Aunt Jennie Music Festival moved indoors
by Martha Sparks Society Editor
CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK – Both days of the Aunt Jennie Music Festival has been moved indoors to the Pickin’ in the Park location due to the threat of severe weather.
Logan County native and folk legend “Aunt Jennie” Wilson, along with other notable old-time musicians, will be honored during two free Labor Day concerts.
Wilson’s grandson and Logan native Roger Bryant, whose musical roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions, will serve as emcee for concerts, now in their ninth year. Bryant, who has shared the stage with Tom T. Hall, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea and Kris Kristofferson, also will open for Saturday’s 4-11 p.m. concert.
Bryant achieved national attention in the late 1970s with his song “Stop the Flow of Coal” and has recorded four albums, the most recent of which is “On the Banks of the Old Guyan.”
Other performers for the concert include Glen Simpson, a folk musician from Hardy, Ky.; Elaine Purkey, known for her powerful voice, mountain singing and “The Friendly Neighbor Show” band from the weekly radio program on WVOW Radio in Logan; The Dick Taylor Band, a bluegrass group from Chapmanville; the Easy Street band from Logan; and Jeff Ellis, a Huntington native who has released five albums including his latest, “The Line.” Ellis has appeared on Mountain Stage, was a featured artist on National Public Radio and was one of five co-winners of the 2008 Mountain Stage NewSong International Songwriting Contest. Rounding out the Saturday lineup will be the classic pop/rock sounds of the Daddy Rabbit Band.
Sunday’s concert, set for 1-8 p.m., will feature another Bryant set; Cora and Fred Hairston, gospel singers from Omar; The Earl of Elkview, George Daugherty, a trial lawyer who has traveled the world singing and talking about West Virginia; Robert Shafer and The Pour House Band, a country band based in the Charleston area; The Samples Brothers, an old-time music and bluegrass band from Duck; the Stewarts, a gospel group from Clear Fork; and classic rock from the Street Players of Logan.
Concessions will be available during the event.
Jennie Wilson was born in 1900 in the Doc Ellis hollow of what is now Chief Logan State Park. She was one of the first women in the region to learn to play the banjo, and her music and storytelling made her internationally known for her preservation of Appalachian culture. Wilson died in 1992.
For more information about the festival, contact Elizabeth Williams, site manager at the Museum in the Park, at 304-792-7229.
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