JEFFERSON — A unique and engaging opportunity was offered on Saturday, Feb. 13, for Bluegrass music enthusiasts. The Gary Poe Bluegrass and Old Time Radio Show broadcasted live with musical guests, The Dollar Brothers, from Ashe Civic Center for the community to tune in.
Although an audience could not be physically present in the auditorium due to the pandemic, people listened on 580/95.3 WKSK and watched a live stream of the concert on the Ashe County Arts Council’s Facebook page.
The program was made possible by the Arts Council, who provided both funding and the venue.
Executive Director Jeff Fissel and Program Director Rebecca Williams were both present during the concert. Civic Center board member Richard Edmondson provided assistance with the sound while WKSK Information Technology Specialist Marty Norris was present to help connect the band with the radio station. Nathan Roland, WKSK’s Program Director and Midday On-Air Personality, helped direct the program while Jim Williams filmed.
The show began at 11 a.m. and the music flowed for nearly an hour.
The Dollar Brothers Darrell, Barry and Wade, have been playing bluegrass music together and performing at local dance venues, barbecues and churches for over 20 years.
Darrell often leads the group, singing and playing the mandolin. Barry sings and plays both the banjo and the fiddle. Wade plays the guitar and sings. J.M. Trivette is the band’s bass player and also sings.
Poe described the group as “a really fine, traditional style Bluegrass band.”
After the show Poe said in the past they have held similar shows at the Civic Center and the entire auditorium was full. He extended his appreciation to the Arts Council for paying the band and allowing the band to use their venue.
Poe has been hosting his radio show since 1998 and said its purpose was to call attention to the music of the area.
Darrell Dollar said the Civic Center is one of the nicest places that they have had the opportunity to play at. He added that the band has known Poe for years.
“I think it is great that local musicians get a place like this to play, so we really appreciate the Arts Council, we appreciate the Civic Center for letting just some ‘good ole country boys’ who used to play on the back porch or the front porch to use a venue like this,” Dollar said. “And just play and get to share our talents.”
He said that he looks forward to when COVID-19 dies down and a live audience is able to attend.
Both Poe and Dollar agreed that when there is a crowd physically present, cheering them on, it makes a huge difference.
“When the crowd gets into it, we get into it,” Dollar said.
The Arts Council, Civic Center and Ashe County Little Theatre pitched in to purchase the new equipment which gave them the ability to broadcast the show live.
Rebecca Williams said having Edmondson and Jim Willams’ knowledge of technology was important for them to be able to create programming during the pandemic.
Edmondson said the Civic Center received a grant a few years ago that allowed them to update the sound system.
“It is too nice of a facility not to be used,” Edmondson said.
For more information about the Arts Council and upcoming events, visit the website at www.ashecountyarts.org, the Facebook page @AsheCountyArtsCouncil or call (336) 846-2787.