Aug. 23, 2011
The grandson of West Virginia folk legend Virginia Myrtle “Aunt Jennie” Wilson will share the stage with other notable old-time musicians during a pair of free Labor Day concerts at the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park.
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 the seventh annual “Aunt Jennie Music Festival” on Sept. 3-4. Bryant, who has shared the stage with Tom T. Hall, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea and Kris Kristofferson, also will open for Saturday’s 3:00 p.m.-10 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.”
Also performing Saturday will be Cora and Fred Hairston of Omar; The Mark IV from the Charleston area; Glen Simpson, a folk musician from Hardy, Ky.; The Dick Taylor Band, a bluegrass group from Chapmanville; 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; David Morris, an Appalachian singer, songwriter, and artist-in-residence from Ivydale; 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. Also appearing on Saturday’s stage will be Rob Skaggs, a country and rock musician from Nashville, Tenn; and The Street Players, a rock band hailing from Logan.
Sunday’s concert, set for 1-6 p.m., will feature another Bryant set; The Seekers, a local gospel group; The Earl of Elkview, George Daugherty, a trial lawyer who has traveled the world singing and talking about West Virginia; this year’s Vandalia Award winner, Buddy Griffin, and the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band. Rounding out Sunday’s lineup will be The Samples Brothers, an old-time music and bluegrass band from Duck; The Stewart Family, a gospel group from Clear Fork; Robert Shafer and the Pour House Band, a country band based in the Charleston area; and the Daddy Rabbit Band, a local pop band from Logan.
The concerts will be held in the park’s Liz Spurlock Amphitheater, about a half mile from the museum. Concessions will be available outside the amphitheater.
Visitors also are welcome to tour the Museum in the Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The museum will display an updated exhibition of photographs and information on 30 years of Vandalia Award winners in West Virginia, including Griffin, who teaches music at Glenville State College and heads the school’s Bluegrass Certificate program.
The We Are Marshall exhibit displays items produced as props for the 2006 movie production, including a cheerleader’s megaphone and uniform, license plates from West Virginia and North Carolina, and a Boone’s Restaurant menu, among others.
DeHue . . . A Special Place examines aspects of coal camp life, including business and social life; while Practicing Medicine includes medical furnishings, equipment and supplies from the West Virginia State Museum’s collection. There also are two quilts made by the late Katie Barnette of Logan and a collection of historic photos of Logan and the surrounding area.
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.
The Museum in the Park is a regional cultural center showcasing the best in West Virginia history and the arts. It features changing exhibits and displays of artwork and historical items from the collections of the West Virginia State Museum and the State Archives. One area of the museum is dedicated to local and regional history. It is operated and maintained by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and is four miles north of Logan on W.Va. Route 10 at Chief Logan State Park. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.