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Arts & Entertainment Jackson County JAM presents David Holt and Mountain Faith at WCU

David HoltThe Jackson County arm of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program is presenting the legendary David Holt and Mountain Faith in concert at Coulter Hall, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. Opening for these two well known entertainers is the local band Lonesome Sound. The cost of the performance is $10, with tickets sold at the door. All proceeds from the concert will be used to help sustain the JAM program in Jackson County.

Summer & Sam McMahan of Mountain Faith (Image courtesy of Office of Public Information, WCU)This fast moving musical program is packed with some of the best mountain entertainers found today, with musicians who value our mountain musical heritage. Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt is a musician, storyteller, historian, television host and entertainer, dedicated to performing and preserving traditional American music and stories. Holt plays 10 acoustic instruments and has released numerous recordings of traditional mountain music and southern folktales.

“Many of the people I learned from saw wagon trains,” says Holt. “Now they are watching space shuttles. They’re the last of the pioneer generation. Their music and stories still hold a great deal of meaning and pleasure for us today.”

Holt brings to the concert stage the fun and spirit of old-time music and storytelling. An evening with David Holt offers tales, ballads and tunes told, sung and played on the banjo, slide guitar, guitar, harmonica, bones, spoons and jaw harp. His audiences are constantly involved, learning to play the paper bag, applauding the vitality of his clog dancing, listening to the haunting sound of a 122 year old mountain banjo, or being spellbound by a ghost story. He has a slew of music CDs and DVDs, which can be found at website:

Ken Walton, guitar instructor, plays with JAM students Sebastian Best and Sam Coyle at Greening Up the Mountains, April 2012.Mountain Faith is a young bluegrass gospel family from Sylva, who started performing together in 2001. Mountain Faith is made up of Sam McMahan on bass, his daughter, Summer Brooke McMahan on vocals and fiddle, and his son, Brandon McMahan on banjo and vocals. Joining the McMahans are John Morgan on guitar and vocals, and Dustin Norris on mandolin.

All but Sam are young players still in their teens.

“I am thankful that the kids have shared the stage with greats such as Dailey & Vincent, Balsam Range, Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, Rhonda Vincent, Cherryholmes, Michael Cleveland, The Inspirations, Curtis Blackwell, The Isaacs, Sierra Hull, Little Roy Lewis and many more. These bands have all provided inspiration for them to keep going with their music,” said Sam.

The newest CD for Mountain Faith is called “Battlefield.” Find out more information at their website:

Lonesome Sound members Will Howell, Jacob Jones and Michael Morgan.The local band Lonesome Sound is made up of Jacob Jones, Will Howell, Michael Morgan and Wayne Crowe. Jacob and Will have been playing bluegrass music together for almost four years. The two have spent several years traveling on the road between Virginia and Florida playing at Adams and Anderson Festivals, along with other big named bluegrass festivals in the southeast. Michael Morgan has been playing in local bands here in Sylva for more than three years. The three young men started with Catch the Spirit of Appalachia when they were very young boys in the Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent competition. Will, Jacob and Michael have been friends ever since. Wayne Crowe and his brother Josh (known as the Crowe Brothers) play in a band in Haywood County. The four members of Lonesome Sound bring a refreshing sound to bluegrass music. They have a new CD due to be release by the end of April. Find out more about them by calling (828)507-6653.

For more information about the concert, contact Heather Gordon, Jackson County 4-H, 828-586-4009 or 828-400-2114, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About JAM in Jackson County

JAM is an after-school program that provides young people instruction and performance opportunities in Mountain Heritage Music on traditional Appalachian instruments. The vision for the program is that all children throughout the Appalachian Mountains have access to the joy of participation in the music of their heritage. The 4- H /Cooperative Extension serves as the sponsoring agency for JAM in Jackson County. Twenty students in the program are currently learning to play guitar, mandolin and fiddle. Jam director is Dusk Weaver from Whittier, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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