Meet the Pickers: Part Two

Aug. 29, 2013 @ 06:52 PM

Following a community dance on Friday and a slate of competitions on Saturday, the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention will present a lineup of nine bluegrass acts on Sunday. Here’s a little bit about three of them, the Harris Brothers, Wayne Henderson/Herb Key Band, and Laura Boosinger, in a question-and-answer format. Learn about more in the Saturday edition.

The Harris Brothers – 1:45 p.m.

Q: Describe the Harris Brothers’ sound.

A: “We play a lot of different kinds of music and we’ve got some traditional influences but we’re a two-man group: two vocals, a bass, a suitcase and a kickdrum. We range a lot of different styles, from traditional to Americana music. Lots of people say we put off as much sound as a full band with just two people.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention?

A: It’s just our home festival and it’s something to be proud of, you know, where we’re from. It’s kind of a growing thing – and it’s beautiful down there.

Q: What can the audience except from a Harris Brothers show?

A: They can just expect a wide range of music. We play a little bit of everything so usually, if you don’t like one song, you might like the next one. We switch up styles a lot.

Wayne Henderson/Herb Key Band – 2:30 p.m.

Q: How did you get started playing music?

A: Well, I live in southwest Virginia, where it’s pretty much an everyday way of life, you know, playing music. It’s just an everyday thing around here to play music. That’s what we all did – me and my cousins. And my dad was an old-time fiddler. It was just in the family. That’s what we did.

Q: What are your favorite songs to play live?

“Steel Guitar Rag,” “Alabama Jubilee,” “Down Yonder” and Carter Family tunes.

Q: What can the audience expect when you and Herb Key Band get together?

A: Herb’s a real good singer. I like to play with people like that, who can do some singing. I do mostly guitar tunes and I do some storytelling. I like to tell stories and jokes and I do a lot of that, and I can throw in some guitar stuff that’s good backup for people singing.

Laura Boosinger - 3:15 p.m.

Q: How did you get started playing music?

A: I actually got started when I was a college student, taking banjo lessons. Then I got really interested in all of the families who play this music; that’s how I sort of got into it. I play traditional music and I’m known as a banjo player, but I play other stringed instruments. I’ve been playing this music for over 30 years.

Q: What can the audience expect from one of your shows?

A: They can expect to hear traditional music from North Carolina and good storytelling. I always talk about the songs, where they came from, give some background on some songs to draw the listener in.

Q: What’s your favorite song to perform live?

A: Anything, really. It certainly just changes on whatever my mood is. You kind of try to read your audience.