize his visual work on our materials. Tim lives in the Cary area and has made music with Lost County 35, Running South and String Machine.

John Dudley – Banjo and vocal. From east of the triangle near Zebulon, John delivers a stream of rolling eighth notes from the five string and brings the baritone lines in the vocal mix for the Brothers. He also plays with Damascus Ridge, and has played with Iron horse and Lost County 35 in the area.

Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 2:30 PM

Ragsdale Civic Center at Jamestown Town Hall
301 East Main Street
Jamestown, NC
(behind Town Hall and beside Fire Station)

Broadcast – A Man and His Dream

Broadcast - A Man and His Dream

A showing of Director Jordan Nance’s hour long documentary Broadcast – A Man and His Dream about Ralph Epperson and the early years of WPAQ radio plus music by the Gold Hill Bluegrass Jam Musicians

Longtime HLS member Jordan Nance has shown a love for music and history from an early age. Diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy after a premature birth in October 1983, he has faced a multitude of challenges all his life. Using a computer to communicate and a wheelchair for mobility, Jordan’s determination and persistence has allowed him to overcome many of the limitations that others would view as handicaps.

In the fall of 1992, his love of “The Andy Griffith Show” took Jordan to Mount Airy, NC for Mayberry Days. It was there that for the first time he heard bluegrass and old time music on a stage provided by WPAQ radio. He soon became a faithful listener to WPAQ in his Reidsville, NC home. In 1995 he visited the station for the first time and met founder and owner, Ralph Epperson. The two became immediate friends. Over the years Jordan’s interest in the traditional string music and musicians of the Blue Ridge grew as he connected with the history of the station through the stories and songs that Ralph shared with his listeners. This interest drove Jordan to interview Ralph just six weeks before his death in 2006. Ralph’s memories only deepened Jordan’s desire to document on film other stories about the early years of WPAQ. For the next five years Jordan researched and interviewed some forty people including pioneer musicians Benton Flippen, L.W. Lambert, and Russell Easter who were involved in the station from its beginning in 1948 through the mid 1950s. With the help of Beth Crookham whom he had met on the set of “One Tree Hill” several years earlier, Jordan began the process of turning the footage into the film he desired. After nearly two years of post-production work, his vision and perseverance were realized in the completion of his documentary, “Broadcast: A Man and His Dream” in 2013. With the documentary’s premiere on UNC-TV in February 2015, Jordan’s dream of paying tribute to Ralph Epperson and the traditional string music and musicians they both love was fulfilled.

Jordan is eager to share his documentary with the HLS membership on April 17th. Having his friend Vivian Pennington Hopkins perform the music of her dad, pioneer WPAQ musician Ralph Pennington, will be a special treat for all in attendance.

Jordan Nance and Vivian Hopkins

Jordan Nance and Vivian Hopkins

From Vivian Hopkins:

I was much honored when contacted by Jordan Nance asking if I would be available to perform a few songs that were recorded in the early 50’s by The Church Brothers at WPAQ in Mt Airy, NC for Ralph Epperson. Myself and a few friends will perform several songs during the presentation of the documentary, Broadcast – A Man and His Dream at the April 17th monthly meeting of the High Lonesome Strings.

My father, Ralph Pennington, spent much of his younger years performing with The Church Brothers, Jim Hall and the Crazy Mountaineers, Roy Hall and the Blue Ridge Entertainers, Don Walker and His Blue Ridge Boys, L.W. Lambert and the Carolina Neighbors. During these years he recorded with The Church Brothers (Recorded at WPAQ) and L.W. Lambert and the Carolina Neighbors.

He was not only a talented musician and luthier; he was also a gifted songwriter, penning numerous songs for the Church Brothers as well as The Stanley Brothers and at least one very well-known song which became the first song recorded by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys on their first Mercury Recording Session in Knoxville, TN in 1948. Dad was a humble man who never sought recognition or payment for his writings. He never realized that in that day how valuable the early recordings would become as the music industry grew through the years. He gladly gave his songs and music and delighted in hearing the success of the recordings, never asking for or receiving the credits as song writer. Among those songs are ‘Angel With Blue Eyes’, ‘When Jesus Calls Your Name’, Way Down In Ole Caroline’(Church Brothers), ‘I’d Rather Be Forgotten’ (Stanley Brothers), ‘Cabin in Caroline’ (Flatt & Scruggs), ‘I won’t Write Another Letter to You Darling’, The Battle Over In Korea’ (L.W. Lambert & The Carolina Neighbors).

My love of Traditional Old Time and Bluegrass Music and my commitment to doing my part to keep it alive and passing it on to the next generation is due to my dad and his comrades who taught me at an early age, that it’s ok to stay up all night and pick ‘til the roosters are crowing at dawn. Most folks will remember our twenty+ years at bluegrass festivals across the southeast as The Fifth String and Co. Today my husband Glenn (Hoppy) and I host the Montgomery General Store Friday Night Jam at Historic Gold Hill, NC which is now in its twelfth year.

I am bringing together a few friends who enjoyed picking with my dad and are more like family than friends. The music we perform on the 17th will be songs written by my dad, Ralph Pennington which was recorded by some of the best in the music industry. For the performance I will be joined by Jeff Russell on guitar and vocals, Jim Burris on mandolin and vocals, Randy Mauldin on banjo and vocals and Katie Springer on fiddle and myself on bass and vocals. We look forward to sharing the music from those early years that makes Jordan’s documentary so special.

