The New River Boys will be making their return to the High Country on Saturday, July 5 to perform at the Todd Summer Music Series.
The band, much like its namesake, started in Boone. Guitarist Andrew Jacobs, mandolin player Aaron Simpson and celloist Everett Hardin started jamming together in the winter of 2009 while attending Appalachian State University.
“The winters in the Boone area can be brutal, and we were snowed into a dorm that we shared,” Simpson said. “We set up in the lobby of that dorm, and started playing some music. We liked how it sounded and we just kept on playing.”
Simpson said the band's performance style is a blend of bluegrass and folk music and are influenced by people in many different styles of music, including Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs and the Punch Brothers.
“It's bluegrass with a twist,” he said.
Most of what the New River Boys perform is original material. So far, the band has released one full-length album (“Candor”) and an EP (“Heart for Sale”).
Simpson said participating in writing original material for the New River Boys is his favorite part of being in the band.
“When we write music together, it is such a fluid process, that it does bring us closer as friends and also musicians,” he said.
The members of the New River Boys are spread out throughout the region. Hardin remains in Boone, Jacobs now lives in Asheville while Simpson resides in Washington D.C.
Still, despite distance, the band meets back to perform as often as they can. In addition, the band uses applications such as Audacity as a way to practice and develop new music.
“We don't get a chance to perform as often as we would at ASU, but we play and practice together as much as we can,” Simpson said. “Every time I come down to North Carolina, I try to make a point to meet up with the guys. We find a way to make it work.”
This will be the band's second time performing at the Todd Summer Music Series. Last year the band played on the last weekend of performances.
“We just had a blast, and had a lot of folks come out,” Simpson said. “It was just a pleasant experience, and a great opportunity to get back to beautiful Todd, North Carolina. It really is a gem of Western North Carolina, so we are really excited to be back.”
The New River Boys, in addition to performing at the Todd Summer Concert Series, will also be performing at the Music Fest 'n Sugar Grove on Friday, July 11.
For more information on the New River Boys, go online to www.thenewriverboys.com
Remaining dates of the Todd Music Series:
July 5: New River Boys
July 19: Eric Ellis and Caldwell Line
July 20: Kruger Brothers* (Advance tickets available, $15 in advance, $20 day of)
Aug. 2 Elkville String Band
Aug. 16 The Tillers
Sept. 6 Melissa Reeves
All shows except for Kruger Brothers are free and open to the public.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.