Local talent to be showcased at Bluegrass Festival


Staff report



HAMLET – Only a few days remain to get discounted tickets to the inaugural Richmond Community College Bluegrass Festival, which will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Pre-show pricing is available beginning at $25. Prices will increase the day of the event.

In addition to three award-winning, chart-topping bluegrass bands, local talent has also been invited to provide entertainment during the festival that will be held at the Cole Auditorium on RichmondCC’s main campus in Hamlet.

The Long Gone Bluegrass Boys will be playing traditional bluegrass music in the lobby of the auditorium as the festival kicks off. The band includes banjo player Joe Grooms and guitarist Luke VunCannon, both of Ellerbe, and bass player Jim Simpson and mandolin player Daniel Luther, both of Randolph County.

“I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old, and the other guys in the band have all been playing their whole lives,” Grooms said. “I’ve always enjoyed bluegrass music and the history behind it, as well as the ease of playing with others who enjoy this style of music.”

Grooms said the Long Gone Bluegrass Boys have been playing together for about five years, providing smiles and good music to their audiences.

Also on tap

Three other bluegrass bands are scheduled to perform at the event, which is part of Richmond County Farm-City Week. Acts include Balsam Range, Lonesome River and The Burrow Brothers.

Balsam Range has won numerous awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), including the 2014 Entertainer and Vocal Group of the Year Awards. The Lonesome River Band was recently honored with four IBMA nominations in the 2015 Awards.

The Burrows Brothers hail from Randleman, N.C. The five-member band is led by brothers Adam and Jake Burrows. All three groups have performed at numerous festivals around the Richmond and Scotland county area.

More information about each of the performing acts may be found online at richmondcc.edu/bluegrass. The Richmond Community College Bluegrass Festival is being sponsored by a grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development Division.

“We are excited to be an entertainment destination for Farm-City Week,” Cole Auditorium Director Joey Bennett said. “A bluegrass festival is a perfect supplement for this annual event that highlights the farming community. We have some very well known and highly entertaining bands lined up to play, and we also will be inviting local talent to take part in this music festival being held at the Cole.”

Tickets to the Richmond Community College Bluegrass Festival are $30 to $45 (price varies for seating options) and can be purchased through the Cole Auditorium Box Office. Festival-goers who purchase tickets early will receive a $5 discount.

Box office hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also call the box office at 910- 410-1691.

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Staff report

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