In regards to our performance and the recognition of my dad’s music, I give much credit to the research and vision of Jordan Nance for producing a great documentary, ‘Broadcast-A Man and His Dream’; To Ben Niblock, Smithfield, NC, who spent months on end with my dad in the year preceding my dad’s death in 1992; To Gary Reid of Roanoke, VA, author of ‘The Music of the Stanley Brothers’ and ‘A Life of Sorrow – The Life and Times of Carter Stanley!’; To Ralph Stanley who gave me much information about my dad and Carter and their shared songwriting when my dad was performing with them early in their career; And to Matteo (Matt) Ringressi, Forli, Italy who is currently researching the music of The Church Brothers.

Sunday, March 20, 2015 @ 2:30 PM

Mt Hope United Church of Christ
2400 Mt Hope Church Road
Whitsett, NC

Bring instrument for jam sessions
Sponsored by City of Greensboro, City Arts


B G and Driving Grass

BG and Driving Grass

Bennie Gerner plays guitar and is the lead singer. Cindy Tucker plays banjo and sings harmony. Cindy plays with several other bands. Dub (Derwin) Jordan plays upright bass and sings harmony. Joel Maness plays mandolin and sings harmony. Joel was a member of the original Bass Mt. Boys. Hannah Maness, daughter of Natalie and Lil John Maness, plays the fiddle with the band whenever her schedule allows.

The band plays weekly at Claire Bridge Memory Care in Burlington and occasionally at various other venues, such as Browns Ole Opry in McLeansville. This band is a hard-driving, traditional bluegrass band. While Dub and Bennie have been playing together for at least 10 years, the present unit has been together for approximately 5 years. They especially enjoy jamming at High Lonesome Strings and various festivals.

The January 2016 meeting was postponed due to bad weather but that means that you can enjoy fellowship and good bluegrass music twice in the month February 2016 at two different great venues!

Join us on February 21, 2016 at Conrad Memorial Baptist Church in High Point, NC with music provided by Chosen Road and the Back Creek Bluegrass Boys. Join us again on February 28, 2016 at Stonefield Cellars Winery in Stokesdale, NC with music provided by The Robertson Boys.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 28, 2016 @ 2:30 PM

Stonefield Cellars Winery
8220 NC Hwy 68 N
Stokesdale NC

Bring instrument for jam sessions


The Robertson Boys

Chosen Road

Meet The Robertson Boys… Bluegrass is the American tradition of stories to tell, relived in motion to music. It’s origin comes from Celtic Folk roots popularized by the legendary Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs of The Foggy Mountain Boys in 1948. It’s such a versatile genre with influences of everything from gospel, traditional country, jazz, and even infused with rock. In today’s mainstream, Bluegrass appeal is rising and fast becoming a favorite of genres across the country. Hence today’s Bluegrass on the local scene… The Robertson Boys has a very distinctive style and their talents posses a vast imaginative eclectic selections of genre from the traditional favorites to today’s contemporary hits. A story set to music representing everyone of all generations. What sets them apart from many bluegrass bands of today? Their five member band is known for their incredible talent in harmonizing as all members are gifted vocalists as well as versatile in their instrumental skills.

David Robertson, Mandolin. David also plays keyboards, guitar and trombone. David was in the UNC-G Jazz Band for 3 years playing bass trombone. David sings lead and is the musical director of the band. He plays a Richard Sneldson “Katy” mandolin and is currently using Martin coated strings. His pick of choice is Blue Chip.

Jack Robertson, Banjo. He also plays guitar, bass, penny whistle, bagpipes and trombone. Jack was in the UNC-Chapel Hill, Wind Ensemble his freshman year playing trombone. Jack also sings lead and has a great bass voice. His banjo is a Rich and Taylor, Carolina and plays Martin medium strings.

Rick Robertson, rhythm guitar. Rick is Jack and David’s dad. Rick has played guitar since 1965 in Rock and Gospel bands but has always loved Bluegrass and old country music. Rick sings lead and harmony and is the band manager. He plays Martin guitars strung with John Pearse Phosphor Bronze strings. Rick uses TS picks and also Blue Chip picks.

Don Cruthis, guitar and bass player. Don has been playing guitar since the mid-60’s, playing Rock in local NC bands. About 12 years ago he joined The Robertson Boys as their first bass player. Three year ago, Don moved to rhythm guitar where he could sing more lead vocals. Besides singing lead, Don has a great knack for hitting the right harmony. He plays Taylor and Santa Cruz guitars. His strings of choice are D’Addario lights and uses various picks.

Philip Swing, bass. Philip has been playing bass in Rock and Country Bands for over 40 years. He decided to move to Bluegrass about 3 years ago and joined The Robertson Boys at about that time. Philip sings lead and the high part harmonies. Philip also plays guitar and banjo. He plays mostly a 6 string Schecter Bass but has other cool basses and has recently starting playing an Engelhardt upright bass.

Ashlyn Nelson, fiddle and vocalist. Ashlyn is a student at Salem College majoring in History. She has sung in accapella groups at Salem College and has a beautiful voice. She played violin in high school and decided to take the love of violin to bluegrass music. Ashlyn started working with the band in 2015, working on developing her style of bluegrass fiddle. She officially joined the band last November. Ashlyn plays a violin made by an unknown builder.