Doc Watson Day at App Theatre in Boone August 19th
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper Highlight Doc Watson Day
App Theatre, Town of Boone Partner to Celebrate Local Legend
BOONE, NC – The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is proud to collaborate with
the Town of Boone to observe Doc Watson Day on Friday, August 19, 2022. This event
is an annual celebration honoring the life and legacy of its namesake, Doc Watson. Due
to the generous support of First Horizon, the App Theatre will host a live performance by
Grammy Award-winner Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper at 7:30 p.m. at the historic
venue in downtown Boone, NC. Tickets are only $25.
A fiddle virtuoso from an early age, Michael Cleveland is a 12-time International Bluegrass
Music Association (IBMA) “Fiddle Player of the Year” and a 2020 Grammy Award winner,
among a litany of other accomplishments. Having played alongside some of the industry’s
greats and performed at the most famous of venues, Cleveland now tours with his own
band, leaving audiences with jaws dropped in amazement. This performance will mark
Cleveland’s debut performance at the Appalachian Theatre.
Vince Gill described Cleveland as follows: “Michael plays fearless, and it’s intoxicating to
play with him because he makes you play fearless. He takes no prisoners, but he plays
with restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon. It’s wicked to see how much music
he pulls out of a bow. He’s untouchable.”
First Horizon Market President Jason Triplett quipped, “There is no better location to
celebrate Doc Watson Day than on the Doc Watson Stage at the Appalachian Theatre,
and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper are the ideal artists for this event. If you take a
closer look at his statue sitting across King Street from the theatre, I guarantee you’ll see
Doc smiling a little more broadly.”
Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson was born in 1923 in nearby Deep Gap in eastern Watauga
County. Though he lost his sight at the age of two, Watson showed an interest in music
early on and worked hard to purchase his first guitar as a boy. He spent much of his early
career playing on the streets in downtown Boone, and in the 1960s, Watson started
performing around the country.
Renowned for his innovative flat-picking style on the guitar, Watson pioneered a
technique that mimics the sound of fast-paced mountain fiddle tunes. Over a long and
illustrious career, he earned eight Grammy awards, including the Lifetime Achievement
Award, and was honored with the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 1997.
Despite these incredible achievements, Watson always referred to himself as “just one of
the people.” Accordingly, when a statue of his likeness was commissioned to be designed
by local sculptor Alexander Hallmark, Watson insisted that these same five trademark
words be inscribed on a plaque next to the statue.
This bronze figure of Watson sitting on a bench picking a guitar it located at the corner of
King and Depot Streets in downtown Boone and was unveiled during a public ceremony,
on June 17, 2011.
Mark Freed, Cultural Resources Director for the Town of Boone, said, “Doc Watson Day
has become a signature event in our Summer Concerts at the Jones House series. We
have been celebrating Doc Watson Day for more than a decade now, and we are very
excited to continue our collaboration with the Appalachian Theatre.”
Now in its 12th year, Doc Watson Day has traditionally been held in June, but was shifted
to August to accommodate the availability of more musicians who knew Doc and who are
inspired by his music. Last year, the Appalachian Theatre took part in Doc Watson Day
for the first time, hosting a livestreamed concert from the historic venue, featuring local
bluegrass favorites, The Burnett Sisters Band and Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road.
On August 19, 2022, live music begins at 5 p.m. with a free concert on the lawn at the
Jones House as a part of the Town’s weekly Summer Concert series. Performers include
Wayne Henderson, Nobody’s Business, and Surefire. The evening’s celebration
concludes at the App Theatre with a ticketed 7:30 p.m. concert by Michael Cleveland &
Doc Watson Day is hosted by the Town of Boone in partnership with the Appalachian
Theatre. For more information about artists performing at the Jones House, visit
www.joneshouse.org or call 828-268-6280.
For tickets to Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper and more information about the
concert, or to join the theatre’s eblast list and purchase memberships, please visit the
ATHC website at www.apptheatre.org.
About the Appalachian Theatre
The mission of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is to revitalize and sustain this historic
community touchstone as a quality home for diverse artists and audiences with a special focus on programs
that celebrate our distinctive Appalachian heritage and enhance our capacity to serve as an economic
catalyst for Boone and the High Country. Once a gorgeous 999-seat Art Deco movie house, the building
closed in 2007 and sat empty and gutted for years. On October 14, 2019, the Appalachian Theatre
reopened its doors after a $10 million renovation that brought the distinctive Art Deco details back to this
historic theatre and created a new 629-seat, state-of-the-art, acoustically pristine venue for live concerts,
films, plays, and dance performances. The historic Appalachian Theatre has entertained regional
audiences in the heart of downtown Boone, North Carolina since 1938. www.apptheatre.org