The annual Opry Night at the Pocahontas County Opera House has come to represent some of the best bluegrass and traditional talent in the region. This season’s Opry Night on February 20, at 7:30 p.m. will showcase Pocahontas County favorites, The Elk River Ramblers and The Viney Mountain Bluegrass Boys.
The Elk River Ramblers are a dynamic string trio, presenting original arrangements and compositions of Appalachian old-time, bluegrass, Celtic, klezmer, and classic rock. The Elk River Ramblers are Terry Richardson on guitar, Galen Watts on bass and vocals, and Paul Marganian on fiddle, guitar and vocals.
The Elk River Ramblers are the house band at the Elk River Restaurant, where they perform most Thursday nights. They can also be seen performing throughout the Mountain State, from the Purple Fiddle to the Fiddlehead, playing their unique blend of international music steeped in Appalachian tradition.
The Elk River Ramblers recently finished their second CD, “A Murder of Crows.” With 16 tracks, this CD has something for everyone. “Down Yonder” and “Ducks on the Pond” are classic Bluegrass and Old-Time tunes. Celtic music is explored in “Haste to the Wedding” and “Morrison’s Jig.” “Fisherlid” is a Klezmer piece arranged for fiddle, guitar and bass. Sitar fans won’t be disappointed with their cover of the Beatle’s “Norweigen Wood.” More Classic Rock tunes follow with not one, but two Pink Floyd anthems: “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb.” The CD also includes four original compositions. Finally, two tracks that were not used on their first CD, “Dixie” and “Warfield,” are included, featuring the late Alan Dutchess, an original member of the Ramblers, on mandolin, guitar and vocal.
The Viney Mountain Bluegrass Boys feature Doug Scott, Richard Hefner, II, David Kershner and Jody Harrison. Drawing from influences that include the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, and Flatt and Scruggs, the Viney Mountain Bluegrass Boys’ old, traditional bluegrass brings out the purist fans as well as a younger set of new fans.
While many bands play more of a progressive style of bluegrass, the Viney Mountain Bluegrass Boys stick to the tried and true traditional tunes as taught to them by the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys, Richard Hefner, Rick Carpenter and others.
The name, Viney Mountain Bluegrass Boys comes from Viney Mountain which can be seen from anywhere in the Little Levels area of Pocahontas County.
The band members come from families where music is passed from one generation to the next. None of the members of the band can read music, but rather it is something that they know and feel – music that they grew up with. It’s music that they want to play for others and to continue, as their relatives and friends did, to keep traditional bluegrass music alive.
Tickets are $10. Children 17 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available in advance at pocahontasoperahouse.org and at the Fourth Avenue Gallery in Marlinton.
The Pocahontas County Opera House is located at 818 Third Avenue in Marlinton.
Performances at the Opera House are informal, family-friendly and open to all. The entrance and main seating are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend; special accommodations can be arranged upon request by calling 304-799-6645.
The Opera House Performance Series is presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Support is also provided by Pocahontas County Drama, Fairs and Festivals and the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.