Willie Watson to Perform at App Theatre on Thursday, June 16th

Frankie Marie Farrington
May 9, 2022
Wednesday, May 11th
May 10, 2022

Willie Watson to Perform at App Theatre on Thursday, June 16th

Willie Watson to Perform at App Theatre on Thursday, June 16th

Debut Concert is First Event on Mast Store Americana Music Series
BOONE, NC – Fresh from his celebrated appearance at Merlefest, popular folksinger Willie
Watson, co-founder of the Old Crow Medicine Show, will make his long-awaited debut at the
Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 16 as a prelude
to the Boonerang Music and Arts Festival that weekend. Tickets go on sale to the public at 11
a.m. on Tuesday, May 10 at an “early bird” price of $10 per seat, and rising to $15 per ticket on
May 12, 2022.
“An Evening With Willie Watson” is the first event on the newly-announced Mast Store
Americana Music Series on the Doc Watson Stage of the Appalachian Theatre, and is intended
to be an ongoing, year-round program of artists and events celebrating the genre unique to our
country.
Mast General Store President Lisa Cooper, said, “We are excited to be the naming sponsor of
this music series and to have as its first act an individual who was discovered by Doc Watson
himself. I can’t help but think Doc would be proud to see this performance on his hometown
theatre stage.”
ATHC board chair Keith Martin noted the significance of this sponsorship to the historic venue.
“Mast General Store was the very first donor to contribute to the ‘Save The Appalachian Theatre’
effort, and was instrumental – pun intended – in the naming of our Doc Watson Stage. Now, with
the underwriting of our new Americana Music Series, their name is linked with a musical art form
beloved in our community almost as much as the Mast Store itself.”
According to the Americana Music Association (AMA), this artform is defined as, “Contemporary
music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country,
roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that
lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic
instruments are often present and vital, Americana music often uses a full electric band.”
Watson is a folksinger in the classic sense: a singer, storyteller, and traveler, with a catalog of
songs that bridge the gap between the past and present. A celebrated musician with a rich vocal
range, Watson is a top interpreter of the folk canon and a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist.
Watson was a co-founder of the Old Crow Medicine Show, whose platinum-selling music helped
jumpstart the 21st century folk revival.
Mark Freed, Director of Cultural Resources for the Town of Boone and the catalyst behind the
Boonerang Music and Arts Festival, said, “I love that the Appalachian Theatre will be kicking off
their Mast Store Americana Music series with Willie Watson on the Thursday of Boonerang
weekend. Willie Watson is no stranger to Boone and fits in perfectly with the festival’s community
homecoming theme.”
For additional details about the Boonerang Music and Arts Festival, go to
www.boonerangfest.com.
For nearly two decades, Watson has made modern folk music that is rooted in older traditions
with a catalog of songs that bridge the gap between the past and present. On his album
“Folksinger Volume 2,” he acts as a modern interpreter of older songs, passing along his own
version of the music that came long before him.
This includes Southern gospel, railroad songs, delta blues, Irish fiddle tunes, and Appalachian
music, carrying on a rich tradition in folk music: the sharing and swapping of old songs. Many of
these compositions were popularized by artists like Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Furry
Lewis, and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. According to his publicist, “The songs don’t actually belong
to those artists, though. They don’t belong to anyone. Instead, they’re part of the folk canon,
passed from generation to generation by singers like Watson.”
And what a singer Watson is. With a quick vibrato and rich range, he breathes new life into
classic songs like “Samson and Delilah,” one of several songs featuring harmonies from gospel
quartet the Fairfield Four. He’s a balladeer on “Gallows Pole,” whose melancholy melodies are
echoed by the slow swells of a four-piece woodwind ensemble, and a bluesman on “When My
Baby Left Me,” accompanying himself with sparse bursts of slide guitar. “Dry Bones” finds him
crooning and hollering over a bouncing banjo, while “Take This Hammer” closes the album on a
penitent note, with Watson singing to the heavens alongside a congregation of Sunday morning
soul singers.
“I’m not trying to prove any point here,” Watson insists, “and I’m not trying to be a purist. There’s
so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level. It moves me and inspires
me.”
Nodding to the past without resurrecting it, Watson turns his latest album release, “Folksinger
Volume 2,” into something much more than an interpretation of older songs. The album carries
on the spirit of a time nearly forgotten. It taps into the rich core of roots music. It furthers the
legacy of American folk. And perhaps most importantly, it shows the full range of Willie Watson’s
artistry, matching his instrumental and vocal chops with a strong appreciation for the songs that
have shaped not only a genre, but an entire country.
For more information about the concert, or to purchase tickets for “An Evening With Willie
Watson,” please visit 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
About Mast General Store
With its Original Store located in the rural historic district of Valle Crucis, North Carolina, Mast General
Store has grown its family to 11 locations in 10 towns across four states – North Carolina, South Carolina,
Tennessee, and Virginia. Historic locations, a focus on customer service, and an eclectic product
selection – everything from old-fashioned candies to technical outdoor gear – make every store a
destination. The Mast Store is family and employee-owned and is passionate about its local communities.
www.mastgeneralstore.com