SummerStage @ The Blackburn

 

Music. Food. Friends. It’s summer the way it was meant to be! This summer, kick back on the lawn of the Blackburn Inn for live music every Friday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day. SummerStage brings Americana, roots, country, folk, and bluegrass bands from regional and national artists to Staunton. Enjoy a starlight soundtrack in a socially distanced pod with a picnic box along with beer and wine.

 

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Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass

Friday, June 18
Doors at 6 PM

Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass play powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here. Their combination of instrumentation and vocals convey the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny’s lead vocals will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have considered Danny as one of their favorite singers. His voice combines powerful range and soulful blues with a sound like no one else in bluegrass today.

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Fireside Collective

Friday, June 25
Doors at 6 PM

Quickly blazing a name for themselves with their progressive approach to American folk music, Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album “Shadows and Dreams”, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements.

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Scott Miller

Friday, July 2
Doors at 6 PM

Recently inducted to the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, fiery roots-rock singer/songwriter Scott Miller returned to his native Virginia to tend the family farm while continuing to release and perform new music informed by that rural area, history, and Appalachia. The Staunton native first made a name for himself in the 90s as guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter with the superb pop/rock band the V-Roys before establishing himself as a gifted and eclectic solo artist, first with his ad hoc group the Commonwealth and later on his own. “[Miller combines] the emotional honesty and intelligence of a singer/songwriter with the swagger and enthusiasm of a rock & roller… a gifted and eclectic solo artist.” (AllMusic.com) Recently on tour with Patty Griffin, Robbie Fulks, Paul Thorn and American Aquarium.

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The Quebe Sisters

Friday, July 9
Doors at 6 PM

With over fifteen years of touring to date, The Quebe Sistershave delivered their authentic triple fiddle and three-part harmony sound to the concert halls and festivals of North America and Europe.

Grace, Sophia, and Hulda Quebe front an innovative Progressive Western Swing band of archtop guitar, upright bass, fiddles and sibling harmony. The Dallas-based five-piece presents a unique Americana blend of Western Swing, Jazz-influenced Swing, Country, Texas-Style Fiddling, and Western music.

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The Golden Age

Friday, July 16
Doors at 6 PM

American modern songwriter and musician Bryan Simpson (former front man of alt-bluegrass Cadillac Sky and folk rock endeavor The Whistles and The Bells) is back making string band music that is equal parts preservation and rebellion when he arrives under the moniker The Golden Age fresh from the release of the debut album, “I’m Sure It Will be Fine.”

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David Wax Museum

Friday, July 23
Doors at 6 PM

Pioneering folk musicians David Wax and Suz Slezak are the plucky husband-wife duo behind the eclectic, exuberant “Mexo-Americana” band David Wax Museum. After 14 relentless years touring the country and world, half of them with their two young children in tow, COVID’s abrupt disruption in March 2020 created a first jarring, then welcome creative pause for the Charlottesville, VA-based band. Not wasting a moment, Suz–who grew up homeschooled, playing the fiddle, singing rounds, and drinking raw milk fresh from her family’s homestead farm–immediately dug up their small downtown front yard to plant the first real garden of the indie rocker couple’s nomadic adult lives.

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Aztec Sun

Friday, July 30
Doors at 6 PM

Since its inception in late 2012, Washington DC-based band Aztec Sun has hypnotized the ears and feet of the District's live music aficionados. No matter the scale of the venue, this ensemble maintains an upbeat and retro groove steeped in 70's Funk and Soul, Jazz, Afro-funk and Motown- era pop. Their infectious songwriting and energetic live performances have yielded rewards for the group - such as being named Best Local Original Band by the Washington City Paper and sharing the stage with international and national touring acts such as Burning Spear, The Suffers, Pimps of Joytime, Naughty Professor, The Main Squeeze, Alanna Royale, and Major and the Monbacks.

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Heifetz Grand Finale

Friday, August 6
Doors at 6 PM

TBD

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Bryan Elijah Smith

Friday, August 13
Doors at 6 PM

Bryan Elijah Smith is an award winning singer-songwriter & producer based out of Virginia. Smith’s innate songwriting ability and haunting voice leave you with a sense of timeless nostalgia. Crossing a wide array of genres, what gets produced has been compared to the likes of Bruce Springsteen to Kings of Leon to Gregory Alan Isakov. Smith recently won 2nd place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest 2019 where the title track to his new album, ‘In Through The Dark’, was 1 of 12 songs chosen out of 970 national entries. Smith has been a CASC finalist 2 years in a row (past finalist include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt & Lera Lynn). 'In Through The Dark' won 1st place in the Unsigned Only 2019 international songwriting contest where there were 6,000 entries from over 100 countries. Judges included Aimee Mann, Robert Smith of The Cure, Garth Hudson from The Band and many more. 'In Through The Dark' also appears in a new NETFLIX series called 'Virgin River' which premiered December 2019. Subsequently the song was a 2020 Independent Music Awards nominee in the 'Used In Film/TV' category. Joining Smith on stage is Staunton based violinist Jay Austin. They've been performing together across the United States since 2010.

