This is a three-day event held annually each Labor Day weekend. Watch this short video for a flavor of the festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3iyZumhsC4
The focus of Sunday is performances by six artists playing a variety of forms of traditional music.
PAT KELLEHER (11:00 am) from Dripsey, Co. Cork, Ireland, has been influenced equally by American folk singer Pete Seeger and Irish folk singer Luke Kelly. He will be joined by local friends to present just a bit of his vast repertoire from both sides of the Atlantic.
THE PINEY WOODS BOYS (12:00 pm) are based in Raleigh, NC. Wayne Martin, Jim Collier, Matt Haney, and Margaret Martin introduce a new generation to the sound of fiddle tunes, mountain gospel harmonies and regional ballads. Instrumentation includes fiddle, banjo, guitar, & autoharp.
THE LITTLE STONY NIGHTHAWKS (1:00 pm) interpret songs and fiddle tunes from all along the Appalachian watersheds with a dance beat rooted in the traditions of southwest Virginia and western North Carolina. The Nighthawks are Steve Kruger (fiddle), Brandon Holder (bass), Trevor McKenzie (guitar), and Aaron Ratcliffe (banjo/dance calls).
STRICTLY CLEAN AND DECENT (2:00 pm) is an acoustic trio which features Patrick Crouch, Ron Shuffler, and Kay Crouch whose blend of brilliant vocal harmonies tops a solid instrumental foundation. They will be joined by flat-pick guitar virtuoso JACK LAWRENCE whose musical partnership with Doc Watson lasted over 25 years. He has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, The Dell McCoury Band, and Peter Rowan and was featured on Rowan’s Grammy-nominated album, “Carter Stanley’s Eyes.” Jack has the distinction of having performed at every MerleFest.
THE HARRIS BROTHERS (3:00 pm) of Lenoir, NC, effortlessly cross musical genres including all types of roots music. Reggie and Ryan typically play rock & roll, jazz, blues, mountain music, vintage country music, and bluegrass in each show. They will be joined by the stellar fiddler, TIM HIGGINS.
THE KRUGER BROTHERS (4:15 pm) return to Happy Valley! Their live performances are as varied as their collaborations and include original instrumental pieces which showcase inspiring technique as well as traditional tunes and old favorites. The Kruger Brothers include Jens on banjo, Uwe on guitar, and Joel Landsberg on bass. They will be joined at Happy Valley by percussionist Jody Call.
Visit https://happyvalleyfiddlers.org/ for more information on each of these performers.
Saturday is centered around competition in nine categories (6 instrumental, vocal, dance, and band) with three prizes of $150/$75/$50 in each of the individual contests and six prizes in the band contest beginning at $750 for first place. For contest information and to register in advance, see https://happyvalleyfiddlers.org/contests/
Many other activities will take place both Saturday and Sunday including children’s activities, instrumental and dance workshops, storytellers, authors, showcases by Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) programs, along with craft and food vendors.
Primitive camping along the beautiful Yadkin River is available (Tents and RVs with no hookups) for $10 per night or $25 for the weekend. Early-arrivals and late-leavers are permitted at an additional $10 per night.
Please visit the website, https://happyvalleyfiddlers.org/, and the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention Facebook page for more festival information.