Lawrence, Edwards Bring Bluegrass
The Rooster's Wife presents two of the finest pickers, singers and storytellers to be found anywhere Sunday, Feb. 17, at the weekly gathering in the listening room of Poplar Knight Spot.
Sunday evening concerts begin at 6:45, with the doors opening at 6 p.m. for general admission seating. The 100-seat listening room at the corner of Knight and Poplar in downtown Aberdeen features acoustic music of all genres. Shows continue this winter through March 24, on consecutive Sundays.
Jack Lawrence has been called a "flatpicking powerhouse." His recordings and performances combine exciting, high-spirited and innovative guitar solos with tasteful phrasing in his own inventive style.
Well known as Doc Watson's partner since the early 1980s, Lawrence's inspired playing and smooth vocals provide listeners with performances that span musical traditions.
Lawrence grew up in Charlotte, and his musical odyssey began at age 10 when his father took a job as sound engineer for a local music hall.
Backstage at the Lake Norman Music Hall, Lawrence had access to many of the top acts in the country, bluegrass and gospel fields, as well as the local rhythm and blues bands.
Performers of the day such as Buck Owens, Don Rich, Bill Monroe, Leon Rhodes, George Shuffler, and Flatt and Scruggs exposed Lawrence to a variety of styles.
From these early experiences, Lawrence developed his own talents and found his major influences to be Doc Watson, Clarence White and Django Reinhardt.
By the late 1960s, Lawrence was playing in local folk and bluegrass groups and soaking up as much music on the professional level as possible.
An after-school job with luthier C.E. Ward in Charlotte proved a tremendous learning ground for the 16-year-old.
Through Ward's association with bluegrass gospel legend Carl Story, Lawrence started doing guest spots on Story's TV show and making other public appearances.
In 1971, three days after his high school graduation, Lawrence set out on his professional career, joining one of the pioneer bands of modern bluegrass, The New Deal String Band, after which he joined forces with the Bluegrass Alliance.
Joe Smothers introduced Jack to Doc and Merle Watson, and he began to tour with Doc in 1983.
Lawrence toured extensively with Watson and as a solo artist throughout the U.S. and Europe. His talents are featured on many of Watson's recordings, including the Grammy winner "On Praying Ground."
The solo project "About Time," released in 1997, showcases Lawrence's amazing guitar style and rich, warm vocals. In 2001, he assembled some of the friends he most admires for an exciting recording project. These sessions resulted in the April 2002 release of "I Don't Need the Whiskey Anymore," featuring Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tony Williamson, The Del McCoury Band and, of course, his old friend and partner, Doc Watson.
Lawrence will be joined on stage by Tommy Edwards. Radio host, history teacher and coach, Edwards is also the leader of the beloved Bluegrass Experience, who have celebrated their 43nd year as a band.
When Edwards was growing up in Siler City, more than 50 years ago, he noticed one day that his neighbors had a guitar in the trash.
To this day, Edwards doesn't know why. It was a nice guitar, a Gibson, and Edwards fished it out. He went to the drugstore and bought some Black Diamond strings. His daddy taught him three chords.
From that introduction, Tommy Edwards has gone on to play shows and festivals all over the country and halfway around the world.
The Rooster's Wife is a community arts organization dedicated to bringing the best in live music to the Sandhills.
For more information, the complete schedule, or to purchase tickets with credit or debit card, visit theroosterswife.org, call (910) 944-7502 or email theroosterswife @yahoo.com.
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