The next installment of the Backstreet Park Summer Concerts in downtown West Jefferson will present the Crooked Road Ramblers playing “old time music with drive” from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday.
The Crooked Road Ramblers hail from Grayson County, Va., and Ashe County. They can be found playing at local fiddlers’ conventions, parties and square dances.
The current roster has been playing together since Jan. 27, 2009. Members of the Crooked Road Ramblers are Kilby Spencer (fiddle), Amanda Spencer (banjo), John Perry (guitar), Donald Hill (guitar) and Karen Carr (bass).
The Crooked Road Ramblers won’t be playing alone though. They will be joined by Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) during the concert.
The JAM program teaches fourth through sixth graders to play the fiddle, banjo and guitar in hopes of keeping the mountain music tradition alive.
Crooked Road Ramblers’ member Amanda Spencer is an instructor in the JAM program. In fact, some of her students will be playing at the concert.
Not only will the JAM students play their own sets, they will also share the stage with the Crooked Road Ramblers. Jane Lonon, executive director of the Ashe County Arts Council, said that this concert “Provides a great opportunity for the students to play in a professional setting.”
The concert is free for anyone who wants to attend and will be held in the Backstreet Park behind the old West Jefferson hotel.
In case of rain, the concerts are moved indoors to Ashe Arts Center. Concerts are sponsored by the West Jefferson Community Partnership.
Coming Friday, Aug. 24 will be music from Wayne Henderson and Helen White, followed by Sheets Family Band to close out the season on Aug. 31.