Known for the soulful sound he brings to country, bluegrass and gospel music, Grammy winning vocalist Marty Raybon headlines an afternoon of standout musical performers at the 2013 LUKEfest Concert in the Park, Sunday, May 26, in Sparta, beginning at 2 p.m.
Raybon is best known as the vocalist for Shenandoah, and for the Grammy winning single “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” with Allision Krauss.
Also scheduled to appear on the Crouse Park Stage are innovative guitar-piano duo Wayne Henderson and Jeff Little, country singer Michael Cosner, Wayne “Elvis” Euliss, Seazuns Pleazuns, the Yates Family Band and Zeke’s All Stars.
This is a free concert to benefit Alleghany Special Olympics and in honor of Luke Hampton, an Alleghany High School athlete who was paralyzed by a spinal cord injury during a wrestling tournament. The Sunday concert kicks off a summer-long Saturday Music in Crouse Park Series that closes Labor Day weekend with a benefit concert for the Solid Rock Food Closet by the band Fried Pies.
All musical groups and Sound and Light Productions are donating their time and talent. There is no admission, but donations are appreciated. The stage faces the sloping park lawn. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or, if you prefer to sit on the grass, bring a blanket. Concessions will be available. In case of rain, the event will be held in the Alleghany Auditorium, 450 North Main Street.
To arrive in Sparta, from I-77 take exit 83 (northbound traffic only) or exit 85 and follow US 21 North for 29 miles up the Blue Ridge to Sparta. At the second traffic signal, go right onto NC 18. Crouse Park begins at the second left, the intersection with Grayson St. Learn more at www.CoolSparta.com or call 800-372-5473.
Raybon broke onto the musical scene in the 1980s as lead vocalist for Shenandoah and topped the Billboard charts with hits like “Next to You, Next to Me,” and “The Church on Cumberland Road.” Guest vocalist Alison Krauss joined Raybon and Shenandoah on “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” which earned a Grammy in 1995. After Shenandoah disbanded, he has recorded with the Raybon Brothers and Full Circle. His latest album, The Back Forty, was released earlier this year and shows off his bluegrass roots.
The Little-Henderson duo returns from the 2012 LUKEfest. Rugby, Va. guitarist, Wayne Henderson is also renowned as an instrument maker. He was the subject of the book, Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument.
The Washington Post said Boone, NC, pianist Jeff Little brought fast, tricky fiddle tunes to the piano much as Doc Watson brought them to the guitar. When you put an innovator like Little together with Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking style, even bluegrass and mountain standards take on new life
Greensboro, NC native, Michael Cosner, is long familiar to northwest North Carolina country music fans. He began performing with father’s band at age 7. This latest album, Stay Country, features his original compositions.
Wayne Euliss is one of the area’s best known artist for bringing Elvis Presley to life. Not only does he resemble the legendary star in his looks, but also in his voice and stage presence.
One of the most enduring local bands, Seazuns Pleazuns, played area venues in the 1970s and 80s. Reunited almost two years ago, it is entertaining with classic rock and country favorites. It features Dennis Shaw, guitar, keyboard and vocals; David Choate, guitar and vocals; and Homer Crouse, bass and vocals; and newcomer Marty Miles on drums.
From Damascus, Va., the Yates Family Band features noted potter and banjo player with Konnarock Critters, Debbie Grim Yates, and her husband, Tim, formerly with the Rice Brothers. They team up with their daughters, Molly and Sadie, for an acoustic set.
Zeke’s All Stars from Dobson, NC, is a group of musical veterans who bring their rhythm and blues sound to the Crouse stage.
Music continues most Saturdays in Crouse Park through September, beginning at 6 p.m. A schedule of all summer events is available at www.CoolSparta.com on the Web.