Ray Merritt, Manager
573G Ayrshire Way
Newport News, VA 23602
$800 – $2,000
Fees are negotiable based on travel distance
Throughout the year
Professional sound system required except for very small gatherings. We furnish our own mics.
All ages and family friendly!
Singer, song-writer, and cross-picking guitar virtuoso Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys, bring to life the authentic folk music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. They specialize in old bluegrass ballads, early country, and camp meeting songs, in a style that is uniquely their own. Jenkins, a member of the Virginia Music Hall of Fame, has collected countless numbers of old songs over the 60 years he has been performing. His group can sing over 500 songs from memory and can create a song list for any type of audience or occasion.
Truly unique harmonies, captivating arrangements, and a rollicking good time are the hallmark of this legendary band that has some of the finest string musicians and vocalists in the USA. The ballads are raw and undiluted like the emotions they bring forth. These seldom heard but universally loved songs and ballads paint a picture of the lives of the immigrants and their descendants who eked out a hard scrabble living in the hills and hollows of the majestic Appalachians. Musical instruments were either homemade or not used, so the emphasis was on the voice. The ancient ability to harmonize by swapping back and forth from lead to harmony several times during the same song is a precise skill developed by years and years of practice and performance.
In addition to their strong vocal abilities, the group has some of the finest acoustic musicians performing currently. Bill Jenkins is considered one of the top cross-picking guitarists in the country. He is backed up by Ken Worrell, singer and rhythm guitarist; Joe Gilley on the bass fiddle; and Steve Hunley on the mandolin. The world-class five string banjo player, Clyde Bailey, contributes "breakdowns" and sings baritone with the band. Moreover, a short history lesson and explanation about each song is an important educational part of each show.
Their music originated in the hills of their ancestors, but has been honed by decades of practice to bring the ultimate in entertainment to today’s audiences. Audience reaction to the show is always the same. You will have the urge to clap your hands, tap your feet, sing along, and occasionally wipe a tear. After the show, Bill and the group will "hang around" shake hands and sign autographs. The rapport between the artists and their audiences is genuine and they have developed a large group of loyal followers, many who travel great distances to hear them play. As one long time follower stated, "The Virginia Mountain Boys don't just put on a show, it is an experience that I will come back for time after time."