Mountain music and dance fans are in for an entertaining evening when the Steep Canyon Rangers and New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters take the stage Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Music Center.
The concert will be held in the outdoor amphitheater at the base of Fisher Peak at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Virginia.
Playing together since 2000, the Steep Canyon Rangers have developed a sound all their own. Combining original songs, traditional tunes and a whole lot of fun in their shows, they received IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award in 2011 as well as a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013.
Their dynamic live performances include a great deal of humor and fun. The Steep Canyon Rangers are perennial favorites at the Blue Ridge Music Center and fans look forward to their annual show. With tight harmonies and instrumental dexterity, the band plays bluegrass and beyond, incorporating elements of folk, country, Americana and pop music to create a unique take on their “traditional plus” sound. As they approach their second decade, the Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, searching for new horizons and musical vistas.
With their hard-driving old-time rhythm, the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters are a favorite among flatfoot dancers and mountain fiddle music fans. They are named after the original Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, a popular string band from Galax from the 1930s that was a frequent winner in the early years of the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.
The band’s guitar player and leader, Dennis Hall, lives on Ballards Branch Lane close to the home of Uncle Eck Dunford, the fiddler for the original Bogtrotters. Band member Eddie Bond, who was awarded a 2018 National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, sings and plays fiddle for the group. Rounding out the roster is Josh Ellis on banjo, Caroline Beverley on mandolin and Bonnie Bond on bass and vocals.
During the concert, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks and desserts, and Creek Bottom Brewing will be serving wood-fired pizza and more.