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Wayne Henderson, Helen White are joined by German bluegrass band the Looping Brothers at Carter Fold on Saturday

Staff Report • Apr 15, 2019 at 9:01 AM

HILTONS, Virginia — Carter Family Fold will present a unique concert of old time and bluegrass music Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Longtime Fold performers Wayne Henderson and Helen White will be joined by a German bluegrass band, the Looping Brothers. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6-11, under age 6 are free. Tickets are available at the door, which opens at 6 p.m.

Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar and in seven nations in Asia.

In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin.

Some of Henderson's instruments are intricately decorated, but they are most respected for their volume, tone and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.”

There is a waiting list for Henderson's guitars made up of the famous (and not-so-famous). He built a custom guitar for Eric Clapton. Above and beyond his great talents as a musician and instrument maker, Wayne Henderson is known as a “friend to everyone” and shares his talents and knowledge unselfishly. 

Helen White is as good on fiddle as she is on guitar, and her vocals are as lovely as they are heartfelt. A very accomplished musician, White has worked all her life with young people.

Once of her biggest accomplishments was getting the JAM program active – not only in Virginia, but the entire region. JAM stands for Junior Appalachian Musicians; its website is http://jamkids.org.

Evidence of all the hard work and devotion White and others put into getting JAM into our area schools is all around us. There are JAM programs in nearly every county in the region.

The Looping Brothers are a German bluegrass band. They formed their project in 1996 after playing with the renowned band Groundspeed all over Europe and in the USA for about two decades.

Ulrich Sieker is featured on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and vocals. Matthias Malcher plays the guitar and banjo and also does vocals. Ralf Strotmann plays bass and does vocals.

The Looping Brothers play typical bluegrass instruments, doing a great selection of traditional songs as well as original material. Competent picking is combined with tasteful harmony singing. 

For a night of old time and bluegrass music, be sure to see Wayne Henderson, Helen White and the Looping Brothers at the Fold. There’s no better demonstration that music truly is the international language than to see a European band play the music of the mountains we call home.

Bring along your friends, your family and your dancing shoes. With two fiddlers, we are very sure there will be lots of dance tunes. For more information on Wayne and all the work he does for our area’s music, visit www.waynehenderson.org. You can also check out Wayne, Helen, and the Looping Brothers on the internet and YouTube.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic mountain music. The center is a family-friendly, drug- and alcohol-free venue.

In addition to the performance area, we also maintain the Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin. Both are historic landmarks and are open from 6-7:30 p.m. and later at performance intermission on Saturdays. For more information on the center, go to www.carterfamilyfold.org. 

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