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Don’t Miss Two of the Hottest Bluegrass Flat-Pickers You’ll Ever Hear!
October 13th Gathering Features Wyatt Rice and Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett, Tina Fields, & Wyatt Rice
Whether you’re deeply into bluegrass music or a fan of great flat-picking guitarists, you’ll want to join us at our next Gathering on Friday, October 13th. Wyatt Rice and Richard Bennett, considered two of the greatest flat-pickers performing today, will play in concert at 7:30 PM in the Great Aunt Stella Center. Joining them on upright bass will be Tina Fields.
Great Aunt Stella Center is located at 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in the edge of Uptown Charlotte. Look for the sign on the front lawn that says “Self Help.”
Be in line when the doors open at 7 PM to catch the award-winning High Ridge Pickers opening the evening. Known for their bluegrass, old-time, and gospel repertoire, the band is comprised of Mary, Dave, and Ruth Shumway, a fourteen-year-old fiddler who has taken numerous “firsts” at fiddlers’ conventions.
Fans of acoustic guitar are well acquainted with the name of Wyatt Rice. He was an original member of the Tony Rice Unit and has been a fixture in that group over the years. Wyatt has also played lead and rhythm guitar with his own band, Wyatt Rice and Santa Cruz, and with The Ronnie Bowman Committee. A frequent performer on the Grand Old Opry, Wyatt has recorded or performed with numerous artists, including David Grisman, J.D. Crowe, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Rickie Simpkins, Ronnie Bowman, Lee Ann Womack, The Lonesome River Band, Sierra Hull, Ricky Skaggs, and, of course, with his brothers Larry, Tony, and Ronnie. Wyatt is an accomplished guitar instructor who has taught at numerous seminars, workshops, colleges, and universities. He is currently teaching at East Tennessee State University. Wyatt released a DVD on bluegrass guitar with Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and has been featured on several of its special compilation CDs. With his brother Ronnie, Wyatt operates Rice Recordings, which has produced projects by artists such as The Steep Canyon Rangers, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, and for record labels including Rounder and Rebel.
Wyatt Rice was born in Long Beach, California in 1965. Subsequent years found the Rice Family moving for work all over the country – from Florida to California, from Texas to Virginia and North Carolina, and places in between. Several members of the family played instruments and it was natural for the Rice brothers themselves to start playing. Wyatt found himself with a guitar in hand by age six, playing Little Brown Jug. He kept up with guitar during his school years, but his musical training also included stints on alto saxophone, bassoon, and bass in the school marching band. By tenth grade, his attention was becoming firmly fixed on acoustic guitar, encouraged by older brother Tony’s developments in jazz-oriented Dawg and New Acoustic Music. When Tony recorded his landmark Church Street Blues album, consisting of just voice and guitar, he flew Wyatt out to California to record a couple of tracks with him. From then on, Wyatt’s goal was to play guitar with Tony and, at age seventeen, he got his wish, moving from Florida to California to play on the Backwaters album. When the Tony Rice Unit came together in 1984, it featured Wyatt Rice on rhythm guitar. That band made an indelible footprint in the world of acoustic music and gave Wyatt world-wide exposure as a rhythm and lead guitarist. Visit Wyatt’s website at www.wyattrice.com.
Richard Bennett is a singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist who has made noted contributions to bluegrass and acoustic music. Coming from an Eastern Tennessee musical family, Richard started playing guitar at the age of seven, and by fifteen he was playing guitar for former Flatt & Scruggs fiddler Benny Sims. 1983 brought Richard’s first recording session in Nashville with Vassar Clements, Mark Schatz, and Randy Howard. The same year he landed a job at Dollywood, a stint he has revisited throughout his career.
Richard has worked with some of the most esteemed acts in bluegrass and country/folk music, including J. D. Crowe & The New South, Bobby Osborne & the Bluegrass Express, and Lou Reid and Carolina. He performed on three albums with Jimmy Gaudreau and Mike Aldridge and toured with them as Aldridge/Bennett/Gaudreau. Richard filled in for Tony Rice in the Tony Rice Unit and The Bluegrass Album Band in the mid-to-late ’90s. Richard also released three solo CDs between 1997 and 2002 on Rebel Records and toured in support of the these releases. In 2012 Richard Bennett released Last Train From Poor Valley on Lonesome Day Records, which garnered airplay on bluegrass, folk and Americana Radio. Learn more about Richard here.
Monthly second-Friday Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated and essential to holding Gatherings in the Great Aunt Stella Center. Refreshments, a song circle, jam sessions, songwriters' circle, and an Appalachian dulcimer group follow the hour-long concert; visitors are welcome to join in or simply listen.
Free parking is available in the 4th Street Mecklenburg County parking deck, between Kings Drive and McDowell Street. Enter from the Stella Center parking lot or directly from 4th Street. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground floor door on the parking lot side of the building. A CFS volunteer will be available to assist visitors into the building.
The Charlotte Folk Society is supported, in part, with funding by the Arts & Science Council (ASC).
This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.