October Shows

Wyatt Rice and Rickie Simpkins
Friday, October 16, 2015
8 pm

Wyatt Rice and Rickie Simpkins have been playing music together for nearly 30 years! This special concert combines Rice's stellar flat-picking with Simpkins' phenomenal fiddle playing.

Best known for the syncopated lyricism of his fiddle playing, Rickie Simpkins has been on the the go musically since his childhood days, building a catalog of recordings and appearances that testifies both to his creative flexibility as well as to his enduring roots in the classic bluegrass of his native Virginia. He has appeared on recordings in a variety of musical genres including Nils Lofgren, Ralph Stanley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Starling, Tony Rice, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Eddie from Ohio, The Issacs, Mike Auldridge and others.

Rickie has won many awards including SPBGMA's – “Fiddle Player of the Year”, IBMA's – “Instrumental Group of the Year”, 1991 & 1995 and Bluegrass Now's – “Fan's Choice Awards, Fiddle Player of the Year” in 1998. Rickie was inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Since 2007, Rickie has toured extensively with Emmylou Harris and Her Red Dirt Boys.

Fans of acoustic guitar music and Acoustic Stage should be well acquainted with Wyatt Rice. Wyatt and brother Larry performed at the very first Acoustic Stage show on December 12, 1992! Wyatt (as well as Rickie) has also appeared at Acoustic Stage as a member of the Tony Rice Unit many times. He began his career as an original member of the Unit where he played primarily rhythm guitar, although he had many opportunities for soloing as well. Wyatt has been featured on many recordings and videos, and has played countless gigs with the Tony Rice Unit. He played lead and rhythm guitar with his own band Wyatt Rice and Santa Cruz and with the Ronnie Bowman Committee.

Today, Wyatt works with a varied palette that includes teaching, recording, producing and performing.

Member: $  12.50
Guests:   $16.00


November Shows

Adrian Legg
Saturday, November 7, 2015
8 pm

Fingerstyle guitarist Adrian Legg will make his first appearance at Acoustic Stage.

Early in his career, following a stint in an Irish show band based in Dublin, Legg moved back to London and continued to gig in bands that played clubs and pubs and toured around and outside Britain. When one bandleader asked him to play acoustic guitar chords up against a microphone, he became fascinated with the notion of blending the tonality of an acoustic with the amplified power of the electric guitar.

Thus began an electro-acoustic quest that continues today to find the holy guitar grail that melds tone, technique and technology to allow him to create, perform and record the music his imagination envisions, eventually incorporating synthesizers and computerized MIDI programming to augment and enrich his one-man musicality. “I wanted something that had the harmonic content roughly like an acoustic, and that had the flexibility in terms of stringing and volume levels, whatever you wanted to do, of an electric,” he explains.

Starting to gig as a solo artist in the mid 1970s, Legg won a Guitar magazine solo acoustic competition in both the composition and performance categories. In the 1990's Legg found even greater success in the U.S. as a regularly touring solo act, headlining and sharing bills with fellow guitarists Richard Thompson, David Lindley and others.

Throughout his career, he has earned the highest praise from the media. "Legg is, above all, a guitarist of great power, invention and versatility,” observes the St. Petersburg Times. “Through fast-fingered picking, spontaneously layering parts and occasional ringing harmonics, he sounds like an orchestra.” Guitar Player heralds how he “combines a sublime melodic sense with a mighty right-hand groove, creating pretty music with rhythmically aggressive undercurrents,” while Acoustic Guitar notes that “the guitar is the most versatile instrument in the world, and nobody demonstrates this better than Adrian Legg.”

For Legg, the essence of his creativity is in live performance. “Playing live is the whole point,” he stresses. “Everyone makes a journey, an effort; we all come together — me, the audience, the people who run the venue — to share this wonderful, universal, human emotional interaction. This is where music lives."

Member: $12.00
Guests:   $16.00


Rev. Billy C. Wirtz
Saturday, November 14, 2015
8 pm

Due to a last minute opportunity for Rev. Wirtz, we are rescheduling the October 24th Rev. Billy C. Wirtz concert for Saturday, November 14th. Rev. Billy has been asked to replace Ironing Board Sam on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise during the time the October concert was to take place. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Rev. Billy C. Wirtz returns to Hickory! The Rev. Wirtz wraps his humorous stories and songs into carefully orchestrated sets that feature his stellar piano playing. If you attended any of Rev. Wirtz's previous Acoustic Stage performances, you may still be laughing at his stories and songs.

But don't let his brilliant comedy overshadow his masterful keyboard talent. By no means a straight-ahead blues player, much of his material is based in blues and classic R&B. His sharp social commentaries, sprinkled with humorous observations about life always make for a unique and entertaining, not to-be-missed show.

Member: $  10.00
Guests:   $12.50


December Shows

Gigi Dover & The Big Love
Friday, December 4, 2015
8 pm

Gigi Dover and Eric Lovell are the duo at the heart of the collective musical unit Gigi Dover & The Big Love. Gigi is the singer/songwriter/artist (a graphic artist and painter) and Eric is the producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist. Both are natives of Charlotte, NC.

Previously, Gigi was lead singer in the former Americana band the Rank Outsiders. Eric has played with a number of Americana/Rock acts in North Carolina. Eric joined Gigi to tour in 2002 and they formed Gigi Dover & The Big Love in 2003.

Incorporating the sounds and vibes of world instruments: Sitar, Ukelele, Djimbe and Glockenspeil - their sound is a fresh and palatable blend of gypsy, jazzy, funky, southern-soul and world music. Their live shows move effortlessly from high-energy to low-swampy grooves and back again, creating a rich sonic experience.

This will be the group's first appearance at Acoustic Stage.

"Dover's songs seem to have sprung from the same pallet of complex vibrant colors she uses on canvas." - Lindsay Planer - All Music Guide

Member: $  7.50
Guests:   $10.00


David Via and Mason Via
Saturday, December 5, 2015
8 pm

This marks the first appearance at Acoustic Stage of this father-son pairing. Hot picking and great songwriting are in their blood!

Hailing from Patrick County, Virginia, David Via always puts forth an impassioned performance. Via's top notch mandolin and guitar playing on his songs like "Hard Times", "Ain't That The Blues" and "It All Comes Down To A Song" are what makes it so special to him see perform live. His songs come from being raised and living in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. David is the winner of the 2009 International/American Folk Alliance Songwriters Contest, held at Mountain Stage and the 3-time Chris Austin Songwriting Contest winner at Merlefest.

Mason Via is a talented young musician/singer/songwriter from Danbury, NC. He has just released his debut CD, "UP, UP, UP" which contains only his original songs. Mason has been playing acoustic guitar since the age of 12, taught by David. Mason's playing and vocals back up the deep emotion his lyrics possess. His music has its own unique sound that is hard to categorize. He has been labeled a folk troubador! Mason won the fall Shakori Hills mandolin competition and also placed in Male Vocal at Union Grove Fiddlers Convention '15.

Member: $10.00
Guests:   $13.50


Coming soon: From Calcutta, India Sandip Burman on Sitar and Tabla