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Bonnie Bishop

Friday, August 20
Doors at 6 PM

By the time Bonnie Bishop released her oh-so-appropriately titled 2016 album, Ain’t Who I Was, she had already experienced several Cinderella-story career moments. First, her idol Bonnie Raitt recorded one of her songs, “Not Cause I Wanted To,” for her 2012 comeback album, Slipstream. Then New York Times critic Jon Pareles named it his Song of the Year, and Raitt’s album won a Grammy. Bishop also got to hear songs she’d penned sung by stars of the hit TV show “Nashville,” while Raitt covered another of her songs, “Undone” on 2016 ‘s Dig In Deep.

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Hackensaw Boys

Friday, August 27
Doors at 6 PM

For over 20 years, the Hackensaw Boys have plowed the asphalt, bringing their raw, gritty version of American roots music to the venues and streets that originally inspired them. Born in Virginia, along the same routes as fellow road warriors/street buskers Old Crow Medicine Show, the Hackensaw Boys have at times operated more as a collective than a band, sometimes boasting up to twenty members. What’s kept them together is a burning hot vision of American roots music brought kicking and screaming into a new age, fueled as much by a rowdy punk spirit as by the traditional masters that first inspired them. Led by founding member, guitarist and songwriter David Sickmen, they’re back on the road with new songs, determined to get their fans back on the dance floors they remember so well. Their newest release, A Fireproof House of Sunshine, was released on June 21st, 2019 on Free Dirt Records.

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Ben Sollee

Friday, September 3
Doors at 6 PM

Over the last two decades, Kentuckian Ben Sollee has distinguished himself as multi-faceted creative, blurring the lines between music, tech, and activism. A graduate of the Univeristy of Louisville School of Music, he holds a BFA in cello performance. Since his debut record in 2008, Mr. Sollee has released 6 studio records and nearly 10 EPs garnering praise from the New York Times and NPR. His music has been featured in tv shows such as Weeds and Parenthood. In addition, Sollee has a growing career as a composer for film, tv, and interactive media earning a Emmy Award in 2018 for his score on the ABC special Base Ballet. Beyond music, Mr. Sollee is known for his social and environmental advocacy working with organizations like Oxfam America, The Nature Conservancy, and Canopy KY to protect people and the land. He currently lives in Louisville, KY with his wife and three children.

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Past SummerStage Concerts

 

Heifetz Memorial Day Weekend Hootenanny

Friday, May 28
Doors at 6 PM
SummerStage @ The Blackburn gets the season off to a rollicking start in partnership with Staunton’s world renowned Heifetz International Music Institute and their all-star trio of fancy fiddlers Kitty Amaral, Kiarra Saito-Beckman and Isabella Gorman, cellist and "Hoot Host" Alex Fowler, banjoist Andrew Green, and just announced: Special Guests Robin & Linda Williams.
For more than four decades, Robin & Linda Williams have made it their mission to perform the music that they love, "a robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that combines wryly observant lyrics with a wide-ranging melodicism." The list of artists who have covered their original songs include some of the greats of country music, names like Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, George Hamilton IV, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, and The Seldom Scene.

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Chatham County Line

Friday, June 4
Doors at 6 PM

Come 2020, Chatham County Line will have been a staple of the North Carolina music scene for two decades. Embracing an all acoustic instrumentation and the modern songwriting of leader Dave Wilson the band has graced stages all across the U.S. as well as Europe, Scandinavia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. With seven studio albums of original material to pull from, CCL has a sound all their own and a stage show to match. Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Dave Wilson pulls tunes out of an ether that is inspired by a shelf bending collection of vinyl records from the 1920’s to the 2020’s. One listen to their all covers release “Sharing the Covers” [Yep Roc Records 2019] will give you an idea of those inspirations, with songs from the likes of Wilco and Beck shared with those of John Lennon, Tom Petty and John Hartford.

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The Judy Chops

Friday, June 11
Doors at 6 PM

Mostly recorded in the backwoods of central Virginia, The Judy Chops’ fourth studio LP Love Is the Answer carries a lot of Southern traditions ( a lot ); from soul to funk to rockabilly, the band jumps from genre to genre on almost every song. Even opener “Q 4 U,” sounds like a wacky vaudevillian romp and, over 11 tracks, The Judy Chops’ variety show marches onward. The septet—consisting of William Howard (electric guitar, vocals), Molly Murphy (hollowbody guitar, vocals), Sally Murphy (banjo, vocals), Mike Pressel (trumpet), Rachel Smith (baritone saxophone), Jims Hinkle (bass) and Jess Bergh (drums)—clearly enjoys navigating through all of these sonic changes.

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